Number 1: HGTV
We all know and love HGTV. And they do their fair share of determining what the new "thing" is when it comes to home design. A few years ago, nearly every home featured on HGTV had some kind of painted furniture in it. I call this the "Joanna Gaines" effect. ;-) Don't get me wrong - I adore Joanna and all things Fixer Upper, so I love that she's a major influencer when it comes to home design. We've watched their show evolve over the years - in the first few seasons, there was a TON of painted furniture, mainly in the french/white genre. Things like this:
Over the past few seasons of the show, there has been more and more emphasis on midcentury furniture, with lovely wooden finishes on display. We've seen pieces like this one featured:
It's been so fun (and interesting!) to watch the progression of Fixer Upper and other HGTV shows, and see the changes they've made to design style over the years. Definitely proof that a little binge-watching of HGTV can be helpful when trying to stay on top of current design trends.
2. Furniture Stores
It seems like a no brainer, but wandering Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware is an awesome way to stay on top of the newest things in home design. These stores are always looking to have the latest and greatest design trends featured in their stores, so it's worth it to look around in these stores every few months. I was just in Pottery Barn a few days ago - and while I'm not a huge fan of their wood furniture (can you say fake wood and overpriced? ;-)) ... I do love the inspiration I find in their displays and particularly in the textiles they're featuring. If you want to know what bedding/fabrics are all the rage - Pottery Barn is a great place to scout!
3. Flea Markets/Thrift Stores
This is a source of inspiration that a lot of home owners overlook. The Goodwill around the corner from you is actually a great place to gauge what's hot! Sound counter-intuitive to you? Consider this: flea markets, antique stores, and yep - even Goodwill are all businesses looking to increase revenue. It's in their best interest to be sure they're putting merchandise on their floor that will be appealing to a buyer. I've been amazed at how many on-trend items I've found at my local Goodwill. Over the past year or so, I've watched them expand their "wooden items" from one aisle to two, doubling the amount of store square-footed dedicated to wooden decorative items. This absolutely corresponds to the current focus on wooden decoration in the design world. It's defiintely worth some time to see what your local flea market or Goodwill is stocking - and the bonus here is that you can score some awesome deals in the process!
(Image credit: NY Times)
4. Your Neighbor's Home
Don't you love it when you walk into someone's home and it immediately grabs your attention? The next time you're struck by a room in someone else's home, stop for a minute and think about exactly what got your attention. Was it the wall color? The flooring? The furniture or wall decor? Chances are it was a combination of all of those things - but your friends' homes can absolutely be a way to keep tabs on what's new. Take time to figure out what you're drawn to in other people's homes, and use that as inspiration in your own!
There you have it! Four easy ways to keep an eye on what's currently popular in furniture/home design. However - the most important thing to remember here is that trends will forever come and go. While it's a lot of fun to keep current with what's "hot" and what's "not", it's difficult to predict which trends will have staying power and which ones will be gone and forgotten within a few seasons. If you see something that speaks to you, by all means grab it. If it fits into your personal style, your budget, AND it makes you happy, it's the right piece for you - regardless of whether it's painted or wooden or today's "it" color. If it makes you feel good about your home, that's really all that matters!