Twice a year, in Highpoint, North Carolina, thousands of furniture and accessory manufacturers put on showcases in their showrooms and design centers to put forth their newest collections. These shows are the equivalent of art biennials held throughout the world or New York's fashion week. It is possible to hear at least a dozen languages as interior designers and architects descend on the furniture capital of the world in search of the latest trends and to find out what is in vogue now? Changes in design happen as our world changes too.
A decade or two ago Tuscan, Mediterranean or French Country were all the rage. No one in their right mind would consider doing any interior of substance that wasn't tied to tradition. I call it the Gilded Age of the Hedge funds. Of course, the antiques business was doing well and people were spending thousands of dollars on finding those key pieces, which gave their home authenticity and the look of furniture collected over time. The norm for window treatments were draperies layered in multiple fabrics and trims which took hundreds of yards per window, and hence cost a lot of money.
In part to the last financial crisis nearly ten years ago and in part to the advancements in technology, tastes have changed and many homeowners have opted for interior designs that are much simpler and streamlined. The impetus to adopt a taste for contemporary cleaner lines is the same that brought a new appreciation of mid-century modern furniture and design. In architecture, homes of the 1950s to 1970s vintage that once were considered tear-downs, are now being lovingly restored by a new generation of consumers. Many of those antique shops, have had to re-evaluate what is considered antique and embraced furniture of more recent vintage. Of course, many of the fancy window dressings have fallen by the wayside, and sleeker window shades and cleaner window drapery panels have replaced the expected opulence.
In today's world, where millennials with deep pockets seem to rule, the current trends run the gamut from global decor inspired from travel to eco- inspired love of natural textures and materials. The quest at the moment is for timeless, albeit eclectic designs that borrow pieces from each design era based on their individual design creds. Carefully curated interiors that boldly mixes old and new are the new formula to create new spaces that appeal to current consumers. It may borrow furniture or accessories from any time period and combine them with another, for example Louis VVI chairs with an Eero Saarinen Tulip Table.
It's not to say that anything goes, because everything doesn't. Every Interior designer or homeowner has his or her notion of what furniture styles can be juxta-positioned and why. For some designers it might be lines, such as curvaceous versus linear or it might be style periods a Biedermeier console and Marcel Breuer chairs. Whatever your preferences are, keep in mind that they too will change over time.