Today in The Lounge we air a special industry-specific episode recorded live in at Pagoda Red, where Nick facilities a discussion with designers Julia Buckingham, Claire Staszak, and Betsy Nathan for a deep and exciting dive into design aesthetics and processes. At the core of the panel is Nick’s question: is “timeless design” a cliche?
Well, Is It?
Julia says no, that all designers strike for timeless design — because clients should never have to re-do their homes in five years. She points to “curated” and “bespoke” as other over-used words but says that timeless is not one of them, explaining that “timeless today is not necessarily timeless tomorrow”, and understanding that patterns and colors and texture have to be special without being changed soon. Claire says that she herself doesn’t use the word on her website, but that “timeless” itself it is a classic word. For her, the word “classic” feels better than timeless — like blue and white ginger jars: they are in vogue right now, but someone has had those in their home since the better part of the 20th century. She says that classics are always timeless — they never go out of style.
Nick then asks Julia if, in her experience with younger clients, she is interested in “throwaway” design with cheaper retail products. Julia says that education is important for first time home buyers — that these people aren’t used to designer quality and they have to be shown how design products are better, and she has to sometimes resist their preferences for “throwaway” furniture in particular. She prefers a mix of throwaway and designed furniture for her clients. Betsy is absolutely into the mix as well, and gives an example: a 600-year-old stone stool comes to life when juxtaposed with a modern sofa, not other 600-year-old stone furniture. Nick’s also interested in the use of the word “trendy,” and Claire talks about the importance of playing off of trends but making them your own. Her example: the millennial pink craze going on right now, which she uses to employ her preferred colors of blush and other, better shades of pink.
Telling A Story
Later, the trio talk about the importance of telling a story. Julia’s a firm believer that knowing a story and communicating that to clients are crucial for selling. With a story, items sell themselves, and she’s got the evidence to prove it. Betsy talks about the challenge of taking that story to clients online, with the broader shift away from galleries to websites. She says that fine art is maybe the last brick to fall, since two-dimensional art is even harder to communicate online. She says that if anyone has the secret formula of how to tell a story in online sales, she’d love to know!
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