Don’t be wary of innovative design products

My husband and I were talking tonight about ‘getting away from it all’ just travelling for a few years and seeing more of this beautiful continent we live on. As we talked about the possibilities of becoming gypsies I realized how much fear is attached to the idea of giving it all up, but what am I so attached to?

A client and I were discussing his recent renovation and he admitted that he was fearful about putting a vinyl plank into his home instead of actual hardwood.

This was a very interesting conversation to me as I’m completely sold on this product and its ease of maintenance. I actually have this conversation with people on a regular basis. Years ago when hardwood shortages caused manufacturers to look at options such as engineered wood, people were resistant – fearful even!

For so many decades they had been sold on the idea that solid hardwood was the only true wood and that all these other options were inferior.

Now a few years have passed and people finally recognize that engineered and floating hardwood are still hardwood, just in a different form.

This phenomenon is also occurring in quartz and corian countertops.

For years granite was the standard, almost a socially enviable product to have in your home and people did not want (what they perceived to be) the lower standard of quartz.

As products develop and evolve it is easy to see that in some cases, quartz and similar products are superior in terms of wear, maintenance and choice of colours. Sometimes it takes awhile for home design to become a trend.

My favourite trend right now is the faux leather, back in the 60s they called it naugahyde and by the 80s designers wouldn’t touch it with a 10-ft. drapery rod!

Everything had to be real leather or it simply wasn’t in style. Now faux finish polyurethane is available in every imaginable texture and faux animal finish.

A selection of natural tones to eye-popping brights are all being manufactured for drapery and upholstery – one of our designers did an awesome remake on a Red Deer home and left the tufted sparkly naugahyde on the bar front!

The redesign was fabulous and that throwback fabric fit perfectly into the new décor.

Repeating the above question, what are we afraid of?

Are we afraid of bucking the trends for fear of social disapproval or do we fear what isn’t familiar and safe? Do we wait until we have seen it in a friend’s home or in a favourite magazine before we make a commitment to a design element or colour in our home or do we venture out and discover our own passions and delights?

I admit I wonder what people will say if we decide to risk it all and spend a few years freewheeling and I am also hesitant about getting rid of all my stuff!

We do have an unhealthy attachment to our possessions but that is topic for another article. Change is inevitable but our strength comes from our ability to listen and respond to our authentic selves. When we are able to discover what is true and good for us instead of living our lives for the approval of others?

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.

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