Design today takes its visual cues from graphic designers, one can see when even fleetingly browsing the pictorial reviews of the modern age: Pinterest and Houzz. Part of this is that we live in an age of design simplicity. Also we prize artistic flare over a show of wealth, a generational shift away from mannerly elegance and toward Bohemian eclecticism. Like the perfect marriage of old roots and new interpretations that is hipster folk music, today’s best designs are a fusion of storied and new elements.
The three outstanding features of graphic design-inspired style are: bold geometrics, color blocking and unexpected pairings. The other phrase often used to describe spaces with these elements is: eclectic modernism. We are reminded of Dorothy Draper’s modern baroque sensibility. Bold use of pattern, color and modern silhouettes juxtaposed with extravagant traditional flourishes.
By the standards of the times, we find as much satisfaction in a collection of doodles and postcards, thumbtacked to the wall, as we do in a costly mirror. This is in part because the emerging generation of nesters, coming of age in a floundering economy, place a higher value on experiences than on material possessions. That means home is comfortable, not pretentious. It speaks to personal tastes more than to income.