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Are home decor trends meant to be followed?

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"What do you think about decorating trends, such as seasonal or yearly looks, motifs and colours? Are people really supposed to paint their living rooms honeysuckle, Pantone's colour for 2011, this year?"

If I worked for a paint company, I would say yes, but I don't, so I won't. In any case, "seasonal decorating" is more inspirational than prescriptive in nature. Fashion-wise, our wardrobes change of necessity to reflect seasonal shifts, as do the vegetation and flowers in our gardens. For instance, I introduce beautiful tulips into my house during spring and I wear white in the winter. Doing so is a practical, instinctual thing rather a proscribed one. Having said that, trends are fabulous for accenting and for punch, especially in timeless settings. It is important for a room to have great bones and to incorporate trendier elements (lava lamps, a splash of the latest hue) through small gestures. Over all, you have to ask yourself: Am I leader or a follower? Personally, I constantly redefine my style but maintain a timeless framework, building on an underlining structure that is lasting. And I don't, by the way, like the colour honeysuckle.

Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is the president of Taylor Hannah Architect Inc. in Toronto. Have a design question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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