In my area of Ohio, changes in design trends are easy to see. Most of the homes in the inner-ring Cleveland suburbs are at least 100 years old, with a few new townhomes and new constructs sprinkled in. And I’ve seen plenty of them in the past few weeks in my hunt for a new home.

In recent years, Cleveland’s housing market has boomed, and now century homes are undergoing extreme renovations as owners update them for a fast-moving market. When taking stock of what’s on the market, it’s not uncommon to visit one house with interior designs from the '90s (or '80s or '70s) and then visit another with a completely redone interior with modern design elements. It’s a stark contrast between the old trends and the new.

Patterned wallpaper and detailed woodwork are out, and simple, neutral colors are in. Clean lines, open floorplans and simple designs with geometric shapes are taking over indoors, just as they are in the newly constructed homes in the area.

Just like produce packaging, less is more these days. A quick glance at your local grocery store shelves shows the same trends in redesigned packaging: more open space, fewer images, less detail work and just a generally cleaner feel.

While changing designs in housing décor and packaging aren’t going to make or break my decision in buying groceries (or homes), it’s always going to be a factor. But, as you’ll discover in our cover story starting on page 16, it’s not just looks that matter. Consumers are looking for sustainable, recyclable options that look good, aren’t wasteful and showcase what’s really important: the produce.

Just as you wouldn’t buy a good-looking house with a sinking foundation, you wouldn’t buy produce that doesn’t look fresh and delicious. It’s what’s inside that counts the most, of course, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t judge a book by its cover — at least a little bit.

Kate Spirgen, Editor | kspirgen@gie.net | 216-393-0277