Editor's View January 2018

The Trend Toward Untrend

At the end of each year, pundits reveal what the trends in fashion and interior design will be for the coming year. Sometimes new trends are extensions of old—consumers might not yet be tired of a color or material, so only tweaking or extending is in order. In other instances, the new trends are 180-degree shifts—opposites of ideas and styles that have over-saturated consumer psyches as well as the product universe. And sometimes the trend choices have a rationale all their own.
The PANTONE® Color of the Year 2018 is Ultra Violet. The announcement from PANTONE says in part, “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.
“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond where we are not…Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.
“Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world.”
Whew! That’s a lot of meaning tacked onto one color. I’m not sure the average consumer will ponder the purple decorative pillow she purchases with any deeper thought than, “I like it, it goes with the sofa and the price is right.”
On Dec. 18, 2017, the folks at DeringHall.com rounded up these ten interior design trends for 2018: soft edges in furnishings, dark hues with understated drama, patterned flooring, natural wood elements, eclectic layered design, kitchen window pass-throughs to the outside, moody greens, wallpaper as art, traditional décor and metallic finishes.
Some designers feel the popularity of clean-lined contemporary and mid-century modern styles has been played out. Pair that with a current liking for authentic vintage and historical elements, and it results in the suggested swing towards traditional décor.
On Dec. 13, 2017, MyDomaine.com culled these ideas from decorators on what’s passé and what’s on the road to popularity:

What’s Out                               What’s In
reclaimed wood                              curved furniture
faux industrial looks                              authenticity
white-on-white kitchens                              dark kitchens
brushed brass                              black finishes
trends                              personality

The most compelling pairing of “out and in” is: trends and personality. The idea is that since personal expression and individuality are two of the most prized characteristics of today’s consumers, the sheep-herding mentality that assumes most consumers want what the Joneses have may not succeed as strongly moving forward as it may have in the past. It’s not the trend that’s important; it’s what makes each individual happy that will sell.
Goodbye, uniform commodities. Hello, diverse delights. The untrend trend.