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Thursday, April 7, 2011

So what's next?

 Miles Redd via House Beautiful.

I want to know what's next on the design horizon.  We've been running and re-running boho, hipster goth, Hollywood Regency, and mid-century modern for the better part of a decade.  

 Wayne Nathan and Carole Egan via Elle Decor.
Yesterday, Julie Chapman posted on traditional decorating from the 1970s and I was reminded how timeless "pretty" is.  Last week when I was interviewing Newell Turner of House Beautiful, he kept returning to this notion of "pretty" and how classic decorating good-looks continue to inspire him.

 Jim Howard via House Beautiful.

Recently, the media has latched onto a current "style" that is the polar opposite of pretty, well-done interiors - "undecorating," a term used to describe "riotously eclectic amateur design that rose up during the recent recession."  Popularized by the DIY can do-itude of Apartment Therapy and the yard sale aesthetic of The Selby, "[t]he central tenet of the undecorate movement is that personal expression matters more than professional polish."  I didn't know the two couldn't coexist.

 Katie Ridder via Elle Decor.

"Undecorating" confounds me - why wouldn't you want your home to look as lovely and put together as possible?  Does anyone really want live in the interior design equivalent of jeans belted at the ass cheeks?

Hal Williamson via House Beautiful.

Now that we've crossed the Rubicon of sensible decorating, can we come back?  Does the pendulum swing back to "pretty"?

 Christine d’Ornano via Elle Decor.

Last night, I asked a few of my closet friends what they thought might be the next "big thing" in decorating.  Susie of Eye Spy and Jenny of My Favorite and My Best concurred that fine antiques would make a resurgence - finely crafted pieces with "serious" wood grain that couldn't be easily knocked off and wouldn't be DIY-ed by anyone in their right mind.

 Steven Gambrel via Elle Decor.

So, Dumplings, what are your thoughts?  Have you felt the rumblings of any particular new trends or movements in your decorating loins?  And do you feel "pretty" will be widely embraced or is it best left to the Happy Clappers?

Old School Inspiration [Chapman Interiors blog]
Design Well Within Reach [The New York Times]


Stephanie said...

I completely agree! This is why I read your blog. (Sorry I never comment but I'm here everyday, just about)

I hate Undecorating! Hate it!!

But I love you :)

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

I love all the examples you've shown so I guess I'm on the pretty band wagon. I do like a little unexpected something thrown into the mix however.

maison21 said...

pretty is always classic, but in my book, should always be "pretty with a twist"; regular old "pretty" can can pretty boring, if you know what i mean.

Peeke said...

Pretty Definately!

The real next big trend in decorating is going to be:

How do I make my heinous tract home with nasty finishes into something beautiful and unique?

There are millions of these ugly tract homes built in the last 15 years. Millions of ugly oak cabinets, cultured marble sink/countertops, nasty tile on the floor and countertops, and various shades of bodily function brown on every surface. (Sorry I'm ranting - we have spent months looking for something acceptable to buy in Phoenix and I have seen a whole lotta ugly I don't have the patience to fix.... )

Flo said...

I'm afraid the ubiquitous Jim and Phoebe Howard are the new darlings for the "Romantic" revolution currently featured in the Veranda cover story. Pale blue and pale green, zillions of yards of high dollar fabric and trim, low color contrast, high maintenance. If easy on the eyes is your thing, your time has come.

This below is my guy and my aesthetic, not that you asked ;-)

Katherine said...

Oh oh oh!!! I'm soo glad you broached this topic! I'm a DIY'er in my own house and wouldn't touch some one else's house so please know my opinion only counts as a consumer. I'm SOOO tired of the same stuff in blogs, magazines, on Houzz and am dying for something new. I'd love to see good quality, ornately carved, hand crafted come back in. And I agree, I think it's much more timeless and pretty to have a 'matching' set in the bedroom or living room than to look like I could only afford 1 nice piece and bought the rest at thrift stores.

I'll back into my corner now and stalk the rest of everyone's comments.

Ms. Bright said...

I'm dying to know what the answer is.

I'd love to see a resurgance of the Arts and Crafts era. Not in the etsy-sense, but in it's truest form. QUALITY, not just kitschy hand-made.

I'm praying for the return of high-end and "polished" antiques.

much love.

NK: Style-ING w/ Children said...

I'm renovating and decorating as we speak (or write :), and I could tell you that my tastes overall for my life have been shifting to quality quality and quality. I want to go back to basics, to have my core and my foundation well set. I want something that warrants an intelligent conversation, gives comfort and has longevity.
As they say, trends in fashion/interior design follow our attitudes and fears about our economy. So if you think about it, we had the over-indulgence of everything new and expensive looking, then we had the crash and movement back to handmade, and now that the moods are shifting once again, we're coming back to our roots of solid timeless prettiness.

Great topic! As per usual.

The Down East Dilettante said...

I'd love my home to look better put together, but you live so far away---and I'd like my jeans to fit better, but..

However, when I look in a shelter magazine, only WOI can bring me amateur and make me interested.

On a totally different note, very clever how you worked in what I didn't on my moss post. you clever lady.

Raina Cox said...

Flo - Hello and welcome. Darryl Carter is a great talent. He creates some, dare I say, pretty rooms.

designchic said...

"Pretty" decorating never goes out of style. The rooms are timeless and I'm a total fan!!

Kerry said...

The question for me is not what trend but who in the bloody heck gets to decide! Perhaps the undecorate movement if there is such a thing is a rebellion against being told what trend you should be embracing if you're to be considered well, trendy! I know stuff all about this I confess, but don't fabulous trends stand the test of time? Making them something much more than a trend? Oh I don't know! Its too early in the morning here. However I do know that if I see one more set of antlers anywhere I'll stab myself with them. always love your posts and this one was a beauty!

Sunday Taylor said...

It has to be pretty to appeal to me, and comfortable and classic. Add personal collections, art, books, travel souvenirs, and its a welcoming and attractive space.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

hush said...

My Magic 8 ball says: The color peach, houseplants, velvet sofas for the masses, Pendleton-inspired prints, and oil paintings of the living.

Chic Coles said...

We are all for pretty decorating.good points.

Chic Coles said...

We are all for pretty decorating.good points.

ktgirl said...

Ah....I feel fresh air coming in, and I'm giddy. I'm the client of Jenny's who was bowled over by the March HB "Pink" issue, particularly the cover. We had decided to paint the walls above my tall wainscoting the Pink in that pic, but NEWELL TURNER weighed in on MFAMB's site and suggested that a lighter pink would be best in my room.

SO....I just painted the space with "Pink Voile" by Ben Moore, 2000-70, the purdiest darn pink ever.

Thank you for noticing this trend, and I'm all for it. Though it does demand some more imagination and, dare I say, an investment in pieces that are more sophisticated, I think it's worth it. Will this trend survive the economy? Is the "undecorating" trend in any way related to the economy and an attempt to democratize decorating? I wonder.

The Devoted Classicist said...

I'll take "pretty", please.

Karena said...

Hi Raina,

Late to the party....It seems that there will still be those who love contemporary or modern as opposed to traditional "pretty".

From Deco to Classic Antiques, it is really how it is all pulled together.

Then those personal touches of momentos, books, and of course Art!

Art by Karena

redbrickbuilding said...

Susie and Jenny's answer is brilliant and, I think, as good a prediction as any as to where the market is headed. Maybe I should take it as license to buy up all the Georgian antiques I was coveting in Ireland and England last week...

Jessica said...

I completely agree! Lately I have been drawn to really old pieces with awesome woodwork, and I suddenly don't like the idea of painted furniture as much as I thought I did.

"Pretty" is my favorite. I really love that wallpaper and general color scheme in the 2nd photo.

Appletree said...

THat room by d'Ornano is so perfect to me. Pretty but not twee.
That being said, have you seen Erin at Design Crisis's Acid Wasp? I think it's next fo sho.

dave said...

"(B)oho, hipster goth, Hollywood Regency, and mid-century modern"? I feel so naked. I've also been "undecorating" since I was a toddler, but we always just called it "not picking up after yourself".

I'll always prefer to live in a more gloom-and-doom room myself, but I appreciate places that are peaceful and pleasant. And who wants a home that says nothing at all? I'll take "pretty" over pointless any day.

Interior Design Musings said...

I know what I would vote for, but I really think the undecorated design trend is going to win out for the moment. I do think it will be a true "design trend" like shabby chic. It's getting way too much momentum, not to become a trend. Who knows how long it will last? I, for one, will be hold up in my "pretty" house until the dust settles. M.

My Interior Life said...

I've always been a fan of pretty. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder so that's a very personal thing. I don't like the "antiseptic" pretty rooms, but the ones with some soul. Love that Christine d'Ornano living room. It looks simple, easy and personal (and it has a cute little girl in it which helps personalize it too, I guess).

I love good antiques but I can't take a second mortgage out on my home to buy them, so I'll keep looking for pretty deals where I can. Affordable but quality treasures!

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

I welcome pretty back with open arms, especially in a way that's more restrained than the 80's over the top pretty. Yes, a well curated selection of beautiful color and pattern with a few cherished antiques and artwork sprinkled in. Divine!!!

sarah, flourish design + style said...

Bring back pretty and polished. Please.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Ah, Darryl Carter, crisp, edited, tailored--and I like his rooms too. You and Flo are right on. Of course.

Mrs BC said...

Yes to Pretty, polished, resolved, authentic, personal, individual, quality. Even if it is upcycled from Dumpster Chic.
No to generic, poor quality, shoddy workmanship, a home that looks like a it was lifted from a catalogue, even if it did cost a fortune.
I don't know much about design, but I know what I like. I loved this post.

Madam Pince said...

Logging in as the latest Lamp Shade member of the Darryl Carter Fan Club. I was more than a bit surprised when the Obamas passed him up in favor of Granny Smith.

I detest Undecorate as much as I did (and still do) Shabby Chic. Excuse me while I throw up in the corner. I remain devoted to well-curated minimalism (or maybe just Not Fussy).

Tonia of Chic Modern Vintage said...

I can't say since I don't really pay attention to trends. I notice lot of the same stuff patterns, prints, etc. No individuality. This undecorate word??...I think that they have run out of ideas and thowing something out there and hope that you like it.

The Zhush said...

I would echo Maison 21's comment..verbatim. And, not sure if this is where you are going with this, but I've been noticing a ton of Kilim native american indian/mexican prints everywhere...not in an 80s cucina doll, literal type of way, but in a fresh, south of the border, colorful way. The next Morocco?

Raina Cox said...

Madam Pince - I was just as shocked as you when Carter was passed up for the White House assignment. Heck, he even lives in the area.

The Zhush - Oh Native American kilims! So gorgeous. Good call.

A Perfect Gray said...

great piece, raina. your blog is white hot right now.

I've lived in the south all my life. we're all dark mahogany and traditional antiques. I'm smothering in it. I'd have to say I'm going for more individuality and less for pretty.

thanks for making me think about the way I look at decor...


phillip said...

Good Morning Raina,
I look forward to reading you blog every morning. I found this post particularly thought provoking. I too like pretty decorating regardless of style. Once a shelter magazine editor I was working with said I love it when you do "pretty". It gave me pause for a minute until I realized what a compliment it was. I think the problem with a lot of design today is the influence of packaged retail based decorating with little thought given to original thought or design process.

Have a great weekend!

Phillip Sides

Rebecca (Reluctant Floridian) said...

I love pretty! I wonder if one of the barriers to it taking hold among more than a handful of us blessed with great style and wit (all of you who leave comments, natch) is the disposable aspect of our culture. Why save for an heirloom when you can get something at Ikea/Target/Wal-Mart? I think there's a certain pressure people—and by no means am I letting myself off the hook here—feel to pick something rather than the right thing, and I think the latter is much harder to do.

Eileen said...

Bring back Kokopeli. I want to see some coyote's wearing bandanas on everything. JK.

My nieces have been arguing about how to decorate "their" guest room. The three in their twenties all want pretty and pink. The seven year old? She suggested unicorn goth. That's right, unicorn goth. So I'm think of screenprinting unicorns wearing heavy eyeliner on some throw pillows and seeing if Anthro will pick them up.

Shauna said...

Best of all eras - classic on your own terms.

Get the proportions right and that will never go out.

And I like tailored pretty (velvet, but no ruffles or cabbage roses), but I'm a little ick about pink and mauve and lavender painted walls for grown-ass adults. Too girly for this woman.

I do love Miles (always a mix of Sister Parrish with modern David Hicks nods). Is he trend or classic? I vote classic.

Rooms cost too much to make them trendy. Or to expect a new "look" all the time.

MimiLulu said...

Like people, the most interesting and captivating interiors are those who are original and that have been allowed to mature over time. I live in Atlanta and there is a lot of pretty here; pretty but lacking in history and personality. I am much more interested in interiors that are a true reflection of their owners than one that has been rendered just pretty!

Raina Cox said...

Sunday Taylor and MimiLulu - Hello to both of you and welcome to this deliciousness!

nanne said...

i don't know what's next. i just hope it's not another rehashing some previous decade's style.

would love to see something totally new and fresh.

as for myself, i like modern, traditional, boho--anything that is well done with imagination and taste. i also think that all great rooms need one really nice or grand or beautifully made piece to ground it.

nanne in indiana by way of alabama

Michelle said...

I love this post! I love this thinking, I love that I am not the only lady having these impure thoughts about decorating... I think that proportion and composition and quality will always rule, no matter what you do with it. And un-decorating is some kind of bullshit where people with no sense of cleanliness can call four years of piss bottles lined up on the floor "decorating." LIAR, clean up your shit. Using your own style to create a beautiful, quirky interior has been happening since the first cave woman said, "no, wait, leave those severed bear heads there...don't they look cozy?"

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

Does "pretty" need to be "traditional"?

I've never liked all-traditional rooms, nor all-modern rooms for that matter. I want a mix of both. Substantial antiques in the same room as something white lacquer... who cares if it's been spray painted? Clean lines next to something ornate. Unexpected but decidely pretty.

What's next? Buggers if I know. But I agree about antiques because its one a few ways we can decorate uniquely anymore.