trade tales | Sep 2, 2022 |
How closely do you follow trends?

The word “trend” is a hotbed of hot takes. Love them or hate them, trends do speak to changing tastes, ones that clients may want to see expressed in their homes. (This writer, for one, is right here for the surge of orange on the scene.) We asked nine designers—Anna Baraness, Kristin Tarsi, Nur Kaoukji, Mikel Welch, Kara Adam, Kaitlyn Loos, Karen Pulaski, Todd Raymond and Katie Davis—to share if, how and why they follow trends.

How closely do you follow trends?
Anna Baraness (Left) and Kristin Tarsi (Right)David Mitchell

Trend Carefully

“We are obsessed with all things design-related, so in our daily perusal of design publications, trend watches and fashion, we generally have our fingers on the pulse. Our purpose is twofold: to get inspiration and integrate new ideas into our interiors, and to avoid the home version of a fast-fashion trend. When we incorporate a trend, such as boucle, we might turn to a Holly Hunt version on one item in the house. Generally, if we are incorporating a trend, it is a curated selection that doesn’t overwhelm the interior—we try to limit usage so that the entire project doesn’t center around a few trends or feel outdated as it is installed. We want our interiors to last our clients for years in style and durability.” —Anna Baraness and Kristin Tarsi, Studio AK, New York

How closely do you follow trends?
Nur KaoukjiCourtesy of Ecru

Make Your Own

“We do not really follow trends, nor are we very attracted to a global rule that dictates what is or isn’t beautiful today. The mass market is so saturated with objects that look and feel far too similar. We feel it is more interesting to fall upon an object that tells its own story and holds its own identity. We gravitate toward designs that we personally feel like using, finding inspiration from our immediate environment, our mixed cultures and others that we’re exposed to. In a way, one can create one’s own trends, and that can be interesting—the possibilities are endless. For example, I recently traveled to Bhuj, a beautiful town in Kutch, India, that is home to master indigo dyers, and the obsession that followed developed into one of our own in-house trends.” —Nur Kaoukji, Ecru, Kuwait

How closely do you follow trends?
Mikel WelchCourtesy of Mikel Welch

Rule of Thirds

“Completely avoiding trends would be a bit of a challenge, so I’d say I follow trends about 30 percent of the time. While clients are often influenced by trends, my job as a designer is to create a space that they will love in the long run and feels personal to them. [I encourage] clients [to] invest in timeless statement pieces that they will love for decades.” —Mikel Welch, Mikel Welch Interiors + Lifestyle, New York

How closely do you follow trends?
Kara AdamMichael Hunter

Trust Your Gut

“When I first started out as a designer, I used to pore over magazines and study every caption to know where everything came from and all the latest trends. I now focus internally. I am inspired by traveling—a unique restaurant or bar, a new hotel or gorgeous view—not Instagram or magazines. When clients come to me with a trend they want to implement, we weigh the pros and cons of integrating it into our design. If [we feel] it’s a fleeting trend, I strongly discourage it.” —Kara Adam, Kara Adam Interiors, Dallas

How closely do you follow trends?
Kaitlyn LoosCourtesy of Kaitlyn Loos Design

Lesson Learned

“I enjoy keeping aware of trends while dissecting what choices are more timeless. It’s also really fun to learn about what trends are hot in fashion and beauty, because sometimes they translate to interior design. I enjoy the process enough that I actually started putting out a free ‘What’s Out’ guide every year [about which trends are outdated] for people to download from my website and use [to update] their home.” —Kaitlyn Loos, ​​Kaitlyn Loos Design, Ocala, Florida

How closely do you follow trends?
Karen Pulaski
Julie Soefer

Stay the Course

“I don’t follow trends. I am constantly exposed to what people are loving in their environment and the ever-changing nature of our industry, but I don’t evolve a design based on what is popular. I love change and never want to be static, but I trust my own instincts.” —Karen Pulaski, Tribute Goods Fine Linens, Houston

How closely do you follow trends?
Todd Raymond
Courtesy of Studio Todd Raymond

Happy Medium

“I wouldn’t say our office pays too much attention to trends. Instead, we keep ourselves informed by reading trade magazines and publications. We inevitably see many trends pop up on social media, and I like that—I find it inspiring to see what my peers are up to and the projects they’re working on. But our firm’s work is more driven by what we hope is a timeless design, mixed in with modern finds and vintage pieces. All that said, I do think some trends are unavoidable. For example, COVID has found us designing more work-from-home offices and finding new ways to carve out spaces for WFH life.” —Todd Raymond, Studio Todd Raymond, New York

How closely do you follow trends?
Katie DavisMelissa Fitzgerald West

Keep It Classic

“I don’t love trends. There are, of course, looks that are more popular or ‘having a moment,’ and we are mindful of those, but we only implement something that’s trendy if it’s relatively easy to change. The whole room should feel classic.” —Katie Davis, Katie Davis Design, Houston

Homepage image: A calm and contemporary living room by Studio AK | Courtesy of Studio AK

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