While you might assume that the hottest new trend has never been seen before, think again. The best trends cycle through the years, popping up in new iterations once every few decades. Check out the history behind the fresh looks that we love now and find out which might be best for your space.
Bamboo, Wicker and Rattan
Bohemian homes benefit from the mindful use of natural materials. That’s why bamboo, wicker and woven rattan furniture are such clear choices for this style. For something so hippie-chic, it’s ironic that wicker was originally popularized by the early Victorians. At the turn of the century, the export trade was in full swing and decor from tropical regions was all the rage. Even the word “rattan” itself is derived from the Malaysian word “rotan” which refers to slender canes or reeds. Because of the high-cost of entry, bamboo and rattan furniture were a symbol of status. Now with an emphasis on sustainability and green practices, their popularity has come around again. Today, designers prefer to choose one or two quality statement pieces to create interest and anchor a room.
Antique and heritage wood is back in the spotlight. With a shift toward the eco-friendly, design trends have refocused on warm and natural elements. Looking back through history, wood is one of the earliest materials used to craft furniture. From simple benches, cut logs and rustic tables to elegant Windsor Chairs and Shaker Style cabinetry. Wood is a timeless material that transcends generations. If you have been holding onto an heirloom piece, now is the time to showcase it in style. Consider and oil treatment or restoration rather than bold paint or a total refinish. Pair antiques with modern elements, like sleek stone, polished cement and simple, clean lines for a fresh new look. Wood simply never goes out of style.
Bring on the Green
From tres chic to design faux pas, houseplants have swung from near non-existence to extreme popularity and have an interesting history that spans eons. Humans first began cultivating plants at around 10,000 BCE and it wasn’t long after that they began keeping them for aesthetic reasons as well. The Greeks, Romans and Egyptians all prized exotic species and showcased choice specimens in marble vessels and earthenware jars. Through the rise and fall or Rome, the dark ages and Renaissance houseplants all but disappeared - only slowly to emerge many years later. With the Victorians came the modern sunroom, the rise of the orchid trade and the love for tropical and unusual. Today, we prize houseplants for their beauty, biophilic design aesthetic and air-purifying properties. From trailing pothos to snake plants, monstera to palm, plants are a cyclical trend are welcome in any design forward home.
With so many modern wall dressings to choose from, you would be hard pressed to find a more historical form of home decor. Originating in China around 105 AD with the advent of papermaking, wallpaper was originally reserved for the royals and extremely wealthy. Made from bamboo and wood pulp fibers, each sheet was painstakingly hand painted to showcase culturally significant events, landscapes and floral motifs. In Europe, the earliest example of wallpaper can be traced back to 1509 in a building on the grounds of Christ’s College in Cambridge. Today, modern papers come in everything from sweet florals and bold abstracts to metallics to natural fiber patterns. Standard repeating patterns are no longer the norm, and murals and hand painted scenes are back on trend. Subtle, water-color elements continue to remain popular as do simple patterns that evoke texture over two-dimensional design.
No matter what you choose, these trends are there to stay - so be bold and take a chance when it comes to picking a new feature for your home. You might just be surprised at how it weathers the years in style.
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