People seem to get a little worked up over the concept of trends. No! they cry. Fight the mainstream! Don’t be like everyone else! So then you get the anti-trenders which in itself becomes a trend (hello Normcore) and then, uh oh, watcha gonna do now?!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an advocate of flippantly following the Next Big Thing, nor am I one to fall into line with the masses. I don’t crave what the majority has or feel left out if I don’t like the same thing as my neighbour or best mate. I am a big believer in having your own mind, following your own path and staying true to your core design loves. But the beauty of the modern age is that we have access to a wider variety of inspiration than ever before. We are exposed on a daily basis to beautiful images from around the world; of lush Moroccan markets, cracked, pink plaster walls the perfect backdrop for patterned Kilim rugs and ornate wedding blankets. We can sneak glimpses of other people’s living rooms and bedrooms and showers, oohing and ahhing without fear of arrest or being called a creep. (Can we just imagine if Instagram was real life for a second?! Insert awkward emoji). And we can witness this all from the comfort of our own homes, or bus journey or waiting room. What an absolute privilege.
Magazines sell in their millions doing just this. Highlighting emerging patterns, signalling what’s on the outs, guiding our collective tastes. Pinterest has over 100 million users trawling the site monthly for inspiration and fresh ideas, all consciously helping to establish – eek! – trends. But it’s the exposure to these trends, patterns and global cultures that feeds our creative soul, keeps us inspired and adds dimension to our individual style, encouraging us to evolve and grow, to become full and rounded in our approach. We’ll all feel an affinity with different aspects of what’s available but its the willingness to interact in the first place that’s important.
Pinterest is where I first saw the emergence of half-painted walls. The half and half concept is far from new but traditionally a narrow rail is used to cover the imperfectly finished line-work. The removal of this one element is, however, utterly transformative. Something about that raw break between the two colours was so fresh and I instantly fell head over heels. It turned a long-established decor staple into rule-breaking, post-modern minimalism with a distinctly bohemian edge.
Black and white with a bare join. Surely no-one could argue with that level of perfection. Turns out convincing someone to paint half a wall black for no good reason is not the easiest debate. The building and renovation work we were undertaking in the kitchen took priority and so it fell to the bottom of the pile but still I couldn’t shake it. So when, upon a fateful evening, I heard the words fall from my beloved’s lips, ‘Ok, whatever’, the moment was mine. The paint was bought, the masking tape haphazardly applied and the painting was done. And, boy, was it good. Really good. Even ‘Ok, whatever’ thought it was great.
I’ll only get to keep this room in this particular order for another few months before it’s stripped out and re-worked as a big boy bedroom for LHP. I’ll miss that beauty of a four-poster who has served us majestically for nearly seven years, but I am thrilled at the prospect of a full-room overhaul. The good news? We’re both in agreeance that the black and white walls stay. They transcend purpose and will easily mould themselves around a kid friendly space.
And that, my friends, is the key lesson learned here.
If you like it, do it. One day it will be on trend, next month it mightn’t and in 5-10 years you’ll be bang on again. But in all that time – until you change your flighty mind and flip the space again to something new – the fact is you did it because you loved it. And that is the definition of personal style. Within your little universe. And that is something which doesn’t date no matter. So stop hiding those knitted toilet covers, paint the walls black, fill your house with a thousand plants like a Victorian parlour. Whatever it is, I’m not judging … just stay inspired, be yourself and make your mark with confidence!