Home Design Meets Fashion

Home Design Meets Fashion

Tom Callawayby Tom Callaway

ACROSS THE GLOBE, how we clothe and decorate our bodies seems to be the heartbeat of personal expression. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this month’s Focus On Design has cast its eyes toward the world of fashion.  Before looking at how fashion might influence our practical, day to day choices for residential interior design and architecture, I thought it might be interesting to consider that there may be a symbiotic crossing from fashion to home design that may be occurring, even if we are not consciously aware of it taking place.

After a decade of watching mainstream home design favor restrained, clean, minimalism… from contemporary, often green architecture, and the recently chic obsession with mid-century, Scandinavian, modern simplicity… the next step in design evolution seems to be a marked reversal toward the eccentric and the quirky.  tom-bagsThe many detailed design nuances from graphic wall papers to ornate jewelry, from intricate hair fashions, colors to Afros, from tasseled pillows to fringed sofas, along with the (over the top) collecting of things to display, are all back with gusto in the pages of the recent shelter and fashion magazines. Body art, and its explosion of detail, color, and coverage, seems to have reached new extremes in its acceptance and usage in the western culture during this decade. It’s not only the sports stars and movie stars that have tattooed their muscular or highly developed parts, but there’s hardly a cheerleader, car salesman. or house wife that hasn’t inked some image on his or her frame, from neck to ankle.

tom-dressAlthough the all white interior may always be classic and accepted as ‘good taste’, the current swing towards color, pattern, detail, and uniqueness, seems to be the natural, evolutionary progression of fashion and style. Just as mid-century’s modern minimalism of the 50’s turned to the Pop and Op art exuberance of the 60’s, from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band regalia, to the resurgence of English and French Country interiors (i.e., stuff and more stuff)…the design moment seems to have returned again where the current clean, hushed, mushroom tones and soft white linen starkness of Belgian Design, (think Restoration Hardware’s ode to tastemaker Axel Vervoordt), is shifting in favor of the eclectic mixture of multiple styles within a single structure, the splash of ethnic pattern from every Moroccan pillow to Turkish Suzanni throw, from animal prints of the entire Serengeti Plains to the kaleidoscopic butterfly graphics of artist Damien Hirst.

tom-fabricI have every reason to believe these trends in fashion, art, architecture and home interiors will continue to swing from one camp to the other, and back again, like family generations shifting from careful conservatives, to adventurous, gambling risk takers, only to return again in the following generation to safer, and narrower paths. The one and only certainty is that there will be continuous change.  Change that creates new wardrobes, in new closets, in new homes with new styles…before the opposite in tastes and fashion rear their rebellious heads once again and make some design noise!

 Tom Callaway is an interior designer and architect, living in Brentwood.


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