BY MARK KEAST

For Suzanne Dimma, an interior designer, creative director and brand spokesperson, “trends” is a word to stay away from.

“I see them come and go,” she says. “Take them with a grain of salt. I always tell people don’t go overboard on things that feel like trends. I tend to invest only in small pieces that are trends – you don’t want to spend a lot of money of something that will likely be extremely out of fashion shortly after it launches. Or it becomes common, and everybody has it.”

Says David Beaton of studio b: “Don’t buy cheap trends. They will end up in the landfill in three years or less.”

Experienced designers will tell you great home decor goes beyond trends – there are so many moving elements with each project, the objective being to work with the client, understand their vision, then find inspiration from materials that they see, and finally bind it all together into a beautiful aesthetic, one that feels alive.

Experienced designers will tell you that being bound by “trends” inhibits their creative process.

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However, that said, there still are a few common “dos and don’ts”, especially coming into spring and summer:

DOS

Adapt to the season, says Brian Gluckstein, principal designer at Gluckstein Design Planning Inc.

“Some of our clients make smaller, subtler changes to the décor from season to season,” he says. Carpets in the winter might be silk, or have a pattern, or are wool, and in the summer they might change to sisal, for a beach look. Another client of his has pillows made in dark velvet or chocolate, faux fur in the winter months, then they switch it out for pastel linens or different patterns for a spring/summer feel.

“Take down the drapes for the summer, opening things up after a winter of hibernation, then put them back up in the fall for that cozy, winter feel,” Gluckstein says.

Other “DOS”:

When it comes to appliances, like fridges, ranges, dishwashers, Andrew Borsk from TG Appliance Group says to always focus on quality design, materials, construction and components – that never goes out of style. New exterior finishes such as matte black and matte white are becoming more popular. Controls are moving away from physical knobs more in the direction of touch technology – like we have on smart phones.

A timeless “do”, from Pam Freedman, vice president of The Chesterfield Shop: buy what you love, always measure your place before you order, always sit in the furniture you are purchasing, and always bring a fabric sample of your carpet or paint swatch from your walls before ordering furniture.

“On the whole, I advise sticking to the classics or things that resonate as classic for your big moves and then add a few trends in the smaller accents,” says Dimma. “The trick is to hone in on the trends that complement, not compete with, your home’s overall aesthetic.”

In terms of classics, according to Dimma: clean lines, subtle details, classic proportions, quiet overall palettes, European architectural influences, medium-toned hardwood floors, raised paneled mouldings on walls and doors, Carrera marble counters, to name a few.

“Strong metallic hardware like golds and champagne tones rock,” says Dawn Chapnick, principal designer at Dawn Chapnick Designs. “Play with the finish and do something that makes a statement. It’s summer after all – bring in some shine.”

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DON’TS

“Let’s just be honest about the industrial chic kitchen look that isn’t the most inviting place to be,” says Chapnick. “The exposed pipes and Edison lights are just a little overplayed.” Instead, she says, go for drama in the kitchen with deep colour hues like blue and green with black matte and other metallics.

Bulky kitchen islands are out, microfibre is dated, go with warm grays instead of cool grays, and don’t hang a ton of items on the wall.

“It makes for a cluttered feel,” she says. “Unless you are working with a trained eye, don’t do it. Instead, opt for a large painting, or black and white photography, and concentrate on a cool frame.”

Chapnick says she loves eclectic and maximalist style, but leave it to the professional designer – otherwise it looks cluttered and dis-proportioned.