Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Chicken or the Egg ? Analogy

I think the weather all over the country has been quite curious these last few weeks, and once again, we were homebound due to ice and snow this week.  (Soooo weird for Texas!)

I had a generous amount of time to read the blogs while I was holed up, and the more I looked, the more a question kept coming up for me.....

.....Are bloggers trend setters, or trend followers?

Since there are so many of us who are reporting on on our own design esthetics by way of "The Blog", how much is original inspiration?  Do we fall in love with a trend because we see it in our mailboxes so often, or are we inspired to create new and different because we're tired of seeing  the same thing all the time.

Case in point:
I began blogging almost a year ago.  I did read a few of the popular blogs prior to starting my own, but for the most part, I was primarily interested in exploring what I loved about design.  I think my earlier posts reflected that.  But as I continued to expand number of blogs I read, I began to see that there were a few "camps" to which the blogs fell into.
1.  Blogs who were written by designers and decorators like myself
2.  Blogs written by design enthusiasts ( who maybe should be designers!)
3.  Crafters and Etsy shop owners  (I long to join that group as well)
4.  Blogs that loved to combine design and fashion

I loved them all and the list of blogs I follow grew and grew.   The more I read, the more I began to see that so many of them wrote about similar themes.

All white kitchens

Bohemian, Frenchy-lofty NYC apartment looks

Perch in NOLA


Aqua bedrooms

Jmac and Kennedy ID

Gallery walls

Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware 

....just to name a few.

Which came first, the trend or the blog?  
They say you should never ask a question that you don't have the answer for, and while I have an OPINION...I have no real facts to support it.  But one thing I know for certain, the design pendulum doesn't swing small.....whenever something becomes oversaturated,  we do a 180 and go in the opposite direction.   

What do you think?
And what's next?
(Stenciled walls?   Saturated color?  Wallpaper?   Shabby Chic and cottage?  Maybe even florals!!)

You tell me....I'm dying to know?


  1. I think one of the things that's coming is color! Everyone seems ready to add more now. Neutrals are a classic that will never die but I see many more now ready for a little punch.

  2. Sally, Sally, Sally!!! This is a GREAT POST!!! You put into words what I think all of us have thought but did not have the words to put it so eloquently and concise.
    Hmmmmm!? I feel everyone is looking for something NEW and inspiring and are not finding it in todays design world. I am not sure if it is because we have so many resources at our finger tips or what. I have seen a wonderful use of color in some areas and I am really enjoying that. I also think wallpaper is definitely in!! I am also seeing a quadrant of vintage being used more and more. It will be interesting what emerges as the NEW look, which you and I both know will be something that has already been done, but with a bit of a new twist. So goes design!!! Again, Great post!! Kathysue

    PS thanks for your comment and opinion of the playroom fabrics, you are right I am having a ball. I can't wait until I get the samples!!! KS

  3. What I notice everywhere are white rooms, white walls. It is a great look, but would look anemic in my "newly" built builder grade home!

    And now I want to know what you think...the chicken or the egg?


  4. What a great, noteworthy post, Sally. I think we are headed back to simpler, more authentic spaces. Less bold or processed elements and more materials left in their natural state. I hope that we wiil continue to see interest in upcycled items grow, it's wonderful to see the general public embracing secondhand stores!

  5. Great post and great comments so far. Loving vintage and antiques the way I do, I am glad to see people embracing this type of "green" design as well. As Kathysue mentioned wallpaper is definitely making a comeback, but it's much bolder than the granny prints of the past. I loved the comment on the all white builder home looking anemic. She is so right. There is a huge difference in a home with large beautiful windows and doors and plenty of architectural features painted white and a basic builder home with little personality built in. I'm thinking that we are going to see less cookie cutter design in the future. Personal style is going to become more important.

  6. what a great post Sally. I am one of those designers who blog but I am also a writer and blog for others, not for myself. What I have seen over the last couple of years is that one blogger will post about a topic and sometimes on the very same day another blogger will post and use the exact same photos. I often wonder if there is a source out there for topics and photos that I am not aware of! I personally prefer those blogs that choose to discuss something different. While I dont think the general public is viewing these blogs as much as the professionals so they are not necessarily trend setters, the designers seeing them may utilize the ideas ultimately making it a trend. Does that make sense? I am sure we will see many, many rooms in honeysuckle pink over this next year as well as the rustic chic/industrial idea becoming more popular. I do hope, however, that we have seen the last of that "Somethings gotta give" kitchen idea. While beautiful, I am a bit tired of seeing it as the ultimate kitchen design and would like to see a bit more warmth and color in the kitchen. I also agree with Kathysue that wallpaper is returning and the choices are beautiful. It will be fun to watch the trend report and see how right we all were this time next year. A lot depends on what takes place financially and emotionally in this world we live in. Thanks for opening up this discussion.

  7. Great discussion, you guys! I think the blogs have the potential to be trend setters, but we've got to create original content and be willing to showcase designers who really do step out of the box. To keep posting repeats upon repeats of the same design elements makes us followers and not setters, in my opinion. I think we're all guilty (me included) of posting what WE love all the time, and it begins to look repetitive after a while.

  8. Good point Sally. I try to post things that I love but I'm not a designer.... I have just worked with them for 22 years. There have been many times that I have to make window treatments that are "not me". My blog is about what I do professionally as well as personally. I think that's a good balance ! I will say that I have gotten a lot of inspiration from other blogs.

  9. I think blogging takes so much time that being on top of what everyone else is blogging about is a challenge. I read a lot of blogs but always find new ones and sometimes I feel overwhelmed at keeping up with everything in cyberspace as well as my own day to day business activity! Maybe that's why there is some repetition out there???

    I definitely think bloggers can spot a trend and publicize it, especially those bloggers who are more of the design enthusiasts. Stylebeat is a good example. She's been in the magazine business and really is a reporter of style and design.

    I think designers who blog take a different approach to their blogs, much like the way they handle their clients. A mix of their philosophy of design, with client's desires and functional requirements. They put a little bit of their take or interpretation on current style trends. They want future clients to get to know their spin on things. For me, it's all about attracting the right clients.

    Other blogs by crafters, artists, antique dealers, etc., I find very interesting because they can become great sources for information and products. I've always felt that designers are conductors of the orchestra and look at the big picture, how it all molds together to create a statement. The artists, upholsterers, etc. are the musicians or specialists that have honed their skills to produce the single beautiful element. Designers must be aware of these individual elements help create the overall image.

    Blogs that combine design and fashion are great for pure inspiration and adaptation of style. Many interior designers are greatly influenced by fashion and there are so many designers that cross over and do both! Great design is universal, wherever it is applied.

    I've become very long-winded, very interesting topic though. One I've pondered myself. I think there's room for everyone and understanding where the individual is coming from is most important in reading a blog.

  10. Love your blog and this is a great conversation. I agree that there can be too much of the same sometimes. It is also a result of going to other bloggers who we admire and have similar style so maybe it just seems like the same old thing.

  11. I have only been reading design blogs for the past two months, and I am also noticing brighter colors and white kitchens. My "eye" isn't sharp enough, yet, to see the many design trends, but who doesn't like the kitchen in "Something's Gotta Give"?! I love a white kitchen with a pop of color, but it doesn't seem like a workable idea in my home. I have been looking for kitchen ideas, and see so many wonderful ideas that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I think by the summer of 2012, I will hire a color expert and interior kitchen designer. I must have both.


Blogs are all about the dialogue. I'd love to hear your thoughts!