Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How long does it take for great design to expire?

As I do about once a week, I stopped at the local American Cancer Society Discovery Shop  to see what new (old?) goodies are on display.  In today's search I found a decorating book called Details by House Beautiful (purchased for a whopping $3).

I paged through the book expecting it to be hopelessly out of date, but found many of the photos could have been taken today with just a little tweaking...new wallpaper here, updated upholstery fabric or lamp there.  Surprised, I flipped to the front of the book to see when it was published...1996.  That means most of these photos were taken, at the latest, in 1995 (I imagine many well before that since it takes a while to put a book together).

A decorating book with photos that are at least 14 years old, but most definitely not showing their age led to the question, exactly how long does it take for design to expire?  Sure things go in and out fashion in the home (suzani, zebra, sunburst mirrors, mercury glass, etc) just as they do in our closet.  But, when do they clearly expire and need to be donated, scrapped, passed down or just plain trashed? 

While you ponder that question, I thought I would share with you some of my favorites from the book.

Although this isn't something I would necessarily do in my house, I love the "sleek, minimal contemporary scheme" pictured here.  The antique chair is incredibly cool, but not so sure it would be comfy to lean back on.  No idea what the curved piece is on the left, but I LOVE it.

This is the sitting room of Boston framer and art collector, Roger Lussier and I can easily imagine this room appearing in a current issue of House Beautiful or Traditional Home. Below are two more pictures of this room that I snagged off Mrs. Blandings blog.


There is nothing I don't love about this little corner of a French salon where a bamboo ladder (with a few slabs of wood slipped through the slats to hold the books) keeps the otherwise formal room from looking stuffy.

Aside from loving the wall, trim and chair (shades of green :), I'm loving how the curves of the chair (beautiful BTW) are echoed in the photograph above it and the vase next to it.

I'm always attracted to rooms that perfectly mix the very traditional (the striped silk chair) and the contemporary (graphic black and white print).  When your home office is just a small section of a main room like this, you really have to be on guard not to let the normal office clutter take over.  This person went to great trouble to find containers that would be as beautiful and interesting as they are functional.

Later I'll share the ones that did not stand the test of time so well (you knew that was coming no? :)

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