Thursday, February 10, 2011

When Strange Things Happen to Normal Rooms

Recently a space was featured on The Decorista that made me think.

I know! These are the things that keep me up at night...

Anyway she was charmed by this home because of its quirky personality and use of color. Two decor perspectives that we wholeheartedly embrace.

Whether it's to our liking or not, we can't dispute the quality of a well thought out space that expresses the owner's unique style. This image displays a fun, youthful and somewhat irreverent arrangement that works.

But while I find THIS image just as aesthetically pleasing (if not more so) for its use of color and textiles, it simultaneously perplexes me:

At first glance, it's fine. But upon closer inspection, there are two elements that are kind of bizarre. First - the low chairs that are paired with that table.

They're like beach chairs and convey a sense of casual comfort. But what happens when you decide to take a seat? Do you have a beverage in hand? Where do you put it in between sips? On the table which now offers a surface area at eye level? I'd probably just use the floor. So why bother with the table?

Well the answer to that seems obvious. It's less of a table than a pedestal employed to display a large ceramic zebra.

That zebra has been haunting my dreams.

In all fairness, the table also features a lamp and what appears to be a stack of decorative books. But the zebra is the real star of this stage. The proportions are just wacky.

I'm all for fun accessories and art. But when it comes to ceramic wildlife, a good rule of thumb is to keep the percentage of surface area used at less than a quarter. Otherwise, the animal takes on a somewhat larger than life quality. And you never want an accessory to look like it could leap off a table and canter down the hallway.

So as appealing as this cozy corner may initially appear, it has some serious problems when it comes to functionality.

Sometimes designers can get so caught up in concepts and whimsy that they forget about the people using the space and their potential preference for not looking up a ceramic zebra's nostrils while retrieving a cocktail positioned somewhere behind their left ear.

A cautionary tale indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Super funny! Love the first image -- and not so much the second. You're right - who wants to look up zebra nostrils!?


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