Home Design Trends for 2011 #1: An Embarrassment of Choices

Circular Reasoning:

“Made In America”


The New Chic….Again.


It’s been said that interior design changes its mind about fashion roughly every ten years. The change however isn’t sudden. What was a trickle of a suggestion a few years ago can gradually grow into a flood present day. Still, strong trends bear out because not only are they a very good idea, i.e. the Greening of America, but also because art does imitate life and interior design trends catch fire because they illustrate what’s important today in terms of identity and values in broad strokes. These trends speak to us about who we are and how we want to live.

Small Is Beautiful And Green is Healthy: The green movement is still alive and well as evidenced by a huge showing of small space solutions. There is increasing demand for design geared towards Living Large in Smaller Spaces.

Easier upkeep, that’s easier on the environment, is the goal.

A smaller space to serve you, not one you have to maintain, has undeniable appeal.

Did you know that the EPA currently lists indoor air pollution among the top five environmental health concerns? Indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air due to poor ventilation. As the green machine continues to chug along towards greater energy efficiency and durability there is a new focus on better home design features to insure healthier indoor living as well.

Rough Trade And The Luxury Grunge Look: The impetus towards a greener point of view over the past few years spawned a review of our notions about reclaimed and vintage home furnishings and décor. Now the look has gained an identity thanks to the mass marketing of Restoration Hardware and is seen everywhere at every price point. Some call it The Belgian Look. It can also be defined as looking Repurposed From Some Other Century with emphasis on undyed fabric, or at least grayed out from age, exposed bolts and steel supports. Though the look is more factory-made than hand crafted, still it’s from a very old factory. Would you like splinters with your rough wood, Sir? In any event, you will still see nail heads, tape trims and dressmaker tailoring on the upholstered goods.

Industrial Americana: Interestingly, the Belgian Look has seemingly moved across the pond to make a home with more of a “God Bless America” feeling to it. One theory is that after thirty years of outsourcing our manufacturing overseas (and subsequently making those jobs obsolete forever) we’ve been left with a hole not only in our job market but also in our sense of national identity. As a response to this, the “Made In America” label represents the New Chic.

In uncertain times, a return to one’s roots is the pathway for renewed strength.

Thus “American Values and Traditions” whether Mom’s apple pie, the perfect pair of broken-in Levi jeans or the design of our homes has great appeal. At auctions, American antique furniture and objects of art have started to sell at record high prices. Whether actually made in America, or of an Americana theme like the stars and stripes, this influence made a very big splash.

These are but two of the big trends for this year….we have yet to explore the return of Jet Age Design, A Warmer, Fuzzier Modern, The Influence of Saville Row, Exotic Accessories, The Real Food and Flora Movement and Glamazon Appeasement….

Next Time: Home Design Trends for 2011 #2: Time Travelers and More

Related Posts

Get Your Own Designer Look #1: Vision Quest

Get Your Own Designer Look #2: Balancing Act

Get Your Own Designer Look #3: It’s In The Mix

Rethinking Design Rules

Decor Aid: Where Do I Start?


Photo: http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/heirloomgift

This is part of a recent article I wrote for publication on Hamptons.com. It’s represented here as a foundation for further topic discussion, updates and commentaries…

Questions? Write to: Cindy@DecodingDecor.com