The past is coming back with a vengeance for interior design. This fluctuating and fluid industry always seems to follow the most novel trends to the group with the greatest buying power. Our current industry driving group is young people 21 to 28. These young movers and shakers are renting apartments, moving into dorms, and buying houses. Once the new home owners have moved in they are going to want to create a unique space unlike what their parents had.
Each generation’s rebellion against the previous, leads them to choose a style that is easily bought, yet is unique and new. The easiest way to do this is to make the past (2 or 3 generations) new and cool again. We have started to see this increase in popularity of home pieces like record players, reclaimed wood pieces, and the repurposing of old properties to fit new and chic uses.
The rough and unique look of antique pieces seems to be a hot commodity with the emerging interior style. People don’t want the sparse and overly symmetrical interiors that were popular during the 1990s. The clean white walls with carpet, mirrors, and tile floors have made way for “warmer” designs focusing on wood, warm colors, and “retro” shapes. New home owners are choosing to find their new pieces in second hand shops that help these smart shoppers find amazing deals on antiques that you can’t easily find on their neighbor’s mantle.
Mainstream companies are picking up on this new trend and are trying to get on the ground floor of this growing market. You can walk through Pier 1, Meijer, Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart and find “antique” birdcages, posters, signs, etc… meant to copy the 40 or 50 year patina or character that has been collected by the genuine article over its lifetime.
We have seen this type of bubble before; build until it pops. Usually the design market will continue to draw on this era and create chic collections to satisfy our desire until the market becomes saturated. Once the cool factor starts to wear off, we will see the rise of the next trend. I believe that what we will see next will be a push towards geometric shapes and a reemergence of the sparse utilitarian design. Already we can see certain groups pushing towards smaller and smaller spaces that are more creatively designed to use the space as economically as possible.