We humans generally don’t like being surprised. We hope that things will go according to
plan; we like to know what’s coming our way.
We like to be in control.
Occasionally though, when a pleasant surprise does
come along, we’re happy about it.
Like earlier this week when Karen suggested we see Dustin
Hoffman’s movie The Quartet
I’d never heard of it, and frankly wasn’t thrilled about
seeing it (especially now, right in the middle of the summer blockbuster
But – it was a wonderfully sweet film, very enjoyable,
unexpectedly poignant, and superbly acted.
A client of ours called the other day to tell us she’d just
returned from the local “Street of Dreams” (also called the Street of New Homes,
New Home Show, Home Parade, or something similar depending on where you are),
and said she had a few new thoughts about the home design we’re working on with
Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes that’s bad, but
generally, we don’t recommend that our clients make a habit of visiting home
shows for design ideas.
Why? Because new home shows are about selling
homes, not designing homes.
They’re built to appeal to the widest possible market of buyers, not the
very specific needs of you and your family.
And that can lead to you getting “lost”. Not lost in the “I don’t know where I am”
sense, I mean lost in the “I’ve forgotten what was important to me
in the design of my
new home” sense.
Like our client was about to be.
Among other comments, she said, “All of the wood flooring in every parade house was stained dark! We thought we wanted light-stained flooring
all along, but now we’re not so sure. It
seems like the current trend is dark-stained flooring
Let’s discuss that word,
in home design terms.
A trend is what other people are doing with homes that
aren’t yours. A trend is what vendors
and real estate sales people hope will attract buyers.
A trend is a design strategy that sometimes substitutes for
creative, personal design.
Trends in home design and decorating used to be easy to
recognize, because they moved and changed slowly. Until recently most people had very few opportunities
to see new homes and get an idea of “trendy” design, other than the occasional
open house or the latest issue of Architectural Digest
Which means trends often lasted for years
Today, however, we’re drowning
in home design information. There
are entire television networks devoted to home design and decorating. Two or three highly influential websites, and
many hundreds of smaller websites and blogs catalog and discuss every aspect of
home design every day.
Which means trends – if we can still call them that – might
only last a few days. Or a few hours
Sometimes “what’s trending” is - no trend at all.
Knowing what everyone else is doing is comfortable; going
out on you own is scary. It’s hard being
out on that limb alone with light-stained floors, when everyone else is going dark.
You don’t want to be “wrong”. You
don’t want anyone to know that you don’t know what’s trendy.
Going along with the crowd is less scary.
BUT – if you’ve been following along with me, you might be thinking,
“Yeah, but if there’s no time for trends anymore, then doing whatever I want
is never wrong…I set my
own “trend” for my own house.”
If you want light-stained floors, stain them light.
If you want Modern design, design a Modern home. If you
secretly covet a Hobbit House, well then it’s off to Middle Earth we go.
If you don’t need a dining room, a living room, or a fancy-schmancy
jetted whirlpool tub, then don’t put them in your house. Leave them for the dining/living/jetted whirlpool
Do what YOU want – yeah, you might not be in tune with somebody’s
idea of trendy, but then
again, you might
be on the cutting
Need expert Residential Architectural advice for your new home or remodeling project? Contact Richard Taylor, AIA at RTA Studio to arrange a meeting or an online consultation.
Labels: Custom Home Design, Home Remodeling and Addition Design, Interior Decorating and Design