In our modern world, we reach out for so many things, don’t we? We reach out for companionship, for comfort, for knowledge and for inspiration.
In the design realm, we constantly reach out to the wider world to review ongoing decorating trends and try to predict what might be stylish tomorrow. Will our floors be bare: no rugs or Turkish carpets, no wall-to-wall carpeting? Will sisal matting underfoot be a go-to?
And on the walls, will wallpaper enjoy another comeback? What about all those wall finishes? Will perennial Palm Beach favorite Venetian plaster remain so — or will we perhaps see a renewed interest in striped lacquer or even faux-painting?
What about window blinds? Medium slats? Mini? Wide? Will plantation shutters ever go of style? Will we ever again see velvet window drapery? Will jabots, swags and balloon shades ever grace our window frames again?
Will new America homes still have designated dining rooms with 12 chairs duly placed, although hardly ever used? Getting the family to sit around the table at the same time is a difficult feat these days for many of us.
As we think about these questions, we have other issues on our minds as well. We have not yet said goodbye to the coronavirus pandemic. But how hard it is to stand still and to worry. Instead, after so many months of inactivity, many of us want to move on and adjust to the new demands of the world.
I believe modern technology and human ingenuity will play a bigger role as the pandemic trudges on and during its aftermath, whenever that may be.
After all these months of streaming new movies on our televisions and digital devices, will there be new ways to watch films on the big screen in movie theaters?
One thing that seems certain: The days of Betty Grable’s Hollywood are gone by. But for many of us, a love of vintage films and the appreciation for glamour they engender hasn’t faded. In so many ways, films from yesterday take us on a nostalgic trip. So is it any surprise that movie memorabilia is all the rage?
Recently a so-called “one sheet” poster promoting the 1940 film “The Philadelphia Story” sold at auction for $31,000 — maybe not as pricey as a Picasso, but pricey anyway. Antique vintage film posters remain way up there, price-wise. Just think of what a six sheet of the Fay Wray film “King Kong” or the classic “Casablanca” would bring at auction these days.
So what will be the décor style of the future? I think we’ll see an eclectic mix —contemporary spaces with traditional touches. And I’ve noticed that many of the new British Colonial and Mediterranean-style houses designed for waterfront sites and for sale in Palm Beach are “staged” these days with softly contemporary furnishings meant to attract younger buyers with growing families.
Contemporary isn’t for everyone, however. For those of you who are stuck in the past, my advice is this: Enjoy what you love. Don’t think you have to be following any style or the latest trend. Continue your life with louvered shutters, area rugs and full draperies hung with under-curtains but then, perhaps, add that modern lamp or glass sculpture that caught your eye.
Palm Beach is home to the Old Guard and the New Guard. Strictly traditional, sharply modern, somewhere in between — there are no design rules, just as there is no good taste or bad taste but only your taste. Remember: To your own self be true, and do it your way. Shakespeare and Frank Sinatra would be proud.
These are the days for safely surrounding yourself with the people you love — friends and family — but also for living with memorabilia and decorations that bring you happiness.