In the age of Instagram and TikTok, it’s easy to succumb to the trends. But, when it comes to interior design, not every trend is a breeze to implement. And unfortunately, keeping up with the current look can often lead to a bigger headache and more waste if your space transitions from stylish to dated.
Rather than feel overwhelmed by the rise of dark academia and maximalism after years of mid-century and minimalism, we turned to the experts to ask: how can we make our homes feel stylish, cozy, and trend-proof?
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Rotate Your Accessories
Updating your accessories to match the trends is the ideal solution. Along with color, you can play with texture and scale, too.
“A simple way to update any space is to swap out your accessories,” Ackroyd says. “For the bedroom, I’d suggest investing in high-quality bed linens in a timeless neutral shade, then adding contrasting cushions for a stylish look that’s easy to update with changes in trends.”Continue to 2 of 12 below.
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Rely on Color to Change the Vibe of a Room
If you start with a neutral base, it’s easy to upgrade the accent colors and change a room's entire vibe. Lucy Ackroyd, the head of design at housewares brand Christy tells us, “When selecting a trend-proof color scheme, neutrals like biscuity beige, bright white, and cool greys are the best option to go for because they can act as an adaptable base color."
“If you’re not quite ready to paint your room entirely, then why not embrace color with cushions, blinds, and rugs?” she suggests. “Bright and bold colors are making an unapologetic return to interiors, and tonal color combinations like pink with red and blue with green offer a really enticing palette."Continue to 3 of 12 below.
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Test Out Trends in Your Smaller Spaces
Trend-proof doesn't mean avoiding trends entirely—it just means you should make sure you want to commit to it long-term. If you love a trend but aren’t sure you’re ready to keep it forever, Ackroyd suggests trying it in a small space like the bathroom.
“Deep greens and chocolate browns are having a real moment, and these can make a bathroom feel super cozy and relaxing,” Ackroyd says.
While dark bathrooms can make a major statement, it's okay to dip your toe in first. "A new bath mat and towels colorway can transform the room completely," she suggests.Continue to 4 of 12 below.
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Look to the Natural World for Other Inspo, Too
Incorporating natural elements into your decor doesn’t just have to come in the form of plants. As Tara Miller of The Heartland Interior Design points out, nature is an everlasting source of inspiration.
“There are so many colors in nature that you can pull inspiration from," Miller says. "I love using green because it’s the new neutral. You can be deep and moody by selecting dark green paint like a pine tree, or you can be more subtle with sage green."
In terms of choosing bright and bold colors that will stand the test of time, Ackroyd recommends borrowing ones from nature’s color palette. "Go for colors like emerald green and navy blue,” she says. “These colors add some life to a neutral base without causing a headache.”Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Greens Never Go Out of Style
Nearly every major paint brand named a shade of green as the 2022 color of the year, but you don’t have to lean into the trend with paint—or even your room’s accessories or soft goods. Instead, add in plenty of plants and greenery.
“Greenery, both the color and plants, is going nowhere,” Wilson assures us. “Biophilic design continues to be a focus of designers and wellbeing experts.”
If you’re concerned about your plant-killing past, Wilson says you might just need to find the right plant. “There is a plant for everyone, from those that require minimum effort to those which need daily attention, so do some research to find out what’s best for you,” she says.Continue to 6 of 12 below.
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A major downside of following the trends is that things that go out of style can quickly become wasteful. Interior design trends are constantly changing and evolving, according to Ackroyd, but she notes that there are ways to jump on the latest trends without overconsuming.
“There is a continuing effort to encourage us to buy less, shop vintage, and do our bit to be more mindful and conscious consumers,” Wilson agrees. “This doesn’t mean we can’t buy anything new, but consider selling old furniture and buying second hand. Also, take a look at the things in your home and see if you can upcycle them rather than simply buying something new.”Continue to 7 of 12 below.
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Define Your Own Trends
We’ve all seen trends that we like but don’t quite feel like “us.” If you’re having trouble defining your interior decor style, Miller suggests consulting your own closet first.
“Your wardrobe tells you a lot about what you consistently like," she explains. To stay timeless in your home design, take cues from the clothes you wear. Are you into patterns? Solids? Take what you gravitate towards in clothing and recreate that in your space.
After assessing your wardrobe, pair it to interior aesthetics. This way, you're unlikely to tire of your new design plan.Continue to 8 of 12 below.
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Avoid “Fast Furniture”
If you do want to refresh your space with something in-line with the current trends, eco-lifestyle expert Ashlee Piper says durability is key. And luckily, vintage never goes out of style.
“Look for durable materials and easily repairable construction,” Piper tells us. “This is where shopping second-hand actually gives consumers a huge advantage. These items don't just wear better, they also look better and will be good acquisitions for your furniture collection."
Miller agrees. “A great way to look to history for trendless decor is to look at vintage or antique pieces. Pieces that have already stood the test of time and continue to be relevant will continue to be relevant in the future!”Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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You’re Always Safe With the Classics
If you’re in the market for new furniture, don’t automatically spring for the trendiest piece. No matter how pretty that rounded pink velvet sofa is, it could date a room quickly.
Instead, Piper advises opting for clean lines and classic design. "Pared-down furniture schools (think: Shaker, mid-century modern, American traditional) feature styles that are easily assimilated into your home as your decor sensibilities change, or as you incorporate new pieces—and they're styles we see coming back around time and again,” she explains.Continue to 10 of 12 below.
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Shop with a Dual Purpose
This tip is particularly great if you’re shopping for a small space—opt for furniture that serves multiple purposes.
“Look for versatility,” Piper says. “Versatile furniture means you can have the items for longer and work them into your evolving aesthetic, and you can also change knobs, accent pillows, or more if you wish to freshen them up.”Continue to 11 of 12 below.
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Invest in Real Art
Gallery walls are a great way to freshen up a room, but they can also lead the way to a wasteful habit.
“Opt for real art whenever possible,” Piper says. “You don't need to be a millionaire to have a home full of art you love. Investing in a secondhand piece of artwork that you love (or a modern work from an artist you wish to support) adds more character and personality to your home than the latest printed canvas from a big box store.”Continue to 12 of 12 below.
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Ask Yourself These Key Questions
While furniture or decor shopping, don’t get caught up in the moment. “Think before you buy,” Piper says, who suggests asking yourself a few key questions.
- Would I buy this if it was more expensive?
- Do I have a place for this?
- Do I love this, and does it make me feel good?
- Does this item add needed utility to my life?
“These are all great questions to ask yourself to avoid impulse buying home decor and furniture that may not stand the test of time,” she says. “And never underestimate really loving or feeling a connection to a second-hand piece.”
Above all else, fill your home with pieces you love, not pieces that your favorite influencers might love.
“I have items in my home solely because they make me smile and feel good when I see or use them, and that in and of itself is a perfect reason to invite something in as part of your style,” Piper says. “Loving where you live and having a comfortable home that reflects your personality, regardless of passing trends, is really the epitome of style.”