Q: I love changing things around in my apartment and every year I can’t wait for new year predictions in fashion and trends. Why are there so many different predictions and so many different colors of the year? What do you think is going to be the next big thing for the home?

A: The new year really is a great time for change, and along with our own resolutions every industry is trying hard to provide the newest ideas and freshest colors. To a point. Many of the hottest ideas often don’t stick around for long. It can be a real gamble to introduce a new color or pattern. Often we consumers think we want the latest and greatest of anything but when it comes down to actually parting with our hard-earned money, we often buy tried-and-true classics. That’s why you’ll more easily find whatever you’re looking for in white, black, maybe silver or gray, and perhaps one or two other trendier colors or patterns.

When you see different trend predictions and colors of the year, you’re seeing the opinions of experts in different industries or markets. These experts research heavily for years. And their actual color of the year decisions might take into consideration other factors including what’s already popular or increasing in popularity rather than pulling a color out of the blue, so to speak. Paint companies such as Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore make many products for people to use at home on their walls, to live with every day for several years. Pantone, however, sells color products to many different industries from commercial printer inks and graphics to fabrics and plastics so their point of view might be a little different.

Trends for particular looks and styles for fashion and home decor change quicker than for durable goods such as cars and home appliances. For example, remember the rose gold trend that hit hard and fast in jewelry and fashion? Dusty rose colors showed up in home decor fabrics, and eventually we saw rose gold hardware and faucets, and then much more recently, rose gold touches for kitchen appliances.

All trends seem to be a reaction to what went on before. Right now the rustic neutrals and modern farmhouse looks are still very popular, with soft organic shapes and materials and neutral colors with more muted colors and lots of plants. This balanced earlier industrial and sleek modern trends characterized by hard lines and metals. Today, we are seeing that new decor trends for the home are starting to include brighter colors and more geometric shapes. At the forefront of design, one could look back over the decades and see recurring themes. The throwback 1970s organic, bohemian styles came back in the last few years with browns, earthy textures, and brass, so guess what decade is due for a comeback next? The 1980s. These bright, saturated colors, cartoony geometric shapes, and bold patterns will seem fresh to the grays, off-whites, navy, and black.

Taste, however, doesn’t need to follow any trend, just your own gut. Stick with the classics for the biggest elements in your home such as wall colors and flooring, and accent with the latest and greatest. You’ll spend less money and have more flexibility making smaller, less expensive updates to keep your spaces fresh and fun.

Have a design dilemma? Jennifer Adams is an award-winning designer, TV personality, and author. Send your questions to AskJennifer@JenniferAdams.com or for more design ideas, visit Jennifer’s blog on her website at www.jenniferadams.com.