Thursday, 11 July 2013

You May Be a Design Blogger If... (i.e., is nothing new?)

If your home sports 5 or more of the following may be a design blogger (or just read a lot of interior design blogs):

Sh*t design bloggers use

I'm not bashing any of these items (in fact, I'm have and/or love several of them)...but it does make me ask: is nothing new in interior design? I feel like every third home tour I see looks nearly identical: mostly white, gold or brass accents, 'pops of color,' industrial accents, Moroccan poufs, and a dresser styled up with alcohol on a tray. These homes all look pulled together and pretty, but to me they don't reflect the homeowner but rather Pinterest come to life.

There are, however,  several interior designers who I love because they are consistently putting out designs that surprise me in the best possible ways. Their designs consist of things I would never in a million years think of myself, and thus provide inspiration far beyond any overly-Pinterested domain (although, of course, the homes they create inevitably end up on Pinterest, creating a never-ending cycle of copy cat design...)

Currently, my favorite designers (in no particular order) are:

Jessica Helgerson: Favorite Interior Designer

Jessica Helgerson: Favorite Interior Designer by mjchirpich-1 on Polyvore

Jessica Helgerson, because:

  • I never look at one of her rooms and think, this looks just like so-and-so's room in X magazine
  • Her best work is minimalistic with just enough extra touches to keep the design approachable and cozy. Her designs make me want to go all Coco Chanel on my house--you know, 'before you go out the door, take off one piece of jewelry'--but for my home. 
  • She works with a lot of eco-friendly/green products
  • She completely designs many of the spaces (i.e., construction involved!) to best suit her clients' needs
  • Each of her rooms makes me think of something that I could do in my home--not the exact thing, more like, "It's really cool how she created a subtle division between the rooms with that beautiful glass sculpture on the desk--what can I use to add artistic division in my space?"
  • Most of all, each project she does has its own point of view--nothing seems half-assed or run-of-the-mill

Another favorite designer is:

Emily Henderson Interior Design

Emily Henderson, because:
  • She started out as a stylist, which is evident in her work--everything has its place and contributes aesthetically to the overall picture
  • She uses tonnnnns of vintage pieces, or new pieces that she recovers or paints so its a whole new, unique piece
  • She puts a big emphasis on designing for you and making your home unique to its occupants--cookie-cutter homes are NOT in her portfolio
  • Her rooms look styled but not overly so--it's like they exist the way that they are supposed to, like anything other than what they are would be unnatural

A third favorite designer is:

Bailey McCarthy Interior Design

  • I absolutely love Bailey's designs. They are so unique and have such a strong point of view that sometimes I wouldn't necessarily even want to live in them myself, but just appreciate the chance to drool over the photos like the art they are.
  • She is a master at color palettes. She combines color in ways I've never seen, which in turn inspires me to be more adventurous with color combos in my own home. 
  • She makes many design choices that I would never think of, like the gorgeous pelmets that finish off her bathrooms so beautifully, or hanging a stuffy painting over a window in a bathroom as a quirky privacy shield
  • She consistently and purposely strives to create designs unlike any others. On the topic of copying another designer's work, she's said, "What would that add to the conversation? If I ever want to enjoy it I can look at it on Pinterest. I want to creat some new good junk to look at." She clearly views interior design as an artistic process, one that I enjoy following along with.
Lastly, rounding out my current top four favorite designers, we have:

Jamie Meares Interior Design

Jamie Meares, because: 

  • She is a pattern-mixing master. Each time I think I've seen it all, she throws a new combo at me that makes me delve into what works about the mix and why
  • Her work is always colorful and fun and makes you feel creative just looking at it
  • Her designs, and the products she stocks in her shop, don't look or feel like you've seen it all before, or if you have she uses them in ways you haven't seen before, like the Les Touches chairs above with hot pink piping.
  • Whereas Jessica Helgerson's designs make me want to scale back everything in my house, Jamie's designs inspire a 'more is more' feeling--for me, I think a combination of the two is perfect.
To me, the common link between all of these designers is that they each consistently bring new ideas to the interior design table. Each project they work on is unique and distinct from their own and anyone else's other projects, and although there are common threads, none feel like, 'oh, so she just replicated what she did in X project here in this new project.' Most importantly, each of these designers makes me think of my home and designs in new ways--they encourage the thought process behind the designs, not duplication of the design itself. 

What do you think? Is nothing new in the design world? Are you, too, tired of the same old same old, or are you continually finding inspiration? Who are your favorite designers?

All photos credited to their respective designer (either from their portfolio or their blog).

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