Friday 2 October 2020

Decor Crimes of 2020

Metro tiles – enough already!
White UPVC windows
– they come in other colours, and you can paint them.
Chair cosies for your high-backed dining chairs.
An inglenook – in a bedroom. In a terraced house.
An inglenook with a faux chimney – for your Aga.

Olde oake beames
that don’t support anything – above the fireplace, above windows, across the ceiling.
Flagstone floor in a Victorian house – on the first floor.
Every single piece of furniture, panelling or fitted cupboard made of “distressed” wood.
Exposed stone wall
as an “original feature” in a Victorian farmhouse.
Sticking a repro Phoenix fire insurance plaque on your wall.

Multicoloured plastic cocktail sticks in the shape of sabres.
Carpet on any vertical surface.
Whole wall stick-on murals of autumnal woods. (Actually these are rather lovely.)
"Marriages" combining an old speaker and a spotlight.
Panelled door with fanlight on a 60s council flat.

“Library shelves” wallpaper.
Plug-in heated pot-pourri pot.
UPVC Greek portico on your ex-council house.
"Louis" furniture
in a Cotswold cottage.
Faux hanging box balls.

A house that looks like a hotel.
Unusable fireplace with logs that are never lit.
Sliding doors.

Painting of a sad clown playing the violin.
Dyed quartz of the type found in beach gift shops.
Colourful postmodern buildings painted dark grey.

An Irish cottage has been “metamorphosized” as follows:

Black Impala Polished Granite counter tops
Limestone finish to boundary walls and sills
Polished stainless steel staircase with Impala polished granite treads
Italian Carrara marble flooring to main area
Italian Creme Marfic Marble Bathroom finish
Timber double glazed Sash Windows
New Spanish Slate Roof
Wood burning stove
Limestone Feature wall
Original Oak Flooring

Shabby non-chic: dog hairs, grimy cushion covers, grimy loose covers that are always out of place and  adorned with biscuit crumbs.

Carol Midgley in the Times June 2018 reacts to a recent list. Crimes include "beaded curtains, living-room bars, TV cupboards, avocado bathrooms, Artex walls, toilet rugs, wicker furniture indoors and water beds. Have these judges stepped from a time machine?” She adds that the only up-to-date crimes were tribal carvings and inspirational quotations.

The Times has a long list, August 2018: Whatever the oldies have in their kitchens will be snubbed and dismissed. Young people like open-plan kitchens and one-room living. Get rid of the wine rack and pan stand. In the bathroom, Opt for metro-style tiling over mosaic to appeal to the Instagram generation.  Mottled terracotta wallpaper, any form of border, rag-rolling and nautical themes don’t impress the under-50s. “Modernised” houses with every original feature ripped out don’t appeal, but don’t try to put back the character with cheap imitations and mock fireplaces. In the garden, get rid of “water features, ponds and garden gnomes. Anything fussy, dangerous or easy to break is a turn-off.” Decks, too, are now terribly “noughties”, and tend to be slippery when wet. Rip them out!

On home makeover shows, there’s nothing more damning than “It reminds me of my nana”. Bone china mugs are a “nan thing”, as is eating dinner at 6pm.

Old house surrounded by a sea of tarmac or gravel with parking for 30 cars, separated from paddocks by Kentucky wooden palings.

Efforts in the 60s to modernise anything classical, with suspended ceilings, or mint/taupe colour schemes.

Helterskelters, minigolf, giant moons, kitsch sculptures, flights of paper birds cluttering up cathedrals – and the jargon-ridden justifications that go with them.

Wallpaper with a large bright pattern makes a room look smaller. (From a Victorian book of household tips)

Carving up a stately home into small flats and creating absurdly tall, narrow rooms with a kitchen stuck in a dark corner, or making a pokey layout even more cramped and dark by lowering the ceiling to hide chopped-up mouldings.

“Playful” buildings – usually plain shapes covered in brightly coloured graffiti-inspired murals. @CheapoCrappy calls them “bizarre and ugly”.

Street art consisting of trompe l’oeil paintings that take up the entire wall.

Building houses without coat cupboards. Hanging coats in a tiny hall. (It took the Brits years to get utility rooms.)

It’s quite dark because of the wraparound conservatory. (Escape to the Country)

All that's missing is an Audrey Hepburn stencil and some union jack cushions. (SC on a house with grey walls and floor, a mural of London, and tiger-print sofas in a knocked-through lounge.)

A custom-made blonde wood unit for your flat-screen TV on the end wall of your sitting room, with slots for ornaments, photos and books. The TV has at last become the wall-mounted “visiscreen” of George Orwell's 1984.

To Americans, the epitome of naff taste is not wall-mounted flying china ducks, but a goose with a ribbon round its neck on a blue background. Known as “Ribbon Geese”, the pattern was all over Walmart in the 80s on oven gloves and toasters, and “popular with people who liked country décor”, say American correspondents.

A buyer on Homes under the Hammer spends three weeks scraping woodchip wallpaper off the ceiling. The presenters always say “And there’s woodchip on all the walls! Of course you’d have to get rid of that!” Woodchip was standard in refurbishments of the 70s and 80s, and went with dull blue carpeting throughout. It's not so bad, really.

Open plan: turning the interior of a 30s semi into a huge white cave. Solution: Put back the walls separating the living/dining room, and between living/dining rooms and hall. Reinstall oak panelling. Paint the smaller rooms pale green with a dado rail under the ceiling, or a shelf for your china plates.

“Knocking through” while leaving parts of supporting walls, so that the ground floor resembles a maze with arches leading to other arches and you can just about work out where the hall/passage/dining room/sitting room once were.

Instagram has had a tremendous influence on interior design, creating a landscape of minimalist nowhere spaces. ( Sometimes these interiors are dressed up with anonymous "touches": a plant in an ethnic pot, a modern oak sideboard, colourful cushions.)

The upmarket beach hut look – all faded navy canvas, white tongue-and-groove, shells and pebbles everywhere – is hugely fashionable on social media as “cottagecore”. You create a still life of seersucker tablecloth, tasteful picnic-ware and food, in a picturesque orchard, snap it and put it on Instagram. Boden-wearers have dropped the style (and the bunting) – of course they have now it has clearly slid down the class ladder.

A common mistake people make with an open concept space is thinking that all the furniture should be against the walls.
(Alyssa Kapito, Alyssa Kapito Interiors) suggests turning an entrance hall back into an entrance hall with different lighting and wall colours and a contrasting rug, plus a table as a “barrier”.

Create intimate nooks, like a reading corner or small workspace. (Anjie Cho)

More here, and links to the rest.

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