Wanted Dead or Alive - Design Trends to Keep or Not?

Posted on May 18 2019

Wanted Dead or Alive - Design Trends to Keep or Not?



Aside from major trend shifts year to year, I like to look at smaller design ideas to see if they also go in and out of favour. You decide whether they should hang around or hang their hats.

I have to wonder, is Shabby Chic dead or alive? Sometimes I think yes, that came and went in the 1990's. Then I look at design trends abroad and it's still going strong. Which is it?

Shabby Chic Design - Adley & Company Inc.

What images come to mind when you picture Shabby Chic? Here in north eastern North America, this design trend can be described as breezy, slouchy, slip covered, slightly feminine with a lot of light colours, natural elements such as driftwood, bleached or painted woods and essentially casual living. This style is very maximalist.  

North American Shabby Chic was very beachy and slouchy. Soon with achy backs, people began to tire of sagging slip covers and the seemingly restrictive nature of this style.  

Across the pond and beyond, Shabby Chic has never really been a trend. This style sensibility is deeply connected to their centuries old local architecture and storied past. Stone cottages and rambling Provençal manor homes have been beautifully decorated with this relaxed look. Here in North America, we have shed the shabby for clean lines and stream lined interiors. But are you still loving it, or is Shabby chic just too shabby for your liking? You be the judge.

Shabby Chic Design - Adley & Company Inc.

Shabby Chic Design - Adley & Company Inc.

Houseplants - fresh or faux, friend or foe? It seems the "unthinkable" has happened. Artificial house plants are all the rage again. Does this mean we toss out all things still struggling to grow? It wasn't so long ago we mocked those dust covered fakes. Why are they in fashion again? If we are all headed towards more ecological options, why do we need plastic plants?

 Artificial Plants - Adley & Company Inc.

Perhaps because the fake ones look like these. Can you tell they're not real? I certainly can't. And succulents aren't as easy to grow as one might think. And they seem to inconveniently want to be near sunlight! What if your bookcase is in a dark basement?!

I wouldn't suggest replacing all your living plants with carbon copy doppelgangers. Just a few here and there for a gentle, graphic look. I don't see the harm. You be the judge.

  Deer Statue Head - Adley & Company Inc. 

Oh deer oh deer. We have one of these in pewter. They seemed so sought after a few years ago. How do you like them now? Personally I prefer them to real taxidermy. They're cute and fun and a nice alternative to conventional wall art.

But is the market over saturated and we're no longer heady for heads? What I really like about these are the variety of materials they're made out of - white resin, pewter and even cardboard. They might be a trendy item, but I don't think you need to lose your head about it. You be the judge.

 Deer Antler Wall Decor - Adley & Company Inc.

Here is ours. I like to decorate the antlers at Christmas time. It's the perfect counterfoil to the brick wallpaper and it sort of guards our living area. 

Are we sick of the humble mason jar? I have seen them everywhere in stores, weddings, restaurants, bars and florist shops. They seem to be used for just about everything except for storing food. Are they too kitsch and should return to the kitchen? I think that as long we long for an artisanal vibe, these jars are here to stay. Their purposes seem endless and so are their sizes and how they're made, ranging from glass, white ceramic, black ceramic, etc. Is it too jarring or are you still in love with them? You be the judge.

Mason Jar Decor - Adley & Company Inc.

 I'm afraid I have a bit of an opinion when it comes to lettering and words. I LOVE graphic, large letters but really DISLIKE inspirational phrases. Beautiful tension can be created when large scale letter, perhaps lit up as shown here, sit aside furniture. They are so much fun and make a great statement in a room. I'm still looking for a set of vintage, metal letters which spell "LOL" for our home. I have a vision of such a popular, vernacular acronym being spelled out by letters from a bygone era. That design tension would be great. Please let me know if you know of where I can find them!

 Large Vintage Metal Love Sign - Adley & Company Inc.

I look at this framed inspirational phrase and I want to leave the room. It's sort of cheap art which is also supposed to be deeply meaningful?!  Doesn't work for me. I would rather use that frame and matting for a treasured postcard or vintage menu from a favourite haunt. You be the judge.

Wall Decor - Adley & Company Inc


Should barn doors mosey on back to the farm?!  Are they just being used too much for no good reason? Have they had their day, their year and decade? I definitely see how useful they are for areas of your home which would make door swings very difficult. Our own pantry doors should really be converted. However, the problem has always been that they do not block sounds nor odours and some people do not like the idea of seeing the tracks above. If you have the wall space, I think a pocket door would be a better idea to avoid some of the usual pitfalls. Is this an open and shut case? You be the judge.


 Barn Doors - Adley & Company Inc.

 Are Edison bulbs still shining bright or have they dimmed in popularity? Again, market saturation could easily be the reason for turning off the lights on vintage looking Thomas Alva. When they first became popular, they were hot to touch and easily burnt out incandescents. These pricey, modern resurrections hit the markets like a bright flare - short lived and fizzled out. I love their varied shapes and colours. I think that their decorative qualities make them easy on the eye. And now that they're available in LED, we needn't worry about energy consumption and shelf life. Do we still love them or are we pulling the plug? You be the judge.

 Edison Lightbulbs - Adley & Company Inc.





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