A point of contention I have with contemporary decorating is that it has become obsessed with the building as an object. The object becomes a commodity, then a style, and finally a brand. In our efforts to resist this, we start from an experience, an absolutely ordinary experience. Climbing a stair, cooking a meal, bathing—the kinds of simple, banal things people do every day. In considering what we wanted this first Home Design of our firm’s work to be, we realized what better way to get at the relationship between decorating and the lived experience than to break it down into these quotidian activities. Thus, the home designs of our Home Design were born: Climb, Clean, Enter, Lounge, Cook, Sleep, Swim, Study, Play, Dine, Cultivate, Warm, and Drive.
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Often in looking through an architect’s monograph you are hard-pressed to tell which image goes with which project, or even if there is more than one project represented, because of how astonishingly similar everything can look. And if you want that style, you go to that architect, and that is what you get.
It is a product, and while it can be quite beautiful, it can betray a lack of connection between what is built and how one actually lives.
Instead, we aspire to an decorating that resists commodification, one that suppresses overt authorship and branding and that flirts with anonymity. Our work is marked by a distrust of what is fashionable at any given time if it is not rooted in the daily lives of those who occupy the spaces. As a result, each space we create is genuinely of its moment— perhaps influenced by trends, but not defined or consumed by them. And it follows that they are all unique. Each has its own context, and the differences from one to the next arise because of this fundamental truth: People are not the same and do not occupy spaces in the same ways.
In looking through the pages of this Home Design, it is immediately evident that the projects do not all look alike and are not all of one style. The images reflect work for very different people in very different places.
But interestingly enough, once you begin to compare images that appear to be dramatically different from one another, similarities and relationships arise amid the juxtapositions and contrasts. While richly varied in character and encompassing a remarkable range of moods, the collection of images nonetheless reveals a common discourse that unites the body of work.