Tue. May 28th, 2024

I’ve never seen a trend I don’t like, but there are plenty of trends that I loathe for their generic and thoughtless application.

That’s the thing about trends: they go from exciting, fresh and inspiring when we first see them used by design professionals, but after a few years they’re adopted by the masses in a downward spiral of homogeneity. 

When trends are applied in highly repetitive ways, with little regard to design intent or origins, they lose the thing that made them special in the first place and it’s the start of their demise.

Here are the design trends I’m sick of seeing:

Modern Hamptons-style homes

Australians love Hamptons-style homes, but is it time to rethink this popular design?

Nancy Meyers movies such as Something’s Gotta Give really put Hamptons-style homes on the map.

Let me be clear, the two-island-bench kitchen was glorious and the furniture and furnishings were abundant, making the home swoon-worthy, but The Hamptons is the holiday destination of wealthy New Yorkers. These people have the resources to create seaside homes with the highest-end finishes and materials, with shingled roofs and cladding and large balconies.

Hamptons-style homes don’t make sense in Australia. They’re often built en masse, and this cheapens a style that was founded on excess and decadence. Without the details that give these homes their timeless elegance, you really have a different style of home. Is it time to rethink the go-to Hamptons home? I think so. 

Modern Moroccan-style homes

Duffy loves Moroccan-style homes in their true form, but not how it's being applied in design in Australia today. Photo: Ely Sanchez
Duffy loves Moroccan-style homes in their true form, but not how it’s being applied in design in Australia today. Photo: Ely Sanchez

This one is tricky for me because Moroccan-style homes in their true form, I adore. They reflect a relaxed and saturated approach to colour. They boast mosaic tiles laid in intricate patterns and take a layered approach to furnishings, including decadent wool rugs, plants, and baskets. They are joyful and soulful and reflect Morocco’s vibrant culture. The architecture also often includes arches, and somewhere along the way, modern homes have adopted these arches, popped them into home design and left behind all the good stuff, all the aforementioned things that make a house feel like a home.

It does feel like many home owners and home builders pull what they want from a good design and plonk it into a bad design, sucking the soul out of homes as they go.

Put it this way: I don’t think we should be labelling arches and rendered walls in home design as “Moroccan influence”. I think that takes away from a rich, vibrant and relaxed culture whose homes are considerably more characterful than what we’ve been churning out on a large scale in Australia.

Minimalism

Duffy says minimalism hinders the very thing that makes a house a home. Photo: Stocksy
Duffy says minimalism hinders the very thing that makes a house a home. Photo: Stocksy

It’s not that I don’t like minimalism; I can appreciate it in art galleries and museums and as art in general, but I’ll never be able to embrace it in the home.

I should be clear; my dislike is specifically directed to the design and decoration of the home. I am definitely down for minimalism in the home when it comes to the number of “things” you own.

Minimalism in interiors rejects the human factor. Where are your family photos? Where is the hand-painted teapot you brought back from your honeymoon in Vietnam or the sculpture your friends gave you for your 40th birthday? Minimalism, in my eyes, hinders the very thing that makes a house a home and sets interiors apart.

There are pieces of art and furniture in my home that I look at every day that make me smile, not because they’re pretty, but because they spark a memory. Embracing a more maximalist approach allows you to be more playful with colours and more spontaneous. It also gives you the freedom to allow your home to evolve as you do.

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