roast your armchair with a hershey bar and graham crackers

oddly, words did the heavy lifting this month in elle decor.  

“i don’t like a lot of curves — all that modern furniture that looks like a collection of marshmallows.”

DAMN.  gauntlet slap.  who wants to play?

haynes and roberts / elle decor / june 2013

that marshmallow couch is all like, bitch let’s take this outside.

i’m with the couch.

anti-marshmallow supremacist john saladino doesn’t mince words when prosthelytizing:

“so much decorating today is in-your-face — the wow factor.  i like holding back.  i’m more interested in what you leave out than put in.”

a little pretentious for my taste.

i read magazines in rounds, the first round without actually reading any text in order to gauge my unbiased emotional response to design.  timothy haynes and anthony roberts had me awe-gasping straight into a choking hazard.

haynes and roberts / elle decor / june 2013

haynes and roberts / elle decor / june 2013


saladino’s work?  barely caused the needle to twitch on my speedometer.

john saladino / elle decor / june 2013

john saladino / elle decor / june 2013

he has a subtlety obsession tipping into fetish, methinks.

on my second pass through his feature in the magazine, i stifled a yawn and took a close read of his clear descriptive vision.

“they’re metamorphic colors that change according to the time if day–gray to celadon, beige to taupe. they’re always implicit, never explicit.”

unlike his monologues.

john saladino / elle decor / june 2013

“i never do anything obvious.”

except talk, apparently.

subtlety belongs behind the professional photographer on the side of the room where you throw all the old newspapers and toy monkeys to get them out of the way of your photoshoot.

while paging through his rooms, i had flashbacks to architectural digest’s february issue celebrating blandness.

terry hunziker / architectural digest / feb 2013

good enough for a layman’s home and wholly inadequate for a glossy interiors spread.

magazine features should cause a cardiac jolt.

kelly wearstler / lonny magazine / june 2013

eyes bugging at the weirdness?

apparently, marshmallow furniture gets the hollywood regency tycoon kelly wearstler seal of approval.  i’m already buzzing with a dozen ways to fit that funk into my lookbook.  (note the checkerboard coffee table.)

(s’more checkerboard.)

kelly wearstler / lonny magazine / june 2013

(take my love with a grain of salt.  by now, i’d applaud a checkerboard-painted landmine.)

as mad men starts a slow jog to the finish line and the great gatsby gains momentum in its pole dance, we’re seeing a natural pivot away from the mid-century modern cupcake shop and towards art deco froyo.

i’m game for a new shock wave of inspiration as long as “beige to taupe” is never quoted again.


checkerboard vindication

this page out of the may 2013 elle decor gave me a chuckle:

remember my rant about the new chevron?

mark jacobs must be snorting fairy dust.  everyone with pupils and a soul wants a piece of this guy.

all these months later, i’m still not satisfied with the availability of mod checkerboard in interiors.  elle decor scraped the barrel and came up with… a shot glass.

step it up, designers.  we need you.

checkmate, chevron

there are trends.  there are classics.  and then there are things that you, in your distinct one-in-one-seven billionth mishmash of genes, will always covet.


louis vuitton spring 2013 / vogue / jan 2013


the brand of visual crack that jolts MY neurons is high contrast print.  when my eyes land on a loud, graphic pattern, i feel a skull flood of endorphins.  couldn’t begin to tell you why.  malls may fill with with colorblocked ladywear, but i’ll still pick up the nautical stripe stuffed in the dusty back corner of jcrew.

chevron has ruled wisely over the design kingdom for a few years now.  i have scattered this print, which i adore, in quick hits throughout my apartment.  but we can’t ignore the fact that stagnation crumbles empires.  look at these images i just grabbed from a single issue of elle decor… gorgeous, yet do you catch the telltale stink of overdose?


martyn lawrence bullard


martyn lawrence bullard


jonathan adler for kravet

it comes as no surprise that in the interiors universe, there are galadriel-like whispers of chevron fatigue.  i feel it in the earth.

so in anticipation of change, a humble request to the design wizard of oz behind that chevron curtain at the side of the room: could we spend a couple years on checkerboard?

this pattern is most typically associated with 50s-style bathrooms and kitchens.



the retro diner look is fun, but tiling your house is one helluva commitment to a look which may one day go the way of chevron.  this sounds like a job for a pillow or a rug.  maybe a vase.  a side table.

i did a cursory search for checkerboard home decor through the internets and found nothing nothing.  not even modcloth was helpful on this front. 

one exception: there is a 1960s vintage eames rocking chair with original checkerboard fabric upholstery selling on ebay for $1,800.  if i had the disposable income to make this happen… it would happen.  don’t tell me you bought it unless you’re ok with an uninvited blogger ogling it through your window.


click for link to ebay sale

are you paying attention, mass market retailers?  toss your chevron placemats on a clearance rack and overnight a few thousand bolts of checkerboard fabric to the nearest sweatshop.  time’s a-wasting.