A Home that Makes You Happy Long Beyond The Trends

Atlanta Homes

Hello, friends! Sorry I’ve been MIA! I had a couple of projects I was trying to focus on and time got away from me the past couple of days.

This is the time of the year when you’ll likely run across a lot of design articles about what’s in for the new year and what’s out. They are always fun to read and I admit I do enjoy being somewhat in the know about design trends.

But I like to be in the know not because I necessarily want to follow the trends, it is just interesting to me to think about which trends might matter and which trends don’t matter at all. Mostly I think it’s fun to learn how to confidently create a home you love, despite what anyone else thinks.

The inspiration photos in this post are all from the 2016 Home for the Holidays Showhouse in Atlanta. Each room is by a different designer (and you can find these images and more at Atlanta Homes magazine). The reason I added them to this post for inspiration is simply because they are described as an inventive take on classic style. Even if all of the rooms aren’t your cup of tea, I feel the concept of an inventive take on classic style is the way to go if you want a house you’ll love for a long time (whatever “inventive” means to you).

I think the concern many people have when they are decorating or remodeling a home is how they can avoid decisions that will quickly be dated, while still wanting to make a house feel fresh and personal.

There are always lists of colors, patterns and materials that make the “out” list every year. And sometimes just to really confuse the issue you’ll even find many of same items on both the “out” and “in” lists. Ha! I love that.

I’ve even seen the same colors or material appear on the “heading out” list for years (so they never actually go out!). Clearly some of it is just a matter of personal opinion (or a sales trick!).

You know when you hear that a trend or look is “so overdone” or you read that someone is so tired of that look? Does that mean you shouldn’t use it either?

No one lives in your house but you and your family, so….a statement like that isn’t something I would worry about too much. If you are about to spend a fortune or you’ll be totally stressed out about it if you start to hate it next year, too, then you might want to reconsider. Don’t live with stress like that.

But if you are confident you will like it as long as you personally have to keep it, and your house really likes it, and how you are using it makes sense for your home, go ahead and mix that supposedly oh-so-tired and overdone trend with your own style and it’s going to be FINE! As long as you don’t invite the person who is so “over it” to your house everything will be OK. Ha.

Here’s the thing. Every home is different, so there really isn’t one right way to decorate. There are classics you can be inspired by and trends you can add in to make a home feel fresh. It’s all about the mix and how you use each element in your space that will make it feel appropriate or dated.

If everything in your home is “trendy” but none of it suits your house style, it’s going to all feel dated in a year or two.

If much of your style is generally classic but you add a few “trendy” elements in a classy way, your house is still likely going to feel fresh in a few years.

Something can look amazing in one home for years and years while look dated in another home next year.

What might seem very trendy in one style of house might just feel like a fresh take on classic in another.

Traditional materials, patterns, colors and looks cycle in and out of favor, but can still remain classic and lovely in the right home after the “trend setters” move on to highlight the next trend.

So if you happen to love a look that you are told might be trendy right now, but it also suits your budget, style, home and vibe, go for it! You’ll love it and that’s what counts.

Try to design a home you’ll love for years to come. If you are wanting to be safer with your choices, just mix things up a little so a space doesn’t feel like a time capsule or end up dated all at the same time. Invest in quality pieces that are timeless and have fun with the trends in a way that doesn’t cause you to lose sleep at night.

For that reason or budget reasons you might decide to skip an expensive trend or two you actually like. But don’t stay away from all the trends you happen love in order to play it safe. Put your personality into a space. It’s your home, after all.

Colors might feel on trend or off trend on any given year, but it’s usually more about how you use them that makes a home feel fresh or dated. And really, color is personal so you should use colors that inspire you and feel in harmony with your environment.

In small doses, nothing is a major style crisis or worth losing sleep over. 

Choose what YOU love and make your home feel like YOUR dream house, no matter what the 2017 trends may be.

Let’s chat in the comments! Tell me how you envision your own dream house!

PS. Thank you SO much for your kind responses to my health story. I’ve read every one (I still have some emails to get to!) and I so appreciate everyone who has shared their own stories with me.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” – C. S. Lewis

Related Post:

7 Easy Ways to Personalize Your Home (my article on eBay)

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Comments

  1. I think it helps to look at examples that are really old. What still looks good? What was a short-lived fad?
    Paint, wallpaper and cushions are the easiest things to change/freshen, and a good place to choose trendy if that’s what you want. Otherwise, if you buy things you really love, they will age gracefully, regardless of the trends.
    Taste of France recently posted..Before/After: Living RoomMy Profile

  2. It’s why I have a tendency to keep most of the big pieces in my house rather neutral. I’d rather buy smaller accessories to freshen up the space than a ton of new furniture all the time because I don’t like it anymore.

    http://aneducationindomestication.com
    Stephanie recently posted..I Have to Brag for a Minute…..My Profile

  3. Thank you for this timely encouragement. It’s so easy to get caught up with the trends! I find that the pieces I truly loved when I bought them are still pieces I like.
    Cathy recently posted..How My Skin Cleared UpMy Profile

  4. I think this country has become too much of a disposable society! New trends yearly, in with the new, out with the old! I live in a vacation destination area where there are trendy vacation homes, mostly rentals. Our shops are full of the latest trends, BUT most of it is NOT of very good quality and will not stand the test of time. I change out pillows, throws, dish towels, even lampshades etc., to keep “current”, but keep my good pieces that have collected over the last 40 years, they will always be “current”.
    Andrea M. Schnapp recently posted..I LOVE DIASCIASMy Profile

  5. Judith Newman says:

    An important message to subscribers…trends are nice to look at but remember if doesn’t work for your home it’s okay to pass on the “trend”

  6. I find that once I start seeing the same “trends” in all the blogger posts and home tours that I regularly look at it actually turns me off from using those elements because it then seems like everyone is the same and not original. 2016 examples include chevron patterned everything, arrows, animal heads on the wall, chalkboard painted whatever, subway word art and word/quote art in general. Recognize all of these in the blogger homes you follow? YES. That sameness makes me not want that stuff in my home. I think that Melissa has written about finding your true style, even if a mix of styles, and staying true to yourself and what has personal meaning to you, which is what I try to do. She has written about displaying things that have personal memories to you, that have meaning to your family or that spark joy. The post she wrote about that changed the way I decorate our home and has made me much happier when I edited out the BS and focused on displaying things with personal meaning. That said, expect angular terrariums and succulents to be popping up everywhere this spring. Nope, don’t need a terrarium in my life, and I am happy about it!

    • Amy, you took the words right out of my mouth! I’m the same way – not wanting to “copy” the trends, but to do my own thing and display the things that have personal meaning to me & my family. Trends turn me off, like you said. I also like a lot of DIY, because that’s a very personal way to decorate. We have artwork that my husband’s mother painted, woodwork that my dad, grandpa & I have made – lots of handmade, homemade, made-with-love type decor that will never go out of style. No terrariums in our house, either! :)

  7. Thanks for sharing your story. I am a Memoir writer, working on several of mine. Love the tip about the thyroid. Think I will look into this. Always enjoy your Blog! Where did you get the wall art, “It is well with my soul”? I need that to look at as I write!

  8. Isn’t “Atlanta Homes” something…I just subscribed and really luv it!! franki

  9. First things first: that tablescape in your photos (sixth one down) with the really interesting lamp and small, old framed art and the wallpaper! Omg. It’s everything I love. I agree with so many commenters here about keeping large pieces of furniture neutral and then adding and subtracting pieces of colorful art, pillows, plants, pottery, and personal mementos–that’s what makes a house a home and transcends trends. Same goes for colors–if you don’t overdo it and stick to colors you truly love (not what is trendy–anyone remember teal and burgundy?), you’ll have a home that will make you feel warm and loved. Look at your clothes and the artwork in your home, and there you’ll find all the clues you need to choose your accent colors. “Color of the year” proclamations are meant to sell things, period. And Melissa, thank you so much for sharing your health story. My daughter had some severe health issues brought about by certain ingredients in food, particularly food coloring, yeast, and “natural spices,” which can mean almost anything. She cut them out and we are both now trying to use more natural cleaning products and diffusing essential oils every day instead of commercial room fresheners. I was embarrassed to go out and buy cheap vodka for cleaning, but it works great! Best of health to you and your family!

  10. Once again, I love the inspiration photos and the advice. I envision a home that is cohesive instead of the somewhat chaotic look I have going now. My house feels dated so I’m trying to update it in small, inexpensive ways. I certainly don’t want to go out and buy a bunch of new stuff so I like the idea of incorporating some of what I have with a few well-selected trendier pieces. I just hope I can pull it off.

  11. Sandra mosolgo says:

    Agree with premise that you live with what you and your family enjoy, not what is “in”. That being said, I’m looking at a bookcase with a terra cotta owl that I spray painted white several years ago when owls were “in”. On an adjacent shelf is a painted white owl statue originally orange & brown. I use these in winter to brighten up the shelves and I love them even though everyone else has discarded owls for other trends. Most of my decorative items are inherited, thrifted or hold special significance. Pillows & throws can easily change a rooms look.

  12. Mary Collins Frederick says:

    One of the reasons I love your blog is because you have such a common sense approach to decorating. I recently moved and we are waiting for our other home to sell before we purchase anything for our new home. it makes it a challenge! I am doing my best to make a home while dreaming of what will be.

  13. Cindy in Oklahoma says:

    If it’s not useful or beautiful or meaningful why buy it? Surrounding ourselves with the things we love or the things that make us happy or comfortable should be more of a driving force than trends. Trends come and go. Those things we hold onto as treasures/reminders of a special time or place or person make a house a real home….

  14. One thing I like best about your blog is the large, beautiful photos that I can enjoy without having to first clear off all of the pop up ads. You have a good eye and amazing style.

  15. I favor a collected over time look to instant “what’s in the stores now” look. That’s how a home becomes personal – it reflects the lives and experiences of the family it houses.I have always loved blue and white and used it as my color scheme with various accent colors since I was a newlywed 27 years ago. I have blue and white china and have blue and white porcelain pieces throughout our home. For twenty years one of my bathrooms has had deep navy walls with a white vanity and a blue and white fabric shower curtain (the curtain has changed a few times but the color scheme hasn’t). I’m about to repaint but it still going to be deep blue. I remember when I could find very little blue fabric in home decor because the “Tuscan” warm colors were the current trend. It’s been fun to have more options for shopping home decor recently since blue has become more popular, but I will still love blue & white when everyone else tires of it and moves on to the next trend. Then I’ll find things I like at their yard sales! Haha!

  16. I don’t typically follow “trends” I follow what I fall in love with and usually I stay in love for long enough to make it worthwhile. Colours are in and out like the wind blows but I suspect I will always dislike dusty rose… too many bad memories! lol
    Anne recently posted..Living Room Before and AfterMy Profile

  17. Love your posts Melissa! Just read this post and the ‘healthy home’ one, the latter resonated with me. As a mother of a Downs Syndrome guy it took me years to realize the needs he had. At about 5yrs my son developed many issues from being on the autistic spectrum, one of which is touch issues that became problems with hair cuts, teeth brushing, nail trims etc. At an earlier point when he was still a baby I noticed he did not sleep like other babies, which I am told is part of DS. However I learned later than tryptophan is a bigger issue with him and was told only 1 in 500 DS children have this problem, these increase his touch issues AND his sleep issues. Where most people are affected by tryptophan by sleeping more, my son will sleep less–much less. Even a slice of cheese on a cheeseburger will prevent him from sleeping at night. Dealing with this was not easy while also dealing with my Amish ex-relatives, who don’t believe in soooo many things medically as in giving antibiotics as prescribed. This lead to issues of baby sitting etc. I no longer allow my son to partake in anything with tryptophan after 4pm, this has lessened his sleeping problems, if I can keep it from him before haircuts and nail trims I also do this. What a change! Thank you in your effort to educate us to educate ourselves about chemicals of all kinds, natural and man-made.

  18. I’ve realized lately that I really like the house styles from the 1960’s! I have had a hard time pinpointing my design style–usually lots of color and graphic patterns. When I was cruising Pinterest in the category of “1960’s” it all seemed to come together in my mind. I purchased a wool rug with in red with a vintage modern design and I’m excited to have it for years to come. I’m hoping it won’t look ‘dated’–because it’s already dated! I can see how I’ve tried using trends in my home…Paisley 2012, quatrefoil 2013, chevron 2015, ikat 2016…but I just can’t seem to keep up and I get discouraged…so I’m happy to find my ‘look’ and build off of that for a lasting style. Thanks for the encouraging posts and great ideas!

  19. Sorry, on to your game. I dropped subscribing to your blog because you are using your kitchen renovation updates because it is obvious you are playing us. A reflection of the political times.
    Mother of a daughter who is Presbyterian minister, son who is a teachers, and I am a retired teacher.
    Bye!

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