Trends tend to signify what's currently "hot" right now or at the moment, but I think and believe that a trend or a remake can also be long-lasting, maintaining its appeal for not just a couple of years, but even through decades.
Updates can be either the newest thing out (latest product or concept) or a current accompaniment to a long-lasting trend (the update itself can become timeless!)
Sometimes, a trend and an update can be one and the same, like multipurpose furniture.
I absolutely LOVE furniture that has several functions. There are at least three items I have my eyes on:
In a commercial for Wayfair, singer Kelly Clarkson's shown with a transforming shelf table, one of the coolest things I've ever seen.
It looks like a regular, mid-size table dining table, but as she starts moving the side (slide hinges?), the tabletop separates into a "shelf ladder." You slide the side hinges back down and it's a dining table again. I started looking for this item online and other similar ones to check out the cost, but the range seems very pricey. I'm going to wait till the price goes down (plus, some sites said: "Assembly required!").
There was a multifunctional bed advertised on Yahoo.com that I also fell in love with: I think the parent website is ziwins.com. It's called Wood Sofa Bed Foldable Multifunctional Curtains With Storage (in nine colors). For a limited time, it retailed for $39.99 (original price: $399.99! I'm hoping the promotion sale will return soon).
There are storage units on the sides, an extendable foldable table, a hidden drawer, and a USB charger. And this is all on the same unit.
Item no. 3 is a multipurpose chair that's featured in the new Fall 2021 home decor catalog Ginny's (there's also a website, Ginnys.com, and a toll-free number, 800-544-1590).
It's called Cali Convertible Chair; it's a 4-in-1. Not only is this a chair, it also converts into a lounger, bed (or "sleeper"-the catalog's word), and ottoman (the product description does mention "assembly required", however. And there's also a size/weight charge, $75.00 in addition to the S and H (Processing), 13% of the total order price, which is $299.99-the total).
Available in five colors (black, red, beige, chocolate, and gray), the Cali chair is super-awesome, but will require a bit of work to "bring it home", so to speak (both literally and financially).
So right now, I'll have to "dream and drool" and figure out if I can indeed assemble.
New and Recent Products to Try
From 2019 on, there's a flurry of not only useful but "Gee, I didn't know that existed. Let's check it out" items as well. For example:
skeet-hawk.com has Personal Zapper, a rechargeable lantern for the patio, porch, or deck. As its name implies, it does indeed zaps flies and mosquitoes (no chemicals used; done with UV light and electric current). Retails for $30.
Cleaning bed sheets and linens? Wad-Free for Bed Sheets is a set of plastic cards that you clip to the sheet corners before washing. They'll stop that "balling up" effect and will also help sheets dry about 75 percent faster. Amazon.com offers a 2-pack for $19.
"Smart" kitchen appliances (and washers) are just some of the recent tech trends destined to become timeless (in my humble opinion). Consider that:
There are dishwashers that can cut wash times in half; others can steam clean and/or circulate air to speed up drying.
Go to whirlpool.com, frigidaire.com, lg. com, samsung.com, and bosch.com to start. There are countless others to check out too; also bear in mind that prices WILL vary, depending on the number of functions.
The new ranges come with many options; some can self-clean by steam(!), while others can air-fry or bake frozen food without preheating.
Check out whirlpool.com and frigidaire.com again, geappliances.com, and others.
New refrigerators can specialize in making food last longer (particularly produce), extra storage within the unit itself, doing temperature control. Browse by maytag.com, electroluxappliances.com, bosch-home.com, and the other abovementioned sites.
Microwaves have become an important kitchen essential; there are now voice-control models, quick-browning, convection, grill, broiling ones, and even casserole specialty ones. Besides Maytag and Whirlpool, also browse through panasonic.com.
And there are washers that can store laundry liquid for 40 loads (how cool!), dry faster, are Wi-Fi enabled, or have great innovative features that don't need an internet connection at all. Check out samsung.com and the rest of the abovementioned sites.
Did you know that there are actually several great solutions to decluttering and reorganizing your closet? The Container Store, in conjunction with Real Simple magazine, offers various options depending on the closet type, its function, and your budget. Here's two to consider:
For a kitchen pantry that you want functioning as an adjustable unit, while on a small budget, a possible solution would be ELFA Decor, consisting of real wood shelves, drawers, and trim in a variety of finishes.
If you got a master bedroom closet, in which you desire built-in units, on a moderate budget, consider the AVERA, whose design will present a built-in look without breaking the bank. Avera's features include back panels, LED lighting, and full-extension drawers. For more info, go to containerstore.com/custom-closets.
The "house mug" at miyacompany.com serves double duty; when not using it as an actual mug (because it is), it looks very cute dressing up a shelf (And yes, it looks just like a house; the mug lid is the roof!). Retails for $30 each.
Delta features a smart faucet with Voice IQ Technology. Your voice can: Turn water on and off, warm water up, request a certain amount, or fill various containers, like coffee pots and baby bottles. For more info, go to deltafaucet.com/voiceiq.
The Black and Decker hand mixer has nylon-coated, helix-shaped beaters that provide less overlap and more surface area, so mixtures are blended more efficiently. There's a turbo setting for thick ingredients and a "speed up S-L-O-W-L-Y" function (at last!) to avoid splatters. Retails from $30 and blackanddeckerappliances.com.
Did You Know That...
There's a can opener that can fold down flat (easy drawer storage!). Chef'm Fresh Force Can Opener retails for $15 at chefm.com.
Solid copper (on sinks, faucets, and door handles) kills 99.9% of microorganisms.
Renowned brands Sherwin-Williams and PPG are now marketing safe microbicidal paints; they kill more than 90% of surface bacteria and viruses for up to four years. How cool is that?
Interior Designers' Sources and Ideas
"One-Forty Three is the best for affordable lighting-all handmade in Nevada. I love its sconces and use them time and again for the array of colors and wood finishes."-Courtney Bishop
"When we're looking for furnishings on a budget, one of our go-to sources is unisonhome.com. We love its timeless look and how affordable everything is. It makes our lives so much easier."-Jean Liu
Miles Redd is known for his mastery of color and pattern, particularly for the trio combo of red, yellow, and blue. He advices to embrace the bold; don't play down these colors, for their very strength is what makes them work: "If you're shy with color, add it in a small way (a room accent) like a bright blue lampshade, painting a chair or a door." (red!)
"Think about triangulation of color when you walk into a room, repeat a color in three areas to create balance. It's Design 101."-Rayman Boozer
Be fearless with color in spaces where you don't spend a lot of time, recommends Dina Holland.
According to Bobby Berk, every room needs three kinds of lighting: Directional-task lighting; Ambient-overhead or recessed lighting; and Accent lighting-table lamps, candles, etc. "Without all three, a room doesn't function or look as good as it truly could."
"Books are a beautiful accessorizing tool. Stack them on a tray with a directive object on top or frame their pages for artwork."-Thom Filicia
"I sometimes use yoga blocks (check out amazon.com) as an inexpensive, modern-looking stand to give decorative objects more prominence and play with height. No one ever recognizes them."-Sean Leffers
"Paint basic terra-cotta garden pots (available at homedepot.com) in a great exterior paint color to suit your space. It easily enhances your plantings."-Amy Kehoe
"One of my favorite design tricks is using a black lampshade (try lampsplus.com). It instantly modernizes a lamp and subtly makes a room look more interesting."-Emily Henderson
Sources: Personal recollections and thoughts for the multipurpose feature were inspired by "Trend Alert/The New Creature Comforts" by Monika Eyers-Better Homes & Gardens, Sept. 2021; "Clever Items" by Brandi Broxson-Real Simple, Sept.2021; "Today's Talented Appliances" by Kit Selzer-Better Homes & Gardens, October 2019; Container Store and Real Simple Custom Closets ad-Real Simple, Sept.2019; Mixer segment-Kitchen Envy-"kitchen smarts"-all recipes, Aug/Sept. 2019; fresh segment-Trends-"Obsessed With Primary Colors" by Eugenia Santiesteban Soto; home segment-"Color/Bold Accents" by Caylin Harris; home segment-Design-"Trending Now" by Diana Dickerson; home segment-Designer Spotlight-"room Service"; and home segment/Decorating-"The Inside Scoop on Designers' secret sources"