Want to be on trend? The perfect mismatch.

If you have been reading my blog, you probably know that I reject the trendy nature of design for offices and homes. Trends encourage people to match other companies or their friends or magazine images, so that the whole beauty of custom design is lost: making spaces that reflect who the company/non-profit, or family really is. I put offices and homes together not only because we live at the office and work at home, but also because the magazine images of each type look so alike i.e., more susceptible to wanting to be on trend. Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to worry about what other people think?

Upon reflection, I think that trendiness does have value (beyond its ability to generate economic growth). I got asked by a journalist to comment on repurposed furniture. My answer is confidential until the article comes out, but it made me think about how I love spaces that reflect the span of time.

Timelessness comes not from ignoring all the trends, but from adding elements that reflect time and place and culture and point of view.

The perfect mismatch can happen when we introduce a “trendy” element into an existing space. For example, if we put sleek, modern wall sconces above an arts and crafts fireplace, the juxtaposition of the two eras creates interest and excitement. The “friction” of the mismatch encourages us to see every detail. When every detail is of the same era, whether contemporary/modern or traditional/vintage, the effect is an overall effect, and it is less about the details. Think about cooking, adding spice or heat to a traditional dish brings it from historic tastes to modern tastes. Let’s not back-slide design into a purist theoretical concept, but keep it lively by adapting some elements to modern tastes. Mies van der Rohe famously said, “Less is more.” Robert Venturi infamously said “Less is a bore.”

If you’re planning an update to your office or home, please call us. We can help you figure out how to design a new space that reflects who you really are, that incorporates elements of the past and the present, and that will accept future introductions as how you work or live may change over time.

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