Tag For Love

Tag For Love: Agreeing With Top Designers

The water is hot and the ‘bags are already in the cup. It’s time to brew some fresh tea–for TRUTH–with the ten designers offering up their take on “what trends need to disappear forever” in this article on Architectural Digest PRO.

Photo: RealtyTimes.com

Cohost J. agrees with these experts on:

  • Macrame’ – I tried it and returned it to the store. Nope!
  • Matchy-matchy furniture
  • Waterfall countertops – everywhere and now overdone
  • Barn doors – waaaay overdone, and as pointed out, they do not provide any sound barrier so do NOT install one as a bathroom door!
  • Accent walls – I’m iffy on this one. They can work, especially if you’re on a budget or in a rental, but a lot of people use them as their decorating default and then stop there.
  • Cute neon signs – ubiquitous on Instagram, but never seen IRL (at least, in the Hudson Valley. So when I do see one it will be super outdated.)
  • Granite countertops – so 2000’s.
  • Mosaic glass backsplashes – so 2000’s Home Depot.

I’m still OK with:

  • Edison light bulbs – cute! but in the right settings
  • I just don’t know what Robert Couturier is getting at by saying: “Contemporary art collections that have been accumulated with ears rather than eyes.”

This is no shock to our listeners, but I would also add in:

  • hanging chairs
  • indoor swings
  • white on white interiors
  • white and rustic wood and more freakin’ white
  • ghost chairs
  • millenial pink anything

But at least a few of these design pros have validated some of our tags for hate!

Tag For Love

Tag For Love: The Hudson Valley As Design/Decor Magnet

This is not news. Literally because the New York Times has been saying that “{Insert trending Hudson Valley town} is the new Brooklyn/Hamptons” for at least ten years. Hey, they recently tried to make “the Camptons” happen (a portmanteau of “Catskills” and “Hamptons,” for the uninitiated) as a new moniker.

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Then there’s House Beautiful’s plug for Field & Supply in Kingston (is it truly worth traveling across the country for?) and its cute little map showing only Beacon and Kingston (NOT Milton, Rob, sorry to say). Same issue: a tour of Pennyroyal, a Catskills retreat built by the mother of American interior design. And this month, Architectural Digest references the HV (that name’s not happening either, is it?) dour times, and has two huge features about Dutchess County properties (both converted barns, too.) I’ll go back and count to make sure. Yes, a lot of the love gets thrown at uber-trendy Hudson, but there are a lot of gorgeous Insta-worthy homes scattered around horse/wine/apple country.

So what does this all mean?

On one hand, it means nothing–these are the same plaudits (and cries about gentrification and traffic and “citiots”) we’ve always heard. But to be more Tag-For-Love about it: It means we’re still a design destination for those in the know. After all, the robber barons Gilded Age industrialists fled the confines of New York City and headed north to construct their castles and keeps over a hundred years ago.

wilderstein
My favorite historic mansion, Wilderstein (screw you, Vanderbilt Mansion!)

We have cute little shops, architectural classics, charming downtowns, cutting-edge art museums, and enough space to experiment with design styles in spades!

And we’re lucky enough to live right in the thick of it! The Hudson Valley is a wonderful place to live (and visit) because it truly has it all…including major design cred. I’m just glad the design/shelter world is finally giving us the props we deserve. Beverly Hills? Milan? Ibiza? So over. Tastemakers in the know go to the Camptons.

Tag For Love

Tag For Love: This Article About Regretting Open Concept Houses

Open floor concept living is not for everyone–either by choice or by architectural design. This recent Boston Globe article sums up a growing dissatisfaction with open concepts and their ubiquity in the real estate marketplace.

Photo: Home-Designing.com.

“Hashtag OpenConceptRemorse,” Partan-Tveteraas said, by way of explaining why they’re now spending thousands of dollars to put up new walls and are considering pricey sliding doors. Others get seduced by the fantasy of living in a pristine minimalist space — per every photo ever taken of an open concept home — only to forget that when your first floor is one room, there’s no place for clutter to hide.

BostonGlobe.com

Cohost J. here: We can’t give a Tag For Hate to open concepts, because in many spaces they work beautifully. Lots of people love the entertaining possibilities–heck, cohost Rob has an open concept first floor! What I love about this article is that it makes the case for actually thinking about your lifestyle and how your home enhances and supports that lifestyle. Homeowners interviewed by the reporter talk about how they could see themselves entertaining lavishly while whipping up three-course meals in the kitchen, or keeping an eye on the kids while busy doing something else. For most of us, these are fantasies. And while fantasy interior design has its place, you have to be really careful about making those dreams come true.

Even HGTV, the source that has inspired thousands of homeowners to toss sledgehammers into sheetrock with abandon, warns about the downsides of open concept living.

Sometimes you get what you wish for, and, to quote Sondheim’s Into The Woods: “Wishes come true, not free.” The tradeoffs of open concept? Lack of privacy. Clutter. A nagging sense that there are things still to be done in that other “room” over there that I can see while I’m trying to relax on the couch. Or, as homeowner Asya says in the piece, someone is relaxing and watching her while she’s working.

Photo: HGTV.ca

Friends of ours (frequently referenced in the show) have a 1970’s swinger’s house in Poughkeepsie–no joke. It’s a one bedroom, 3,000+ square foot three-level house. The only interior walls that extend to the ceiling are around the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s a great house for entertaining (and they do, frequently, and largely). But quiet and cozy it is not. It works for them and their lifestyle–it’s just the two of them and a dog–but it would be totally impractical for my family. And most families, which is probably why it sat on the market for four years, waiting for just the right buyers!

So as you’re househunting, fantasy or otherwise, or dreaming up ways to fix up your existing space, be honest with yourself and your family. Perform a lifestyle audit and really think about your tolerance for clutter, mess, cleaning, organizing, noise, and activity. Hash it all out internally before knocking down all those internal walls. Be open with yourself and those you live with before committing to open concept.