Stylish, Not ‘Chic’

designer lightingIs it just me, or is ‘chic’ now one of the most overused concepts in home design? Like, EVER? Not that I’m a professional home designer or anything, but I keep up with the whole thing and I read Home Beautiful every single week the day it comes out, so I at least know the trends. And I see the same thing every time: chic. Chic furniture, chic curtains. Every single reviewer of anything spouts the word ad nauseum, like it’s a magic password that’ll make people understand your point of view.

I do think the home design scene is getting a bit stale. Maybe there’s just too much chrome. I mean, at least when it comes to that new exhibition on Melbourne designer lighting trends, not everything is chrome. Seriously, you walk into a lot of lighting shops nowadays and all the high-end stuff is shiny and reflective, and thus just looks the same as everyone else’s. The whole reason I read home design mags is because I want my home to look different. I want visitors to walk into my home and be impressed by the designer lighting, not just pass over it with their eyes like it’s stock-standard.

At least there are actually people making some different stuff, like the lighting people. And yesterday in the ‘pre-loved’ section of Home Beautiful there was a sofa with these swirling patterns that looked like they’d be right at home in a 1970’s smoking lounge. Maybe retro really is the key to breaking the power of ‘chic’. Maybe no one ever comes up with anything new; they just recycle old stuff, and the retro label is what we use to make it seem cool.

Okay, now I’m wondering about the ‘retro’ standing lamp I just put in the study. Maybe once upon a time, it was chic piece of residential LED lighting, and now…things have come full circle. Or maybe I was just born too late?


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