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THE POO-IFICATION OF THE DOMESTIC COLORSCAPE (IS AS BAD AS IT SOUNDS)
Avoiding an interior that reads "DIAPER MESS"
TODAY: the POO BROWN aesthetic as a pyramid scheme; how to find relief.
Maybe you have seen the new catalog for BAN*NA REPUBL*C HOME — but, frankly, we hope you haven’t. Especially if you’re about to operate heavy machinery because it will make you DROWSY AS F*CK.
And, when we say it is “sh*t”, it is not necessary because of quality, it is because it operates within a new world of domestic scenery, one that is deeply obsessed with a color range most accurately described as “poo or white”.
The whole catalog is brown, or whites photoshopped to look brown-ish (MISLEADING!):
There is one word for this: LIFELESS.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
FOR SCALE is, in writing terms, a reaction to one troubling trend in interiors: the reduction of décor analysis to descriptive mini-tours through Interior Designer-designed homes that read as so disturbingly formulaic that it renders the writing completely superfluous to Image.
No wonder, then, that décor – as led by Interior-Designer-As-Infl*encer – is being built around the ‘successful’ image. With no Ideas, image is all that’s left.
FOR SCALE is completely convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that décor decisions are being made, on the dime of unsuspecting and indoctrinated clients, for the sake of social media followings.
Perhaps this is unsurprising to you.
In any case, décor is being bifurcated, into (1) ALL BROWN (Below left) and (2) A PUKE OF MULTICOLORED “DESIGN PIECES” (Below right)
The world of SOCIAL MEDIA loves two things: poo brown, because it looks soothing to whizz past in a scroll; and, the arresting vibrancy of hyper-pop rainbows. The former is supposed to be SOPHISTICATED, the latter is supposed to be “UNIQUE” or personality-driven. Both are, in fact, now generic.
Today, we shall be picking on ALL POO. (We *know* we’ve made an argument previously for Beige. It was for the purposes of debate, one which was won by the non-beige side, i.e. SOPHIE LOVELL.)
We are also, of course, coming off the HIGH of HUBBAHUBBA’s Los Angeles ode to the REC ROOM and plaids, which contained so much color and yet was not MULTICOLOR PUKE. It is possible, and we were so thankful to be reminded of this.
WE USED TO HAVE MORE (WHERE YOU’D EXPECT ALL BROWN BUT YOU GOT SO MUCH ELSE):
Why is it, do you think, that the Intern*t (ourselves included) is OBSESSED with décor texts from the late 1980s and 1990s?
In our humble opinion: there was, then, a genuine appreciation for décor diversity, a.k.a. true thoughts and IDEAS on décor being explored, a.k.a. when décor was paired with legitimately characterful words.
We recently purchased “THE NORTHWEST” (1989), from PETER MILLER BOOKS in Seattle. In it there is much brown, as one might expect – a lot of ranchy-wood – but there are also unsoft words, many other colors, and décor you wouldn’t immediately categorize as “NORTHWEST”. Yet the authors compel you to include it in a cohesive category.
This is a look at décor that gives you nice visual cues, but it’s more than that. It asks, like, “What the f*ck is NORTHWEST LIFE?” And it tries to really justify its response.
In that little “Washington” intro pictured above, for example, they essentially tell the story of how Seattleites hate outsiders and rural Washingtonians are basically defined by their obsession with salmon, so much so they may as well have webbed feet. And, how does that make for good décor? You learn across several properties.
This approach, we’re convinced, would not be taken today.
“POO” AESTHETIC AS A PYRAMID SCHEME
This leads us back to today, and the rapidly polarizing world of décor, in which POO is one of two algorithmically-popular filters for domestic décor decision-making.
This is the rising dominance of mud-rust-brown in the domestic interior, in which every single new interior looks like this:
Immersive-level poo-brown is being treated with such EXTREME AND ABSURD REVERENCE. We hate to knock any one particular approach, but the reality is that this does, in fact, need to end.
There are certain aggressors. We shan’t name names.
Here are TWO MAJOR ISSUES with DÉCOR TODAY that are reflected in this aesthetic…
And, they impact you directly. They are:
Lack of Originality: derivative and formulaic, the result is a homogenized aesthetic that lacks individuality and fails to reflect the distinct personalities and tastes of the occupants. In fact, as much as POO interiors attempt to service “comfort”, they in fact make most interiors feel rather unwelcoming and STIFF.
Over-commercialization: profit is in “Followings” because many of the leading figures of the POO aesthetic are concerned more about their ability to land lucrative brand deals than they are about putting together a room that people can actually settle into and live in.
You force an all-POO décor on someone, and you basically force them to be evangelists – for example, they are forced to communicate the strict parameters of their new aesthetic to others when briefing them in advance of gift exchanges (“only brown décor stuff!”). In the process of justifying their investment in brown, they’ll seek converts.
This is a pyramid scheme.
A WAY TO RELIEVE YOURSELF (NO PUN INTENDED)
We recently encountered this bench [LINK]:
George Nelson & Associates
Contract Bench System, model 5996
System is comprised of five modular components including two rosewood surfaces and three upholstered cushions. Aluminum manufacturer's disc to underside of four sections ‘Designed by George Nelson Herman Miller Zeeland Mich’.
This is part of the HERMAN MILLER celebratory 100-year sale that they’ve done with WRIGHT - who are auctioneers, but this is not an auction (kind of refreshingly?).
This bench is an example of how to relieve yourself from ALL-POO DÉCOR, without also stumbling into full spectrum cacophony.
Enjoy brown. Enjoy woods and woodiness. Enjoy brown and white as a combination, because it can be very snappy and perfect. But, consider making a more obviously personal choice on top of that. This bench was for AN OFFICE, and still, they decided on orange. Orange that doesn’t slap you in the face. It’s a fine-and-charming-balance kind of orange.
As you might recall from last Thursday’s FOR SCALE XL time spent with plaids, much of what was present was interesting to us mainly because it was stuff covered in plaid that doesn’t necessarily sing out for plaid. For example:
To complicate things, as a final note: in fact, we are fans of rooms or even total homes that embrace a single color. Because, if that’s YOU then how fantastic. The issue of the POO DOMINANCE is that is essentially it has reached Cult Of Brown level, and risks totally absorbing the domestic landscape of America and elsewhere. This raises concerns.
We are simply suggesting that unless you are emotionally and intellectually committed to brown, DON’T DO IT.
Until Thursday. Love and good luck,