5 Former Design Trends That Should Rise Again
It's interesting, though, to look at what has caught back on and what's still out there, waiting for rediscovery. Sometimes it seems like sheer luck that one design element gets elevated over another, though some discarded trends remain hidden because we've changed the way we live. (How many developers build servants' quarters into houses these days? How many should?)
With that in mind, I did some digging into design and architecture history and found five semi-forgotten trends that deserve another look:
Not exactly in Don Draper form, though—I think we should look at office bars for the 21st century...which means home office bars. Think about it: home offices are on the rise and actually, they make the perfect spot for a slightly oversized wet bar. What do you really need in a home office? A desk for a laptop plus some files. If you're using a whole guest room for just those things, you've probably got some extra space (which is probably filled with boxes of Christmas decorations or something). Or maybe your "office" is a corner of the family room. Either way, instead of turning the home office into a glorified dumping ground, why not disco it up with a killer bar? That way, when you have parties, you can cover the computer, add a few lights and some music, and give the home office a second use that's a whole lot more fun.
4. The In-Office Bar. On Mad Men, the in-office liquor cabinet is so prominent that it's almost like another character. These days, we treat the cast's in-office boozing as a sort of sad punch line—romantic, tragic, funny and a way to remind ourselves how far we've come. That's why I know this might be controversial, but I think we need to bring it back.
3. The Library. Ah, the library. Yes, I know this space is a luxury and that it's not exactly in keeping with the "not so big house" philosophy. I know it's kind of wasteful. I know that kindles and iPads may one day render huge book collections obsolete. But I don't care. I love to read (and, judging by all the book-related ideabooks, so do most of you) and I think the idea of a room dedicated entirely to books sounds incredibly romantic.
That's not to say that the dining room has to be so formal that it will only be opened up for state dinners. In fact, my ideal dining space would be separate from the kitchen and living/family room, but close and approachable enough to use every day. It would be functional enough to use all the time, but pretty enough to dress up for more formal occasions.
2. Separate Kitchens and Dining Rooms. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite here, since I've written tons of ideabooks celebrating the open kitchen. I even remodeled my house to open the kitchen to the dining room! But after a few years of dinner parties that started with a view of the splattered stove and ended with the dirty kitchen sink, I changed my mind and swapped my dining room and living room furniture, so I'd have a separate dining room and a lounge in the kitchen. I think there's certainly room for hanging-out space in the kitchen. It is the center of the modern home and looks to stay that way. I like kitchen tables and lots of seating. But kitchen socializing will always be casual and occasionally, it's nice to dress it up. That's where a separate dining room comes in.
1. Drawing rooms. Drawing rooms, a shortened version of "withdrawing" rooms, have been around for a long time. Originally they were located outside royal bedrooms—a spot for the court to spend time—though by the 19th century, they were in the main part of the house, off the parlor, and provided space for the men's post-dinner cigars and brandy (the little ladies stayed in the parlor). Lifestyle changes (lack of servants, again) and the sexual revolution made drawing rooms obsolete, but I think the concept, at its core, is a good one. After dinner, it's nice to have a comfortable (and pretty) room to sit in with friends. I love post-dinner chats and think it's nice if they're in a place that doesn't involve dirty dishes or a stained tablecloth.