Are We Overexposed to Design?

From the comments section of yesterday's post about the DIY Draper chests:

I have a question for you...
I am currently redecorating my living room and dining room. I decided to go with a 70's British bachelor pad inspired look. Sort of a well traveled look with some Kuba cloths and other ethnic textiles for art. Lots of navy and gray.
Then I looked at this Draper project and realized I am still in love with Hollywood Regency. I am not too far into things to make the switch. It's just that things like x-benches, Chiang Mai (love and have been holding onto a piece for a while now), chevron, painted furniture, and so on...seem so done now.
Are we too exposed to design? I love my blogs, especially yours (very honest unabashed flattery), but are we over-exposing ourselves (Keep Calm Carry On)? This is something I have been wondering about for a while now. It seems like once I finally get to taking on a project (making ikat drapes now), it starts to seem cliche.
Do you think we are moving too fast with interiors, or do you think we are moving in the right direction where anything goes. Sort of like fashion, you can still wear your skinny jeans or flares. When you start a new project do you agonize over doing something new, or do you just go with what you love at the time even if the idea has been seen?



House Beautiful

Just two days ago I was brainstorming with my mom an idea for my apartment when I nixed the project we were discussing because I felt like it had already been done on blogs or in magazines. I think we both realized how silly that sounded as soon as I said it. Why wouldn't I do what I really love for my space regardless of whether or not a version has been done before?

I feel like it's especially tricky as a blogger. If I put up a picture of campaign dressers (which I love), I'll usually get one or two anon commenters talking about how campaigners are so over and so boring to them. And here's the tricky part - we look to blogs and magazines for inspiration, for fresh looks, so I can understand in a way why the commenters are annoyed. They're saying - "Yup! Got it. We know campaigners are/were cool. But what's next?"


NYT

Are we oversaturated with design trends as bloggers and blog readers? Totally. I have hundreds of blogs in my Reader and sometimes I feel like I'm seeing the same thing over and over again. So I'm there with you.

But I also think it's easy to forget that most people in the world don't read design blogs. Most people don't really know about ikat or suzanis or lacquer or lucite the way we all do. It's crazy to think that someone is discovering a Keep Calm poster for the first time today!

A neighbor stopped by my house a few months ago, noticed my ikat skirted console table and said - "I love your decorating style...but what is that funky fabric on your console table? Crazy!"
And then just a few weeks ago I was meeting with a client here in the city, who reads my blog and who is a blogger herself, and she told me how much she loves ikat but feels like she can't have it in her home - like it's too expected now or something.


NYT

Are we decorating for ourselves or for our design-conscious friends (or blog readers)? Every time I feel like some of the sparkle of decorating is wearing off, I realize it's because I'm over-thinking it or worrying too much about what other people will or won't like. Unfortunately I think that comes with the territory as a design blogger. Still, don't let yourself fall into that trap. If one in a thousand visitors thinks your decor is dated because you love your Chiang Mai pillows and the Keep Calm poster, don't sweat it. Guaranteed the other 999 will wonder where you got them.

Maybe it's time we take a collective chill pill about decorating and see it all for what it is and should be - a fun way to express yourself and your style.

What do you say?

PS Have you been watching Portlandia? Shell art is OVER! Seems so appropriate for this post.

PPS All the Miles Redd images above feature ikat chairs, which I love and think I might go ahead and do in my house, even though they have been done before. :)

221 comments:

1 – 200 of 221   Newer›   Newest»
Tonia of Chic Modern Vintage said...

Everything is over exposed.
If everyone tried to keep up with trend, we all would be chaging our decor more often than we we do already. Ultimately it's all about what you love. Creating a space that you will be comfortable living in. You have to stay true to you.

Lauren said...

Bravo. I love this post! As an aside, I felt this exact same way about anything and everything wedding when I was planning mine, but felt much more pressure to not be behind the curve because a wedding is more public than my house is. I will say that I am overexposed to design terms. I have no freaking idea what Hollywood regency means. And disgust with negative commenters is exactly why I cannot read A certain blog geared towards twenty-something would-be hipsters.

I find a good way to add balance is to ask the opinion of someone who NEVER reads a design blog (my husband) and listen to it.

And by the way, I have ikat pillows and a suzani and painted furniture (safety red!) in my house, and I love it all.

Heather J said...

Couldn't agree more. Your home should be a happy place so fill it with design that you love, regardless of what others may think.

lindsey@classicivory said...

What a great post! And it's completely appropriate for bloggers of all kind, because when you are immersed in this world, you can let yourself get overexposed to EVERYTHING! I blog about my life and my daughter, and sometimes I see posts out there so similar to what I have been working on, but that doesn't mean I don't have my own spin on things. I mean, if my daughter starts walking and I want to blog about it, I am not stealing the idea...it is really happening in my life! And if I see someone else's post about their trip to the state fair, well I shouldn't consider not going because it's already been blogged about!

And PS: I don't think I ever comment here...but I love your take on design!

I Have To Have It said...

I think we are absolutely overexposed to design, but we're overexposed to everything--fashion, technology, whatever. I also think, like you pointed out, it's a small percentage of the population that's overexposed to design, so what feels "over" to blog readers still feels fresh and interesting to people who don't see it every single day.

What feels the most "over" to me are spaces where the homeowner has just tried to copy a bunch of trends that she's seen on other blogs. I think it's refreshing and exciting to see when someone really knows their OWN personal style really well and decorates accordingly. I feel like it's harder and harder to remember your own personal style when you're faced with hundreds of blog images every day.

pve design said...

I do not think we are overexposed...to design, I think we have a plethora of choices and that is the challenge to choose or design what is right for you or your client. The old adage of living with what you love never loses one's heart, however life propels us forward and to me, one eye looks back and the other looks ahead.
Choice, conviction and individuality are key.
Trust you own voice and choose for you...as we know you will - regardless of how you carry on!
pve

Julie said...

Great post! And, yes, we are overexposed. But you and I live it (when we design and blog--it is so much of our lives). But you're right, in this little community it is way exposed, but not for the public. Last weekend in a fabric store I asked if he had buffalo check in another color, and he said "you know, not many people know what buffalo check is."

Sometimes I think about proposing something because I think it is unusual and therefore maybe publish-worthy, but is it really best for the client?

you'll get a ton of comments on this one.

Katy B said...

Wow, my words in big print, not sure how feel about that.
I feel I should take a moment and explain my comment yesterday. For years I have been telling myself I would start a blog. Now that I am in the midst of one more redecorating project (it's a sickness) I have decided to do just that. Hence, I feel compelled to try and bring something new to the table, and have been agonizing over it.
I did not want to take away from the "Draper" project or the clever blogger featured. On the contrary, after checking out her blog and seeing her lovely work, I realized I may be abandoning a style I still love.
I don't look at pictures of rooms on blogs and think, oh I have seen that before. However, as someone interested in posting myself, I need to find my own niche.
I hope this makes sense. I am not a negative person. I rarely post a comment, or read comments due to this. LGN is the first blog I look at in the morning, and is sort of like a safe little home. I thought it was an interesting place to discuss the matter.
Ask yourself this...Do you still love Suzanis? I sure do, but would I invest in one now as part of the currently Suzani-less masses? Probably not for fear they have been in too long and are sure to expire shortly. However, if I owned one it would still be displayed with pride.
Also, normal people decorate a room by buying a showroom at furniture store. They do it once, and are satisfied for years. We (those obsessed with design), are not normal...this is our thing...our gig. I don't know about you, but I think about decorating an unhealthy amount. So, I don't think we are decorating for Jane and John Doe, we are doing it for each other. Cause Jane and John want and over-stuffed recliner when they come to vist, and that aint happening in this house.

alison@MyLittleHappyPlace said...

This is totally something I struggle with. Since I live in Brazil, I haven't had access to some of the items you mentioned: draper or campaign chests, ikat or suzani, or even just a great Craigs find. Therefore, despite seeing them on all the blogs, I haven't had my personal "fix" of them.
In truth, though, I love so many of these looks, so I don't let what other design junkies might think/say bother me too much.

In general, we DO need to chill and realize it's not all about the blog.
The realm of design blogs has been a blessing and a curse for me - they do add pressure to do something great that everyone will love, but for me personally, they have pushed me to appreciate many more styles than I did before.
I believe my style has evolved from being a blogger and blog junkie.

meenal @maison marigold said...

It is such a relevant topic that you have touched upon today..all of us who are design bloggers or design blog readers are indeed oversaturated with design trends...but that doesn't have to be a bad thing...if a particular trend is seen in too many magazines or blogs that also means it is something with a wider appeal...it is likely to be appreciated by a lot of people.the majority of people don't know about these trends and honestly couldn't care less...they would much rather leave it to their decorators....since that's the reason they hire us.It would be unfortunate if one has to forego what one loves and feels most comfortable with, just to be thought of as different. I say, stick with ikat if that brings a smile to your face everytime you look at it!!

Erica-BeachandBarn said...

I totally agree! We forget that most people are discovering these ideas for the 1st time and we are appealing to them not just other designers. Plus you want what you love around in your home...who cares what others say..As for Portlandia..."Stick a bird on it!"

things that sparkle said...

I absolutely love this post. We write about design "trends" because we love them. And we love them for a reason. Some trends are so great, they will soon no longer be trends and become classics. Then will they be acceptable again? I think its best to push through with what you connect best with! But I have to agree with you on the other point. I just finished a project that has a big giant chevron painted wall, and I can just see the annon commenters now...

Emily A. Clark said...

How many times recently have I thought to myself "I would love to do such and such . . but I'm not sure if it will photograph well for the blog." How stupid is that?! I really like to think I do what I love (or can afford) in our home, but there's definitely this added pressure if you're writing a design blog and feel like people are watching/judging/critiquing. Anyway, great post. And, totally agree--the majority of the world has no idea how crazy we all are nor do they care. They just want pretty spaces.

Beth said...

I really appreciate this post. I think that I personally will purposely NOT do something just because I think it is too trendy or overdone, even if I really like it. I think that is just as bad as doing something just because it is "cool" and I have been trying to get out of that rut and just do what appeals to me, no matter what it's "status." I think this applies to every area in life as well, not just decorating.
Well said.

elisabeth (bovagoods) said...

great post! i totally agree with the people who are talking about individual style. so what if everyone uses ikat. the person who stands out will be the one who used it the best. the blogging community IS so small in comparison to the rest of the world. i only know one other person in my whole group of friends who writes a desgin blog. furthermore, how many people who read blogs can actually afford to run out and buy all new stuff every time the trends change? not many. i, for example, try to work with what i have (tons of family hand-me-downs and thrift store purchases) and incorporate small influences and changes as my style evolves. i have to use what i love because i simply cannot afford to buy something on a whim. i think most others are the same way. the result is a look that is totally unique to me versus someone who is throwing down a bunch of money copying what they've seen on a blog. (this doesn't mean i don't sit around dreaming and obsessing over what is new and fresh in blogland. i do!) great post! fun to see what others think about this.

Beth said...

"Maybe it's time we take a collective chill pill about decorating and see it all for what it is and should be - a fun way to express yourself and your style."

Love it!

Savor Home said...

Great post! I was the new blogger who did a post on the "Keep Calm Carry On" posters thinking that they were the next best new thing. But I was proud of the post and I really liked the posters. So I was honest with myself and my readers That is all that matters to me. Just today, me and Marianne at Haven and Home did a post on the new Anthro wedding gowns. I was not upset at all. I actually took that as a compliment. A well established designer (I'm totally not one) is having the same thoughts I have.

The bottom line for me is that if you do what you love in terms of blogging, decorating-- or just anything in life, then you are staying true to who you are and what you like. That is all that matters!

Me said...

love this post!!! im struggling with this very same issue now!!! what great timing you have!!
On another note....one thing that i am sick of seeing is white subway tile!!! good lord...talk about over it. Sure...it is a lovely choice and a fail proof option....and there are different variations (i.e. dark grout, honed textures, etc) but i want to see something that blows my mind. ya' know.
but...i totally agree with you about "if you love it....then who cares if it has been done a thousand times"!!! (just not subway tile!! lol)

a. harms said...

So well said. I am going to take my design chill pill now and finish decorating my bedroom and family room with the things I love... even if they are so over. Best post I have read in a really long time.

Renee said...

Yes, but I don't care. I'm happy we're in a place where we can decorate with what we truly love and that is exactly what I've been seeing over and over on various design blogs. Maybe being overexposed isn't a bad thing...

bryn alexandra interiors said...

Great discussion!!

I was wondering the same thing this week. I have used some sort of gray in my home in EVERY.SINGLE.ROOM. I can't help but wonder if gray is going to be SO out someday.

Someone recently commented on my twitter that painted furniture and big prints are so done. Well unfortunately I can really only afford painted furniture right now haha! So I do it and it makes me happy.

So to each their own! I always tell clients put in your home what makes you happy.

Melissa said...

I, for one, and STOKED about the campaigner I scored at a thrift store the other day-- it took me until the trend has "died" to find one! Painted navy blue, with reclaimed wood typography art above and thrifted ginger-jar lamps with an ikat-inspired fabric drum shades on top-- it makes me smile. I think so much of what is being done now is really pretty, so who cares if it's trendy? I always prefer a collected look, and it's hard to recreate that every few months, so I will continue to buy what I love and love it even when it's "over."

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Just last week I wrote a post about this topic. It seems like many of us are becoming slaves to trends and not spending enough time filling our homes with what WE love, not what will tantalize the masses. I recently read a comment on another blog that once a trend hits HGTV it makes her cringe. Are we becoming design snobs?

Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss said...

Great post!!!

Just Like Any Other Girl, Only More So said...

Great post!! I'm a design blog reader and there have been so many new windows of ideas that have come my way because of reading the blogs. Regardless of been there, done that, what's the new thing. The art of thrifting for furniture and fun things has become a fun hobby! I've decorated my salon with quirky things and NOT matchy matchy furniture and my clients love the "fresh new" look. So it's true, 99% of folks don't know what Ikat is. I love seeing ideas that design bloggers write about and put my own spin on it.

Nick and/or Lauren said...

I'm new to the blogging world. I don't know what hole I was living in, but at any rate, I love seeing all of these different ideas over and over again. My husband and I are still trying to find our style, so it helps us so much to see the same picture or ikat chair in a different room. I'm not a design wiz and truly enjoy the inspiration that I can get from the blogging world. And I am the person that as first introduced to ikat about a month ago! So thank you for all of the inspiration and please keep it up. I am in love with the blogging world!

Dina said...

No comment on the "are we design jaded" part of this post. I totally agree that we (as in design bloggers) are hyper exposed. But I had to let you know that yes, I'm watching Portlandia and that hipster/over skit is all I could think about when you mentioned campaign dressers. Incidentally, I don't care if they're over, I love them.

Kristen said...

yes, i agree with everything! i currently just hate everything in my living room...and i think it's exactly because of the reasons you described...too much exposure to design blogs, and everything being the same. it's a little frustrating, as i want ALL NEW EVERYTHING right now...not good...oh well, i think you are right...comes with the territory...

Pat said...

I am a reader and not a blogger and look for inspiration. I absolutely believe that we are overexposed to design because we love it. That being said though whether blogger or reader we need to remain true to our selves. As one person said it is too expensive to keep changing things just because it is in. As Shakespeare said " To thine own self be true." With all the choices out there that maybe difficult. I recently had a discussion about Ikat and ssid that I have not been a fan. That was a trend awhile back and because my mother chose what I call the test pattern wallpaper for our living room during the orange, avocado, harvest gold era I run from Ikat. Admittedly the current Ikat is pretty and I might consider a pillow, but that is it. Also, I had a person come to my home to help with choosing colors and she asked me what my thought was about greys. I said that I was not absolutely opposed to it, but I believe in a few years we will know who changed their home because of it. I do not want to do it just becaue it is a trend, but because I like it. Do what fits your personality and don't worry about the Jones'

Great thought provoking post!
Thanks!

Meredith said...

completely agree and well said! i have a "keep calm" poster in my bedroom and i love it. and you're right, some friends who come over ask me where i got it. do what makes you happy!

Laurie Jones said...

I've been design obsessed since I was probably 12 years old and in today's technology age, blogs, e-zines and magazines and television home shows we do see it all and alot of times we do see the same thing over and over and over again but most of the time the thing I'm seeing once again has been tweaked to make the style a bit of their own and that's what design is all about, there is nothing wrong with alot of people loving ikat or a suzani because it's not like it all looks the same, there are different colors and different styles of it and people uses it in different ways. As an interior designer one of the first classes I took was furniture 101 and quickly learned we've been using the same styles since Greek and Roman times but putting a spin on it. Do we as designers all have alot of the same elements in our spaces, sure but I read alot of blogs and each and every designer's space looks different. I love getting a chance to see how others live and how they make their space their own. And the commenters on here today are right when I have guest over 9 out of 10 of them have never heard or seen a campaigner dresser no less a bright cobalt blue one like I have in my office! I've just learned as a blogger there are always going to people who are going to be design snobs and are going to tear spaces apart but I think those type of people probably see the negative in everything and they must be the lucky one to have found a store that only sells them one of a kind never seen pieces!!

Smitten Design said...

Great post Jenny. My husband is convinced most projects I do are only for a blog post! I think it's important to decorate with something you love and don't need to swap out when then next best print or fabric comes along.

Simple Dwellings said...

The most important thing in design as in life- is to be happy for yourself, first! Everything else will fall into place. And I wouldn't even worry about the negative comments, because negativity will always be out there, with anything in life. I believe it's most important to stay positive, do what you love, decorate how you want to live- and the rest will fall into place! great post, because it's so important to take a moment every now and then, and focus on what's really important- you!

lizziefitz said...

Such a great post! I often think that unless I had a secret workshop to crank out original fabrics, paint colors and furniture designs than I am a copycat. I love magazines and design blogs. I just borrow a little of this and a touch of that and hopefully come up with a bit of an original combo? I say choose what you love and make your home:)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I agree for the design obsessed we are so quick to move on to the next thing. Frankly it's exhausting!I love to see something new it's exciting and inspiring but the blogs that are the most inspiring to me... are the one that truelly reflect the persons style and vision. I don't care if I see a piece that has been "overexposed" if it's something that makes that person happy you can tell. Keep up the great posts.

Andrea

Jen@Organized-Design said...

I absolutely loved this post. Thank you so much! I think that blogs are just a stepping stone into the direction we want to go in. You make your interior space you with the things you love.

Jake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret said...

Love this post! I too have over 100 blogs in my reader and sometimes I do see the same thing over and over again, but often when I do see the same image more than once I notice something different about it every time I see it.
I love decor/DIY blogs, while I might not love every fad or style, I can pull aspects that I do like and incorporate them into my own home. And even though something might not be my style or taste I can appreciate a well put together room, and I can see the beauty in it. I can admit that reading decor blogs has really opened up and help me define my personal style. so thanks to you, and other designers/bloggers like you for providing inspiration and direction for those of us that decorate and DIY as a hobby!

Michelle (Three Men and a Lady) said...

Great conversation. I think you echoed every bloggers dilemma.

nkp said...

Amen.

Sketch42 said...

Well... I do think we are totally over exposed.

When I started my apt a few years ago, something like putting an ikat cushion on a lucite z chair seemed SO NEW AND EXCITING TO ME!!! I actually still think its pretty cool. Painting the walls silver seemed like an awesome idea(Did I know gray was going to take over the world? NO!), and black imperial trellis!!! WOAH, I thought I was so outside the box!

But then 2 years later, when my home was in Rue last month, I was seriously WORRIED that people were going to rip me for being a trend hoarder...

What was I supposed to do? Throw everything out because it became overplayed in the blogosphere?

The only (outloud) criticism I got for overplayed design was on my HIcks pendants in the kitchen... When I bought them last year I had only seen 1 photo of a room using them... now they are EVERYWHERE.

Should i throw them out? OBVIOUSLY NOT!
And almost 99% of people that come over have NEVER SEEN THEM or heard of them, and think they are kind of weird/cool looking.

So yes we are overexposed. But I think the trick is to do things that feel fresh to you. If you love it, it wont stop being awesome.

paula said...

such a great post Jenny. I am FINALLY using ikat in my home. forever I thought it was too common, but then I really thought about it... I love it, so who cares. It's going in my home.

henry happened... said...

I'm one of the people just discovering "Keep Calm" and ikat - and it's so disheartening to hear that it's "over." Who cares? I will just Keep Calm and do my own thing.

Thank you for the post!

bink and boo said...

Jenny you said it best, "Maybe it's time we take a collective chill pill about decorating and see it all for what it is and should be - a fun way to express yourself and your style."

Hats off to you on a wonderfully honest post!

Amy said...

The nature of technology, we love it but it does saturate. That being said, if one complains about overexposure than turn off the computer, put the magazine down, go outside...tons of inspiration :)
P.S. I live in FL and shell art will never be over!

RLG said...

I complete understand Katy B. I think about design way too much and the result is a concerted effort to keep my focus on the direction I'm taking with our home. My litmus test was a recent encounter with my MIL. I told her my plans and she thought they were "boring." I'm still really excited and think the house will really shine when all is said and done. Know thyself, I guess. Great post! xoxo

Mary said...

I don't normally comment on your blog but I had to this time.
I have been contemplating using a cowhide rug in my bedroom (I think they're cool) but then decided against it because I see them on so many blogs. I worry about using items that are trendy because I want my bedroom to be timeless. IE...I don't want to have to re-decorate after it starts to look dated.
At the same time, I realized I'm the only one I know that keeps up with design trends. So anyone that would ever see my house would never know if my cowhide rug was cool or dated.
It just tells me that I should just go with what I love and not worry what my friends think.
How can you get tired of something you love?

Brandi said...

This is a great topic. It's so hard not get overloaded with design ADD. But I totally agree with what you said. I always try to remember when I get stressed making decisions that this is for me and my family and no one else.

caitlin wilson said...

wow, you really wrote this so well. something i could not have put in words- but totally agree with. i love that you said we all need to take a chill pill! xo

Whitney said...

Very well said!!!

Aubrey {All Things Bright and Beautiful} said...

Amen. It really is easy to forget how much we design bloggers get exposed to that 99.9% of the population has no idea about! (c: I say love what you do and do it often...no matter what!

Revival said...

Jenny - Shell art is over, but maybe if you put a bird on it it will be cool again ;) Great post!! I mull over design stuff, too but know that I will ALWAYS love campaign, ikat, and chiang mai dragon fabric. I'd rather my home be a pair of comfy jeans then whatever Lady Gaga is wearing this week.

Jennifer @ Belclaire House said...

Great post! I have been reading design blogs for years and finally started one of my own, mainly to share things I like and not so much to keep up with the trends. I put a "Keep Calm" poster in my nursery because I needed a pop of color and it is actually appropriate. (When you're baby has just vomited all over you after you changed three diapers in a row at 3 am while your husband sleeps soundly in the next room, it is perfect advice). I felt so self conscious posting it on my blog, but literally every person who comes to my house to see my nursery singles it out as something they love! So now I don't worry about it. If anybody cares enough about my little poster in my little nursery than I'm flattered they're taking the time to notice. Like Joy Behar says, "so what? who cares?"

Cadi said...

I agree a 100gazillion%!
I have restarted my front room for 3 years now...it's never been finished because the ideas of this very post. I finally had this same epiphany a couple weeks ago while watching Nanny McPhee. I love color but always felt like my house looked like a circus show- but while watching that movie I thought- "who cares if it looks like a circus, it's My circus!" So inspired by the bright decor and quirky style of Nanny McPhee, I'm moving forward and nothings going to stop me this time.

Thanks for the inspiration to do what I love!

Shaela said...

Excellent post.

Erfs said...

I'm sure someone has already said this but I think we live in a time of overexposure. We are constantly inundated with information. Not only that, but we are continually given other people's opinions on blogs and websites. Sometimes that can make it difficult to tease out your own thoughts, likes and even dislikes. I say, go for what feels good and what makes you happy and comfy in your own home. Take inspiration from others, but don't let that dissuade you from something you truly want.

colleen [there comes a yes] said...

Perfect post. Using what you love and what speaks to you is always going to be in style. It goes for clothes and fashion. Personal style trumps everything.

nicholl said...

I was feeling the same way last night. We bought an older home that needs a complete update. I had to make myself walk away from the computer last night after hours of researching styles. I feel like I'm not taking the time to just sit in this house and let it speak to me.

Erika at BluLabel Bungalow said...

Super post, Jenny! "Be true, design for you" is my mantra. Go 'head with your ikat chairs!!

Erika at BluLabel Bungalow said...

Super post, Jenny! "Be true, design for you" is my mantra. Go 'head with your ikat chairs!!

Heidi said...

Great post Jenny!

I constantly am wondering this. I love love love blogs (seriously one of the highlights of my day) but I do feel like I've lost a bit of myself by being flooded with the constant stampede of images. I've noticed it most in decorating for myself. I have a hard time executing any idea because I feel like I want a little bit of everything and cannot commit to one vision. With clients it's not as hard because like you said, they often are seeing these beautiful fabrics or design elements for the first time (which, by the way, we loved them for a reason at first! They are beautiful and will continue to be for a while).

Also, I feel pressure as a design blogger to constantly change things up and keep things fresh, but let's be honest, even though I pride myself on budget friendly alternatives and DIY replications, it still adds up!

Glad to see other people feel the same way! But I guess overexposure is a good problem to have for us design crazy bloggers!

Lisa said...

Great post!

Beau lifestyle said...

You got me rolling on the floor laughing about the shellart is over, hilarious.
It´s true, I am in love with Hollywood regency, wich in Europe is hard to find. So over here i am original, but I guess for all you deco bloggers out there you have seen it a thousand times already.
At least that might be the confirmation we are reading the right blogs, we are all people with kind of the same taste, living miles apart.
That´s a great connection.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely loved your post--just had the same discussion with a friend several weeks ago, and we both decided to: KEEP CALM And CARRY ON. By the way, I enjoy your campaign chest posts--it's what makes your blog unique--or any blog for that matter--discussing/posting what you love--please keep it coming--

Regina said...

Okay, I LOVE this post!! My perspective is totally different as a SAHM with just a private family blog. However...I read lots of design blogs (love yours!!) and I definitely find LOTS of things that I like (chevron/ikat) and things I don't (birds/shabby chic). And yes, it is everywhere on every blog. But you are so right!! None of my friends even know what chevron or ikat is!! I just bought a black and white 8x11 chevron rug and was a little hesitant because I didn't want it to be so cliche. I also put a Keep Calm poster in my baby girls nursery (that has horizontal stripes, no less) but everybody that comes over can't believe how amazing everything looks! They always say "I never would have thought to do that!" or "I never would have thought that would go" but it looks great! So yes, the VAST majority of people don't read blogs. And even if it is repetitive, I love to read what's in and how to pull it off!

At the same time, I was telling my husband just the other day (after having him pick up an ugly antique headboard from Craigslist and telling him I am painting it canary yellow....he's a trooper) that I DON'T CARE what anybody thinks anymore! I am doing what I love from here on out. I am the one who has to live with it and PAY for it. Even if it is not what everybody else likes/does, I am gonna rock it. We are young and fun, and I want my home to reflect that. For a while it looked like everybody else's house (tan walls, dark wood matching furniture), because I thought that is what you had to do.

I also decided the same thing with my clothes. I am not big into the Anthro look that everybody has going on, and I decided that that's OKAY! It was a great revelatory experience and shopping for clothes and home stuff is so much more FUN now!! The way it should be...

Edward @ Turn This House Into A Home said...

I completely agree with you. It's kind of a double edged sword. If people look to blogs to find things that are quirky and new, then surely that's entirely subjective. Everyone doesn't discover everything at the same time, and just because a reader may have heard of something before a blogger posts about it, doesn't make it old hat or over.

And as for having things that you see on blogs in your home, then go for it, it's your house, you don't live with other design bloggers or critics (though some people may do).

Rambling Renovators said...

Great discussion, Jenny!

Sometimes, especially when I'm decorating my own home, I need to remind myself to "step away from the blog". There are so many cool things out there in the blogosphere and my first instinct is "I want that!", but if I really sit and think about it, that thing may be cool and fresh and novel, but it really doesn't reflect me.

The blogs that resonate with me and stay in my memory are those that present original ideas and really showcase the particular style of the blogger. Yours is at the top of that list. The ones that only recycle everyone's work and present pretty pictures... well, I could do with less of those and try and keep them out of my reader. They're like dimsum lunch - good for a while but an hour later, you're hungry again!

So are we overexposed to design? To bad/unoriginal/uninspiring design blogs - I say yes. To creative/layered/unique/inspirational blogs - no way. Bring them on!

Jennifer said...

I think we may be over-thinking overexposure.

Do what you like and don't worry about whether or not it's too trendy or on too many blogs. Who cares. If you like it, that's all that matters.

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

Amen, sister! I especially feel this way since I am not a designer- just a sahm who loves design blogs- so when I see something on a blog like yours- it's usually the first time I'm seeing it. By the time I get around to incorporating the idea into my own home, the trend is so "over" (that sketch was hilarious!). However, like you said, when friends come over, it's all new to them- so much so that sometimes they don't get it and might even find it a little weird! I just go with colors and items that make me happy!

Ali said...

Absolutely not. We can never be exposed to too much "good" design when there is so much "bad" design we are forced to look at everyday. At the Alt Summit Conference Swiss Miss showed images of designed garbage bags in Switzerland—showing Swiss love for design as a culture. I wish our culture here in the US encouraged good design as well. So, bring on the good design! PLEASE!!!

RNM said...

Wow, so many comments! Clearly a great post and topic. I agree - we ARE overexposed. A similar issue was raised on Curbly recently and I'm having the same reaction:

1. We do NOT realize that the majority of the people out there have not seen the same pictures we are seeing everyday. Like Lauren at 6:21, I had this problem with my wedding planning too, but discovere that normal people aren't going to weddings every weekend so everything was still unique to them; normal people aren't consuming mass amounts of design blogs as we are.

2. Also like Lauren, I think the negativity that surrounds certain blogs gets so old so fast and I'm tired of whiny/critical blogs and commenters. That trend is so done.

3. I agree that we look to blogs/magazines to dictate what's upcoming, but trends didn't change this quickly when we were just a magazine era. Blogs should be a place to look to for new inspiration, but I don't think that means we should abandon trends in a month because we've seen too many pictures of one thing. I just think it's so wasteful and sad of us to be expecting to abandon beautiful ideas that quickly because we've hit a saturation point faster than we used to.

Petertammenson said...

Loved your post, Jenny! Thanks for the reality check!

akslesar said...

I know I am just going to echo the masses when I say great post and may be we are overexposed, I think it is due to the fact that there are sooo many design blogs out there, so we, the reader, have so many places to get inspiration from. There used to be only a few home decor/interior design magazines out there, where people could get ideas, now there are thousands of blogs or "e-magazines" like Rue out there. I really don't believe that every interior shot you see is one that was done last week, and will be switched out the following week to keep up with the trends changing. It's just not possible or a very responsible thing to do. I agree decorating your own house should be based on what you love and reflect your own personality and taste!!!

Smarts Magazine said...

This is just the reality of the world we live in. Information comes at as fast and constantly. If you're plugged in, you are overexposed to so many things. The issue is really what a persons motivations are. I know that really anything we do is always a little bit about other people reacting favorably but we just have to keep that in check. Otherwise the creativity (the best part!) gets all blocked up. I guess I'm saying that in this day and age one has to make an effort to stay connected to the pure personal joy that our creative passions (in this case, interiors) bring us. I mean...it's not like we are going to stop using the internet!

Barbie said...

I second everything you've said here! Its easy to get stuck in this kind of mentality, but if one is focusing on being a genuine and timeless version of themself, the anxiety of being current and on-trend fades away...and design is so much more enjoyable. This issue is so much bigger than design. Design is just one way its manifest.

Anonymous said...

I'm a design blog reader and I'm no longer in my 20's or 30's and yes, most things are recycled. Done differently but recycled none the less. As a reader, I love a design blog that shows some creativity and fun whether it's Ikat or Suzani as long as it reflects that bloggers personality. My pet peeve is when you see something and you can almost check off the list, chevron, check. Ghost chair, check. It's like they had a shopping list of trends and ran out and bought them all and just stuck them in the house with no rhyme or reason. And fwiw, I will always love that first Miles Redd room.

Max von Buedingen said...

Great design does not go out of style; only trends do.

Marianne (Style For Living) said...

I think everyone needs to go with what they love. You can't possibly keep up with changing out furniture as much as your wardrobe. It would cost a small fortune. I think everything is overexposed these days, but in the end you have to love it and not care what everyone else thinks.

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

Such a great post! I agree, we who read design blogs are exposed to a lot of the same things that might be overdone. I just painted a chalkboard wall in my kithen (that is so over in blogland) but I really like it and most of my friends think its unusual!

Kellie said...

Great post! It's so good to remember to make our house what we love, not what other people love. Thanks for the reminder!

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating said...

We're definitely overexposed. I've adopted an "I don't care" attitude. I decorate with what I love (and what my clients love, if it's their home), and blog about it. If people like it, great! If they don't, oh well. You can't please all the people all the time.

And as far as things being "out" and "in"...again, I don't care.

I was reading a post on Design Sponge the other day about an episode of Portlandia where they put birds on everything. The post was basically stating that birds are overdone and "out". Well, maybe so, but I still love them, and I'm not going to let others dictate to me what's "in" and "out". I have two birds painted on my kitchen wall, and for a split second after reading that DS post, I felt almost ashamed. That's stupid!!! I happen to LOVE my little birds!!!

So, I decorate my own home to please myself, I decorate my clients' homes to please them, and to heck with what others think.

12 devonshire said...

Excellent post! There's another side to this issue that I grapple with regularly - do I like the Draper chest because I find it appealing and special, and I appreciate its history and origins? Or, do I like it because it is a DRAPER chest? Personally, before seeing them in the blogosphere, I doubt I would have given Draper chests a second look. Same goes for campaign furniture, and probably countless other "trends" or "labels."

Whatever the trend is - I find that the more I see it, the more I like it. Is it because these items are incorporated in beautiful spaces? Am I noticing how unique or special they are? Or, am I essentially conditioning myself to notice/like them because my favorite bloggers tell me they are "in"? Or perhaps, am I justifiably assigning a greater value to an object after learning that it has some kind of history or pedigree?

Abstract art is a great analogy. Objectively, Jackson Pollock's work may be pleasing to the eye... but, I would assume that most people's first instinct is to question why a painting that could have been done by a 5-year old is so special and valuable? And yet, it is.

I do think that I am capable of discriminating, and am able to separate trends from my own personal tastes. But, I also think it's ok to allow myself to value something in a new way after being educated about it or simply being influenced by the way others have used it.

Kdnana said...

I would have to agree about things being saturated, overexposed but at the end of the day, something about that style makes you happy.. and that's exactly what it's all about. You want to be surrounded by things that make you comfortable and proud. AMEN.
;)
Jenny YOU ROCK.

Maria@Live Beautifully said...

I love this post! As an interior designer myself, I deal with this with my clients all the time. I always tell my clients to buy what they love. Thanks for posting!

Meagan said...

I usually don't comment, but I do the same thing alot!!! I always come back to, do what you love. I always get great ideas off of blogs, but I never copy and always put my own twist on things. I LOVE ikat, I think even 10 years from now I will LOVE ikat. So I go with it. And the things that are more trendy I try not spend a lot of money so I can get rid of them with no guilt.

Millar said...

Great question....you know, before reading design blogs I thought you were supposed to decorate your home a neutral way and then change the pillows every now and again! Seriously.

I've been so inspired to use my own style and adapt things I see on blogs to support it that I love my home 10x more than before.

I live in Utah, Jenny. Every other home is decorated with burgundy, green, gold and rod iron. If I see one more abstract flower painting with those colors from TJ Maxx I am going to scream. (: Not really, but THAT is getting old to me.

I'm not a design blogger, but an avid design blog follower and I can safely say that I am almost always inspired when I look at your blog

Johnny and Anny said...

No matter what step you take you're chancing a land mine somewhere. The only safe bet is to love what you love.

We bought our first home a year ago, and I was overwhelmed and fascinated by all the inspiration I found on blogs (I did your roman shade tutorial to spruce up my bare windows, and I still smile and love 'em everyday). To me, your blog saved me some serious moolah$, and gave me a chance to dream big and to experiment and to find something that works for me! Thanks again!!

Hannah said...

I LOVE this post so much that I am going to leave a blog comment for the first time! I am not a designer or a blogger but I am what I call "an appreciator" and often rely on blogs for ideas for my home. I agonize over decisions because I know that I will only get around to finishing a particular project once and will rarely revisit it... because it takes me so long to pick out a paint color or fabric, it is inevitable that once I do, I will see something on a blog that leaves me with a twinge of remorse because it's no longer the latest and greatest. I understand the need for bloggers to move on and find the next big thing to attract readers to their sites, and I love the dazzling array of new and exciting ideas, but at the same time, it makes my mind spin and I wish it would slow down for the sake of slow/non-designer readers like me. It can be intimidating. But I certainly wouldn't give up reading them for the world, so I guess I shouldn't complain, huh?! I do have to say that I LOVE reading your blog, Jenny, and like Katy, it is the first one I open up every day and use your favorite reads section as a jumping point to catch up on other blogs. You have fabulous taste and wonderful ideas! I had some ikat drapes made for my living room last year after seeing your skirted table, and I am still in love with them... i guess that just goes to show that I'm happiest when I do what I like instead of trying to keep up!

LOVE "Shell art is OVER" video!

Rachael Anne said...

I feel relieved reading this post -very "thank God I'm not the only one." I'll have to read all the responses when I'm not busy (aka: at work).

I've recently been paralyzed on decor decisions and was sure I was the only one.

Rosa said...

The reality is that at the very root of it, ALL art is subjective, much if not all of it has been done in some iteration before, and it has all cycled through from hip to passe many times over. The good news is, this liberates you to stop worrying about that and just go with what you love! Yes we look to design blogs for introduction to concepts new to us, but somewhere deep within we know what we are instinctually drawn to (our individual "taste" or "style", which is a kind of magical alchemy that should never be cast aside) and what we may be stimulated by but don't need to emulate in our own design. Design is so multifaceted and many-layered...even within a particular genre like Hollywood Regency there are so many variations on the theme...that if we hold true to our own taste, our designs will sort themselves out and we won't all end up with carbon copy rooms. When I have made the mistake of jumping on the bandwagon with a design trend I didn't love at that root level, I inevitably tired of it way too soon. Billy Baldwin said it best: Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style.

Kristie said...

You know, I've been feeling the same way. I'm trying to figure out how to design my space and I just keep coming back to simple, white, clean, Scandanavian design. While it has been done, it still feels fresh. I think design style goes in cycles and right now I'm back to basics.

my little apartment said...

thank you for bringing this up in such a simple, well-worded way! after I had a little House Tour posted of my apartment, I was instantly overwhelmed with this feeling of "okay, it's time to redesign everything!"

or when someone sees my apartment for the first time, they go nuts, and I'm all "oh, really, it's not that great..." I just go through waves of being 'over it' and loving it at the same time.

blah blah blah...we should do what we love and hopefully what we love is timeless...

Kari said...

You are spot on...it's a trend, its very easy to diy & reproduce. The overexposure is driving it into the ground. But it's these times where educated designers & those with a natural eye for scale, color, proportion, function etc will rise to the top and develop the next trend we'll overindulge in.

Ashley Buzzy McHugh said...

Just as you said, I constantly find myself being bored... bored with the blogs I read... bored with the same news over and over. More bored when I look at my "New Post" page and realize that there is nothing new under the sun... my blog will knowingly and unknowingly mimic something I've seen (and often times things I haven't seen yet, but will!) I get inundated with images and ideas... but then I'll meet my friend at the ATL airport for a weekend trip, her toting along new DVF luggage her mother-in-law just bought her. I'll comment on her good taste, and she doesn't even know who it is! We live in a design/blog bubble, which I notice all the more when I'm forced to talk to someone about the stock market and we both realize we know everything about one thing.

Honestly, I think it's called "being a professional." The really funny juxtaposition is me and my husband, a professional baseball player. Our common interests are each other, and food. :)

kalanicut said...

Loved this post. Yes, it bothers me that trends are moving with the speed of light and we are so quick to throw them out after we've seen 3 people on random blogs around the country mention them. It's funny to think these are people we most likely don't even actually know or will cross paths with. They aren't coming to our homes. That's sad.

This is the thought that came to me. Jackie O. kept her own style, no matter what, through all the years. Yes I'm sure she was impacted by designers and trends to some degree, but her wedding photos look at lovely today as they did the day they were taken. This is a woman who was wearing wide leg "slacks" and big sunglasses when everyone else was wearing leggings and tiny, rectangle eyewear.

She founds things she loved and made them hers, she owned her look regardless of what everyone else was doing. She didn't throw things out the minute someone else wasn't doing it or had already done it. I think when we own our own look we can mix & mingle trends and it will still look great, will age well and we'll be happy. What else matters.

I think we'd all be happier staying off the competitive, trendy design hamster wheel and doing what we love. When we really look around we should be so grateful for all we have. It's so easy to get caught up in what everyone else has or seems to be able to afford. Having a home (safe shelter) of any sort is a great privilege and being able to own a few things you really love and enjoy is more than many people have ever really had. It does not need to be totally redecorate every year. :)

cara said...

amen jenny! we should do what we love, and we will be happy with our space. if others don't like it, so what - they're not living there.

i'm sure there are as many blogs out there loving on french country or scandinavian design. i think the reason some feel over-exposed is that we read and look at what we're most drawn to - sometimes too much. we may need to take a step back from time to time to refresh, and realize that what you (or anyone) are doing is unique.

Brad and Kaci said...

I absolutely LOVE your blog! You have amazing style that inspires so many of my own decorating ideas! I say keep with what you LOVE!

Jennifer @ Belclaire House said...

This post got me thinking about The Keep Calm & Carry On poster that everybody has, but no one will admit to. I wrote a little blurb about in on my blog here http://belclairehouse.blogspot.com/2011/02/in-defense-of-keep-calm-and-carry-on.html if anyone's interested. I'm pretty sure I'm securing my spot with the mutants at table 13 ;)

Jess @ Zocal Creative said...

I could not agree more. I enjoy seeing new trends and ideas, but in my own home my budget can't afford me to change styles with every whim. It's too much pressure and somewhat wasteful. I don't want to spend all of my time consumed with keeping my house current. I'd rather pick what I like and what can survive my husband and children and go on with life. A few years later, I'll do it again :)

Melanie said...

Yes! Bloggers are over exposed and we need to realize that when it comes it decorating are house to throwing a party to doing a craft project. If you love it, do it. Don't worry about if it's been done too much. Remember that we're such a small percentage of people out there and most people will think that idea that "is so overused" is actually brilliant.

Keri Batchelder Hoffman said...

OMG I was discussing this same thing with my designer just yesterday after choosing a beautiful ikat for my two wing backs! That is a big purchase, is ikat over I asked? But then I thought, who cares? No one I know even knows what ikat is and other than being jaded by reading a dozen design blogs for the last year I wouldn't know what it is either! Great post, you are right on the money. Go with what you love and don't let anyone ruin it for you :)

Bloggers Abode said...

Super great topic! Obviously a LOT of people feel this exact way. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I stopped blogging for some of these very reasons. That's lame I know cuz I do enjoy the creativity and fun of blogging but I too started second guessing things that I was thinking "blog worthy" and interesting. I know I should have been able to suck it up and do whatever I wanted but I figured a break and regroup couldn't hurt either. Doing it just to do it wasn't a good reason. I will say though since I stopped, my projects are so much more fulfilling as I'm not equating them to a blog entry and it's comment/approval factor.

I think if we can keep things in check, appreciate our own styles and individuality and not feel competitive or intimidated we'll be fine :) After all, many of these blogs and online mags are so cool. SO MANY great ideas and DIY's! It's actually a curse to be so into our homes and decor. I can't tell you how much stuff I see on/at CL, Ebay, Goodwill, Etsy, West Elm, etc. that I fall in LOVE with, want, don't need, really can't afford and have no space for! Seriously! I already love the furniture and things I have, wouldn't want to get rid of it but then think of bringing in ANOTHER mirror or chest? OI VIE!!!!

Freddy J said...

If you're a professional, push yourself not to do the same played-out trends. That's part of what people are paying you for - your taste. Give them something West Elm isn't offering.

RE: the Miles rooms you posted. They are already full of classic signature style, the pop of ikat is not a crutch, just part of 100 other right decisions -- great example of doing it right.

The best trends are classics.

Tracy said...

A GREAT lesson I've learned to embrace is the saying that "other peoples thoughts of me are none of my business"! There is freedom in that! I say, DO WHAT YOU LOVE...it's YOU who lives there!!

barbara@hodge:podge said...

I agree, things are going at warp speed due to the "viral" effects of the internet but as a thrifty gal with little or no budget I can't keep buying what is trendy on a whim, so I decorate my house with what I love. Yes it may mean that I use a scrap of chiang mai that I come across or a bit of Ikat, but I use bits and try to have the foundation/ the bones of my house with classic timeless pieces.

The Nester has been having a discussion on her blog regarding having too much stuff. I am trying to live a more meaningful life where I try not to spend my day worrying about how this or that will look on my blog. Or what I fill my house with. My house is a home for my family and that is what it should be. Yes, it is my canvas, decorating excites me and is my passion.
But sometimes blogging can be too high school for me, one day you are popular because of some imaginative project and the next day your aren't. I am tired of trying to gain some "famous" bloggers attention. I think as a blogger you need to keep perspective, write and decorate from the heart because as I tell my children, it is good character that shines in the end.

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I find myself getting tired of a concept before I even have time to execute it. How ridiculous is that?! I think it's important to go with what you love and have confidence in your choices. Its just as silly NOT to get something because it's trendy to hate it as it is to get something because it's trendy to like it.

Pink Wallpaper said...

i 100% agree w/ everything you have said...its so hard as a blogger/designer to find a fresh way to showcase your style b/c we have seen it all and most of the time over and over again. i agree, it should totally be about what feels right to you when it comes to decorating...not the pics on blogs or the audience that you will share it with. i totally get how one over thinks things, its a lot of pressure sharing your personal space w/ thousands!

Friske Life said...

Bravo! Bravo! This was a much needed post! Thank you! I always have to constantly say to myself, decorate with what you LOVE!

Anonymous said...

I've never commented on a blog before, although I have 100's in my reader. I just had to make a comment about this post. The other day my 15 year old son was talking about getting a tattoo and to 'humor' him I asked him what tattoo he would get. He very confidantely said "Well, I saw on one of your blogs that you read that you left up on the computer a sign that said 'Keep Calm, Carry on'. That's pretty cool....I think I'll get that." That should show you that what's old to somebody is new and fresh to somebody else. Even 15 year old boys!

Kate Collins said...

I love this post! Clearly, you have struck a nerve. I couldn't agree more. When I first got into decorating, I actually didn't read any blogs. Now, I read about 20 - 50 blogs a day and I see them influencing my style, while I try to fight it. But truth be told, it's hard not to be influenced and over exposed as a blogger.

Sometimes, it kills me that a few of the treasures in my home have become trends. For instance, I have a ju ju hat that I bought two years ago and lugged home myself from S. Africa. It's very special to me because of the trip and yet it is now a "trend." Instead of considering taking it down, I continue to hang it proudly and I'm sure I will long after the trend has passed.

This post is timely for me because I have a pair of foo dog lamps that I have recently considered selling. They are a fabulous vintage pair from the 70's with an oversized shade that you couldn't even dream up - it's so fab. But, everyday, I read negative comments on how people are sick of foo dogs...and to be honest, I get sick of seeing them as well, over and over again. However, when a friend came over who doesn't read design blogs, she said to me, "What unusual lamps you have." That made me double think them.

I bought a fabulous pink console table that I had not seen out there in the blogosphere before. I blogged about mine and have since seen it pop up on two other way bigger bloggers sites. I'm afraid my beloved console may hit the trend spot and I struggle to not let that get to me.

I have considered not looking at other blogs for a month or so to try to get back to my own organic roots of what I love. However, at the end of the day, I really ONLY buy what pulls at my heart strings and if it pulls at other bloggers hearts strings as well, well then, so be it. Tis the world of technology and sharing.

Jules said...

Such a thought-provoking post! Love it - great job, Jenny! For those of us not in the field of design, but are avid blog stalkers, I think reading blogs yours helps us to hone what appeals to us. At least that's true of me.

Anonymous said...

When you read a lot of blogs, I think it's easy to get caught up in what's "hot" etc. and to forget that the vast majority of people do not read design blogs, do not know what the latest trend is and will think that an ikat is the newest iteration of the Iphone. When you look back at old design magazines and books, I think that the rooms that still look fresh are the ones that had the stamp of the owner's personality and contained well loved pieces. I decorate my house to please me and to make me feel comfortable in my home. I think your home is your sanctuary and it should reflect what you love instead of what's fashionable.

Sandy G.

Elizabeth said...

Hi, I'm a long time lover of interior design, and I'm actually one of those people who, believe it or not, just started reading blogs about it! And I LOVE it! The important thing as so many others have said is to create a space that you find beautiful. As for being overexposed...well, there's a lot that I would like to do in my own living space, and after reading blogs for several weeks now I'm finally getting to the point where I've seen the same things that I like in enough variations to feel confident going for the patterned curtain or the pop of color or whatever it is I had been thinking I would like to do. Keep the ideas coming!

K.DeSantos said...

I was feeling like this lately and I also wondered if anyone else felt like this.

I bought a Zig Zag (Chevron) fabric to make curtains a few months back and I was worried that;1) by the time I make the darn curtains, chevron will be old news. Kind of is already (according to it's vast appearance on many blogs, sites and even magazines),2) I am just being way too influenced by all the blogs and decor sites I read and I wasn't being original.


So then I go on a craze of how can I make my apartment look different, non-cliche and after a bit of pondering, I realize it's my space and I can do whatever I want with it, once it makes me happy! So I open the closet, look at the charcoal zig-zag fabric and smile! It's gonna look fantastic!

Mackenzi said...

I really do think that if you just put classic pieces you love in your home, it will stand the test of time. Even the test of design blogger time. Ikat has been around for 1000's of years, I don't think design blogs will kill it.

Kimberly Moore said...

Very well written. It's so true that, for us daily design bloggers/readers, we tend to forget that there are so many people who are just discovering a trend or idea for the first time. Personally, I'm just fine with trends and even following them. I just think it is important to add your own little twist. It's not about replicating exactly what you see in the mags, but taking that trend or idea and incorporating it into a space that screams "you!"

Thanks for putting into words what so many of us have been wondering about too.

Diana said...

We (those who frequently read blogs) are absolutely overexposed!

My mother-in-law, who lives in a small, rural town and only got high speed internet this year, is not at all and is still marching to beat of her own drum. I'd almost enjoy that sort of ignorant bliss. She is still current, through seeing what's in stores and in shelter magazines, but doesn't have the obsessive "this is in, no, that's out, this is in" that blog frequenters suffer from.

I have a clean, neutral aesthetic typically. Recently, with all the punchy graphics featured on blogs, I ordered 5 new pillow covers for my living room from Etsy. Three have arrived, and while they're nice, they're not me. They're the blogosphere in my living room. I'm eager for the next change of seasons when I can revert to my most favorite neutral pillow covers.

We should all strive to be true to our own design style (wishful thinking, I know).

Stephanie Sabbe said...

I 110% agree. I am forcing myself to not put anything chevron in my baby's nursery, because it's everywhere and I've used it on several projects...but I still love it, so it's hard. I'm less like that with clients because I know they do not read design mags or blogs like I do, that's why they hired me. I took a client to West Elm last week and she acted like it was a secret find only I knew about (I love my clients) But there is this new idea of "comments" when I think about posting my work on the blog. I used to just ponder the possible comments of co-workers or design friends (which ultimatly pushed me to produce better work), but now it's total strangers, who I don't know from Adam. Ahhh, being in a subjective field is hard sometimes. Great post Jenny!

Christine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mango Gal said...

What we all love about these trends is that initially they were different and reflected the people that lived in that home. Then the blogosphere fell in love with it and all of a sudden it was everywhere. In the end the message is the same, if you absolutely love it and it reflects who you are then go for it. It's your home, you should be surrounded by things that make you smile. Just take elements of what you love in the photos that inspire you and make it your own.

Lonely Wife Project said...

I agree 100 percent. I'm self-conscious about everything I do now because it's been "done" 1000 times before. Thanks for reminding us to do what we love!

מיה said...

love this post!thank you

OnCallMom said...

First time commenter here. :) I love this post! I think you hit the nail on the head. I only dabble in design blogs, which I started mostly b/c my sister in law Caitlin has one, but sometimes I read them and think 'how does anyone keep up'? This post was really refreshing. I don't have the pressures of being in the design world, but try to just go with what I love. I think the idea behind this post applies to so many things, too!

Tara said...

Well said, I agree. I am wanting Thibaut Fishbowl fabric in my dining room right now. I have never seen it on a blog or in a magazine. I saw it at the design center they gave me a paper bag of it to take home and I LOVE IT! and better yet my hubby likes it alot. If my home makes it into a mag soon I would encourage everyone who likes it to put it in their homes. Let's not let others opinions define us. Use what you love.

Ms. Bright said...

excellent post Jenny. I couldn't agree more and hate that I constantly worry about my spaces "measuring up" to all the design blogs out there. It even burnt me out from blogging myself for a few months. You have been and still are a great inspiration.
Thanks!

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

This is a great topic. Your first HB image with the brown wallpaper -- very similar to what I have in mine. I love it, but to post it seems tired. I just put it up 6 months ago! Horrible, isn't it? I do feel pressure as a blogger to show what is "right this very minute", and I fight that feeling all the time, as I believe in my heart that great design is in part what makes the homeowner happy. I also find, since my style is more traditional, that it bores potential readers, as what is so hot right now is modern. There seems to be far less apprectiation for what is classic (it seems too dated). Bottom line, shame on all of us, me included, when we feel (no matter if we act on it) the blogging or purchasing pressure to do what is "in." It's a lousy feeling when we get an inspired idea and then see it everywhere. Rather, we should feel creatively proud that we are on the pulse :)

Libby said...

Great post!

I know I definitely overexpose myself to design ideas b/c I am constantly reading design blogs and online magazines, but I also like seeing the flood of ideas. The more I see, the more I feel like I can hone in on what I like best, plus there are always new things in the mix that inspire me.

But what you said about people being afraid to use certain designs in their home b/c it is overdone or too cliche is sad to me. Like you said, decorating should be fun! And if you love a certain style, you should run with it no matter how many times you've seen it on blogs or what other people might think about it. Personally I don't want the opinion of someone that might come to my house from time to time dictate how I make my space special and appealing to me.

And while I'm at it, keep up the good work on your blog! It is one of my faves :)

Amber said...

i keep thinking this same thing! Such a great post, and such a good reminder. When I was planning my wedding, I would get so worried that it was becoming a big cliche with the mason jars and the short dress and the red heels, etc. etc. And then I remembered: most of my guests didn't spend 12 months reading wedding blogs!

I LOOOOVE chevron, but it has been feeling played out lately; thanks for letting me feel okay about it!

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

thats a great post! Made me think and kind of relax!

Emily @ Merrypad said...

Thanks for a great, down-to-earth reality check. Everything ends up being over exposed, but I've gotta believe it's cyclical.

As for the critics, maybe we just stop catering to them and focus on blogging and networking with folks not like that.

You know what I really liked today? This video, which in a similar vein, compares bloggers + the blogging environment to high school. So true. http://papernstitchblog.com/2011/02/22/new-video-why-blogging-is-like-high-school-how-we-can-fix-it/

Lauren said...

I love this post! I recently bought my first house and as a person with an artistic and design background I felt that my interior had to reflect my cutting edge design life.

I struggled for months after I bought a new grey settee (saw they were the next new thing). It sat in my living room by itself, alone and sad because I just couldn't find anything I loved that went with it. It didn't fit me and my personal taste and direction for my home. Sure it fit the trends and was super cool, but it wasn't what I wanted in my home. I don't like grey, I never have but since it was the "it" thing I put it in my everyday life and was miserable.

I've since changed my wall color and you could say my home looks like something out of Pottery Barn and while some may cringe when PB is mentioned, it's comfortable, it's livable and it's my style.
That was my lesson on giving in to trends on blogs.

Anonymous said...

You have created a great post worthy of serious discussion. I have been reading design blogs for a couple of years and I notice that whatever trends get published in the design magazines, they show up in multiples on the blogs leading to saturation. Good design in your home is about what you love, what makes you happy when you walk in the front door and how your design style communicates your personality. Often readers strive to duplicate the decor of their favorite blogs. It's like buying a Martha Stewart product and suddenly thinking you live at Turkey Hill. Be true to yourself. Trends come and go but if you fill your home with "good bones" you can change up the accents if and when you wish. Great posts and thanks for not blaming HB, Veranda, AD or any of the other magazines for your angst.

Marissa Waddell said...

I totally see the trap an have definitely fallen into it myself. But ultimately, I hope the reason we care about the look of a home is for the happiness of the people in it. I'm posting about one of my design idols tomorrow, Rachel Ashwell. It could be said that the Shabby Chic look has been overdone, but she carries on. She has found her style and is true to it regardless of who else does it or whether it's "in" or not. I really admire her for that.

Paola said...

Great post Jenny, it's funny I actually posted about my campaign dresser today b/c I am FINALLY getting around to painting it. I think that blogs aren't just for interior designers but for a wide audience of people so even if it's just a new image they haven't seen before (amongst a sea of familiar ones) or perhaps something in the background of an image that catches the eye, there's always something new to appreciate. Overall, you can't please everybody, but there will always be people who appreciate the effort!

Mackenzie {Design Darling} said...

Good design should look at what's classic and what's current and merge the two to make what you/your client love. I love ikat, gallery walls, lucite, and subway tile to the point that they have become timeless...for me. I'm over antlers and Greek key everything but if that's what you or someone else loves, then more power to you! Great post.

Merissa said...

Great post! I think this conundrum has been on many bloggers'/blog readers' minds. Design what you love!!

House of Sienna Mack said...

Great post LGN! We've been having that "been there, done that" conversation when planning our client's homes and it's our job as designers to be creative and bring a fresh attitude to something we've seen before. But, like fashion, everything recycles and comes back around, that's how we now what the timeless and classics are!

Anonymous said...

What a salient blog. I have a Keep Calm poster that has been in my office for the past few years. We just did a move around and I haven't had the heart to put it back up as I just feel that it's time has passed. I love the sentiment but it is everywhere! Just today someone queried why I haven't put it up and I am hesitant to admit why ...

Beckie and Erick said...

i think who cares what's been done already. it's great to be inspired by other people's tastes & style. if YOU love something, do it!!! everything out there that we can possibly decorate with HAS been seen already. nothing is really a truly ORIGINAL idea!

Heidi @ Budget Wise Home said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!!!!!! And thank you for this post. It's so nice to bring a topic like this to the table. It goes to show you that we are all so worried about what other people think or will think, but when all is said and done, I think most of us are feeling the exact same way. I think it's time to get back to our roots and truly design a space that we love regardless of what our friends think. I mean how often are our friends really in our home? We are there all the time. My friends have no clue what ikat or chevron is. I will continue to love these patterns regardless of whether or not the blog world still thinks they are "in." Thank you so much again for talking about this. I kind of feel relieved!

Jennifer said...

I agree....most people don't keep up with the world of blogs, design mags and shows. I feel if you really love something--whether overdone or not--do it in your own house. Perhaps different if you are designing for others as a career?

I also feel I like to look to blogs etc for INSPIRATION--so I can incorporate elements I like into my own style, but still keep my own thing going on.

Typing this as I look at my Keep Calm pillow....which was a bit of a departure for me when I bought it several mos ago!

Thx for the thought provoking post!

Cristin @ Simplified Bee said...

As bloggers / designers we are a bit too close to it all. But, I say stick with the classics, quality and what you love and you can't go wrong.

Funny you should mention Chiang Mai... one of my favs and just used it for this footstool:
http://simplifiedbee.blogspot.com/2011/02/footstool-in-schumachers-chiang-mai.html

xo,
cristin

Kasey Spain said...

As a 26 year old graphic designer and LOVER of your blog, I am one of the 999. I look to your blog to know whats going on and how to decorate on a budget! surprisingly, I was just telling my mom about ikat and how I had learned about it on your blog and how much I loved it! I had NO clue it was overused....its definitely not in Texas! ha! she didnt even know what it was. Not everyone (even creatives) are up to speed on decorating trends as much as other designers so please, keep on doing what you do best! believe it or not, I am using the color scheme from your OLD living room (the one with the black and white curtains) as inspiration for MY living room re-design! What's old and out of date to you isnt to the rest of us ;) just like craigslist! I am thankful for your insights and that of many other designers...for those of us creatives who SHOULD know how to decorate but dont. (you are by far my fave)

Moonlight said...

Wow! This was a different but VERY interesting post.
I have this very feeling, even though I'm NOT a designer, nor have I decorated by own place or anything (since I'm still living with the parents), but I feel that when the time comes, I will not be able to make decisions and get over with decorating my place! And imagine, I've had these thoughts since I remember myself! I used to imagine an immense home with all kinds or rooms to please my moods! :S
It's scary, but this post has definitely helped realizing some stuff that were not that obvious to me as they are to you, having all that experience from working and keeping a blog like this!
Thank you!

bazaarofserendipity said...

I TOTALLY agree, and as a blogger I totally finding myslef thinking about a "trend" being too "over". But honestly I find myself most happy with my home when I am true to what I love, and if that means I have turquoise foo dogs in my house till the day i die then so be it.

Anonymous said...

Yes. When I saw Lauren's orange front door (Pure Style Home) posted again today, for the fiftieth time, I swear I wanted to scream. Your design blog should not feel like a Victoria's Secret Sale catalog. We shouldn't have seen it all 50 times already. Create something new- in your house, in your blog- or stop posting, for the love of Pete!

Ming said...

I only recently started following design blogs, yours and Caitlin Wilson Design, and while I feel like I get good ideas it also just overwhelms me. Sometimes it's nice to not expose yourself so much so you can use your own brain to come up with ideas.

Also, I am that person who you are referring to about the Keep Calm poster. I honestly just saw it for the first time a month ago on Etsy, loved it, bought it for my bedroom and had NO idea until I read this post that it's everywhere. Whoops! But who cares? I love it! And I've already gotten several comments from friends that they love it and wondered where I got it. So you're right the majority of people don't follow design blogs and ultimately you just have to decorate in a way that makes you happy to be in that room. So I'm keeping my Keep Calm poster. ;)

Titti @ Shoestring Pavilion said...

Well, when you think about it everything has been done before. There's nothing new under the sun. Chevron, ikat, burlap, birds/owls or for that matter beds are old and weren't invented yesterday. If you really want to be in/different you'll have to go live in a cave or something but even that has been done before :)

No-one skips the bed in their bedroom because everyone else has a bed in their bedroom. I think it's more a matter of take the good as far as trends go and leave the rest. Your personal style comes out in how you mix and match trends with classics, scale and color.

I happen to love chevron but I don't care for ikat so one day in the future (when time and finances allow) I'll get to incorporate some chevron into our home. By then the trend will be over with and the chevron will just go back to being a classic again.

I will say that having an eclectic taste is very helpful when it comes to incorporating everything you love without having to change everything out.

Nest Studio said...

Thank you for this post! I think:

1) we are over exposed - but only because we choose to be. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't do something because we've seen it before.

2) usually if we see something more than once it's because it actually IS a good idea. People haven't stopped buying J Crew's great clothes just because everyone else loves it too.

3)You are completely right when you say that the rest of the world isn't as up to speed, so we don't need to worry. Step out of the blog / design bubble every once in a while. Stop designing for your blogger friends and start doing what you want and what will impress the people who you actually have over to dinner. I have to say that most of my dinner guests are people who read my blog but don't read other design blogs and probably don't know what the difference is between an ikat and a suzani.

catherine said...

You have to go with what you love. If you do not whatever you do that is in and hip will be out within a year. And come on, who has that kind of money to keep changing things. You know what kills me more then anything is the whole kitchen "trend" thing. What? we are supposed to remodel a kitchen every year??!!, trade in my white stove for stainless b/c that is what is "IN" and everyone wants. Dream on. I am not rich and neither are 98.2% of the population.

Anonymous said...

I posted earlier, but during dinner I was thinking about your post. I wanted to tell you that for me one of the most important design investments I have ever made was the catalogue from Jackie Onassis' auction by Sotheby. Now I cannot say with any certainty that the photographs were of her apartment as it was when she passed away, but from earlier books, newspaper articles, etc., many of the same pieces were still in evidence. Jackie could have afforded anything she desired in interior design. What I observed, however, was her love of art, comfortable seating, flowers, candles and well placed antiques. I discovered no trends there and no obvious desire to be picture perfect in detail. It told me that when you have confidence, you don't need your decor to define you. She surrounded herself with the things that she loved and that was enough. A book which was written by her cook/nanny (Marta Scubin), after her death and which showed several pictures of Jackie's interiors confirmed much of what was in the auction material. Take peace with who you are. That's the only thing that counts.

Julie said...

Yeah, but couldn't that be also true in any other hobby atmosphere? Like, down here in Southern California, I remember when every single corner opened up a Pinkberry lookalike. And everyone opened a cupcakery. Fashion is MAJOR trend upon trend, and then people announce that it's over. And it trickles down from high-end designers to Forever 21. Same with design - it starts with Elle Decor, trickles to the blogosphere, and ends up in West Elm/Pottery Barn.

I've felt in in a few things. I have really not allowed myself to buy anything ikat at all, even though I really love that print on some things, right? And I feel SO much pressure to decorate my house the "right" way because if I ever want to feature it on my blog, well, you know .... pressure. How stupid. I keep trying to take a step back and realize that I should only be doing this as fun for ME.

Houndstooth and Nail said...

I am a new blogger on , guess what? design! There are a lot of blogs on design, and a lot of the content is the same. I am trying to have a more masculine look to my blog and trying to help guys, or anyone, who is a little design challenged try to figure out what style they would like to go with and how to get the look.

I think your comment to your mother is funny too. Only people that read and look at EVERYTHING to do with design would think ikat is so done. Most people could care less and if they saw your place would think that you have great style. If you love it, go with it. I could care less what people think about my crazy style, and if someone comes in my home and says, 'that's so done' they don't need to be there right? ;)

Renee said...

As a hardcore Beatles fan, I've learned to wholly embrace that which is popular. You can't deny Lennon's genius, just because your aunt bought herself a yellow lamp too.

You get what I'm saying.

(Love your blog for posts like this one. Getting all "meta" and dropping Portlandia references? Perfection.)

ToujoursPrecoce said...

Amen! I say (per the probably over-circulated quote), "what you love is never truly out of style."

Love your blog.

Mia said...

amen sista'. I REALLY needed to hear that :)

Danielle said...

Well said!!!! If you love it then go for it, does it truly matter in the grand scheme of things? Nope!

heather said...

I love this post. I think that true originality is doing/wearing/decorating in a way that one likes in spite of trends and the opinions of others. Even when what one likes is perceived as already having been done or over done.

Over the years I have gathered a few trendy pieces and moved out many other trendy pieces. Yes, the beaded Pottery Barn lamp shade is over a decade old, but I like mine. And it now belongs to a group of select items that make my personal style unique. In my opinion, true maturity is enjoying trends, but not judging others for liking things I don't care for.

Erin In England said...

I'm a newbie to the blogging community and I am not a designer, BUT the majority of the blogs I read are design blogs. Why? Because I want to learn, see new things and be exposed to everything from crafty DIY projects to ikat and draper chests! Design blogs are my escape and have helped me with decorating projects around my own house.

LifeBegins@Thirty said...

Great post! I agree that a design blogger or design blog reader, we are over-exposed to certain design trends. Or should I say 'exposed' - I think we forget that the general population doesn't read these blogs the way we do and so what you might think is overdone in blog-land is actually still really unique and interesting in the real world.

I think I definitely do certain things for my readers. I learn most things about design online and so when I find something that bloggers have introduced me to, I get so excited that I have to buy it/use it/post about it.

I don't think it is what the point of a design blog is but I kind of liken it to that scene from the Devil Wears Prada where Meryl Streep explains the trickle down effect of high-end design.

I am definitely at the low end of the trickle and am greatful for the wonderful designers like you who think up the wonderful ideas that I can try to implement in my own home :-)

Lisa Griffin said...

I totally agree! sometimes i feel like i'm seeing the same things over and over and it feels so stale. time to take a step back and realize in your gut what you truly love to step into daily

In Dramatic Fashion

Leigh Ann said...

It is so interesting that you bring this up, now! My very sweet boyfriend just got me a "Keep Calm and Carry On" print for Valentine's Day. At first I didn't like them because I had seem them so much, but then I read the story behind them! And I had to have one!!! (I'm a history teacher who once lived in London, so they're origin is totally ME!!!) My boyfriend paid attention to my chatter while reading blogs one day and went out to Z Gallerie (my favorite store!) for one a couple weeks later. Making it a totally wonderful, surprise but also something I wanted, gift!

This weekend, I had a party and got tons of compliments on my print. Some from people who had never seen it before, and some from people who had seen it, but didn't know about its history (total conversation piece!)

So, in summary, I think you're right. It's all about what makes you happy! Who cares if it makes a lot of other people happy too?!?!?

Kathy said...

I always feel like the moment I get a project done I'll find one I like better, then I think I'll regret the first project. Really I end up doing nothing at all because I over think it.

I used to be a blog junkie, but I've gotten so busy this is the only one I still read. I need my daily fix of LGN before work. It keeps my brain on the creative track for the day. : ) Even if something isn't "new" to the design world doesn't mean it can't be shared. Even the slightest difference or different take on a piece makes a completely new look. Example, I wasn't a fan of campaign furniture until I saw the picture of one with bun feet. I am obsessed with finding an old piece to fix up and put feet on it.

riva. said...

I adore the styles in this post.

Love your blog.

rivaflowzDOTcom

Amanda said...

I love this post...I am totally new to blogging and almost didn't do it becuase it seemed like it's all been done, why would anyone read what I have to say when so many are analyzing a lot of the same things...but my husband and friends reminded me that we all have our unique perspectives and it's not all about everyone else, it's about what gives you fulfilment.

Stephanie said...

oh my gosh, thank you for this post. I thought it was just me feeling like that... I'm fairly new to the design blogger world and already feel like I gotta keep up! And you're right, at the end of the day I just want to do what I like in my own house

Amanda said...

I love this post! I am new to blogging and almost didn't bother becuase I felt like there were so many saying/posting/show casing the same things but I was reminded that it's not really about what everyone else is doing or saying it's about what is fulfilling to you.

Kelly said...

Chiming in with everyone else to agree on what & great and timely post. I remember mourning aloud the demise of Domino magazine to some friends. Every single one of them had NO idea what Domino was! (Which is probably why they folded.)

Marjorie said...

I love seeing the same items again and again! Often depending on where or how I saw it I might not have noticed an item or even many times - don't even like it at first. It's that 50th time I see it used in a way I couldn't see before, that I go - wow, yeah, I actually do like that! Or if I do like it at first glance, it's just plain fun to see the same item used in so many unique spaces and how they made the piece theirs. As far as being overexposed I don't think there is such a thing, at least not for me. Everyone is inspired by different things at different times and we're always coming up with alternative ways to use or present the same items. I love the challenged creativity of using a common piece in a fun new way! It reminds to think more out-of-the-box when looking at my own everyday items. I also love seeing things used in the classic ways that we love, like the way comfort food makes you feel all warm, fuzzy, and happy inside, the tried and true designs do much of the same with my creative mojo. So for me I love it all. And truthfully, I think if you love design in general, you can't get overexposed!

myheartbehaves.com said...

I question this daily when I'm in my little blog reader world. I get too overexposed to one item and then I start rolling my eyes whenever I see it.

But then I'm somewhere unexpected, maybe in a grocery line and an older woman in front of me has an ikat covered wallet and it's in such a random place and I realize we have something in common. It feels like we're in a secret good taste club or something.

And I kind of love it.

Kristen Peterson said...

Loved the post! Everything is so true!

Hana said...

Thanks for continuing this conversation, Jenny!

We are exposed to a lot through blogs and online magazines but it's more about what we do with the influx of information. I believe this is actually a bigger idea since we live in a world of technology... where we need to make responsible choices not only about the things we choose to apply to our lives or in our homes, but also where to draw the line... when to step away. When ideas and information move so fast we try desperately to keep up but ultimately become engulfed in the novel, shiny, so-called brilliance that keeps churning out over and over. I believe you have to take the control back. Just like we shop with a critical eye, we must do so with technology as well.

I believe we should surround ourselves with the things we love. And "love" does not always nor should it mean "popular."

It will be interesting to see where this all goes! xo

Elizabeth said...

Yesterday, I started to write a comment and it was so long I turned it into today's post for my blog - http://covetdujour.blogspot.com/2011/02/oped-saturated.html
Jenny, thank you for opening up this discussion!!

{darlene} said...

"Why wouldn't I do what I really love for my space regardless of whether or not a version has been done before?" - SO true!

When I was 23, I remember standing in my closet. I really wanted to wear something, a black merino Italian sweater lined in fur - something that I loved - and I heard that voice, "Darlene, you will be SO overdressed. No one else is going to wear anything like that to this event."

Then, I heard another voice: "... wear what you LOVE. It is you. Be who I made you to be."

For the record, I love trellises and quatrefoil. They are overexposed, but who cares: I LOVE them.

For the record, I hate Ikat. It is the hottest thing, but who cares: I Hate it.

I would encourage everyone to just listen to yourself, and pay attention to the things you have always been drawn to. Be who you were created to be.

Great post, Jenny!

-{darlene}
fieldstonehilldesign.com

casey at loft and cottage said...

Oh, how I love this post. I identify and am constantly thinking of how I don't want to redo anything that's been "done" but the problem is it's ALL been done, and that's a lot of pressure to put on yourself. You have to find some space where you allow yourself freedom to choose, for yourself and clients, what you truly love. Bravo!

casey at loft and cottage said...

P.S. Love Portlandia--the "Put a Bird on It" clip fits this theme too!!

lemondropdreams said...

You've said a mouth full. I agree that a lot of what we see on the blogs are done over and over. I am guilty of reproducing projects, using paint colors and fabrics seen in blog land. But, the fact that it may be "done" doesn't stop me from doing it. It's my home, I use/copy what I want to surround myself in and I live here so I want to enjoy it. You made a good point, everyone who has come into my house has a new awakening to what I have done. To them it's not "done", it's brand new!

Denise said...

If I ever start a design blog of my own (and I won't!), it will be called Off Trend, as I get so tired of looking at the same oh-so-trendy styles and designs. Here's my test:

- Does it reflect or continue a well-established tradition? (looking for a "yes" here)

- Is it over-styled, copied in concept all over the place, but only recently? (looking for a "no")

- Is it something that on-trend people have identified as a must-have, but only for the last six months? (no)

- If I had seen it five years ago, would I have embraced it as beautiful or interesting? (yes) Or is it so new, and so tied to a new aesthetic, that it would have looked odd? (no)

- Is it wry or sarcastic? (definitely no)

Personally, I'd much prefer to err on the side of an overly familiar but well appreciated, timeless look (e.g. I still like real ikats and antique suzanis) than jump on a new bandwagon that actively rejects tradition (e.g. most plastic furniture, mirrored chests, industrial chic). I don't want dusty or stodgy, but if I'm going to make an investment, I want to feel confident that I won't think it's ugly or outdated in a couple of years. And I'm equally interested in avoiding two things: looking like everyone else and going out of my way to avoid looking like anyone else.

I love your blog and read it daily. I also love the range of responses you've gotten to your question!

Anonymous said...

Do what you love and you will never be disappointed is my feeling....

I think making a HOME for our family is key !!!!!

Also don't you think that we all copy to some extent, just the nature of the beast....

Love your style and your blog....

Sorry I have been MIA, life sometimes gets in the way of blogging....

All the best,
Kathy :)

Silas Amandah Wyatt and Maxi said...

I have no idea what half of those words you used in the post were, yet i still love reading this blog and getting new (to me) ideas. Thanks :)

Bromeliad said...

So funny. I've been having the same dilemma. About ikat no less. And yes, nobody I know knows what ikat is.

L´Atelier de Sarajevo said...

Such an interesting thread! I love checking design blogs and my home is far from being "designed" but living in a country where beauty is not much valued (post communism) I value the daily viewing of beauty they provide me. We cannot escape having our taste influenced by "trends" but unless we redecorate our homes every year we're safe from uniformity. Also I think beautiful is beautiful and it is normal for people to agree to that at the same time when something new yet beautiful is on the market no? BTW I have a "keep calm" poster I bought online and smile each time I see it years after I found out about it on a design blog! Don't know anyone in the whole country who has one! I live in Sarajevo!

lisaroyhandbags said...

We are totally over-exposed but that's always been the case with trends - all the design mags used to feature the same things, but now blogland just seems to make it even more so.
I decorate with what I love. And typically don't put a lot of money into trendy stuff. I may introduce an ikat pillow or a chevron rug, but won't go as far as to upholster furniture in these "trendy" fabrics because I know I'll tire of them. Keep the big things classic and then switch out with inexpensive accessories to get the feel without spending on something you'll grow tired of quickly.
great post! :)

Jessica said...

I think someone may have already said something similar, but I think the Keep Calm and Carry On poster is the perfect example that, at least for me, reminds me to be true to myself. I've seen that poster EVERYWHERE, like everyone else, but it was a couple of months before I even knew the meaning and history behind it (The British government produced the poster during WWII, but it was never used. Then 60ish years later it was discovered and instantly part of the public domain.) So some people won't like it because it's overused. Others will like it because they like the neat story behind it. And another group likes it simply because of the powerful message... as indicated by the number of people who "instantly" love it, before they realize how popular it is. I love it for both the story and the message, and while I don't have one hanging in my home YET, I'm wouldn't rule it out in the future simply because so many people have displayed it before me.

Carolyn said...

Whew! Thank you for this post! I think that those of us like you, who log in to our blog reader as part of our everyday, are totally overexposed to design- it's a great thing and it's a horrible thing. It feels great when we are discovering new ideas and emerging trends, but like the Keep Calm poster- ugh. I even become embarrassed at trends that are in my home that are overdone on the internet, so sad! When people visit my home physically, they often comment on how unique our style is- but online, I feel like a fraud - the globes, the typewriters, the glove molds - is there a trend that I don't jump on?
Thank you for sharing that we should just follow our gut and decorate with what feels right and good to us, who cares what is of the moment online or in real life! Cheers!

venturelane said...

Great post : ) I think a key part to designing your own space is knowing what you want in the first place - something fun, something calm, a space where you can work or relax? From there, go with what you want! I love when I see spaces that use different styles of design to create a unique room. But then I love seeing rooms that are one style, gone all out. I don't see the problem with using something that is so 'done' if you love it and it makes you feel at home.

Thanks so much for posting this - I think everyone needs to take a step back sometimes and remember to love a space because it's made up of what they love - after all, it's their place.

Katy B said...

Thank you Jenny for posting this, and giving such great advice.
I had to sit and think about it for a day and get through all the comments,but I think I have made my own peace with the issue.
I think people forget how different things were when we only had magazines and books to inspire. Of course trend moved slower, but now we have so much freedom.
I am going to move in my owm undefined direction and love it. I remember when I first discovered your blog and I was shocked at the way you mixed colors. Until then I only saw designers pick the 3 predominant colors from a piece of fabric and go with it for a whole room. In other words, you went in your own direction and that is why it works so well.

The Lawyer's Wife said...

I love design blogs and then I decide what design to incorporate into my own life! I think it is the same in any business. I own a small gifts business and feel that people are sick of the items I offer but then when I remove one everyone notices and begs for its return!

Yes it is all overexposed and yet when I see it in a different way I am once again reminded how much I love it!

It's like Carrie and her friends speak of cosmopolitans in SATC2 ... they order them and then wonder why they gave up their favorite cocktails. They stopped drinking them because everyone else started! We must do what we like for ourselves!

xo mpm

InCircle Interiors said...

Yes! Portlandia! Their "Put a bird on it" clip has really made me think twice about all the bird-embellished things in my life. So hilarious!!

I haven't read all the comments yet but hope to get to that. My two cents: I have really come to love and respect classic design. Neutral big pieces and patterned/trendy accents and accessories that can be switched out easily. I do get tired of big, patterned things super fast, so it just makes sense to me to be more practical and use timeless big pieces mixed with fun/quirky/unexpected/inexpensive smaller pieces.

Decor is like fashion and hair - it will always be fast-moving, but eventually it'll make its way back around. We recycle it. Just today I heard that the shag hairdo is back. Huh? It's so funny how this stuff works.

Spots & Stripes said...

This is an issue which I've been thinking a lot about too. The world of fashion moves at lightning speed. But that doesn't mean I change my wardrobe every three months. I wear the clothes I love and which make me feel good. It's the same with design. For me, it's about finding what I like and sticking with it.

Annette said...

Amen sister! Do what you love and let everyone else simmer down now.

Sarah Bauer said...

Thank you for this post. I have been thinking a lot about how in 2011 as a whole, people have so much more access to information more readily, and a lot of times choose to not take part. For example, the news, there is up to date everything on whatever you are looking for online. Especially Blogs. Everyone has an opinion that they share, or that they want to share. Design blogs are not immune to that and because we are such visual people, we can overdo something simply by the sheer factor that we like to look at it!

Personally in my own home it does not get used unless I am in love with it. Like the kind of love that I want to use it until the day that I die. The kind of love that my kids have to treat things nicely all the time. The kind where something gets ruined and I am sad ( not to tears with the majority, they are still just THINGS). I like ikat, but I don't LOVE it, so it hasn't been in my home. I like lucite, but I don't LOVE it, and it has yet to make an appearance.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention as a blogging community, and for being willing to take on the trend overload.

Lindsay said...

I really, really, REALLY needed to hear this. As a blogger, I do struggle with designing for what I love and coming up with something that is new and fresh and totally something people will fall in love with. I'm redecorating my bedroom now and really want a french country feel, but it's not really what's "in" now. I decided to do what I wanted to do and not feel pressured by the trends, and your post validated that feeling. Thanks so much (and thanks to the reader who originally asked the question)!

Hilary @ My So-Called Home said...

Okay I have only been blogging for two months and I have been feeling and thinking everything you just said- this post was so relevant and timely and I just loved it. It's also funny because I put up an Ikat window shade and lined a drawer in the same Ikat fabric and thought the exact same things you were just mentioning.

So yea, you really have to do what you love because only you live in your home, not your Followers. But on the other hand if you are trying to promote your blog in such a way that is cutting edge/design-heavy then you kinda have to keep up with the trends.

So I think it depends on what your purpose is for your blog, is it a lifestyle blog or a design blog? Who knew blogging would be this thought-provoking! Again, great post.

Deborah said...

Fantastic post! It got me thinking about trend overload and how it relates to slow design, so I wrote a post about it. My take is here: http://sustainableslow.blogspot.com/2011/02/on-trends-and-slowness.html

Anonymous said...

I just moved into a new house and I'm having the same issues w/ decorating. Totally overexposed. I like so many styles and have for years, kwim? It is tough for me to put my finger on what exactly I love, even though this is the third house we've owned in 10 years.

MemeGRL said...

Hah! if this answers your question--I have no idea what a campaign dresser is (but now will google to see) and had never once heard of ikat until your post (and wondered at first if it were an Ikea typo). And I am not completely design-ignorant, really...but I only read one or two style/design blogs (and now maybe three!).
I think blogs help with the decline of the shelter magazines, which I really miss (though my wallet doesn't). But while I am not the person just discovering Keep Calm today, I am happy to learn about ikat and campaign dressers. And what a lesson in doing what works for you, right?

VictoriaArt said...

I think everything can fall in that overexposed category! I try to ignore it! Do what you love, what is right for the space, your style, what your clients love and let the rest think what they want! Who cares!!!!!?
In/out is a whole load of BS! Excuse my French!
xoxo V.

Anonymous said...

This rings so true to me. I had to teach a cleaning/organizing class at church. I "styled" the table and hesitated bringing my "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster because I thought everyone would be so.over.it. I brought it anyway and decided the table did look better with it. I had soooo many women come up and ask me about it. NO ONE had ever seen it before! A room FULL of women. So go with what YOU LOVE. IT IS YOUR HOME. Don't take the joy out of that trying to fulfill someone else's expectations. (btw: I ordered the KCACO print from England after I saw it on Rachel Ashwell's website 3 years ago for $300. I framed it myself and saved a bundle. Then I saw it everywhere. Oh well, I still love it)

MamaMimi said...

This is a great post! I truly feel that nothing anymore is truly an origonal idea. Every thing has been done before and is coming BACK with just the slightest twist to it. All the same colors exist now that did then....just maybe a different hue or saturation (and a new name). But YES, I have fallen into that trap that I get so worried what my friends will think (USUALLY b/c I think a little outside of the box) rather than remembering that Yes, my style is a LOT bit colorful! But that's me, and that's okay!

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