As an international expert in trend forecasting, Patti Carpenter is principal of carpenter + company/Trendscope, an award-winning firm focused on identifying trends in home décor, personal accessories, fragrance, and gifts. She started in the world of fashion, and has since developed a career identifying how the outside world impacts the world of interior design.
Patti has designed, sourced and created private-label collections for leading international brands like Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, Yankee Candle, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and more. As a recognized leader in trend forecasting, she serves as a consultant for Pantone, and is the global trend ambassador for the prestigious Maison & Objet show in America and Paris. She also sits on the boards of SERRV International and the Black Artists and Designers Guild (BADG). Carpenter resides in New York City.
DEFINE YOUR STYLE
Are you Traditional, Minimalist, Modern, or Rustic? Pay attention to the design styles that resonate with you, and you’ll be better prepared to translate trends in a way that suits your style.
COLOR IS KEY
Identify trending colors by studying interior design publications, as well as the world around you. Don’t be afraid to tweak trending colors to your taste. When you create a palette that includes color you love, you can easily layer in accents and change them whenever tastes change.
IMPACT WITH PRINTS
Florals, animal prints, geometrics, stripes, plaids—they’re always in style, but the scale and color palettes change with the trends. Spice up your space with on-trend prints you love, and know that a little can go a long way. Try wallpapering one wall, add a window treatment, or toss on some colorful pillows to start.
Green and natural, organic and sculptural, plants are an easy way to add warmth and interest in a space, across trends and design styles. If you don’t have a green thumb, seek out varieties that are easy to care for—they exist! Succulents are especially easy to love. Fresh cut flowers in a great vase add color and bring a little of the outdoors in.
LOOK TO THE WORLD
Trends are defined by how they relate to society. What’s going on in the world economically and socially right now? What about nature or technology? Pay attention to the emerging stories around you, and watch how they play out in color, prints, and design choices available for your home.
FIND POWER IN NUMBERS
As you travel, mindfully pick up pieces to bring home. Choose objects and works of art that resonate with you personally, and group them together to tell your story and spark conversation. Sharing your stories through these vignettes transforms your home into a lovely reflection of who you are, which is always trend-right.
STYLE THE TACTILE
Add cozy elements to make your spaces feel more inviting. A fabulously luscious and cozy throw is an on-trend way to add texture that begs to be touched and enjoyed. Textiles like silk, wool, and linen are timeless and trend-defying, as well.
SERVE YOURSELF WELL
Seek out items that can do double duty, because across every era and trend, clutter is never in fashion. Baskets that can organize magazines, bowls that can hold fruit, a tower of vintage hat boxes that contain clutter—all ways to incorporate storage and serve as pieces that look just as beautiful when not in use.
When given the choice, avoid the fast-fashion approach and go for furnishings and objects of high quality. Invest in the key items you will use every day: your sofa, your dining room table and chairs, your rugs, your bed. Your home is worth it, and so are you.
DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
When it comes to designing with trends in mind, the best rule to follow is to break the rules! When you design your home in a way that makes you happy—with elements that are uniquely you—your home becomes a place that regenerates you, inspires you, and comforts you every time you walk through the door.