7.20.2006

Overtly Moralistic


There is something incredibly satisfying about reading blogs. . . feeling like you're living vicariously through a far-away stranger, without the drama of their actual lives. A carefully edited fantasy. So maybe this is why I am so attracted to design blogs rather than sensationalist ones. I have been keeping up with Domicile, Decor8, Supernaturale, ReadyMade, and, of course, You Grow Girl. They all involve the requisite amount of creativity, good asthetics, and interesting fodder for my monetarily-challenged household.
Well, not entirely monetarily challenged, but we are trying to start a savings account, as well as save for a house. (As I told Charlie last night, "Sometimes we like to play house." because, well, I just don't feel grown up.) It is hard, however, because I want a nice designs in my house rather than the hard-to-pass-up thrift store deals. GRR.
So I wonder, are the Albers tossing and turning in their graves at the thought of modernism becoming high-brow? Since when did using readily available materials become too expensive for the working man? Wasn't the point accessibility? As so many have said before, Design Within Reach is way out of my grasp. The irony is a post-modern reflection on modernism, an irony unto itself.
So how do I, a post-college-career-slacky, afford well-designed goods without supporting Ikea's sneaky copyright infringing designs? As an artist I can drool and dream of buying their very affordable Saarinen-plagiarizing Tulip Table, except I know it will fall apart much more quickly than its $3000.00 counterpart. As an artists and craftsy gal galore, I also know how devastated I would be if someone ripped off my ideas. In good conscience I can drool, but I can't seem to get past the holy grail of design.
CB2, an affordable-furniture option from Crate and Barrel, also offers their own Tulip Table knock-off, as well as the wares of true design houses like Marimekko, a quality-brand instilled in me as a child with countless objects around the house made up of their fantastically bold patterns.
It boils down to quality versus waste, immediacy versus integrity, and aesthetics versus affordability. Its an issue that can be explored from the vantage point of buying what one enjoys design-wise rather than for the brand name. I am not above reupholstering quality furniture frames with fabric more to my liking. Nor am I above making good looking wares myself. I will put the elbow grease and vision into projects and do them well. I also like to find stuff through crafty retailers, but there is a great deal of sifting through the poorly made-jump-on-the-bandwagon crafty types to find well-designed original ideas. Often the new is just as expensive as the classic. And, of course, you can't do everything yourself.
My garden is an eclectic mix of junk, simple planters, and interesting and evocative plants (well, at least to me), a place of inspiration and tranquility. It is an on-going, interactive mixed-media sculpture, where sketching is doing. Somehow those feelings aren't replicated inside, where the same design practice (or lack of) applies. I enjoy shopping in thrift stores, I am just tired of my house looking like one!
It all sounds so snooty, I know. But the recipe for great design is rarely replicated, one that I will continue to believe makes the world a better looking place, and maybe one day that philosophy will find its way into my house!


1 comment:

decor8 said...

thanks for the mention, i am so flattered. i see you are a nc resident, i grew up in south carolina. we were neighbors once, although now i guess we still are, only on the web. thanks for enjoying my blog. :)

holly