BRIANA: It’s fall and Thanksgiving is fast approaching, which can only mean one thing to many outfitting their home for the holiday: IT’S DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON, [EXPLETIVE]! (I shant include a direct link here due to the column’s use of strong language, but if you don’t get this reference, I suggest you coughcough search for it on McSweeney’s coughcough).
So, decorative gourds: Festive fall must-have or tacky tradition?
So…yeah. As high-brow as I might try to be, there’s just something about buying a bunch of pumpkins and gourds that feels so…seasonal. See, there’s even a bird in my house! All my (alleged) principles evaporate when fall happens. I still skip the shellac and cornucopias, though.
FARIMA: If you would’ve asked me this question a couple of months ago, I would’ve said no way. I’m not sure what exactly changed my mind, but I like it in small doses. I voted for Lili’s denim pitch, and I even featured a denim map in my color trends post.
LILI: When I was in college, my roommate and I re-covered a wingback armchair in leopard print velour. It was the best thing that ever happened to that chair, or that apartment.
Lili on her leopard throne. "This is what the 90s looked like."
GRANT: We live in a Kardashian world — and the three sisters agree that animal print is in — and that we should be draped in it (on our bodies and in our home). If it was only Kim pushing the look, I’d question the trend. But with Kourtney and Khloe on board too, we should probably just embrace it. READ MORE
…and my thoughts on this sofa are essentially the same: I don’t know why I like it! My design style leans toward the classic, mid-century modern, the austere-with-a soft-edge. These patchwork pieces are the polar opposite. I can’t help myself from liking them, though. I think a crazy side chair like this Rug Collective one would make a perfect complimentary piece to my solid gray sofa:
So, where does your KCACO opinion fit on this chart? Backlash? Backlash to the backlash? Have you always liked it? Always hated it? Has it gone so far out that it’s circled back around to being in again? Has it transcended trendiness and gone straight into timelessness? Am I asking too many questions?
JESSICA: Confession time: I still like it. They had one of these blown up at Target a few months ago and if I had the money at the time, it would be sitting in my kitchen right now:
BRIANA: KCACO feels like the design equivalent of “Call Me Maybe”. Loved it the first few times, but its reign must end. Give it ten years and I’ll probably be sentimental about it, though. Like, I’ll find that Keep Calm mug in a thrift store and buy it for two bucks.
I think (and hope) that “Keep Calm and Carry On” will never go ‘out of style’. [...] When I see that poster, I think of the 33,000 people who died in the Blitz, the Londoners who fought, prayed, and barely lived through that horrible horrible war, with a grace and bravery that has never been seen in the general public. [...] I think of my Granny sitting under her stairs waiting for the buzz bombs to pass overhead and spare her street, and her neighbors. And when I am having a tough day, or week, or moment, I think of them and what they went through, and I realize that if they could do what they did, I can get through anything.
Kinda makes me feel guilty for ragging on it.
You’ve heard us carry on about this trend, now tell us what you think:
But, I’m just dying to sit in it, just not necessarily in my own home. Maybe around Leanne’s abs table?
ABBI: Might be worth it to have one around, just for the joke factor. My friend just moved into a new rental house and the previous owners left a hand chair in one of the bathrooms. When first-time visitors head towards that room, she says, “Let me know if you need a hand in there.” [insert groan here]
CAMILLE: Yeah, that sounds about right. They also remind me a little too much of King Kong.
BRIANA: Ooh, good call! I’m still undecided, because while I think people like Kelly Wearstler handle this kind of sculptural statement well, and I love the hand chair in Emily Henderson’s office (Marianne, your pin reminded me of this)…
MARIANNE: I was ready to jump in all “thumbs down,” but if someone gave me an Eames House Bird, I’d put him on my mantle and name him Fred.
LILI: Every time I think I’ve seen enough birds to last me a design lifetime, one or two pop up that I think are cute. I’m done with them on bed linens. But I can’t say I’m over them in bookshelves:
Except for owls. If I never see another owl figurine, it will be too soon.
FARIMA: Birds in real life = Scary (I have slight ornithophobia). Birds in design = Cute, because they can’t fly (or give you the evil eye). Vintage birds are definitely my favorite.
BRIANA: I’m on the fence. I’ll say that I’ve had my fill of chickens and ducks because my mom had that classic ‘80s country motif thing going on. And I’m all “HOO HOO” is not over the owls at this point? But I still kinda like parrots. I blame Anna Spiro.
BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: [The trend is] Expired. I love a good aviary-ish fabric print or a bird-related oil painting, but I’m sick of bird silhouettes. Owls are nostalgic and fun, especially in an early 1970s way.
LILI: I will admit that I bought all of these Breezy Singers when DWR was selling them about 10 years ago. They would’ve scared you bird-a-phobes since they sang when you walked by.
GRANT: I like birdies in design — but I say “absolutely not” to hoot owls. My grandmother had this clock in her kitchen when I was growing up. I haven’t been the same since.
BRIANA: Yeah, the duck phone I included as a link? Pretty sure we had that exact same model. Try talking into a duck butt for your formative years. It does something to you.
MARIANNE: That explains so much.
KAYLA: I love birds in design and otherwise. However, my grandparents were strangely obsessed with ducks, so when I was little and would visit, all I had were these duck figurines to keep me occupied for hours. (I feel your pain, Briana.) And if you know me at all, you know I love owls and will always love ‘em.
LIZ: I also have birds-on-a-wire fatigue. We know: They sit there! They don’t get electrocuted! But I wish the endless wall decals would. In related news, just, no.
ABBI: I am sitting in a random house in Pennsylvania — Kellie Clements from Design Star is doing a design consult. The home owner is really open to all the suggestions, but just totally freaked at the idea of getting rid of some of her chicken figurines and paintings. She loves them. People be crazy about their birds.
MARIE: If somebody held a zucchini to my head and said, “You must put this in your house,” I’d stick it in a walk-in closet and pile sweaters and jeans on it.
CAMILLE: Ugh. Mr. Furley called and he wants his bar back. Not in my house; however, covered in some cheap orange shag, it would make a rockin’ cat condo. For cats that are swingers, obviously.
LIZ: I want to like this, as I generally like elements of ’70s glam…but no. It’s too freaking big. Empty, the giant piece reminds me of a throwback treadmill for gerbils (they’d run to an endless loop of Saturday Night Fever, obv.) Camille’s swinging cats would be there, too: http://www.eclectech.co.uk/b3ta/discocat.gif.html
I hate it much less in the office with the larger items and the memo board to offset its giant-ness and the gray background.
KELLEY: Dude. I just bought a ’76 rancher. You couldn’t move this into my dining room fast enough!
MARIANNE: I’m having a major brass/’70s moment, as both my house and myself were born into this world in 1977. I say yay.
GRANT: I’ve stared at it. I’ve come at it with a quick glance. I even grabbed my feel-good potato chips and revisited it with a happy stomach. No matter how I come at this thing, I can’t make myself like it. Honestly, I detest it in a full-body shiver kind of way.
LILI: Only email I’m responding to from vacation. This is the kind of piece that only Emily Henderson can make work in very narrow conditions. But dear God! I hate it so.
KELLEY: Emily, eh? You really wanna throw down that gauntlet?
MARIANNE: Lili, I both agree with you and think I COULD TAKE THIS ON.
BRIANA: Marianne, please take this on!!! New hallway installation!!!
Haters gonna hate.
MARIANNE: The next six months of my job are now devoted to wearing you all down until you love the Etagere. BOW DOWN!
So, basically, Kelley, Marianne and I are the only ones standing for this retro number. Guess we really are Three’s Company (as our coworker Leanne described the piece). What do YOU think?
LILI: Agree on that skull, for sure, but I might have to put a shroud on it. This is how unedgy I think skulls have become:
LIZ: Why is only one available? Is Justin killing off less-successful boy band alums and passing the remains off as decor?*** If so, I support this. (Ahem…BLACKstreet)
MARIE: Skulls are dead to me. Seriously, I thought they were going out when they were on rings about 10 years ago.
FARIMA: I like the skull, maybe because it’s shiny…? It’s very pricey though, so maybe people wouldn’t be interested because skulls are everywhere.
KAYLA: I dig the HomeMint skulls. I don’t get why they’re $300-something, but I’d put one on my bookshelf, maybe.
GRANT: I like the skulls, but I can spray paint Halloween decorations and get that look for a lot less.
We sounded off, now tell us what you think…
* I’m kidding. Pretty sure the skulls are not real and serve a purely decorative function.
** I mean, it’s a joke. You guys know that, right?
*** Wild speculation for humor purposes only! Mr. Timberlake is a talented artist that we very much admire and respect, so if you are his legal counsel, please do not contact us!
We’re an opinionated bunch here at HGTV, and while we all know taste is highly personal and beauty is in the eye of the beholder and yadda yadda yadda, sometimes you just gotta engage in a rousing design debate/discussion with your sassy coworkers. We keep it friendly, but we also KEEP IT REAL, y’all. In that spirit, allow me to present an actual email thread we shared over this little filly, a Maison RAMSAY cabinet, circa 1940.