Are We Overexposed to Design?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From the comments section of yesterday's post about the DIY Draper chests:

I have a question for you...
I am currently redecorating my living room and dining room. I decided to go with a 70's British bachelor pad inspired look. Sort of a well traveled look with some Kuba cloths and other ethnic textiles for art. Lots of navy and gray.
Then I looked at this Draper project and realized I am still in love with Hollywood Regency. I am not too far into things to make the switch. It's just that things like x-benches, Chiang Mai (love and have been holding onto a piece for a while now), chevron, painted furniture, and so on...seem so done now.
Are we too exposed to design? I love my blogs, especially yours (very honest unabashed flattery), but are we over-exposing ourselves (Keep Calm Carry On)? This is something I have been wondering about for a while now. It seems like once I finally get to taking on a project (making ikat drapes now), it starts to seem cliche.
Do you think we are moving too fast with interiors, or do you think we are moving in the right direction where anything goes. Sort of like fashion, you can still wear your skinny jeans or flares. When you start a new project do you agonize over doing something new, or do you just go with what you love at the time even if the idea has been seen?

House Beautiful

Just two days ago I was brainstorming with my mom an idea for my apartment when I nixed the project we were discussing because I felt like it had already been done on blogs or in magazines. I think we both realized how silly that sounded as soon as I said it. Why wouldn't I do what I really love for my space regardless of whether or not a version has been done before?

I feel like it's especially tricky as a blogger. If I put up a picture of campaign dressers (which I love), I'll usually get one or two anon commenters talking about how campaigners are so over and so boring to them. And here's the tricky part - we look to blogs and magazines for inspiration, for fresh looks, so I can understand in a way why the commenters are annoyed. They're saying - "Yup! Got it. We know campaigners are/were cool. But what's next?"


Are we oversaturated with design trends as bloggers and blog readers? Totally. I have hundreds of blogs in my Reader and sometimes I feel like I'm seeing the same thing over and over again. So I'm there with you.

But I also think it's easy to forget that most people in the world don't read design blogs. Most people don't really know about ikat or suzanis or lacquer or lucite the way we all do. It's crazy to think that someone is discovering a Keep Calm poster for the first time today!

A neighbor stopped by my house a few months ago, noticed my ikat skirted console table and said - "I love your decorating style...but what is that funky fabric on your console table? Crazy!"
And then just a few weeks ago I was meeting with a client here in the city, who reads my blog and who is a blogger herself, and she told me how much she loves ikat but feels like she can't have it in her home - like it's too expected now or something.


Are we decorating for ourselves or for our design-conscious friends (or blog readers)? Every time I feel like some of the sparkle of decorating is wearing off, I realize it's because I'm over-thinking it or worrying too much about what other people will or won't like. Unfortunately I think that comes with the territory as a design blogger. Still, don't let yourself fall into that trap. If one in a thousand visitors thinks your decor is dated because you love your Chiang Mai pillows and the Keep Calm poster, don't sweat it. Guaranteed the other 999 will wonder where you got them.

Maybe it's time we take a collective chill pill about decorating and see it all for what it is and should be - a fun way to express yourself and your style.

What do you say?

PS Have you been watching Portlandia? Shell art is OVER! Seems so appropriate for this post.

PPS All the Miles Redd images above feature ikat chairs, which I love and think I might go ahead and do in my house, even though they have been done before. :)

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