I posted a couple tweets on our FB page (RSH Catalog) this past week about Downton Abbey, the Masterpiece Theater series now in its 3rd season. Great fun, and great fun seeing how far we've come ... and they've come. For one thing, when the series began, they had to 'grow accustomed' to electric lights (and, having lived in Britain, I can tell you that they're still not up to speed with modern comforts as we Americans take for granted. IMHO).
Well! Now that we are accustomed to electric lights, and so much more, exactly what else is there? After all, we have absolutely instant access to anyone around the world who has internet access, making it a small, small world indeed.
One newbie whose time has come --long overdue, in fact!-- is a USB outlet or 2 -- right in your wall, alongside your electrical outlet. Easy. Even I've thought of that.
My new fridge measures the water I dispense on the display at the front, and who knows what else I haven't yet figured out.
How about a faucet that glows cool blue to warm reds as the water gets hotter as it flows out? Not a bad conservatory idea.
With all the recent storm misery in the world, a built-in generator is a must these days. Why didn't they think of that sooner?
But look here: http://www.electrolux.co.uk/Global-pages/Promotional-pages/Electrolux-Design-Lab/ (watch the 3 minute video mid-page). Refrigerators that need only a few inches of depth, hanging on a wall (we're The Jetsons :). Lights that float in the air? Kitchen utensils that inform what ingredients are present in a dish? Might come in handy on the cooking shows ... and at home.
Whatever would the Crawleys of Downton Abbey think, dahling! Such ponderances aren't the only reason to tune in to DA. Great design and decoration fun for the traditional at heart, as well as to-die-for period fashion flair.
When you think about styling, design, decorating, or fashion, the words come up: traditional, contemporary, modern, transitional, eclectic. These styles are fairly self-explanatory, except for 'modern' and 'contemporary'? What exactly are they and what distinguishes one from the other?
'Modern' refers to what we now know as 'mid-century,' or broadly speaking, styling from the 50s and 60s. Those years were pioneering years in so much of our American culture, and indeed the culture of the world. Think Beatles. For better or worse, they changed the world. in a design discussion, the world was changed as well. Stark, pure, bright colors -- purple, hot pink, bright yellow, a lot of white. Think Peter Max. Clean lines, minimalist decorating and styling. Eames, Eero Saarinen, Alavar AAlto. 'Modern' design is recognizable by clean, unadorned interiors. Use of natural materials such as wood, leather, glass, and natural jute are prominent. Teak wood is a favorite. Molded plywood and plastic is very popular in modern furniture, as well as polished metal.
Contemporary simply means now, or what's current, wherever we are on the timeline of design. For a kitchen it might be stone counter tops and stainless appliances; these are what you'd expect to see in a recent design. Contemporary colors are muted and subtle, earthy and unassuming (see recent posts here).
Modern or mid-century elements may be present in contemporary styling, so there may be some confusion or crossed lines, but remember, what was going on in mid-century America was a total departure from its past. It might be argued that we have explored and even exhausted design styles, so what we do currently draws upon styling of eras past. American lives are busier than ever, so we tend these days to think of comfort, efficiency, and ease-of-use.
A contemporary interior that draws from past design elements: see the diff?(clean lines but muted colors ~ comfort is key).
Look back a few posts, I'd mentioned Pantone's new direction of color for the year. Fashion, merchandising, design, decoration, architecture ~ everything around you falls into a color direction cycle.
Had a chuckle as I stood in my bathroom this morning. This wall paper is almost 18 years old. As I start thinking about re-do for bathrooms (faucets, fixtures, & lighting need updating), I realized how much I still love this paper, and sure will hate to part with it. It's in good shape; would I have to get rid of it? No ~ contractor says he can work around it, so that's what we'll try to do. But ~ look below at the color trends going forward from here! They almost precisely describe this paper.
I'm not recommending you keep things necessarily till fashion cycles come back around, because there will be some off-color years in the middle. It just so happened my re-do was delayed a few years. Still ~ it proves the pont that if you wait long enough, style comes back around because, after all, there are only so many colors. Think about it! Don't necessarily be a slave to the latest color or fashion. Make sure it's something you can love. Fashion life is brief indeed. Create the life YOU love!
Lighter blues and navy increase in importance.
Leathery brown becomes more important as a basic.
Olive becomes stronger.
Purple is still evident.
Brights have a singular status for winter.
Camel evolves into cappuccino and creamy hues.
Yellows become softer and less sporty.
Reds are becoming more orange.
Traditional winter darks and berry colors are more mid-toned and less blackened.