They show up on Instagram feeds. They can be seen on billboards and spotted in crowds and, although you may not follow trends, they have most probably influenced a decision you’ve made at some point in your life.
Trends play such a big part in the way people decorate their homes and in the implementation of ideas that the interior design landscape is practically built on the latest colour choices and furniture sets. It doesn’t matter how you felt about millennial pink, or whether you were into the mcm trend (obsession) years later.
Like it or not, these trends probably have a bigger influence on the decisions that drive how your customers behave than you think.
So, when it comes to interior design trends, how could you possibly stay ahead of the curve?
Here are a few tips that might help.
First, let’s try to understand what exactly a trend is
In a nutshell, a trend can be defined as a general tendency or direction in which something will move, transition or develop. In particular, this refers to the shift in mentality or behaviour of a general (or specific) group of people, influencing them to take action in some way, shape or form.
It’s easy to confuse trends with ‘fads’. While these increase rapidly (only to decline almost immediately), trends tend to last much longer than fads, and they often have a bigger impact on society.
There are no hard and fast rules for spotting trends
Trends are usually revealed over time and can stem from a variety of sources.
It’s difficult to say exactly where or when a trend might begin and end.
This is why virtually every industry has experts that focus on observing behaviour and determining trends.
Look out for patterns
A certain type of tile may be gaining popularity or a specific strand of blue might be popping up in every home you enter.
The best way to effectively spot trends is to keep an eye on multiple sources of info for an extended period of time. Once you begin to notice changes, acknowledge them and keep track of what you observe.
Connect the dots
Once you actually begin to notice certain patterns, draw connections between your observations and the re-occurring themes that you keep coming across.
Then, assess potential trends to see if they really are making a mark on the current landscape of interior design. This could help you accurately estimate the direction of trends in the near future.
Use your senses
Trend-spotting is a task that requires a certain level of awareness. You need to keep your senses sharp.
Learn about the world on a general level and you should be able to quickly notice upcoming changes.
Start by reading, watching and listening to good sources of information including general interest news outlets, blogs, reports, magazines and conversations.
Read a lot.
You’ve probably heard it said that successful entrepreneurs have this trait in common. If you’re running your own interior design firm or practice, take note that reading could affect entrepreneurial skill and ability.
Think outside your industry
Trends aren’t always confined to just one niche. Expand your horizons and you might find that the same trends pop up in several places.
They are fluid concepts that can often be applied to more than just a home/space. Our world is interconnected.
Keep an eye on developments in other fields and you might just find a trend that’s closer to home than you think.
Don’t forget about comeback trends
Trends sometimes have a tendency to repeat themselves.
For example, the emergence of hothouse flowers and drapery panels (originally a floral aesthetic that was also popular in the ’80s) might indicate a recycling trend.
Tap into social media
Social media platforms have made such an impact on so many of our lives.
It seems that even designers and architects are finding the words “make it Instagrammable” on their retail clients’ briefs.
Social media has influenced the way we communicate and value design. One problem with using social media is that trends may not have as much authenticity or originality (being by-products of copies) and lack longevity. So be careful with just how much you rely on what’s happening on social media.
Expect trends to come and go, just like the opportunities that come with them. Sharpen your awareness about the world around you and observe things that are happening on other platforms and in other industries if you’re looking to stay on top of your interior design game and not be rendered obsolete. Consider these and the other tips mentioned earlier and, if you haven’t yet, try using them on your trend-spotting journey today!
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