By JOHN FOLDING
Trends in interior design are a lot like trends in fashion. Today's hot look will be next year's "what was I thinking?"
Consider bluejeans, a classic since Levi Strauss introduced them in 1873. Now consider bell-bottom bluejeans - a classic gone very bad. So how do you avoid making the same kind of decorating faux pas?
It begins with knowing what you want. What colors do you like? What kinds of fabrics? What about furniture? Big and fluffy or minimal and streamlined? These are the questions you should begin with.
Look through as many interior design magazines as you can. And be sure to look at magazines that may not appeal to your sense of style (like Metropolitan Home if you're a Southern Living kind of person). Doing so will help you define your look so that when you go shopping (or when you consult with a designer) you can more easily identify what you are going for.
Another way to avoid looking dated is to buy items that are classic and then add small touches of the trend or fad to your overall scheme. Items such as throw pillows, occasional chairs and accessories (like lamps) are things that can come and go in your dÃ©cor and not break your budget. So go for that fabulous silver sequined pillow you've been wanting - just don't use that fabric for your draperies!
In the end, it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks. If you like something, go for it. You are the one who ultimately has to be pleased with your environment because you live in it every day.