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BRIANA: Kelly Wearstler gave her walls a graffiti treatment, Keith Haring now comes in decal form and people are scribbling all over home accessories. So, what do you think of graffiti-inspired style? En vogue art or design vandalism? [Ed. Note: Check out Kelly also rocking two trends we've debated in the past in the pic below: Hand chairs and animal print! What a design daredevil.]

graffiti in design

MARIANNE: The last time I felt the love for graffiti was the Stephen Sprouse collab with Louis Vuitton. On my walls? Not so much.

GRANT: Ah, memories. This trend takes me back to my street gang days. I say if you’re going to go for graffiti in design, GO FOR IT.

graffiti hotel

LILI: I think some graffiti can be really beautiful.

billie graffiti

They even have a competition every year for the best graffiti art. But I think it takes just the right graffiti in just the right space (an urban loft?) to make it work really well indoors.

FARIMA: I know I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but I prefer to see graffiti on public buildings. The whole beauty of it is seeing it in an unexpected public place. So to me, graffiti-inspired style defeats the whole purpose of it.

LANA KATASAROS: I enjoy the street art that coats the NYC building I pass daily, but I wouldn’t want it on my walls at home. On the other hand, I think a gentle pop here and there can be fun, or even a single statement piece.

TYLER WISLER: Graffiti is just total bad a** in my book! I LOVE! I pinned this image a while ago, dying over the “art installation” wall, as that’s really what graffiti is all about — ART!

graffiti wall

For the “White Room Challenge” in my season of Design Star, we celebrated 5 Pointz and the artists that created it. I think graffiti absolutely has a place in the art world and in interiors. I tried to use that free spirit and free thinking in my White Room. Some artists work in oil paint, others work in spray paint, there’s no difference. I’m a fan of using it in any capacity I can!

BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: 1.) Graffiti success is in juxtaposition. If a huge graffiti wall is done in a gritty, brick urban loft, big whoop, so what/who cares? It’s kind of supposed to be there. 2.) Used out of context or ironically, it can be genius. A white Chippendale linen sofa sprayed with graffiti by a true tag artist can be stunning. Same with a graffiti ceiling in the entrance of a pristine, formal house. 3.) Color is key. Primary colors with black, white and saturated hues like turquoise are well-balanced. Throw fluorescents into the mix and the results can be stab-inducing. The end. Now I am going to watch Honey Boo Boo at the gym [the gym located on my sofa, next to the candy pumpkins and ghost cookies].*

JESSICA: I side with the popular vote: graffiti rocks!

ABBI: I love the graphic, graffiti-like treatment on the ceiling at the Flip Burger restaurants in Atlanta and Birmingham. I love how the rest of the restaurant is so sleek — totally white and clean with modern looking fixtures and furniture — and then you look up and it looks totally punk rocker cool.

burger joint graffiti

LIZ: Field trip to Flip Burger? I don’t think I’d do anything as permanent as flooring or wall tiles, but a graffitied plate paired with polished flatware? Unexpected and awesome.

graffiti plate

 We’ve tagged up the blog with our opinions about graffiti-inspired design, now tell us yours:


* SARAH: The Honey Boo Boo quote stays or I quit.**
** JESSICA: I second that. No wait, I take that back. I’m the intern.



Design Trends

14 Responses

  1. carolinaprep says:

    Hip, for sure!

  2. [...] the full article here: Defend the Trend: Do You Think Graffiti Is Hip or Hideous? var dd_offset_from_content = 40; var dd_top_offset_from_content = 0;VN:F [1.9.20_1166]please [...]

  3. Rosewood11 says:

    Most of the examples above are interesting, and the one in the slideshow is gorgeous, but that one shown second on this page (room with windows) is just plain hideous. It's not the colors–I rather like the colors. It's the lack of space in the "pattern." Your eyes don't get a chance to recover from one color before another assaults them. It makes me want to scream. Not a good room or a good energy coming off of it.

Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...


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