Friday, April 11, 2014

The Year of the Individual’s Story– A Design “Trend” I Applaud!

Thursday was the last day of the High Point Market and as I organized some pictures and press kits, from the show, I pondered what to share as my observance of “top trends”.  There certainly were some repetitive designs, (albeit in different contexts), from showroom to showroom, but there was also an undercurrent of designing for the individual.  I wanted to jump up and down and applaud!

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(There were no shrinking violets at Lillian August!  Sophisticated, metallics glisten amidst a cerise and eggplant palette.  Notice the French style crystal chandelier juxtaposed with the Asian art.)

Some of the showrooms got it and others were still hanging on to what we’ve seen in the past few years on Houzz and Pinterest. 


I hope I don’t offend anyone but it’s time to let the cat out of the bag . . .  I’m so OVER formulaic, beige, boxy/modern, rigid, overly predictable interiors!  I’m past the copied-to-death motifs which could almost be sold at the corner gas station, (or big box/catalog store), kind of design.  (Bless chevron’s heart, it sounds a lot like you could drive through for some, doesn’t it?  One of my favorite designers and I had this discussion, whilst sitting in the press area.)  Remember the moment you’ve looked back on a room and instantly know when it was created?  Yes, that kind of stuff!


I know we designers speak a lot about honoring client preferences, but I happen to think a lot of what people think they “should” like is what they see in proliferation.  I mean, after all, it’s what’s available as a prominent point of reference. 


(Shameless plug - Keep tuning to my Pinterest Board as I’ll be uploading some of my favorite showroom experiences and inspirations from the market.  Just click on the board photo, above.)

I’m guilty of asking clients to show me images of their favorite spaces and some may think we’re literally going to duplicate them.  What I’m really searching for is a particular color, a shape, a function, or a recurring style reference so that I can have a jumping off point.  What I don’t want to do is to recreate the exact same space for them.  It’s not going to tell the story of who they are. 

I think many people have held back on expressing a personal style, for reasons of the inability to commit, or perhaps, even fear of being scrutinized by mass opinion.  Maybe, they don’t know the story they want to share.  I’m the kind of designer who LOVES to help clients with writing on their pages.  I can supply the background and the flourishes, while helping to edit and put it all to print!  An autobiography of design, as it were.

If you need a little help in the inspiration department, here are a few parting shots of my market trip . . .


In full bloom at Sam Moore


Hidden treasures.  Lined drawers at Hooker Furniture.


Leave the fretwork to us! – Hooker Furniture.


A ‘bit’ of hardware detail.  Equestrian flair from Abner Henry.


And finish choices beyond vanilla!


Plum delicious – Botanica


I named him, “Percival the Peacock”. Stunning work by Botanica.

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Inking in the design.  Lillian August

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Sunrise, sunset.  SAMS International

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Totally transparent.  Reprotiques

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. . . or . . . as you like it.  Reprotiques

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Have a hassock?  SAMS International

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Peak-a-boo wrappings at Wildwood Lamps.

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Keying in on fabulosity at The Antiques & Design Center.


All aglow at Caracole.


Fabric textures, metallic finishes set a new gold standard – Caracole.


Going neutral can still mean daring!  A stellar example at Caracole.


Lighting the way.  Smart design from Caracole.

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Trimmed and tailored for maximum impact.  Eastern Accents.

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I’m totally about Thibaut!  Their patterns bring my rooms to life!

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A crowning moment meets happiness in pagoda land.  Thibaut  (And by the way, this fabric book just arrived at my office.  Very happy, indeed!)

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Prepped in pink.  I like this softer side of life!  Eastern Accents

Can you believe this is just a sampling?  I haven’t even downloaded all of my pictures but it’s time to get back to some projects.  I think those clients will be thrilled I took a few days to head off to market, though.  I’ve found some lovely things, just for them!

If this is where you’re stuck . . . .


or this . . .


or this . . .


. . . just consider it an empty page.  I’ll help you to script the rest!

All my best! ~ Wanda

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