I consult with homeowners all over the US and Canada and today I was virtually in London, one thing that is consistent in my business is that almost everyone asks me for the same colours at the same time.
Which I find fascinating.
When grey first arrived on the scene, I chose lots of green beige and green grey which was like an introduction to grey, but warmer. Then suddenly, everyone wanted white walls. Then blue greys. When I would show someone a green grey they started saying ‘That looks beige’.
Sometimes a client will say to me ‘I want classic and timeless and I don’t follow the trends. And then their next statement is: ‘I like grays and whites’.
That’s what makes trends so easy to follow and at the same time so dangerous. There are a lot of people who are not aware that they are choosing permanent finishes for their homes interior and exterior completely inside of a trend.
Kind of like when I, as a newlywed in the 80’s, chose a forest green leather sofa and love seat. I distinctly remember thinking ‘It’s the colour of nature–totally timeless!’.
A year later, when we separated, I happily and without giving it a second thought, left them with my ex-husband.
When should you decorate with trends and when should you choose what you love?
If you are going to sell your house very soon and you decorate with trendy finishes, a future home buyer will be looking for trendy so then it works.
If you are decorating your forever house, then you should choose what you love. This means, walk right past the charcoal sofa and towards a colour that makes you happy.
Speaking of forever homes, we better be in ours (Terreeia says) with what we’ve spent in renovations so far!
MaryAnne White, my fabulous Landscape Architect, is celebrating her one year anniversary! My guest post on her blog today features every before and after of our front and backyard extreme makeover this Spring. Even the entire front view of my house which I have not featured here yet. Check it out here.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Colour Trends are Important: Yay or Nay
What Everyone Should Know about Beige
What Everyone Should Know about Grey
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk up to the front door, become a client. On-line or In-person.
Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.
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If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert.
Maria, so true. I’m trying to keep this in mind while planning our renovations right now.
This is exactly what I was thinking when I was reading some of the comments on your previous post. I worried that I was falling into this trap myself when decorating my apartment last year, but then I remembered that my dream sofa has always been a charcoal gray pinstripe model I saw in a store in Germany 15 years ago, so I felt more confident about my gray choices in 2012 🙂
I also take into consideration how long I can “stand” things. I’ve noticed that I rarely “like” most of my furniture longer than 5 years and totally can’t stand it around 8 years and need to get it out of the house. So I know that generally I’m buying stuff that I need to like for just 5 years. Not sure if that makes sense (or makes me sound crazy!).
I always buy what I love. Sometimes that includes trends. I love chintz, rusted urns, seashells, coral, antlers, glass domes and shadow boxes, so I have indulged in all of these during their trendy periods. My rule of thumb, especially for major purchases, is “Can I envision myself living with it 25 years from now?” If the answer is “Yes”, then I buy it.
Great way to know if it’s really you and not a trend, if it is something you can keep forever and still love….
Yes same as me. i like what I like at any given moment and if it is on trend or not, is just a coincidence.
So funny! In 2006, I married my husband, and he had the same forest green leather sofa and loveseat set. I’m guessing his ex-wife left them for him 🙂
We passed them to my 24 year old son who thinks leather is cool because you can clean up spills easily.
I love when you give us “permission” to decorate in whatever colors we love, because gray is what we see around here in the sky too much already (Portland, Oregon), and I just can’t get into it. While I can enjoy white cabinets or white wood furniture, I can’t seem to do white walls–they feel “unfinished”, like primer.
Your yard and house look lovely. MaryAnne certainly knows how to do what she does. Thank you for doing what you do and sharing with us.
Are you really in London England?
Great post today:)
So glad for the tips–and the great gardening blog reccomendation! I am now a follower of both of you!
I love it all, but especially the path beside the house. It’s amazing how landscaping can transform an ordinary, even ugly space into something so beautiful that you just want to spend time there. Maryanne has the vision. I wish she could do my house!
Never have considered myself as a ‘trendy’ individual but do admit I love gray because of its versatility. Similar to ‘the little black dress’ that one may have in their wardrobe. ☺
With that said Maria, not to argue with you but its been my personal experience when it comes to selling a home; including the phrase ‘as is’ in the listing eliminates many hassles and headaches. All my homes I have sold on my own so my motto has always been; do what YOU love and leave ‘the trends’ up to those who are either in the industry of flipping houses or are builders and depend upon them as their livelihood.
Maria, I wonder if the uniformity in color taste that you see is because your clients love your blog and are drawn to your preferences and what you write about. They also would be reading about color, and therefore maybe about other design aspects.
In contrast, I’m not color-famous. : ) My residential clients are all over the place when it comes to color. Some are on-trend, some wouldn’t know a trend if it hit them in the nose.
You know, I look back at high school photos…a VERY LONG time ago…and I still use those same colors…I think you either luv it or leave it! I’ve never ever been beige. brown, green…but use as accents…maybe not beige… 🙂 franki
What a loving transformation! Landscaping has transformed a house into a unique home.
Can your book be purchased other than e-book?
I would LOVE to own the actual book rather than the e-book.
Beautiful Maria….and it looks like your home is facing some lovely hills.
Love that glamorous first photo!! Delectable:))
I can’t believe you did all this without once visiting in person – it looks incredible!
When i bought my house many years ago, I painted the first room a dove gray with pale gray ceiling and white trim. With the paladian window and french doors it looked so calming and classic and went with so many colours that i considered it a neutral. I was WAY out of step at the time, but I kept it and just repainted it the same. I change up the colours of the bedding etc, and have been through a pink phase and am now mixing in yellow. That’s where I get my trend on.
My mohair sofa (similar to the one you show) is a cranberry and it makes me happy everytime I see it. You are right; the colours we love are always timeless for us. Lovely post.
My guideline is that if the color isn’t in your wardrobe, it shouldn’t be in your house. I have almost no grey in my clothing, a few pieces that I only pair with warm colors near my face. I have found that I like contrast in both wardrobe and home, so while all my paint, fabric, and wood finishes are warm colors, I have chosen cool metal finishes – pewter and brushed nickel hardware and lamps. Brass with all the warm yellows and golds just felt hot and wrong. First thing I did was paint; second thing was replace every doorknob, pull and hinge in the house. Best decision I could have made.
I subscribed, but for some reason I can’t post to blogspot. Oh well. I really would have like a chance to win. I said I wanted to see an aerial schematic of your phenomenal yard. It is an AMAZING transformation.
We recently moved into a totally reno’d. home with the brown/cream/pale olive colour scheme along with granite/marble/dk.hardwood…am loving it! My heart does though ‘sing’ when I look at the coastal cottage colour scheme of pale blue and coral with some lime to add a punch! SO..what I have done is ADD those coastal colours in my pillows and accessories…PERFECT! I have the best of both worlds. Cheers and thanks, sincerely, Valerie.
A lovely design.
I have been thinking about this issue of trends for a while and I offer these thoughts: it seems thst everything is or will be considered trendy sooner or later: gray was the new brown and white is the new gray; quartz is moving in as granite moves out (remember Corian?); the mid-century style, a classic style, is now in danger of becoming a trend; I suspect that white kitchens and stainless steel will
be thought of outdated after we all have them! Perhaps we need to have the confidence to simply buy what we like.
look outdated after everyone has them! Perhaps we
should just show confidence by buy what we like and be less concerned about the rules and trends
buy what we like!
looking forward to following your blog
So great to see your finished project again with even more pix. I’ve already joined MaryAnne’s site and not just for the chance to win your color boards but also for the serendipity of hew post on “The New American Garden” – a perfect resource as our little HOA greenbelt with grass and trees in the Arizona desert begins to dare to think about possibly, maybe some day moving toward xeriscape (and not “xeroscape” as less and less water becomes available to us. For me, that’s a whole new project outside my house. In the meantime, inside my home, it’s super to have your confirmation as a designer that following trends is never as important as loving what you’ve done in your home for as long as you do love it and then feeling free to take a new direction when you get a new inspiration. I’m finding so many decorating questions answered or redirected when I ignore the words “trend” and “resale” from so many sources and ask myself “but how do YOU feel about it?” Another super following yesterday’s. Thanks for sharing so much with us!
Hi Mary Anne! So thrilled to know you have a blog I can follow. Your work is beautiful. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching you transform Maria’s garden into a masterpiece. Thank you.
Sorry, Maria, I just posted this comment to your blog instead of Mary Anne’s. Oops.
PS – Love your work!
I’m a color consultant in the Midwest, and my clients are interested in different options, not the same stuff at all. Is it possible that your clients have certain color expectations from reading your blog? – I had a client yesterday who decided she wanted greige (she’d seen it online), but her house is all earthy, warm, orangey red colors. We tried out many options, but she soon realized that what she saw online didn’t relate to her house. She’s not interested in changing anything but her paint at this time, so we needed to work with where she’s at.
When I look through my older issues of shelter magazines, especially the truly high-end ones like “Architectural Digest”, the featured interiors seem so timeless. I think the key to real elegance is being able to combine elements from several “trends” artfully. The mid-century modern white tulip table in front of a Biedermeier console, or a Chesterfield sofa on a shag rug, or a sleek modern creamy straight-lined sofa in a living room with a huge, ornate gilded mirror above the fireplace. It’s what I see in European interiors… modern furnishings in traditional interiors, complete with crystal chandeliers over the leather “Mad Men” sectional. Other than calling it “eclectic”, it’s hard to pin down… and incredibly difficult to pull off! But I sure do love it when I see it, and it seems impervious to “trends”.
I totally agree Lisa…add to that a few well placed vintage objects or lamps and you have a well done room. What you describe is a purposeful, across the decades look and that’s never boring!
NOT EVERYONE WILL HAVE THE PATIENCE TO DO THIS – AND, FRANKLY, I STUMBLED ACROSS THIS BY ACCIDENT, BUT IT WORKED FOR ME SO I WILL SHARE IT. I KEEP PHOTOS OF EVERYTHING I LOVE. EVERY NOW AND THEN, I PURGE AND TOSS THE PICS THAT GET THE RESPONSE, “WHAT WAS I THINKING!” EVENTUALLY YOU WILL SEE A PATTERN OF COLORS YOU ARE DRAWN TO. MINE TURNED OUT TO BE BLUE, PINK, GREEN AND YELLOW, FOLLOWED BY BLACK AND WHITE. OTHER TRENDS SHOW UP AS WELL == IF IT’S IN THE FLOWER CATEGORY, IT’S A ROSE 🙂 I HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE.
Quite frankly, Maria, your blog has just taught me so much about COLOR/COLOUR. I am noticing more things about colour (I feel like I want to claim this spelling, as my grandmother was Canadian. The “u” in colour adds something special. I would claim that spelling, even if I had no Canadian relatives, but Grandma Sigrid was SUPER WONDERFUL:) Understanding more about colour has now saved me thousands of dollars, but I did make a mistake a few weeks ago, though not too obvious. I had to buy some roman shades: no large enough samples in store, too much in a hurry to get a decision made, brought tiny sample home, still hard to discern the subtle pink tone (but don’t very fair skinned blondes look good in those pinkish tones? But I am not always in the room) well, mostly the shades look good, but not WOW. So, another lesson learned, and they look better when I am in the room 🙂
Thanks Kim for your note! And thanks for sharing your story! x Maria
Speaking of trendy colours……BM affinity colour hush AF-95 is very popular right now. Where would you classify that colour? What are the undertones?…….and would it go well with pink beige?