What do these images make you think of?

I know it may seem a bit deranged but what words/images/colours do these images bring to mind???

ANYTHING is perfect


a couple more to come


and the rest…

Suburban USA
Faux sentimentality
Forced eclecticism
Cultural void
Hallmark Gift Shoppe
meaningless blank space filler

Thanks for the quick reply yo

Art fair crap that my Mom would buy.

pier one imports crap.

stuff you couldn’t pay me to put in my home.


and this…?



Taint covered by a lamp?


Big Brands For Less on Men's & Women's Fashion | Winners

this is what? sorry loafer, I don’t make the connection.

a lamp?

a torchiere floor lamp in particular. :wink:

Sorry, it’s a store in Canada that sells junk like that. I make fun of my wife’s mum who decorates her home with such tat.

I posted the same time you posted the “crotch shot” so the reference was lost, it was suppose to refer to the original images.

stuff you couldn’t pay me to put in my home.

An old (very old) saying, “De gustibus non est disputandum” (“There’s no accounting for tastes”); meaning, personal preferences are not debatable.

I personally lean toward antique furniture; I find it’s scale, textures, and historical sense appealing. But then, I grew up in a house full of “living” antiques that were passed down through both sides of the family since the 1820’s; a colonial era hand-hewn walnut corner cupboard, my great grandfather’s writing desk, Pennsylvania Dutch pieces (my parents threw out the Stickley chair and table when my grandmother died (they were just old “junk” furniture that granddad liked), and this wing chair that I have a picture of with my mother sitting in at the age of sixteen, and which she reupholstered a few years before she died. But we also have a Ming dynasty table and chairs and “jiu zhuo” table in the dining room (which we purchased from an ancient Chinese lady in San Luis Obispo), Bang & Olufson sound equipment, a Knoll Hardoy chair in the family room, and a C.M. Russell original hanging on the wall. I admire FLW’s Prairie-style of architecture, and Federal-style as well. There is Tapio Wirkkala Iittalla Ultima Thule in our china cabinet, alongside Fostoria “American”. At this point, I’m not even sure I can account for my tastes … it’s always a surprise.

So the question begs; Could you, would you, design “it” for someone else to put in their home? I hope this does not sound judgmental, but it’s about the customer who, for industrial designers, is generally not the end-user.

Of course. Well said. Tastes are personal. There is also a difference between personal tastes and respect for the design. I might not put some of the antiques you have in my home, but I would say I do respect the design of all of them and can see the good in them…I could even see some of it working it’s way into my aesthetic at some point (lately I’ve actually been quite interested in antiques before MCM and have been looking for a good wing back chair). I respect the design. The OP stuff though, that’s things I don’t respect and don’t personally like.

But ya, as designers we often have to design outside our own aesthetic. Hopefully though we are not put in situations where we must design outside our realm of respect. I’ve designed tons of things I would never wear, but every one of them (well maybe there was one or two that went over to the dark side) I respect. That’s the challenge. In fact, I often think the better designs come from those situations when we are not designing for ourselves as we are forced to rethink things and distill what the consumer wants down through good analysis.


I think we can differentiate from personal taste and what is in fact good or bad design

I personally am not an antique guy (other than mid century modern…) but I have tremendous respect for older pieces and I can look at two colonial hutches and study their detailing, proportions, and craftsmanship to determine which one is good, and which one is not so good.

I also believe that objects should look like the era they came from, so while if I had a Ming Dynasty piece, I would proudly show it, but I would have a harder time with the piece that looks like it was from the Ming Dynasty but made six months ago in North Carolina.

The OP images do not imitate a particular style, but to me are actually a level worse, taking a little bit here, and a little bit there, mixing it with the impression of perhaps being hand made in a deserving country. It is derivative, and this is also that element of forced sentimentality that I think Pier 1 and Pottery Barn sell at whole sale. Having a piece handed down from generations (we have a couple of end tables from Kristina’ Grandmother’s house… they happen to be mid century Modern, but still…) or hunting down that perfect antique through auctions and dealers… those a re real experiences that attach themselves to your objects… buying page 32 out of the Pottery Barn catalog is not a real experience.

I will extend that thought to Design Within Reach. Finding mid century Modern pieces, mixing in some new product, and buying a few DWR pieces has a different level of real sentimental value than just a complete page out of their catalog.

I’ve been trying to think of a term that would appropriately describe the objects and I think I’ve got a good one:

“Backward-Looking Objects”

They all try to take us back to a time in history and remind us of the past. But rather than looking authentic antiques, they looked like weak imitators that have low object value and does not advance our society.

Antiques have their own place in history. They can be relevant to modern society, but they have to be done right just like any other products. Pottery Barn does an okay job at creating the antique experience, but I personally find that Restoration Hardware does a much better job at it. I like how they are making antique objects “new and trendy” again today.

Love it!
I’ll have to remember that one next time my wife picks out a horribly backward-looking piece of furniture.
I find a lot of the new suburban neighbourhoods could be described in such a way too.

What the OP posted are props, or designed decorations. I liken it to putting plastic pumpkins out front of your house on Halloween, or fake Christmas trees. Antiques become decoration through obsolescence or heritage and have a story and value to the owner.

I think it really does boil down to taste, some people like to decorate their homes with junk, other’s like to use items that have value and history.

this is also that element of forced sentimentality that I think Pier 1 and Pottery Barn sell at whole sale.

There are obviously a bunch emotionally malnourished folks out there, whose souls aren’t being satisfied by their residential environment, or there would be no Pottery Barns or Pier Ones. Having grown up with “the real thing”, it makes me wonder what it is about the PO furniture genre that comforts people. Is it the sense of permanence that “old” furniture imparts? An yearning for a simpler bygone era … “back in the day” (a phrase, which by the way, I am thoroughly fed up with hearing (but is pertinent to this discussion))?

I am definitely sentimentally attached to the family pieces in our home, how could I not be, it’s ingrained in me. But the 400 year old Ming stuff can go and I would not care less; the joinery on these is what drew me to them, but I am growing a bit tired of it. Granddads desk, on the other hand, although no where near as well crafted, will be there on the day of my death. That said, mid-century modern is a turn on for me too … (and there are plenty of spin-offs of this as well).

Me thinks we are treading into the Freudian Psyche/Soul realm; what we feel, versus, what makes us feel, and how individuals want others to perceive them.

All true I think Lew,

Having grown up in the suburbs and then having lived in the suburbs of Portland for 6 years, I think most people just don’t know better. They have houses that are too large for them, and they feel they should fill them to make them homey. When neighbors would come over to our place they would be amazed at how little stuff we had, but how we used shape, color, and composition to make it all work… and that you could have Modern pieces and still have it be homey and not like some late 70’s international style office building (not the cool kind… the poorly implemented kind)… the PO and PB stuff is just so easy. It is warm and all put together, and mixing it up makes it look “eclectic”

Living now in the center of Cambridge for the past year, a lot of neighbors here don’t seem to have that problem. The non creative types seem to be much more in an Ikea/West Elm/DWR zone…