In search of some design originality

8 years ago

I've always been intrigued by women who had a true sense of style -- not the ones who wear the current trends, mind you, but the ones who create fashion -- have an innate sense of what looks great with what, and then wear them, damn what the fashion magazines might say.

I feel the same way about people who decorate their homes in a truly individual manner -- I love individuals who refuse to follow the trends, but who instead know how to put together a room with a clear understanding of colour, and form and function, but without relying on "what is fashionable."  I love this.

Which is why I tend to recoil from anything that is described as "mid-century modern."

Don't get me wrong:  I don't have anything against the design -- in fact, I live in a neighbourhood that is chock-full of mid-century modern architectural design.  in fact, my neighbour, an architect herself, is currently in the process of remodeling her ranch home to its original midcentury glory -- and she's doing a stunning job.  And really, when you see a wonderful example of true mid-century modern-inspired design (like this Oakland home featured late last year by Leah Hennan on her blog More Ways to Waste Time), there's no misunderstanding why this trend has such teeth -- it can be very, very beautiful.

The thing is, it seems that so many people are blinding following the mid-century trend -- combing antique stores looking for anything created between 1940-1965) -- without really putting much thought into why they're buying their pieces.   And while I think adding various elements of midcentury modern design can certainly enhance a room's decor, I'm far more excited by a room that mixes them with unexpected pieces.

Some examples of spaces that are turning me on lately:

I'm so loving the interview of Kim, one of the great minds behind Desire to Inspire, on houzz -- her tiny little home clearly took so much thought, and I love the huge wall of framed art at the bottom of her staircase, as well as the sofa she and her husband designed and made themselves.  I also love her Asian-inspired kitchen.  Truly great.

And speaking of Desire to Inspire, check out this amazing Swedish house featured on the site.  Now personally, this house would be entirely impractical for my home (an all-white home with a 5 year old and a dog?  I think not), however, I love how the bedroom is this totally sensual black in contrast to all the white.  Very cool.

And finally, artist Kelly Rae Roberts offers a link on her site that gives us a glimpse of her home. I love the shocking green sofa in her living room and her giant aqua star above her television set.  No denying an artist lives there.

How about you -- do you have any quirky, original touches in your home you're particularly proud of?  Bonus points if you share a link to a photograph!


Karen is a writer and photographer in Houston, Texas.  You can read and see more of her work at Chookooloonks.

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