There’s a new book I’m excited to get my hands on called “Undecorate” by the founder of Dwell Studios: Christiane Lemieux.
There was a fantastic story in The Wall Street Journal last weekend about this undecorating trend: the idea that a home shouldn’t be this forced reflection of perfection, but a place where things come together organically over time and everything just sorta makes sense.
But before we get to the book, it sorta reminded me how the world of prop styling has really forced us away from pin-straight, high-end luxury, gilded decorating and more into a relaxed, realistic, DREAMY way of living. That is, the prop styling worlds have taken the “sloppy” approach to decorating so far that there’s even parody site making fun of some of these photo spreads: Take Catalog Living for example.
I see here a fluffy bed with comfy sheets, a weathered bookshelf (not sure I’d stick above my head…but that’s beside the point), some b/w photos artfully snuck into the cracks of the bookshelf, old books casually stacked on top, and a cup of tea perhaps drunk after a morning of catching up on some reading.
And here’s what Catalog Living has captioned this over-styled photo:
The horse had heroically made it over the highest peaks of Book Mountain, but unfortunately faced a treacherous descent before he could reach his companion.
You have to laugh a little. It’s worth visiting on a regular basis whenever you need a laugh: catalogliving.net.
Anyway, I think UNDECORATE has recognized the fact that prop stylists have changed the way we view decorating and has captured this idea that certain types of clutter, disarray, random juxtapositions and casualness can actually be very very pretty.
I’m a big believer there are two types of rooms that will be obsolete in about 20 years: the formal dining room and living room. These used to be rooms that we never went into as children and even today we never use. In any of my houses, I don’t have either and think the way architects are going to be designing houses in the future, we’re going to eliminate them altogether. It’s just not the way we live anymore.
So, would love to hear what you think about this un-decorating trend. Do you think this is a beautiful way to live or do you think it’s just outright sloppy?
I’m off to Borders (lucky my store is still open and not on the chopping block) to go pick up my copy. Maybe I’ll read half of it, leave it flipped open by my bedside table and take my two horses for a walk up Book Mountain….