OK Designer, What's Hip?

OK Designer, What's Hip?


Many of my design clients do ask (though certainly not all of them):  “What’s ‘In’?”

Today I would tell them that I have seen new versions of almost all kinds of styles and so many colors.  Although I would probably not specify a kitchen of complicated dark-stained wood cabinets with brown granite countertops today (Did I ever?  Not sure…), I would encourage clients to find a new version of whatever style pleases them — made with newer materials/variations and not say “No! You Have to do (XYZ) instead”.

A fresher take on most any style is available now.  Many retailers prefer selling more traditional styles in many colors and I am loving that stores like Design Within Reach are reaching new buyers and Mid-Century Modern furniture is in magazine photos and ads.  Also, although I don’t see many dark kitchens, there are new ones!  And I am seeing white painted styles, light/medium woods and grayish stains for cabinetry as well.  With all of the new surface materials for countertops and fireplace surrounds on the market, the options are quite limitless.  Lighting?  Everything is out there from intense crystal fixtures to all recessed cans.  And rugs?  Wow!  The sky really is the limit, but make sure to understand what you are buying:  which materials you like, how they wear, and their longevity.

Colors:  it used to be that one color would be the “Color of the Year” and now, at least 2-3 paint companies choose their own favorite, so there are many options in fashion at once.

In my color theory class back in college, we learned how to put together colors and values of colors (light and dark) to balance a mix of almost anything, and I am seeing that kind of approach more often now than ever.  It’s not ready-made combinations of mauve and gray or browns and golds or teal with whatever.

I am hoping that this new variety will allow all of us to make our homes more relaxed and adaptable.  Even if we start over or refurnish, redo and redecorate, using more of a variety of colors and items will make it easier and less intimidating.  We will be able to repaint with perhaps a new color or value (lightness, darkness, intensity) of the last one.  We can also change the style of window coverings or flooring without “gutting” the whole space.

Frankly, this is the most fun and the best challenge for me in my own home and for others.  It might take a real professional (like me) to make it work well, but it makes sense and with today’s style of acceptance.  Assess what you like in your home (or office) and consider whether you really want to replace it or whether it’s well made and worth updating or even, actually, OK as it is – at least for now.  Whatever you decide, updating might very well not mean “going back to square one” anymore.




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