Matters of Taste

My decorating style is pretty eclectic. I find pieces I love, then I try to get them to play nice together, sort of like hosting a liberal/conservative neighborhood block party. Some styles are easier to blend than others–shaker is shy and unassuming, mid-century demands that you pay her attention, federal is a bit stuffy at first but warms up, Frency country is down to earth, brutalist is rough around the edges, and Victorian is very, very, very bossy.

Don’t get me started on Hollywood Regency, I still can’t figure out if I love her or hate her. Do I want to live in a lavish landscape filled with metallic finishes and vibrant colors? Yes! No!! Seriously, Joan Crawford had a bedroom just like this? No! Yes!! Wait a minute, you put something in my drink, didn’t you?

Usually the trends we see in decorating are based on styles from the past, and while it’s safer to wait for them to get established, it’s more fun guessing what the new fads are going to be. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I try to pay attention to buying trends, and here are some predictions for styles we will be seeing more of in the near future. 

Nobody saw this coming, but mid-century modern is going to be the next big thing. 

OK, everyone saw that one coming, and it’s a style that’s going to be here for a while. What is creeping in on the horizon is Art Deco, the 1920’s movement that inspired the style of the 1950’s and 1980’s. The antique industry is reporting a recent increase in deco sales, and the look should start gaining more momentum as we approach the 100 year anniversary of the roaring 20’s. Deco is characterized by rich colors, smooth lines, and bold geometry. It plays well with others, but it lends an opulent air to a room and tends to come on a little strong if your decorating taste leans towards country or casual. 

Another movement that’s getting some traction is Brutalism. It’s generally associated with a style of architecture that is intentionally plain and austere, and frequently features poured concrete forms. It began in the 1940’s when WWII made building supplies scarce, but concrete was readily available. The name comes from the French phrase beton brute or “of concrete.” Brutalism is to architecture as the 70’s is to fashion design-some things are fabulous, but most are best left in the past. My predictions for 2021 include an increased interest in brutalist lighting, including jeweled or torch cut hanging lights, and furniture and accessories highlighting cork, chrome and burlwood.

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