Design Trends, and Why I Don't Follow Them

My newsfeed is flooded with articles and posts about what is going to be in for 2022 and what we should leave behind in 2021. While they are fun to read and compare, I'm not taking them to heart and here is why...


Designer Gail Davis on 2022 design trends

Photo by Mike Van Tassell


Good design transcends the whims of the masses.

Spend any amount of time looking through vintage design books and it won't take very long to notice that there is little under the sun that is truly "new." Look past the dated photography and the often-outlandish styling and the same design fundamentals are there. Color theory, scale, proportion, and functionality don't change based on the style of the home or the decade in which it is decorated and the goal of a designer should always be to apply those principles to every space first, and incorporate trends second.


My job is to innovate, not to follow.

The basic definition of a trend is something that everyone either has or wants to acquire. To be frank, my clients are not paying me to give them a house that looks like their neighbor's or like every third post on Instagram. And if that is what you desire (and truly, to each their own!), then I am not the designer for you. My job is to work with my clients to hash out their unique personal needs for the space, to plan and shop for the items that fill those needs, and to bring it together in a way that functions beautifully. This process never looks exactly the same for different clients and different homes and if I am relying on trends and not individual needs, then I am doing my clients a disservice.


dining room with custom drapery

Design by Brian Paquette | Photo by Haris Kenjar


Concierge-level design is too expensive to redo frequently.

It is never my goal to create a space that will only last the lifespan of a trend (which is typically around ten years). That's not to say that my clients won't be ready for a different color on the walls or some new pillows at that point, but the vast majority of the budget for my projects is spent on permanent finishes and heirloom-quality furnishings that are designed and built to stand the test of time. This level of design is not achieved by mass-market goods, either. I am sourcing items from to-the-trade-only vendors and working with skilled craftsmen to create one-of-a-kind furnishings for my projects.


My allegiance is to my clients, not to my audience.

While building an audience can be great for business, the bottom line is that I am a designer first, and sharing my work with an audience will always be a secondary part of my career. As audience members, I think it is important to remember that promoting products -- often trendy ones -- on social media channels is a revenue stream for many designers. And to that I say, "great for her, not for me." My priority is the design work that I do within the homes of my trusting clients to create an authentic home that tells the story of the family who dwells inside, and trends simply cannot be the driving force of that process.


If you are interested in working together to create a home that is luxurious, timeless, and wonderfully unique to you and your household, please get in touch by filling out a design inquiry.