how design trends are like the weather

October 14th, 2016

With High Point Market starting next week, I’ve got the latest trends on my brain. Do you read the trend reports that flood the web after High Point Market? I do! It’s always interesting to see what other people chose as the hot “new” looks. Those looks usually overlap with what I’ve noticed, but it’s nice to see the trends through someone else’s eyes. Here I am at April’s market, checking out the new Carina chair from Brentwood Classics. I heart a perfectly scaled chair, and especially one that swivels! What people outside the furniture industry often don’t always understand, however, is that most of these trends are rarely “new.”

Traci at Brentwood Classics in Carina Swivel ChairI liken the trend cycle to a rainstorm. At the very beginning, you see just a dark cloud in the sky and there’s a “mood.” You know, when it just feels like rain. A few scattered drops start to fall from the sky, and you’ll encounter one or two. Pretty soon, however, the rain grows steady and you’re bound to get wet. Are you still with me here? Sometimes the rain (or trend) dries up — but sometimes it becomes a monsoon. Now you are soaked! The trend now appears in every big box store from Target (closer to the beginning of the trend) to off-price retailers (closer to the end of the trend). By this time, however, you can see a glimmer of sunlight. There’s another (and sometimes the opposite) trend on the horizon.

A perfect example from recent years? The continued love affair with all things brass or gold. It’s not a new trend, but it’s not going away any time soon, either. But you know what? Pewter and silver finishes showed up again — when you couldn’t find a cool finish to save your life (or your room) several markets ago. That’s why the best designers are able to mix and match; it keeps your overall look from being stuck in one trend.

Brentwood Classics Bae FabricMy favorite “trends” are the ones that result in functional improvement — furniture that looks just as good (if not better!), but now functions at a higher level than before. Take sustainably harvested hardwoods, for example. Furniture frames made from sustainably harvested hardwood are no different than those frames made from traditionally harvested wood, but with less adverse impact on the Earth. Now that’s a trend I can get behind!

Brentwood Classics Balthazar Chair in Bae PebbleThat’s also why I’m such a fan of the “trend” toward performance fabrics. The look and feel of today’s performance fabrics are light years ahead of what most people expect! The idea of using outdoor fabrics on indoor furniture used to give me the heebie-jeebies, because those fabrics were rough and scratchy. Functional improvement? Well, maybe — but it sacrificed both comfort and appearance. But now?? I am soooooo happy to report that those rough and scratchy days are long gone! I am absolutely bonkers over the new Crypton fabrics. They look and feel amazing. No matter the desired color, pattern, or texture — there’s a perfect Crypton choice for every room. I particularly like the linen texture of Bae, shown above on Brentwood ClassicsBalthazar chair. Bae is one of the new Crypton fabrics that Brentwood Classics added to their stellar lineup of fabrics, and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Brentwood Classics Crypton Home Granbury FabricRounding out the super-versatile Crypton collection for Brentwood Classics are Granbury, an almost-heathered chenille, and Henry, which is velvet. Of course, each of these fabrics is offered in multiple colorways, so you can choose the best look for every project.

Brentwood Classics Henry Fabric Crypton HomeDreamy, right? The real win-win, of course, is when these “trends” are adopted by trusted vendors like Brentwood Classics. That way, you know your purchase is far more than just a passing fad, but instead a high-quality investment that will work beautifully in your home for years to come. Now that’s my kind of trend.

What’s your take on trends?

All photos belong to moi. In Spring 2015, High Point Market paired me with Brentwood Classics as a sponsored blogger; I enjoyed them so much that we’ve worked together ever since! 

tzd trend alert: keep your eye on the ball!

October 9th, 2016

Y’all, thank you so much for all of your kind comments, texts and emails after my last post. I once read that, when life throws you a curve ball, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime to knock it out of the park. Batter up, baby, because this girl is ready!

Do you think it’s a coincidence that the ball motif is trending? Polka dots have moved into 3D, and I’m loving the sphere more than ever. Why? Because it perfectly combines classic and chic — and that means I’m all in! The only question is … where do I start? Because I love every single one of these gorgeous pieces Brooke put together. I’m not sure when or how, but those lamps are totally happening in my life.


I’m also crazy about the Carrington chandelier. It has the same feel as the (smaller) fixture I used in Twin A’s new bedroom. Psst!  I’ll be revealing his new room design very soon over on the smartstuff Social Station blog. Oh, and the vintage Phyllis Morris sunburst mirror?  No. Words.    

Of course, we can’t forget about fashion! The sunglasses are my current faves; I’ve been rocking them since last year when I visited San Francisco with Zephyr and accidentally left my old shades at home. Saks Fifth Avenue to the rescue! What. A. Shame. I’m also sporting those Bauble Bar earrings every chance I get. It’s all about knowing where to splurge and where to save, right?



Brooke thinks I can rock those pearl-embellished jeans, but — as adorable as they are — I’m not convinced they are practical enough for my life. The flats on the other hand?! Now that’s a different story. Oh, and the Tibi sweater totally reminds me of the très chic French woman I sat next to in March at Hôtel Costes.

Will anything here end up on your shopping list? Because that’s the way the ball bounces!