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Watching home improvement programs on television and following social media for design ideas can be helpful and inspiring. And confusing, too, according to an Alberta-based interior designer who has seen an increase in clients fearing they’re making poor design choices based on influencer advice.
“The message they hear is that if they don’t follow a certain trend or use the current color of the year, they are doing it wrong. But you know, the Design Police won’t come knocking,” said Kim Cameron, owner of Creative Home Decorating in Calgary. “Some people may feel pressured to follow a trend that they may not like.”
She says trends are transient and design is subjective, just like art. People should worry about keeping an idea or an opportunity rather than worrying about whether it’s trendy enough.
“If you love it, it works in your house,” she says.
The designer’s job is to research their client’s lifestyle and sense of aesthetics and find out what their end game is when renovating or building a new home. To gently lead them into the space of which they dream.
Edmonton interior designer Joanna Starko, who founded JoStar Interiors in 1975, says her philosophy is that the home should reflect the owner’s style and personality.
“You should always have your own twist on your decor while complementing today’s look. Combine your flair and your taste with today’s look, that’s the right choice,” she says.
Cameron has a few tips to help owners integrate design elements they love while achieving their goals. That can be apparently dated colors like deep purple or older millwork and 1990s yellow oak cabinetry – characteristics that customers are determined to include or keep.
“My goal is to help people get the house they’ve asked for. If they want their house to look fresher or bigger or calmer, I could say let’s do purple on some pillows or a wall, or let’s leave the yellow oak for the floor and light up the rest of the woodwork with another. colour. They can still have what they love, and the space will work a little better,” she says.
Wild design wishes can affect resale value. Secure resale design isn’t as important in a home where a customer wants to live for 10 years or more, while a three- or five-year plan may require a more conservative approach.
“To keep your home market ready, it’s best to stick to neutral or simple choices for items that are expensive to replace. For example floors, cabinets and worktops. Then you can choose furniture, paint colors and accessories that match your own look and that you can easily change,” says Starko.
Make your canvas simple and elegant and build on that, says Cameron. Choose neutral colors that are not too color specific.
“Some of the best colors are the ones you can’t put your finger on. Is it brown? Is it grey? Is it beige? Those colors stand the test of time because they are a mix of everything,” she says.