5 Furniture trends I regretted investing in, and designers agree
In the realm of interior decoration, I wouldn't categorise myself as an ardent pursuer of fleeting trends. Over the years, my preference has consistently gravitated towards a harmonious blend of minimalist and rustic aesthetics. Nevertheless, despite this unwavering stance, from time to time, I become enamoured with emergent furniture trends, holding on to the hope that they might mature into enduring classics. My online searches are often awash with the newest design fancies, and the sporadic bouts of self-questioning I undergo occasionally coax me into indulging in a 'trendy' centrepiece. In my mind's eye, I envisage this item reshaping not just my living quarters, but also, in an abstract sense, my very identity.
To steer you clear of the snags and snares I've grappled with, I've meticulously compiled a compendium of décor components and styles that once held widespread appeal. These very elements seduced me into attempting to mirror the immaculately styled chambers showcased on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. Regrettably, some of these acquisitions jarred discordantly with my established décor, a handful lost their allure as transitory design whims, and a select few proved to be more about form than function, ending up as mere decorative impracticalities.
5 Timeless Versus Out-of-Style: Furniture Trends to Rethink.
I'm not the only one who believes these furniture trends are passé; designers agree with me.
1. WHITE BOUCLÉ SOFAS
When I step back and take in this space, I truly understand why I was initially captivated by it. The allure of white bouclé sofas is undeniable – they exude an air of sophistication and chic elegance. However, two immediate reservations come to mind: the first being the reality of having a dog, and the second, the distinctively summery aura these couches lend to a room. At the height of summer, I was completely enchanted with my white bouclé sofa; its refreshing and breezy ambiance felt just right. Yet, as autumn approached and I yearned to transition from the laid-back SoCal atmosphere to a more intimate and warm setting, the white bouclé started to feel out of place, even somewhat outmoded.
Despite the aforementioned reservations, I do hold one unwavering sentiment – my satisfaction with the fabric I ultimately chose. It was a tight race between a no-frills cotton and the aforementioned bouclé, which, despite its pitfalls, has an undeniable charm. Opting for cotton not only benefitted my wallet due to its affordability, but its practicality was also a major win – the ease of having a removable and machine-washable cover was unbeatable. This advantage would've been non-existent with a bouclé variant. Furthermore, bouclé's reign in the fabric kingdom seems to be waning, no longer representing the pinnacle of modern sofa design. This choice would have inevitably felt passé.
Once a ubiquitous find in Parisian flea markets, where keen-eyed buyers could imagine these pieces wrapped in their personal fabric selections, white bouclé sofas surged in popularity, becoming the darling of designers seeking to make a trendy statement. Their over-saturation has been leading them to be both commonplace and ill-suited for many of today's interior design needs. Why not dive into the vast ocean of gorgeous jewel-toned fabrics or even dynamic prints? Sofas draped in these choices aren't just more visually intriguing, but they seamlessly blend practicality with aesthetics in modern homes.
2. TRENDY MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE
I'm genuinely enamoured with Mid-century modern concepts. Recently, I made a delightful purchase: a set of wishbone chairs that I absolutely cherish. This style, I believe, will eternally maintain a presence in the world of design, undergoing various evolutions and iterations. Nevertheless, there are items I've procured in bygone days that are beginning to exude a sense of being passé. A prime example is a teak sideboard – the quintessential retro furnishing.
Regrettably, I didn't undertake thorough research nor make a significant investment; instead, I opted for a more budget-friendly replica, which, unsurprisingly, now feels outdated. Its incongruity within my living space became more pronounced over time. I'm an advocate for amalgamating diverse design styles, but this particular item gave off the impression of a hasty bandwagon adoption. Essentially, my rationale for purchasing it boiled down to the simplistic thought, 'This style of console is in vogue, and that's precisely what I desire in my residence.'
The Mid-century modern trend, once universally celebrated for its iconic Eames chairs, Saarinen tables, and streamlined teak furnishings, has witnessed its zenith and is now perceived as passé. For those ardently devoted to MCM, it's a pivotal moment to broaden one's horizons and venture into uncharted territories.
I hold a profound appreciation for Mid-century architecture, though I feel the trend has been rather overextended of late. My personal design ethos leans towards a harmonious blend of contemporary, bespoke, and vintage pieces spanning diverse eras. This approach fosters a multi-dimensional ambience, brimming with varied textures and influences whilst remaining practical and unforced. There's an inherent value in juxtaposing novel and age-old elements, ensuring a space that radiates uniqueness rather than resembling a monotonous, cookie-cutter showroom.
3. FURNITURE FEATURING SCALLOPED DESIGN
(Image credit: David Hunt Lighting)
As the trends in interior design continuously shift and evolve, one particular furniture trend that I firmly believe is nearing its exit pertains to those designs that incorporate scalloped details. Although they enjoyed a season of popularity, offering a whimsical touch to one's living space, such designs undeniably have the hallmark of a fleeting trend, and their appeal is waning.
One of the primary reasons for this, in my view, is that these scalloped designs conspicuously epitomise a distinct time period when they were in vogue. Moreover, they don't exhibit much versatility. Drawing heavily from vintage-inspired aesthetics, the specific and unwavering character of scalloped furniture seems out of step with the contemporary design vernacular and lacks the adaptability required for everyday living.
Such designs are bound to become dated; they don’t embody those timeless qualities which ensure some pieces remain relevant irrespective of passing trends. It's always prudent to opt for designs that are classic and enduring.
I was cautious not to invest heavily in this scalloped trend. Although I did acquire a scallop-edged mirror and a handful of picture frames, I believe they haven't aged the room excessively. Yet, my inclination now is towards items with wavy edges – a testament to how rapidly trends can pivot. Even a minute distinction like scalloped versus wavy can influence the perceived contemporaneity of your interiors. If ever in doubt about the longevity of a design trend, my advice would be to dabble in it via a few select accessories. These can be readily replaced as the design winds shift.
4. HANGING SWING CHAIRS
A swing chair appeared to be the ideal solution for introducing a functional feature to my compact bedroom. Not only would it infuse the room with a distinctive charm, but it would also provide a quaint spot to settle, without occupying any crucial floor area. For the initial year, its aesthetic appeal was undeniable, lending a touch of novelty to the space. However, as time passed, its allure diminished, and my affection for all things rattan began to wane. Rarely did it serve its primary purpose as a chair; instead, as is the fate of many a bedroom seat, it morphed into a repository for discarded clothing.
Such items, which were once highly sought-after and frequently adorned the front pages of countless magazines, seem to have had their moment of glory. These days, rattan swing chairs are perhaps more aptly suited to the relaxed environment of a coastal retreat or a child's playroom.
5. OVERSIZED ACCENT CHAIRS
It was in this moment that I was irresistibly drawn to the charm of bouclé and subsequently procured a traditional cream bouclé accent chair for my lounge – it was significantly discounted during a festive promotion amidst the lockdown. Whilst I'm of the opinion that bouclé is subtly losing its place in modern décor, it's indeed the contour and design of the chair that I find myself becoming increasingly disenchanted with. It possesses a robust, perhaps even overbearing presence, and whilst such voluminous, overstuffed furniture items were the pinnacle of fashion earlier this year, they're beginning to emanate a rather conventional aura. Naturally, when something starts resonating with the mainstream, it's a mere countdown to its descent into the realms of the outdated.
Let's part ways with these voluminous, oversized chairs. We're unquestionably observing a revival in more substantial chairs such as the luxurious wing chairs and chaises. However, the reign of the papasan chair, along with chairs that boast a one-and-a-half configuration with double backs, has reached its twilight. Their sheer size, offering only a singular seating option, seems to unnecessarily dominate our spaces, rendering them somewhat imposing in appearance.
WHICH FURNITURE STYLES STAND THE TEST OF TIME?
Trends that possess an enduring allure typically aren't trends in the truest sense; it's this very timelessness that distinguishes them. We'd counsel you against being hasty in purchasing the latest items based solely on the current fashions. Allow some time to pass and then determine if, after several months, you remain enamoured with the style.
I believe the gravitation towards natural and earthy interiors mirrors our collective aspiration to lead authentic lives. It underscores our wish to be truly deliberate about the elements that hold paramount importance in our existence. Concepts such as simplicity, enduring charm, human connection, and sheer beauty spring to mind. This design perspective champions a rather muted aesthetic, but it's accentuated by the premium quality of materials, fabrics, and the meticulousness seen in our furniture selections.
So, how might one sidestep the pitfall of selecting furniture that becomes dated swiftly? A foolproof strategy to guarantee that your living space neither appears outdated nor excessively crammed with items driven by fleeting trends is to opt for vintage, antique, or second-hand pieces.
Over recent years, challenges in the supply chain have necessitated that designers tap into their resourcefulness and ingenuity. This has involved frequenting auction houses, vintage retailers, and regional antique fairs and markets to locate available stock. In the process, they've unearthed singular pieces that not only serve as intriguing talking points but also bestow a depth and texture to a residence, an ambiance that is challenging to replicate with exclusively brand-new items.
- Harold King