As the summer is coming to an end and fall is on the horizon, I have been thinking about my work over the years and how design and trends have changed. When I first started designing, unofficially, there was no Instagram. Where you saw trends was in peoples homes, magazines and TV shows. At the time (and I’m going to date myself), warm colored walls and wood was in. Coveted graphic granite countertops graced people’s kitchens and dark wood floors were all the rage.
I remember my first home, a 1950’s bungalow bordering Scarborough and Toronto. I
updated this home from its original “mac-tac” metal cabinetry to dark wood. The walls went
from smokey discolored wallpaper to cappuccino and all the original appliances were upgraded to “state of the art” stainless steel appliances. We’ve come a long way from there!
By the time we bought our second home, cooler tones were considered cutting edge. Everyone was gradually coming out of a warm mess and going into an icy contemporary concept.
Everything from hardwood to wall colour seemed to have a grey or blue undertone to it. Add
some splatters of crispy white cabinetry, white pebbled quartz (sometimes with sparkles) and recessed pot lights that looked more like spotlights, and you had yourself a proper early 2000’s look! News flash, the 2000’s called, and they want their chunky highlights back!
We moved from this cool palette to what I lovingly refer to as the “white, gold and sometimes blue” period. Everyone had to have (and still do) gold cabinetry hardware and fixtures. Exterior cabinets typically were a shade of white and was accented by blue or gray island. “Spotlight” potlights were replaced with LED slimline’s for a more evenly lit atmosphere. Countertops were quartz or porcelain mimicking a perfected rendition of marble.
We’re still in this time as I write this, even though we are slowly transitioning into something new and different. So what is exactly the “new and different” style on the horizon? One of my jobs as a designer is to consider the client’s needs and their aesthetic preference. Word of mouth is the best form of flattery and I’m interested in retaining clients as well as meeting new ones. Clients will come to me with inspiration pics and ideas and it’s my job to help connect the dots for them. Are there dots between those lines though? Are there dots passed the line leading you to an idea away from what was? The quick answer is yes!
My job typically is to lead people where we are going while keeping in mind their aesthetic
preferences. It’s no good for them to design with past trends. They’ll be left with a dated home in five years, and renovating and building is expensive. So where exactly are we going and what does that look like? That will vary depending on who I’m designing for and what I’m designing but here are some trends I’m seeing regularly:
1. Warmer whites and neutrals. The most popular wall color right now is some shade of warm white. The hue is typically of yellow base but with a light reflection value high enough to be considered a white. Flooring and furniture continue to be a white oak look with a natural organic quality.
2. Organic feel with grand elegance. Furniture is nodding towards an Art Deco vibe in shape and structure; however, the colors are organic and clean feeling. Think textured off whites or clay like colours. Patterns are sparingly and carefully used as textured items take center stage in warming up a space. Hello “sad beige baby.”
3. Splashy graphic countertops and gold hardware. Yes, you heard me! With porcelain countertops becoming the norm, perfected ideas of quartzite, granite and Onyx are made. Gold hardware and fixtures remain a staple aesthetic but the placement of them has changed. I’ve been seeing a lot more knobs moving from the corner of a door face to the center of the face.
4. Black windows with or without a grid. This is not new, but it certainly remains a strong feature. It seems to be the graphic backdrop to all the neutrals.
These trends and others have filtered their way into what was creating a fresh new idea. Something created always comes from something we saw or experienced. We reinvent, recreate, renew, and recycle other concepts and ideas into new ones which ultimately breathe life into the spaces we live in. I’m loving the new ideas birthed from old ones and
I’m excited to see what the future holds and where we’re going. Happy designing everyone.