Hadlock Paints: Rochester's #1 Paint Store

Friday, May 20, 2016

Blasts From the Past: Are these decor and design trends HOT or NOT?

In the paint and decorating world, trends come and go.. and then sometimes come back again. Occasionally, these trends are more than worthy of a reintroduction and other times, we just wish that they would have stayed away. Of course, as with color and pretty much anything we deal with in this industry, it's all a matter of opinion to what works and what doesn't. Every designer and color expert has their own aesthetic and there really are no wrong design choices (well yes, there are. Sometimes things are just plain ugly!). So let's take a look at some design trends that we're seeing make a comeback and discuss if they're worth your time and if these trends are HOT or NOT.

Trend Timeline: Wallpaper dates back to around the early 1500s, when large prints and murals were pasted to walls for decoration. They usually depicted scenery and landscapes. The main historical techniques are hand-painting, woodblock printing (overall the most common), stenciling, and various types of machine-printing. The first three all date back to before 1700. In 1748 the British Ambassador to Paris decorated his salon with blue flock wallpaper, which then became very fashionable there. The development of steam-powered printing presses in Britain in 1813 allowed manufacturers to mass-produce wallpaper, reducing its price and so making it affordable to working-class people. Wallpaper enjoyed a huge boom in popularity in the nineteenth century, seen as a cheap and very effective way of brightening up cramped and dark rooms in working-class areas. By the early twentieth century, wallpaper had established itself as one of the most popular household items across the Western world. Wallpaper has gone in and out of fashion since about 1930, but the overall trend has been for wallpaper-type patterned wallcoverings to lose ground to plain painted walls.

For years we've heard that "wallpaper is making a comeback!" and that may be somewhat true, but it is still nowhere near as big of a market as it once was. Current wallpaper manufacturers have done a good job and modernizing patterns to fit today's market. Thibault is a very popular high end wallpaper line that designers have loved for years. Our Brewster Wallcoverings have introduced many new contemporary books within the past few years that go away from the dated florals of your grandmother's bathroom. Metallic and geometric wallpapers and quite popular and we are also seeing a huge influx in grasscloth wallcoverings. 

VERDICT: We'll give wallpaper a WARM rating for now. If you can find a pattern that works for your space, definitely give wallpaper a try. There are some really interesting and even crazy patterns that at first may seem absurd, but can add an extra element to your living area that paint cannot. Grasscloth is a great option and continually growing in popularity, but keep in mind that it is much more delicate than a vinyl wallcovering so it may not be suitable for high traffic areas, or homes with children and animals. 

Trend Timeline: When accent walls started trending a few years ago, it seemed like a passing fad. But the trend has proven it has staying power, and not everyone is happy about it. While some say they'll never stray from four matching walls, others stand firmly by accent walls' eye-catching style. But when you think about it, why should a wall be a focal point. Wouldn't it be better to have an architectural feature or a nice piece of art of furniture be your focal point?

VERDICT: Accent walls are NOT the best design trend anymore. Honestly, it's time to stop being afraid of color. Don't limit your color choice to a single wall, add it to the entire space. If anything create an accent wall with something interesting like wallpaper, exposed brick and stone, or another design idea. Using the wrong color can ruin the space. Designer Mariella Cruzado says "I'm absolutely against those random red accent walls that try to incorporate a pop of color in a room. Your home's color palette and decor should be cohesive and planned ahead," which makes perfect sense. Keep things simple and functional and don't do an accent wall just for the sake of doing it. 

Trend Timeline: Faux finising is probably the oldest form of wall decor. Think about it.. prehistoric cave drawings and the famous Venetian plaster and stucco techniques that date from around 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia and continued into the Roman and then Italian Renaissance time periods. Faux finishing as we know it however began with the Art Deco movement of the 1920s. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, faux finishing saw another major revival, as wallpaper began to fall out of fashion. At this point, faux painting became extremely popular in home environments, with high-end homes leading the trend. Color washing, ragging, sponging, strie, marbleizing, fresco and Venetian plaster were all the rage. And then the trend ended abruptly with the new millennium and all of those dated faux finishes became a pain in the neck to try and remove and cover up with simpler design choices. 

Today we are seeing a slight resurgence in specific types of faux finishing, specifically metallic finishes, which embody the modern and industrial trends that have flourished recently. We now carry the Modern Masters faux and metallic finishes line which have some amazing products! But what do we never want to see come back? Sponging.. just consistently feels like a dated 1980s look that had its time and should never be brought back

VERDICT: Metallic and specialty faux finishes- HOT. Dated and old fashioned faux finishes- DEFINITELY NOT!

Trend Timeline: In the history of paint and design, colored ceilings are a relatively new construct. The only really documented historical use of colored ceilings was the use of a light blue known as "Haint Blue" predominately in the South on their porches. It became popular in the 1800s and still continues to this day. We have a few recommendations when it comes to painting ceilings. If you're using a dark color in the room and want a dark dramatic ceiling, that's ok as long as the room can handle the added color. Another popular choice for ceiling color is to take the wall color and cut it in half for the ceiling, since colors tend to appear slightly darker when above. 

VERDICT: HOT!! Ceilings have been white for far too long and it's a great way to add more color to your space. Just make sure that the room can handle the color and it makes sense to use color on the ceiling. And always remember that 50% of the wall color is usually a good bet for your ceiling, unless your looking for a little extra. Maybe you could even bring in some of the faux finishing idea and do a metallic ceiling, which seem to be all the rage at the moment. A black or dark colored ceiling is great for a commercial space as well.


VERDICT: NOT. Having similar colors throughout the house may work if you're trying to sell, especially if everything is neutral, but every room is different and needs a different feel. It is okay to use a few similar colors of varying depths to transition from one room to another, but try adding a pop of color here and there. Guest rooms, powder rooms, ceilings, and dining rooms are perfect areas to spice it up and little and try something different.


VERDICT: Gray is a perfectly fine color as I discussed in an earlier blog and there are tons of nice grays that can work in your space. But eventually like everything else, the gray trend will end and you will be left with a cold and drab space. So I'll give gray a WARM rating (that seems like an oxymoron, but yes there are warm grays haha) but just remember to add a little color here and there, even if its just a throw pillow! Gray exteriors however, are HOT at the moment!

Just remember that trends come and go and the only opinion that matters is yours really since you have to live in the space. There are so many design options out there and so many interesting things you can do to your home! If you want to sponge finish a wall, you can! Who knows... maybe 20 years from now it will be all the rage again. And maybe by then we'll have figured out how to just press a button to instantly change paint color.. one can dream can't they?