What is a Trend?

By: Holly Bayer, Interior Designer, ASID

Styles, trends, fads… what are the differences between these commonly used words and what effects do any of these have on the look of our homes? According to the dictionary, style is, “a particular kind or type of appearance or character.” Trend is something entirely different; “a general selection or tendency.” Fad is similar but more transient, “a temporary fashion or manner, especially one followed enthusiastically by a group.

Have you ever been asked, “What’s your style?” How did you answer? Maybe with a combination of adjectives. Likely with a shrug of the shoulders? How would a person determine the answer and why does it matter?

Because we’re inundated with information on a daily, hourly, moment-to-moment basis this question has become harder to answer for many. As a result, it feels easier to choose from a predetermined industry category of Traditional, Transitional, Modern or Contemporary. We might use current color trends to personalize our spaces a little… but will you still like the feel of that room in six months? Next year?

The problem with adhering to a temporary fad or trend is that it will likely not be a reflection of you or your family. Determining what would be the ideal “anything,” for your home takes thought, a few magazines, a black marker and a piece of paper. Tear out or circle images that immediately are appealing to your eye and when you’ve accumulated a little stack go through them again and look for commonalities. Make a list of those and then look at the list for a few minutes. If you had to give a name to that group of words, what would it be? That word or phrase is your style and it will be far more successful in making selections for your home than a predetermined category.

If that sounds daunting, start with the architecture of your home. If you don’t have an inkling of what the architectural style is, look at the oldest parts of your home for clues and use our Architectural Style link to find something that looks like home!