Design Trends | Let's Get Personal

Whether you are designing an interior office space or renovating your home, you are likely on the constant lookout for design trends.  What is going to feel current?  What is going to retain lasting appeal?  What selections are you going to be patting yourself on the back for 5 years from now? Well, you can’t go wrong with an eclectic aesthetic…a little bit of everything you love, all mixed into one.

Living and working environments both thrive on a personal know, a fresh flower or two, a framed vacay pic from your last European excursion, a ceramic poodle willed to you by your grandmother….okay, maybe that last one is just me, but you get the idea.  It is acceptable for even a work space to tell something about its inhabitants, in fact, it is encouraged to do so for productivity and straight-up happiness.

While I am the last person to promote excess knickknacks, I am the first person to assure you that there is such thing as clutter done right.  When you get people together with common differences and have them represent a thing or two about themselves within a shared space, it is wildly exciting to see the outcome.  While a sea of workstations or cookie cutter homes can be underwhelmingly practical, adding a bit of personalization will create visual interest that brings joy to passers by. 

So, how do you make it happen? 

1. Less is usually more, even with eclectic design. Do not go overboard.  While it is crucial to include personal touches to your home and workplace, it is not necessary to tell your life story in your foyer or on your 72” wide desk surface.  Hone it down to a handful of your favorite things in any one setting. You will appreciate each item more if they are not overwhelmed by the 20 other items surrounding them.

2. Variety is key to create an eclectic collection - collecting is key to getting variety.   If you have a collection from your past that you absolutely love looking back at, there is no shame in displaying a bit of it in a place that you get to see everyday.  Maybe it’s a pencil collection from when you were 12 that you can showcase in a glass vase, or perhaps it is an old stash of sea glass that you gathered on a trip to the beach.  Whatever it is… dig it out and put it on display, because it represents you (!) and adds something unique to your daily surroundings.  If you have never collected anything…start today!

3. Frame it.  If there are photos or other flat items that express you, frame them to ground them!  I have a vintage Memory Game that I used to play for hours on end and have since replaced with a new version to play with my kids.  The cards from the vintage game are a perfect colorful frame filler to brighten my day and remind me of how simple things once were when playing Memory was my number 1 priority. 

The moral of the story: 

Surround yourself with an assortment of conversation starters that reflect you.  You will be surprised at who stops in their tracks and asks a question about an item that you thought you were the only person in the world who would appreciate.


Author: Melissa Mahoney