Quick!  What’s your first thought when you hear the word “Trend”?

Many will instantly respond, “What’s popular now” or “Change” or “Things desired for only a short time.” The truth is, a trend is all of the above. In this regard, the interior design industry is very similar to the fashion industry; colors, fabrics, prints, accessories — even investment pieces like furniture — all go in and out of style.

Today, there’s a more minimalist approach when it comes to designing functional spaces. This isn’t just for the client who favors the Modern aesthetic; it also applies to people who have a more traditional style when it comes to the look of their home.

Functional organization is a top design priority for many consumers. Manufacturers are devising ways to disguise their appliances — particularly refrigerators — with custom hardware, finishes, and cabinetry facings so that they blend or even disappear into the room overall. Hiding appliances and everyday items by designating a place for them out of sight is a great way to open space in your home. For example, using cabinet space for a toaster or coffee maker when not in use is a quick and easy solution, if you have the room.

The phrase “New Traditional” has become a constant at Vision Interiors in Grand Rapids for clients who want a home that has simpler, cleaner lines but with a traditional bent. That could mean wingback chairs in a modern velvet or Eames chairs as a counterpoint in a classically styled living room. When it comes to styling, ‘more is more’ at the moment. However, an edited selection can go a long way.

Currently, popular styles and materials include elevated velvets that may include embroidery or additional texture within the fabric, brass objects, handmade glazed ceramics, and colored vases. Smaller pieces like these accessories are a great way to quickly and even inexpensively update a room to coincide with the current trends without any permanence.

Eco-friendly is a concept in interiors just as it is in other industries as of late. This could mean anything from using alternative or faux fur and leathers and FSC® (certified furniture pieces that promote responsible forest management) to incorporating more plants throughout the home.

Color is another big upcoming trend. Pantone just announced its Color of the Year for 2018 — UltraViolet — which is far from neutral! For too long, perhaps, we’ve been seeing lots of white finishes, white walls, and minimal detailing. Try sticking with a monochromatic look, but in a color that suits your personality instead. Blue is classic and strong. Navy is often considered a neutral by interior designers. Greens can be rich and add depth and interest – a very deep shade of green can be an interesting alternative to black. Gray has been used in abundance lately, but deep shades used for trim and pale gray for walls adds a layer of interest that cannot be achieved with white. And when a single color on the wall doesn’t quite cut it, wallpaper in the living spaces is back and here to stay. The trick is to know you want to see the same pattern for a while, like a piece of art. Committing to less identifiable organic styles rather than a busy geometric print or floral creates a more timeless feel.

Lighting is like jewelry – there’s no better way to adorn your home. Edison light bulbs, gold finishes, and chandeliers are hot right now. Just keep in mind that timeless selections are your best bet. Even if you’re following a trend, make smart choices so that you can live with the fixture for a few years. Antique brass has been a commonly requested finish, and it’s not going away anytime soon. There is a more polished version of the metal sneaking its way into the same homes that once employed the antique finish. Luckily, mixed metals create depth in a home rather than clash.

With endless options in style and design, consumers need to keep two things in mind when considering trends: their personal style and how willing and able they are to make changes as the trends come and go.

For most of us, it is better to make timeless decisions where it matters rather than following the trends. You will be happiest with your home in the long run if you incorporate classic pieces for the majority of the spaces.  Adding smaller accessories and accents that are on point allows the home to stay current without the expense. More importantly, it gives the opportunity for changes down the road without another major investment.

In the end, cozy and comfortable should be the ultimate goal for anyone’s home. Whether your style is modern minimalism or very traditional, when choosing pieces with that in mind, you won’t go wrong!