The brink of a new decade is a great time to assess the design styles we are going in with. Let’s peer along their lines of development going forward too.
I see three style categories. If you see it differently feel free to jump into the discussion with a comment below! Here’s what I can identify:
- Brightly Harmonious, well curated rooms characterized by defined furniture shapes, calm colour schemes and important art. The pieces work so well together that the open spaces between them seem filled by their inter relationships. Why? Sophisticated Mindfulness.
- “Maximalism Is In” proclaimed Patrick Frey at Maison et Objet, meaning emotional, pattern-on-pattern, colour-saturated spaces. Exotic Moroccan, Indian or (gasp) Victorian is source inspiration, the walls are richly papered or upholstered in designs of red, strong blue or green, or all together and that’s just for starters! Why? Passion for Life.
- Pop Art Mash-Up is a fast-changing mix of stand-alone pieces on bare floors with empty spaces. Current favourites are gold tubular metal frames, bright roundly stuffed pieces on tiny legs that a healthy guy would crumple with a collapse-in. Luckily the audacious look finds favour with the youthful, lanky and fashionable. Why? The Cool Factor.
That’s the What and the Why. Now for the How…
Style #1 relies on the purity of the design concept. Execution is strong so that one certain idea runs through every selection. A pleasing colour scheme translates into very new forms. It makes sense, it’s beautiful and it’s comfortable. Brutalist pieces, tribal artifacts or natural specimens and large canvases are well featured punctuations.
Style #2 references Yves St Laurent’s Morocco, Babe Paley’s Park Avenue and every princess who lounged in a gold embroidered kaftan. Pattern the walls, the floors, the furniture and pile on pillows with great emotion. Talented confident European designers are loving it! I began reporting ‘kaftan design’ in 2017. It has come of age, watch the roll-out!
Style #3 began with white rooms, leggy weightless mid-century furniture and fragments of pop culture. Looking ahead I see the room as a functional gallery for the art-furniture collection, colour/texture on walls, large strange and wonderful sculptures that might also be floor lamps and standard design items handled as art forms.
Todd Merrill Studio has exceptional examples. I will be returning to their collection soon to illustrate functional art’s role in various styles. www.toddmerrillstudio.com
Certainly there are rooms that combine two styles, but the categories are helpful in knowing where we’re going.
All require detailed execution and there’s an exercise for clarity in creativity. Not a recent practice, it was most probably used by Shakespeare, and certainly by Goethe, Pope, Carroll, Carlyle, Emerson, Barfield, and I would bet my buttons on Karl Lagerfeld. It’s called the Pencil Exercise.
If you agree or disagree with my assessment leave a comment below–we at DINE would love to hear from you.
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.