Decorating Trends That Come & Go


Decorating trends are fashionable. Until they're aren't.
Years ago it was country. I loved country decorating. I'm not sure how it came to be called that. For if you live in the US, you'd think it was all about red, white and blue. 

I embraced it with my handmade quilts and old crockery. 

Then somehow we moved on to "cottage decorating."


It was more feminine. White slipcovers and floral paintings.

Then before we knew it we found ourselves emulating those living on farms. And galvanized hit the scene. Farmhouse decorating became big. 

Then modern farmhouse, whatever that is. 

Seems a little silly now for those of us who live splat in the middle of the city or suburbs to go for chippy farm tables. It's not like the farm hands might walk in any minute for their noonday meal. 

Not to mention having them sit down on that white furniture with the dirt on their overalls.

Ah well, it was the look, not reality. Unless you truly do live on a farm.

I jumped right in with cow paintings and old signs. I thought it was the cat's meow. I already had wash boards I'd been collecting since my twenties.


At one point we dug discards out of the trash and gave them new life. Albeit a chippy and shabby life, of course.

Some went for the neutral look. That never grabbed me.

Bohemian decor caught fire. For me, briefly. But I painted furniture in bold orange and purple hues just the same.

Industrial crept in with lots of plumbing fixtures and matte black. Metal and screws were prominently displayed instead of hidden. 
 
I was hesitant at first, but then I came to like these trends. What's shiny and new does tend to draw the eye in. 

And then your wallet seems to follow.


I embraced them all to a degree. 

Until I didn't anymore. 

But I suppose of all the trends I've seen in my adult life, I think cottage was probably the prettiest and most sensible. Cottage with perhaps a touch of country. 

Lately I've been thinking about all this. As I sit here with my industrial-style end tables and cow and horse paintings hanging on the walls. 


I find myself yearning for pretty floral paintings. 

If I had to start from scratch, I think I would go with a simple yet cottage-y vibe. More feminine.

Janet Hill paintings (I have a few) would grace the walls because I truly love her style and use of color.


My industrial tables would be replaced with furniture like dressers, which would hide those ugly electrical cords I didn't think about.

It would all just be lighter and brighter without the clutter I once loved. Of course back in the day I didn't realize that's what a gathering of tchotchkes was. Clutter, that is.

So will I change my current style? I don't know. 

But I'm keeping the idea tucked away in case circumstances somehow change.


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38 comments

  1. The best part about changing trends is that none of us can start over. Keep on mixing it up. :)

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  2. It is interesting to read the trends the last few years. I personally wonder about all of these people who live in white houses, from the walls to the furniture, etc. I have two pups and I have to tell you that that would never work for me. I think they are sometimes pretty if they introduce a bit of color with art,and accessories. I also am a bit leary of the grey trend, it seems a little depressing.

    Our house is decorated more British Colonial/Ralph Lauren and accessorized with a lifetime of treasures, and book collected from years of traveling.

    I think you should decorate with whatever makes your happy!

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  3. I was just thinking this very thing the other day...and discussing it with a younger friend. She was saying she wishes she could just wave a wand and have her house decorated. I told her I'm old enough to know once she gets it decorated it will all change anyway! I advised her to find a style that resonated with her and stick with it. Like classic clothing.

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  4. Is that Abi or Charlie I really can't tell? Lovely picture anyway. I love the industrial look, glass and metal, white walls, white kitchen,(alas where I am going the kitchen is quite new but it has dark cabinets, honestly I think they will have to be painted! I do not like wall to wall carpet either, I think that will have to go too! Oh my poor husband is feeling the pressure already!

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    1. That's Abi. She loves the spotlight and looks directly into the camera. Charlie avoids it. That's how you can usually tell which dog it is.

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  5. Once I tried the "simple" cottage style, I have stayed there. I doubt at this point in my life I''ll change decor styles again. Color tones change around here ( grey- blue- green)but as for style, that remains the same.

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  6. Oh I have changed my style several times too. I think we all do.

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  7. I think it was Sister Parish who was credited with the beginning country style back in 1967. I still have the House & Garden magazine from that year where her Maine cottage wowed me.

    And of all the trends since then, her look--or a lightened up decluttered version of it--still holds its own. I've admired all the trends you wrote about and I'm sure I'll admire newer ones as they come along. But by this time I've accepted that I'll just be living with what I love and making inexpensive small changes only, mostly reflecting the seasons.

    Keeping up with current trends could drain my purse and energy!

    I always enjoy seeing the changes you make,
    Dewena

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  8. Brenda, your current combo of styles is "cozy". When you show photos of your lovely home, it calms me. Whatever design style you embrace or gather a few pieces of, it always remains lovely and cozy. You have a great eye. Thanks for being you and sharing.

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  9. We must be the same age...or at least have the same likes and ideas. I enjoy reading your Cozy Blog. I am preparing to hopefully move from a rented bedroom and bathroom to a little 2 bed 1 bath home...which I will call my hopeful cottage. Of course I have been decorating it in mind over and over and it's not even a done deal yet. That's why it's my Hopeful cottage. Anyway, cottage decorating is what I'm all about. It's comfy and eclectic, which is what I have stored. Thanks for all your posts. And I DO hope you are feeling very well!

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  10. Good morning! I read CLH every day, and enjoy you bunches. As I was reading today's post, I inwardly chuckled - I hear rumblings and wheels turning of changes to come! I know this because I do this frequently. :) I went all neutral in my little farmhouse living room, and keep thinking 'maybe just a little color'. I succumb to trends (with what I already have), and often regret it! You are creative and inspire me ! I am looking forward to your adding little touches of cottage prettiness here and there - what fun!

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  11. I forgot to say Brenda, I absolutely love the lamp shade next to your bed. Just beautiful!

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  12. I don't follow trends - I like what I like and I don't care if it's "in" or not. I've always leaned towards the country/cottage look but I also like mid-century modern, industrial, bohemian, artsy, eclectic.

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  13. I have never been able to follow a trend and decorate in a style. Just don't have the talent or budget. When I moved here 4 years ago I wanted a cottage style, well it didn't happen. Still my home is me and reflects all that I am. Books, pottery, dishes, shells, flowers, paintings,birds, cats,plants and more clutter. I think its part of the reason I love looking at well put together homes on blogs. Mine is just a mess, but it's me!

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  14. My home definitely has bits of all those styles! I buy things I like, not following any one particular 'style' and put them together in a way that pleases me. Same as you. I think my favorite would also be the style of a country cottage. Although my house is not a cottage, it's a chalet style house, it feels like a cottage inside with the painted wood paneled walls, the stationary French door in between the living/dining room, and all the crown molding and trim work.

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  15. As soon as I read this post I knew that changes were on the horizon. Can't wait to see them!

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  16. I think about 5 years ago I liked then what is now trendy. And I don't like it because it's everywhere - to death! But overall, I found I'm a cottagey farmhouse person and I really dislike anything trendy. So keep what you love and toss what you don't. I do laugh because what I see online isn't homey. It's store bought, except yours. In fact what I see in decorating is no different from the proverbial Jones'. I find that disconcerting, because no one has their own style. Even on a FB farmhouse site I frequent - the decorating all looks exactly the same and no one seems to embrace their "loves" or own style except "does this look like farmhouse" questions. Heck, it's all about what you love!!!

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  17. I absolutely LOVED this post Brenda. I think decorating trends benefit the furniture and accessory manufacturers by telling us what we "need". I tend to just surround myself with what I like and sometimes that includes a trend or two.

    Also, your recent comment truly inspired me. It also made me smile thinking of you dreaming that you still needed college credits. I can relate. :) Have a beautiful week!

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  18. Great overview, Brenda. I can understand the appeal of chippy paint since it has a quaint look, but the notion that it is an authentic farmhouse look is what tickles me. I was born in the mid-50s in rural Ohio and had relatives who lived on humble farms where you might expect to find chippy furniture since they didn't have much money. But there were no chips in sight. Something like that would have been considered unsanitary and a sign of laziness. My great-grandma Della would fall off her cloud in heaven if a newcomer through the pearly gates told her that modern homeowners had chippy paint and thought the style originated with her generation of farm dwellers. The only place I ever saw chippy paint was if an old, worn out dresser ended up in a barn or garage to hold tools. If only I had walked into a barn and realized the decorating possibilities of a chipped-up old chair before Rachel Ashwell did, I would be a millionaire!

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  19. Trends may come and they may go. If I like it I use it. Somehow it seems to me anyway to match. Its called Joy

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  20. Brenda, I love your home just the way it is. I still don't get the current "farmhouse" style. It bears no resemblance to the farmhouse I grew up in in the 1950's. Most farmers were not wealthy people, and my dad worked in a factory and farmed in the evenings and weekends. Funds were used to upgrade equipment, buy seed and livestock. The old joke was that if you went by a farm that had a nice house, the woman ruled the roost. If there were nice outbuildings and barns, the man was in charge.

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  21. I love my English country cottage style. It is a style I have always embraced for the most part. It makes me feel at home and so I don't see myself changing. Besides, I cant afford to do a lot of redecorating. xo Laura

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  22. I'm another one who's style has changed through the years... English country home, shabby chic, sand and sage, etc. The only style I've never liked is industrial.
    Currently, I'm into shabby chic beach house ~
    Great post, Brenda!

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  23. You make me smile! Bottom line=just surround yourself with what you love and don't worry about labels or The Joneses.

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  24. I have never really been a trend girl. I decorate with what I like and then I stick for a REALLY long time. I swap out a few accessories here and there, and perhaps they are trendy, but overall, I have been a cottage style girl since I first got married a million years ago. Our first apartment was sort of a traditional country cottage style. Our first home was a beachy storybook sort of cottage and the current home is a mix of Farmhouse, English Country, French Country and Rustic Country Cottage style. In other words, whatever I like at the moment! ;)

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  25. My home has been "curated" over many decades. It is an eclectic collection of pieces I like, that are useful and that mean something to me, whether aesthetically or sentimentally. Lots of stuff from travels, lots of family "heirlooms." As such, it defies categorization or trends, but I never tire of it.

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  26. I also have tried all the different styles, and finally went back to a combination of cottage and vintage style. I find that I now love wood finishes rather than white, and I like the feel of it being collected over time, (which it is LOL!) Someone commented the other day how feminine my apartment is, which I guess I had not realized myself since it is not awash in floral prints and I tend to embrace muted colors in earth tones with my favorite aqua and turquoise touches here and there. I guess a decorator is never really done decorating, it seems to be in our genes!

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  27. I love this post !!! I was thinking about that recently too - how all the trends come and go. i really the white sofas and trends of today ... we're all about the comfort though..not sure i would ever get the ok to take out the recliner sofa LOL. not so pretty but oh so darn comfy :)

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  28. I have had some of these same thoughts. We do want to freshen and update our decor, but we tend to return to what makes us comfortable. I'm not
    surprised that you want to be surrounded by color, quilts and flowers.

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  29. I think you have hit the nail on the head for most of us, Brenda. I had shabby chic (before anyone knew what it was in the 70s) and then moved on to 'country' and romantic and cottage and coastal. I am pretty much traditional right now but a comfortable traditional...not a formal traditional. I think change keeps us engaged and it is kind of fun to change things around.
    I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week. xo Diana

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  30. I think I have always just picked and chosen from whatever style appeals to me. I don't worry about being trendy and actually resist my decor looking that way. I have many pieces of "vintage" furniture from my family which I will never get rid of, but I also have a more modern looking living room. I use or buy what I'm drawn to, that's the bottom line. I couldn't live in a mid-century modern home, yet I do find certain items appealing. I guess my style IS "pick and choose"! I just try to use compatible colors to unify everything and accessorize with personal items that I love.

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  31. Such an interesting topic! Hubby and I had to chuckle because we live in the country and the current farmhouse trend is really old "news" to us. The Fixer Upper trend had been going strong in our area long before the Gaines couple coined the style. At present I am bored with my home decor, but will search for a way to change things up without totally replacing everything (altho if budget permitted, I wouldn't be opposed. Lol).

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  32. I get a lot of incentive and ideas from trends but it's a big mix-up in my house. It's not confusing or jarring...scale and color makes everything gel. For example: I love industrial light fixtures but still display my china in a cabinet in the same room. I don't aim for farmhouse, but my master bedroom has some rustic horse pictures yet a chippy table filled with all of my lotions and potions and pretty perfume bottles. I think it's all a matter of our own preference and style. Your home has always rejected that to me.

    Jane x

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  33. As I said earlier, we've been at this a LONG time and through this we've seen all the trends. Funny, I thought the white thing would go away eventually. It started almost 7 years ago, if I remember. I tried my hand at a few things... remember the pillows with words? Or the red rooms? Or the little vintage cards with letters to make sayings? Or the plastic stick on words to put quotes on your walls that everyone had? Oh and chalkboard paint on all the things! Now, I just go with what the house wants and what I like. I don't care about trends anymore. Will my blog ever be "popular"? I seriously doubt it. I'm a freak show in a world of everyone being the same and I'm fine with it.

    Be YOU.

    Love,
    rue

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  34. I've recently been thinking about this. I have done the pottery barn look, mid century modern, artsy.....but at my core i like quilts, handmade pottery, cross stitch samplers and such, antique wood tables, wing chairs, gingham, white wicker, grape vines, farm signs, quilt ladders, needlepoint, baskets, plates on the wall, crocheted afghans.....and this is how i will decorate. I'm over trying to have a luving room that isnt me. Ibought 2 blue print wing chairs at GW, a red and tan checked sofa, changed out the wall quilt and quilt ladder quilts to country colors, put up the cross stitch samplers....that's me, and no more trying to be something I'm not.

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  35. I've loved cottages and cottage style all my life and for the most part that's how I've decorated my home, and will continue to do so regardless of the trends. It's what I'm comfortable with and as far as I'm concerned it never goes out of style (think Laura Ashley, Cabbage & Roses). I never was into the sign thing or the letters thing. Interesting to note that decorating in all white is not that recent. I recall in the 90's I borrowed a book from the library on how to pull off all white rooms. I enjoyed the photos and thought the rooms were beautiful, but it's not me. I need some color. I can appreciate how someone might feel differently. That's what makes home decor so fun. We don't all have to be the same. Or do we? Depends on whether one follows their heart or what's trendy. Interesting post.

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  36. I think it's very easy to get influenced by the current trends and what we see on blogs. Everytime I'm making a decorating decision, I try to stop for a moment and ask myself "is it what you really want or what you think you want?"

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