Decor, like fashion, is cyclical. That lamp that was hot 40 years ago, then stale during the ’80s, looks fresh again with a new lampshade. Same goes for grandma’s chest-of-drawers, only now with a coat of bright chalk paint.
Let’s face it, though, most of us can’t afford to redecorate our homes every time a new (or retro) material or color makes a splash. And even if you could afford to incorporate a number of new trends, would you want to? Your home could quickly turn into the equivalent of a middle-age woman who dresses like her teenage daughter: An unsightly mess.
But even a house full of classic furniture and accessories begins to look dated if something new isn’t integrated once in a while. So it’s a balancing act.
The key is figuring out which new item, color or material introduced each year has staying power. We’ve consulted with three local interior designers — John Rufenacht of John Rufenacht Associates Inc. in Kansas City; Jill Tran of Tran+Thomas Design Studio in Shawnee; and Jaclyn Joslin, of Coveted Home in Prairie Village — to find out which trends from 2014 lasted all of two seconds and which ones will stick around for awhile to help you plan your 2015 projects.
Open shelving above kitchen counters
Tran: That one might be around for awhile longer, and I hope so because I’m remodeling my kitchen and I’m doing that. It makes the space seem bigger. I have a picture of a kitchen from a magazine 15 years ago and it’s still my favorite kitchen of all time and it’s all open shelving, not one single cabinet. So I figure if I still like it, I should be safe. It’s warm and welcoming.
Joslin: This is a big trend! I love the look, but most people I talk about it with think it is not practical. If you have an innate sense of how to style shelves and are good at keeping things tidy, than pulling this off adds great character to a kitchen.
Rufenacht: Ohhhh … well, you know …. not my favorite. I like some new hides in that they’re making them look interesting in coloring and stamping them and laser cutting them and piecing them together. … But just throwing a dead cow out on the floor doesn’t look interesting.
Tran: They’re still here and part of the reason is if we’re going fancy again, that could be adapted into that look. The hides will become more refined in their texture, and how we treat them will change.
Joslin: Hides are big. They are great for providing texture and pattern without actually being a pattern. They are also great for layering.
Black and white
Rufenacht: It can be interesting, but it’s trendy and no one is going to want to live with it for a really long time. We all eventually gravitate toward some color. But it can be striking.
Tran: Always a classic. It will slowly transition into more and more color but black and white will stay. High contrast will stay.
Joslin: A well-done neutral room may be one of the hardest designs to achieve. It requires great restraint but can be so beautiful. Some of my favorite rooms are neutral with a mix of soft white, black and brown.
Rufenacht: It makes great feed sacks.
Tran: Ummmm … true burlap is totally on its way out. We’re going to slicker, more refined materials, weaves, sheens.
Joslin: Burlap was a trend several years ago. While it certainly adds texture to a room, it can be difficult to use because it’s not very comfortable for upholstery and it tends to look a little country or dated if not styled properly.
Rufenacht: Are you canning?
Tran: Hmmmm … I love, love stewed tomatoes. So I love to see them there, but that’s plenty. Keep them in the kitchen, baby.
Joslin: I have seen mason jars being used in wedding or event environments that are going for a handmade earthy look.
Rufenacht: Is that a color? I’m sorry I haven’t seen it. Perhaps you need to dye some burlap and put it in a mason jar. It sounds like all three of those belong together.
Tran: I don’t think it ever really did (make it in). I saw the woman who picked that speak once, and it was interesting to hear how they pick those colors. They kind of guess. Did you know chartreuse was around for as long as it was because of “Shrek”? A cartoon!
Joslin: I did see a lot of this color at the fall market, and we do have a few items here such as a piece of art and some organic cotton bedding in orchid.
Shades of blue
Rufenacht: I think blues are very livable colors. It’s fresh and there are so many shades and ways you can take it.
Tran: It’s still hot. It’s still everywhere. They’re accompanied now by emerald green. I just bought two dark blue velvet tufted chairs and the frame is gold-leafed. I would marry them if I could.
Joslin: When is blue not popular? So many people love blue, and teal has been pretty popular lately.
Rufenacht: It’s returning, it’s back, it’s here. I think we’ll see it a great deal but in a softer finish than in the past.
Tran: It’s here to stay. It’s more of a gold leafing. It’s not grandma’s brass; nice beautiful slick lines. … It was by far the predominant metal at market.
Joslin: Brass is back and has been for a couple of years. It is popping up everywhere — case goods, accessories, lamps, you name it.
Wood grain walls
Rufenacht: A little trendy, but we’ll see it again. People want wood, and we’re seeing it in new colors that are gray, whitened and bleached.
Tran: That’s starting to die off a little. A lot of it follows the economy, just like the fashion we wear. The pendulum is swinging from anything you can find outside being popular and in the other direction, to shiny surfaces, elaborate trims, a lot of color. It’s going to get fancy again, but it’ll be more fun than last time.
Joslin: Can’t say I’ve seen this as a trend.
Faux wood floors (as in tile and vinyl)
Rufenacht: I think they’re going to stick around. It all depends on the quality and what they look like. In fact we just installed some. they’re very good looking and very practical.
Tran: I think that’s a fad. I would also put glass tile in that category.
Joslin: Not sure I have noticed this as a trend.
Tran: It’s steady. Our own history will always be in fashion. The finishes may change, and people may not find as much value in a crusty paint look, but there’s always a demand for eclectic in traditional homes.
Joslin: It’s all about the mix. People love mixing high, low and vintage. It creates the ultimate “collected” vibe in a home.
Tran: Everyone has a lanai, if not two lanais. I don’t think they’re going anywhere anytime soon. It’s a wonderful way to add square footage that you can use fully in the summer and in the winter.
Joslin: Here in KC outdoor rooms are a little harder, but I have certainly seen an influx of taking the design up a notch. Patios and porches are a great extension of the living space for when the weather is nice, and why shouldn’t it be as chic as your indoor living room?
Tran: Those are going by the wayside. Technology changes and you don’t need a $60,000 setup. If you have room-darkening blinds any room can become a theater if you have a big enough wall for the TV.
Joslin: Most of the people I help still want their TV viewing room to be more centrally located to the kitchen, so I don’t see home theaters as a big trend.
Ultra dark and black rooms
Joslin: I’ve definitely seen darker rooms more lately. Going black is bold, and if done well is stunning.