Money Property The trend trap: How to make the right design decisions

The trend trap: How to make the right design decisions

Scandinavian furniture
Experts advise against letting trends control your design decisions. Photo: Getty
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The thing about home living “trends” is that they can creep into our subconscious via social media and reality TV, swamping any budding interior designer with a look which is destined to flicker brightly for a short time and then fizzle.

And they are left with the repayments on a renovation that is already out of date.

The good news is that even if you have zero talent for finding the perfect couch or light fitting, there are tricks of the trade that can help you pull together an understated but ever-so-stylish look which will outlive the fashion mags and save you big dollars on regular updates.

“It’s best to stay strong and true to yourself and not let the temptation of trends control the design decisions you make,” says Antra Lanskis, director of interior design firm Taupe-ology.

“I always tell clients that everything they choose needs to have meaning for them because we respond to objects, not only in a design sense but also in an emotional sense. Everything needs to be able to add value to our life in terms of comfort as well as style.”

For Lanskis, the current passion for all things Danish in interior design trends is a perfect example of this trend trap.

“I would never do my entire house in Denmark because I’m not Danish. However I might choose a beautiful piece, like an Arne Jacobsen Swan or Egg Chair and put that next to a beautiful reading light from the Italian design firm Artemide.”

For Lanskis, a successful home interior should be like a great dinner party. “I really don’t think any trends should be followed except for conviviality and reality,” she says.

Susi Leeton of Susi Leeton Architects says the goal for any house or interior design brief should be “to create spaces that present an atmosphere of considered living”.

So anyone thinking of selling their home should always, “de-clutter first and think about the ideal way that people would like to live,” Leeton says.

For renters, Leeton says an easy and effective way to make the property feel like your own home is to place a special chair or a stunning painting on the wall. She says this always makes a space feel very unique and peaceful, and can draw the eye away from a hideous carpet or curtains.

Like Lanskis, Leeton is also a fan of Artemide lights. Leeton recommends their Tab light, which she says throws the perfect amount of light for reading and is impossibly stylish with its slick line and simple structure.

Here are the tips on which trends to follow and which to avoid from Susi Leeton of Susi Leeton Architects:

Trends to follow

  • Textures such as linen or velvet must be in the same tones. They can  be in luscious dark colours or fresh light colours, but they must be in the same tonal range of either deep, mid-tone or light.
  • Natural materials and beautiful handmade materials in natural fibres.
  • Matt is in for both black and white taps.
  • Bronze or brass fixtures and fittings rather than stainless steel.

Trends to avoid

  • Anything shiny and very “1990s”.
  • Stainless steel.
  • Aluminium windows.
  • Cheap synthetic pillow fabrics.

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