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Tag Archives: Aesthetic

Interior Designers On The Design Trends They Hate Most

 

Bathrooms don't look like this anymore for a reason.

Bathrooms don’t look like this anymore for a reason.

GETTY

Have you seen a new bathroom built with glass bricks in the past decade? Probably not. That’s because although glass brick bathrooms were trendy thirty years ago, at some point, interior design professionals made an unofficial collective decision that they looked hideous.

The same will eventually be said for many of the current design trends that have become almost painfully ubiquitous. Just because a look is heavily featured on social media or HGTV, doesn’t mean it’s a good choice for everyone from an aesthetic or even a practicality standpoint. From tropical print overload to Live, Laugh, Love art, some of the biggest names in interior design gladly confessed their least favorite trends as well as the alternatives that make better replacements.

Midcentury Modern Design

We're closer to the middle of the century.

We’re closer to the middle of the next century.

PIXABAY

It feels as if mid-century modern furniture and design has been a trend for the better part of the current century, even if it has probably been closer to a decade. While Shabby Chic founder Rachel Ashwell loves the minimal and simple clean lines of this style, overall, she isn’t a fan. “Even on clean lines, I always like things to be comfortable,” she says.

But if you’re stuck in a house full of wood furniture with angled feet, Ashwell doesn’t think the situation is hopeless. “Comfy cushions and accents of romantic flowers I feel would have made this trend more liveable.”

Skinny Flat Cushions On Oversized Sofas

Ashwell thinks bigger is better when it comes to cushions.

Ashwell thinks bigger is better when it comes to cushions.

PHOTO BY IVA PRIME FROM PEXELS

Ashwell is a proponent of comfort in design, which makes sense because who wants to sit on something that’s uncomfortable? After all, the designer is known for creating oversized sofas with large, cloud-like cushions. “The streamlined aesthetics of oversized sofas with very thin cushions always seemed odd and uncomfortable to me, giving the feeling of an enormous dog bed,” she says. “I feel the diversity of tastes and styles of sofas from traditional to modern, should still be comfortable and inviting. Skinny flat seat cushions are never a substitute for a comfy seat.”

Icy Gray Interior Colors

Grey as a cloudy sky.

Gray as a cloudy sky.

IMAGE BY GERBEN DE JONG FROM PIXABAY

Cool-toned gray paint and furniture might be having a moment, but Andrea DeRosa and Ashley Manhan of Avenue Interior Design are watching the clock. They can’t wait for this trend to freeze over.

But that doesn’t mean the interior design duo is anti-gray all together. If you’re looking for a true gray, they suggest making sure there is a small amount of red or an undertone to the color. “Looking to embrace an up-and-coming trend? Go with finishes that are more of a taupe based ‘French Gray.’ French grays are very versatile and have more warmth to them than cool or warm grays,” they explain.

Kitchy Phrases And Letter Blocking As Artwork

Get inspired to find new artwork.

Get inspired to find something else.

PHOTO BY TY WILLIAMS ON UNSPLASH

Art should always have a message, but DeRosa and Manhan believe it’s okay to search for that meaning. They would be happy never seeing another inspirational message again. “Whether you’re telling a guest to ‘relax’ or trying to communicate a sense of ‘home-sweet-home,’ there are countless ways you can do so in a more subtle way,” they say.

The designers suggest creating context and a sense of place through the use of photography, color or pattern. “This allows each guest to craft their own experience and make the overall vibe for the interior more timeless.”

Kitchens With No Upper Wall Cabinets

A design choice that will leave you with less storage and more to clean.

A design choice that will leave you with less storage and more to clean.

GETTY

Kitchens that lack upper wall cabinetry are highly impractical according to Alexis Rodgers of Home With Alexis. Shorter cabinets mean the only thing you can store in the space is dust.“Keeping a kitchen tidy can be challenging enough, and I don’t need or want the additional challenge of where-to-store-my-dishes-and-stash-this-ugly-mug added to my daily routine,” the interior designer confesses.

Rodgers likes the warmth, balance, and function that upper wall cabinets provide. They’re also a necessity if the kitchen has a range hood. “The range hood with no wall companions can look both imposing and incomplete, floating by itself on the otherwise barren wall. Of course, there are exceptions that make this trend look fabulous, but the ones I have seen in real life leave me wanting more-namely, more cabinetry,” she explains.

Exposed Kitchen Shelving

A perfect shelfie. An imperfect trend.

A perfect shelfie. An imperfect trend.

GETTY

Rodgers truly dikes replacing traditional cabinetry with open shelving. This design choice might be ideal for social media posts, but not real life. “This wall-to-wall, open-shelf concept feels too much like a retail store showcasing its sale items, and it can create anxiety in having to curate or maintain the perfect shelfie at all times,” she says.

At one point, Rodgers installed open shelving in her kitchen, but ultimately regretted it. “I know from personal experience, as I eventually removed the floating shelves in my own kitchen and never looked back.”

Want to mix it up? Go for a combination of solid wood and glass-front cabinetry instead. “The glass doors give you the airiness of open shelving without the dust and chaos,” she says.

Clean Minimal Interiors

Pretty but cold.

Pretty but cold.

PHOTO BY RAHULCHAKRABORTY ON UNSPLASH

Founder of Dazey LA, Danielle Nagel, is sick of seeing clean, minimal interiors everywhere, “They are so boring and lack life and interest,” she says. “To me, it just feels like cheating to leave things basically blank and call it a day.”

But that doesn’t mean going the opposite way entirely. As an alternative, Nagel recommends incorporating subtle colors such as warm ochre, dusty gold, or light pink into a design scheme. “An accent wall or a few warm accessories can really make a space feel so much cozier while still remaining simple.”

Tile Countertops

Tiles on the wall. Not on the countertop!

Tiles on the wall. Not on the countertop!

STOCKSNAP

There are so many places to use tile, but according to Cliff Webster, who is the General Manager of Tile for Wayfair, countertops are not one of them. “While countertop tile may have gone out of style, patterns are in! Use patterned tile to create on-trend (and moisture resistant) accent walls, backsplashes and floors. Wayfair has thousands of options available. Some of the brand’s best sellers are the PalomaArtea and Encausto.”

While tile can be an affordable choice for countertops, that doesn’t make it a good choice. This material just looks dated and will certainly turn off potential buyers when it comes time to sell your home.

Flush Mount Ceiling Lights

These fixtures hardly light up a room.

These fixtures hardly light up a room.

PHOTO BY MILLY EATON FROM PEXELS

Kelly Aaron, who is the Chief Luminary of Blueprint Lighting, sees certain flush mount fixtures (known to some as boob lights for their resemblance to the female anatomy) as one of the worst possible design choices to make. “There is so much good design in the world at every conceivable price point that bad design shouldn’t exist anymore,” she says. “I look at these lights and see a missed opportunity to place something sculptural, add a pop of color or tell a little story. They are a cop out.”

Standard flush mounts are also impractical, Aaron explains. “To add insult to injury, it is also obscenely difficult to change a bulb in one of these things—just a poor design all around. Plus, they look like a boob. But not a sexy boob. A boob you wish you could un-see.”

But there are alternatives, she says. “Obviously, it depends on the scale of the space. But if something comparably small-scale is needed, our Strobus flush mount is a fabulous option. It packs a serious design punch and provides a ton of visual interest and texture in a compact little package.”

For a larger scale project, Aaron recommends the Counterbalance light from Blueprint both for its design and the fact that the light bulb is easy to change. “If the room can handle something of a larger scale, our Counterbalance is a knockout! We were inspired by the mobiles of Alexander Calder when designing Counterbalance. It’s a light that doubles as a sculpture.”

White Everything

Too much white.

Too much white.

GETTY

Mike Russell, CEO of Paintzen is bored of monochromatic white rooms. “There’s such an attachment to all white everywhere—from walls to ceilings to furniture,” he says. “While we understand the desire for a fresh, clean look, it lacks originality. With thousands of paint color options, you can certainly find something that feels as clean as pure white, like rich blues or sage greens, but lends a little more personality.”

Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn is for snacking, not ceilings. 

Popcorn is for snacking, not ceilings.

GETTY

Meghan Stewart, Senior Director of Residential and Certified Color Consultant for Paintzen truly dislikes popcorn ceilings. “Their sticky texture adds a weird dynamic to rooms with an otherwise soft, clean look. If you want to make your ceiling stand out, we recommend adding some color and treating it like your fifth wall. It can still be eye-catching, without the rigid finish,” she says.

Tropical Print Overload

Use sparingly.

Use sparingly.

GETTY

Tropical designs such as banana and palm leaf prints are having a long moment. But many people are going overboard. There is a fine line between the touch of sophistication it can add versus looking like the jungle exploded.

Tropical prints were highly popular in design a few years ago,” says Jennifer Matthews, who is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Tempaper. “While tropical influences still play a role, they have evolved into a more refined scenic aesthetic that tells a story. Utopia, Tempaper’s first panoramic mural, is an excellent example of this.”

There are lots of ways to incorporate tropical print. Perhaps an accent wall, linen napkins or accessorizing with pillows. It’s easy to go overboard, but try to resist temptation.

Stainless Steel Appliances

Color would be better.

Color would be better.

PHOTO BY RUSTIC VEGAN ON UNSPLASH

For more than a decade, stainless steel has been the standard for appliances. But many feel this look is getting old. Orion Creamer, who is the Founder of Big Chill, which manufactures colorful and retro style appliances says, “There’s nothing exciting or individualized about [the stainless steel appliance trend].”

He feels that custom color choices whether they’re matte black, cherry red, or even orange can make a much larger impact than stainless steel. “Colorful appliances create a space that feels unique and mirrors the style of the homeowner most accurately. It’s for this reason that here at Big Chill, we are extending our custom color offerings with premium color offerings to appeal to even more aesthetic preferences,” he says.

Continue reading Interior Designers On The Design Trends They Hate Most

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John Edelman Steps Down As CEO of Design Within Reach

Interior Design‘s Cindy Allen and John Edelman. Photography by Ben Meyers.

Design Within Reach (DWR) has announced that its CEO, John Edelman, will be stepping down from his position, effective June 14. He will eventually transition to become the Chairman of the Board of DWR and Herman Miller Consumer. His longtime business partner of 27 years, John McPhee, will stay on as the company’s president. 

Edelman’s design-centric career began in the 1990s, when he joined his brother Sam at his shoe company Sam & Libby. He eventually left to assist his design luminary parents, Teddy and Arthur Edelman, with their business. He became president of the brand in 2001 and eventually sold the iconic leather company to Knoll for $67 million in 2007. It was in 2010 that DWR serendipitously came calling. 

In just four years, Edelman and McPhee brought the company back from death. “It was on the verge of bankruptcy when we took it on,” Edelman recalled. “By 2014, we doubled the size of the business and halved the number of stores down to 35. The company became incredibly profitable.” 

The natural next step to assure DWR’s continued rousing success was to find a partner whose aesthetic would naturally complement DWR’s modernist approach and business acumen would propel the brand to new heights. And that partner was Herman Miller. “With this partnership, we assured the longevity of our brand and formed an indelible link with one of the most prestigious design companies in the world,” Edelman said. 

Read more: Herman Miller Agrees to Aquire Design Within Reach

With this powerhouse behind DWR, it could start on the work that it’s become famous for: partnering and promoting some of the most exciting brands in the industry. Even just a small, hand-picked selection of names are quite impressive: Hay, Moooi, J.L. Møllers, Brown Jordan, Luceplan, and Gloster. “I’m so proud of all the amazing designers and manufacturers we’ve worked with,” said Edelman. “DWR played such a large role in making modern design mainstream through the designers we chose to partner with and the more than 10 million catalogs we sent out that contain their stories. We helped break them out of the sheltered world of interior design and into the vast consumer market.”

When asked what’s changed the most in the past nine years, Edelman points to the rise of the Internet and E-commerce. The advent of Pinterest, Instagram, and easy access to designers through websites and email has made it easier for the consumer to become passionate and educated about design. The one thing that Edelman believes hasn’t changed? The enduring excellence of modernist aesthetics. “Modern isn’t a trend. It’s forever,” he noted. 

As for his future, Edelman continued: “It’s been an incredible 20 years being a part of this industry, but I’ve been on a plane nearly every other week since 1988. I plan to take a little time off, but I’m not leaving forever. There’s still so much to see and do with design.” 

Read more: Jens Risom Sketches Are Brought to Life in Design With Reach’s Block Island Collection

Accent Pieces for the Home that Make a Grand Statement

Decorative accessories can make all the difference in your room design—sparking conversation, adding a unique perspective, and changing the entire dynamic of the space’s aesthetic. Here, renowned gallerist Bernd Goeckler selects his favorites from his collection on eBay Collective.

Decorative Object by Angelo Mangiarotti

 
 

This decorative object designed by Angelo Mangiarotti (Italy, circa 1980) is pyramid-shaped alabaster composed of stacked round dishes in different sizes. “It is an innovative reinterpretation of a classic vase broken into its imaginative parts, making for a good conversation piece in any room,” say Bernd Goeckler.

Glass Vase by Franco Deboni

 
 

Born in Milan, Franco Deboni was trained as an architect but gained international recognition as a scholar of Murano glass, publishing numerous volumes, including the definitive study of Venini glass. In recent years, Deboni has garnered new attention as a glass artist in his own right, breaking from the traditions of Murano glass with oxidised and opaque vitreous creations. This handblown glass vessel with a cratered blue and black exterior knobbed with blue, green, and silver projections is signed and dated on the underside. “The integration of Cabochon pieces into the traditional glass vase shape is distinctive,” says Goeckler.

Wall Sculpture by Simone Crestani

 
 

This contemporary wall-mounted sculpture of a deer head in borosilicate glass is a “clever design,” says Goeckler. “Simone applies his signature borosilicate technique to a thousand-year-old traditional decoration.”

Glass Box by Roberto Rida

 
 

This “velluto” (meaning velvet in Italian) box by Rida has sides and a top composed of nested blue mirrored vintage glass panels and a Macassar wood interior. “Rida transforms vintage glass into completely new shapes, which are both creative and functional,” comments Goeckler.

1950s Door Handles

 
 

“To have something as utilitarian as door handles in such a wonderful shape and color imbues joy even before entering a room,” says Goeckler. These cyan glass door handles with silver dust inclusions are attributed to Seguso, Italy.

Cobra Andirons

 
 

Designed by Edgar Brandt, circa 1925, this pair of cast bronze chenets depict two intertwined fighting cobras. “It is an exquisite example of Edgar Brandt’s craftsmanship with his often-used ‘cobra’ motif,” says Goeckler.

Vase by Flavio Poli

 
 

Created by Favio Poli (Italy, circa 1939), this “virtual cuttlefish featuring Poli’s special ‘bullicante’ glass technique is a wonderful, attention-grabbing addition to any setting,” commented Goeckler.

Umbrella Stand by Piero Fornasetti

 
 

Described as “a fun object to greet you on a rainy day” by Goeckler, this serigraph metal umbrella stand depicts a trompe l’oeil collection of classical vessels.

See the Bernd Goeckler gallery on eBay Collective.

ABOUT EBAY COLLECTIVE

An online destination launched by eBay, eBay Collective caters to those who desire an elevated shopping experience of selectively curated antique, modern, and contemporary furnishings and art. “eBay’s brand is about helping every person find their version of perfect,” says Jill Ramsey, eBay’s VP of Soft Goods.

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Step Inside a San Francisco Tudor with an Aesthetic as Cinematic as Its Own Backstory

For a distinctive Presidio Heights mansion with a walled garden, designer Hillary Thomas turns back a century of neglect and falls in love in the process

 

After Sawyer’s parents died when he was a child, he went to live with his ward and uncle, Leland Stanford, the industrialist tycoon and founder of the eponymous university. Sawyer, who graduated from the first class of Stanford University, went on to study in France. Deeply inspired by his time there, he returned to San Francisco, was hired by the venerable Potter family to build them a stately manor in the heart of the city, and thus broke ground for the fortified edifice. (Sawyer, learning a lesson from the 1906 earthquake that all but leveled the City by the Bay, was one of the first architects to use reinforced concrete in single-family-home construction.)

 

In order to add in some light and modernity to the very traditional front foyer, Thomas worked with artist and muralist Willem Raké, who kept the original millwork but had it sanded and whitewashed using a complex three-step lime wash.

“I wanted the opportunity to do something really special,” recalls Thomas of finding the property, which “was desperate for light and a youthful point of view.” With its unusual walled-in garden and location adjacent to the foggy forests of San Francisco’s historic Presidio district, the home feels like a country house in the center of town. But doing “something special” also meant working hard to turn back decades of ill-advised alterations and neglect. The property, sold for the first time in 1960 to the kingdom of Belgium to become its consulate, later fell into total disrepair. “It was a Grey Gardens situation,” comments Thomas. The residence would be traded three more times—in 1982, by a family who made it into a separate home for their four children; in 2005, when it became a decorators’ show house; and then again in 2006—before Thomas entered the picture in 2012.

The designer happened to be visiting friends across the street when she caught sight of the place. “The house felt like a timid grand dame; she needed light and love,” she says. “With so many owners, she was ready for love.” And like so many great love stories, this one has a rather unexpected ending: Both the house and Hillary found lasting companionship in the process. Indeed, Thomas fell in love with the house and its owner. It only took a century, but at last the formerly patchwork building became a unified home filled with youthful design.

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“We wanted it to be a family home first and foremost: At any time, we have lots of kids running around, and we wanted a warm backdrop for everything from intimate dinners to grand parties and events,” says Thomas. “We changed everything—we reversed the flow. Now it feels right, it feels loved, and it feels like home.”

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