Like the world at large, the world of design has been undergoing changes, also a long time in developing and now being noticed. This column has reported developments, but with the outcomes clearly visible in showrooms and newly designed spaces, it’s a good time to recap.
First the big coffee table has been replaced by 2 or more smaller tables. There are glass and metal drinks tables to place where needed; small turned-on-a-lathe shapes in wood-grain, stone or bright primary colours; and most importantly, clusters of larger and smaller, taller and shorter organic shapes.
Then the sofas have grown pudgy. Somewhat like our friends and neighbours and perhaps ourselves, just temporarily of course. Us not the sofas. They boast sculpted curves on simplified shapes. The smooth soft sofa is now the front display in fine furniture showrooms.
Equivalent to sitting in the bucket seats of a luxury automobile, leather lounge chairs in pairs replace a sofa in the den. Swivel lounge chairs, curved like the sofas, upholstered in velvet or boucle, are living room pieces. Shaped lounge chairs are the architect’s choice for the spareness of their linear presence.
Floor lamps are important. Up and over is one popular style, conical and dome shapes contrast with naturform branches, the most interesting perform as sculptures. Set beside a comfortable seat, the floor lamp illuminates your retreat corner. Just as a new suit prepares us for an interview, a new power spot can prepare us to think out the plan for an uncharted future.
Space is hugely important. The approach is not to fill in the gaps but to leave spaces open around and between things. A new kitchen floats in the space, detached from walls, collapsible and sculptural.
The challenge in new multi-unit buildings that are generally tight on space is answered by skinny-legged mid-century styles and visually concise pedestal bases.
If you are fortunate enough to have generous rooms and lofty ceilings, cascading light installations are exciting elements to consider. They add intrigue to the great volume of space between low seating and high ceilings.
The open ring is another notable ceiling light. Trimmed with crystals, it has beauty. Rimmed with a glowing opaque white band, it’s sharply modern. The ring pendant goes practically everywhere: in the foyer, over the dining table, over the seating area and in the bedroom.
You can see most international designers fitting these parts together in a light neutral colour field, a few in boldly dark. Designed surroundings have a force, well known to those who know, to foster calm, boost creativity and remain present (or prescient, an even better skill for our times.)
A long standing member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Lois Macaulay holds a 1st place award for residential design 2018, 2nd place for 2017 and 2 presidential citations for contributions to the profession from ASID. “I love creating beautiful settings for extraordinary women--and men,” she says. The strong fashion/design connection in these posts owes its source to her first career as a fashion designer, coordinator and national fashion magazine editor.