Sunday, February 14, 2010

This comment just in about the previous post:



Discuss.

In other news, the Canlis cocktail "Our Lady of Thermidor" is hereby renamed "Our Lady of the Raging Hangover."

67 comments:

Angelique said...

perhaps they'd prefer the previous 'other' gems NYT has been focusing on more recently...

hipster said...

Hi Anonymous,
Pls send some photos of your house so we can see how you live. Maybe then we would have
some tips on how to decorate
in a more upscale way.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Anonymous said...

It would be one thing if the commenter said that place was a straight-up disaster, but I don't get how it looks like a home of poor people. That is what needs some explaining.

Anonymous said...

actually I agree with the anon commenter - it was a bit of a dog's breakfast and the photo that decorno selected to feature was the only one that I found bearable, probably because the door swings precluded throwing too much crap there.

I am not sure what "hipster" means - I don't think the commenter was saying this guy is too poor to have good taste, it's more that he's doing a weird high/low slumming. I have done enough photo styling in my days to want to throw up whenever I see a stack of magazines artfully topped with a conversation-piece knick knack. There just seems to be a tendency to admire "styled" places that are no more interesting and inspirational than your neighbor's place except that someone turned every possible corner/ledge/wall into a vignette. It's actually trying too hard. I, like the featured commenter, might personally prefer the more minimalist designs featured in remodelista, but there is a place for the busy collector look for some and it's possible to do it well. it's just that this is a clogged mess, at least as photographed.

J. M. Hunter said...

I kind of thought the point was that the apartment was furnished on a tight budget, in effect, it wasn't a rich person's apartment. Considering the $2,500 budget, I am amazed at how stylish this apartment is, and also at the resourcefulness of the designer. Considering.

I really think it's more of a niche style. It said he had a steampunk aesthetic (to me, that usually equates to a certain modicum of granny chic) which frankly some people just aren't going to like.

Personally, it reminded me of a super chic version of my grandad's fishing camp. I don't think it's that poverty is appealing, but that his apartment is a collection of things that he loves, so it is deeply personal, but it's not super modern. Rather, it's cozy and familiar. It's definitely a departure from super clean, modern, blatantly upscale styling.

Halcyon House said...

Sounds like someone has some "issues".

Anonymous said...

I see what they are saying - this place has a old, time worn look about it and doesn't really connect with most of the other things that are posted. It isn't modern or overly stylish, or sophisticated. Charming but different.

Eileen said...

Two things:
1) I have GOT to get to Canlis
and
2) I LOVED the tiny apartment. I've got some similar things going on (maps, found items, etc) but I'm ready to trade him my 2400 sq/ft house for his apartment, but ONLY if he throws in the rubber boots--and takes care of my dogs.

OK, 3 things: I think the anonymous commenter must've had some kind of visceral response based on who knows what! Perhaps they just couldn't see what great taste their aunt and uncle had... I didn't see poverty, I saw NYC.

Kristi said...

While I personally felt the place was a bit "cluttered", I still enjoyed the post. I don't have the money for all new items, to remodel my home, or the wonderful kitchen I so desire. Posts like this help me think of ways to make what I have work in a pleasant enough way without breaking the bank.

jean said...

Maybe anon doesn't realize what rents are like in NYC since her aunt's and uncle's time. Even back in 19-- (year hidden to protect the aged) three roommates and I had to live in a two room (not 2 BR) apartment to afford the rent. What's poor everywhere else is rich in NYC: being up and coming AND having an apt to yourself. Even in Brooklyn at $944 a month for 178 SF.

Anonymous said...

Anon is right. When can The Emperors New Clothes stop?

Kristin said...

I read somewhere that hipsters fetishize the authentic and, critics say, make it inauthentic in the process. I think that's a fair line of criticism of granny chic, Anthropologie, use of Marc Jacobs boots as a prop in a 178 square foot apartment, etc.

But as a child of suburbia, I still yearn for the authentic -- and I am viscerally drawn to spaces that have an "authentic" aesthetic like Zach Motl's. Though Zach might be guilty of trying too hard, it's hard to blame him for wanting to make his space feel real, beautiful, like home.

But many people don't share that aesthetic sense. They want the space, newness, and seeming luxury that continue to draw people to the suburbs (and exurbs), even as those places become inhospitable eyesores. The truth is, Anonymous may be more representative of American consumers than we want to admit.

reclamationdesign@yahoo.com said...

To Anonymous,
First of all lets be nice. This young man likes his stuff and he likes his place. So does the New York Times and Decorno and apparently the firm that hired him and ... But you don't. And that's that. Got it now? Beyond that, I think J.M. Hunter spelled it out perfectly and I concur.

rebecca said...

I'm just wondering if the comment was targeting the bones of the space or the decor.

It could be a simple case of studio apartment = poverty. If it's decor, could be that the elements don't match like they would if an entire room were purchased at once.

Then again, it could be the sofa...

Meg Blocker said...

Anyone who thinks this looks like a poor person's apartment has no idea of what real estate in New York is like. We live in tiny spaces, dude. Unlike people in the middle of the country or in exurbia, we do not have the luxury of spreading out. So, if cluttered/cozy spaces immediately make you think "poor," NYC is probably not for you.

Camilla @ Designalogue Blog said...

oh I get it. Anon thinks a house filled with stuff is a poor persons house. Anon must be of one of those modern -no things, no personality living peoples.
All those pesky trinkets are povo aren't they?!!

Susan said...

mmmm, canlis. mmmmm.

Anonymous said...

I think this apartment doesn't stand up well to a second viewing. Crowded, cluttered, unattractive colors, useless kitchen, too many poseur touches (ie the boots). In fact, when I went back to it, it looked like an old lady's apartment. And perhaps it is this effect the Anonymous intuited as poverty. If you had any money at all and are a young person with design aspirations, surely you would improve upon this.
Money is not really the issue here, style is (or in the case of this apartment, is not!).

Anonymous said...

The commenter is an older gentleman, I am thinking.

Debra said...

I love the apartment, if I'm going to sit in someplace so small, I would love having all that interesting stuff to look at. I really don't get the anon comments at all.

melissa said...

Leaving snarky blog comments without the stones to put your name to them is a great pastime for some. I would rather use the magical Internets to have honest and scintillating conversations, virtual or real, about the difficulty of designing for an urban lifestyle on budget less than Midas's. But Anonymous poster, if you would rather use Decorno's blog to pontificate about your own vaulted style and infallible taste, please go ahead. Just man up and leave your name.
(ps - I agree with the third comment upon this post that points out there's not much poverty-stricken in the apartment, including the Mark Jacobs "prop" boots and the sterling silver bowl that sits atop the magazine pile...)

joanny said...

It seems they are always anonymous???

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

Happy Valentine's Day

Joanny
the dowsers daughter

hush said...

I'm persuaded by what Anon @9:12am said, especially "he's doing a weird high/low slumming." Not my style (assuming I have any), but I get why folks are taking note. And amen to everything Kristin said @12:58pm.

I would not be the least bit surprised to see an iteration of this look in Pottery Barn's Spring 2015 catalog. Not that that's necessarily a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I thought the apartment was very interesting! It reminded me of an apartment decorated by an intern of Charlotte Moss's that several blogs posted about last year. I am always amazed by those that make the most of a small space. The apartment definitely looks like one with many interests and style but not a lot of space. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Everything in Zach's apartment looks loved and cherished.

As for the commenter's aunt and uncle, I get the feeling they probably didn't feel much joy when they looked around their apartment.

Maybe that's the difference.

design citation said...

Dear ANON -
Please realize that if you are going to make this type of sweeping statement, there are a few rules to follow:
1) Stop being a PUSSY and sign your name.
2) If you cant do that, come up with an interesting nome de plume.
3) If you can't do that, roll down your parchment shades and take a nap, until the urge to comment has passed.
Thank you.

Sacheverelle said...

That isn't exactly poverty, it's just small it's just a typical Manhattan apartment. That's pretty much most regular folk live.
It is nicely decorated & all but it just looks like there isn't enogh room for their stuff. Re: the kitchen, where do they keep their food?
When the El ran down 2nd Ave, the relatives' apt was probably rent-controlled. No one in NY ever willingly vacates a rent control apt.

Laurie Jones said...

I usually don't post when I don't agree with the author of the blog or go against what most of the what the majority of the comments say but there is some truth to anonymous's post, and although I get why you'd like the rooms because there are some cool aspects of them if I were to show my husband (sorry babe) or just the average person off the street they wouldn't get what was great about it and make a comment that it looks like a bunch of garage sale finds.

bruno said...

I love how angry and catty that person who made the comment is.

sweetlikelemonade said...

And yet somehow, the crisp sheets on the bed, the framed artwork, the simple yet unobtrusive blinds, and the expensive knicknacks scream poverty?

I truly disagree with the comment -- this isn't poverty, this is a small space in which someone lives well. The pillows on the bed, the matching pillar candles, the halfway decent framing jobs, etc make me think this is a little more than "poor kid lives in Brooklyn."

I like one of the above poster's comments about hipsters fetishizing the authentic. I think it's a great way to explain the aesthetic, and yet somehow those very authentic sheets are probably 600 thread count...

Linda said...

I thought the apartment looked cozy and interesting, not decorated. Lived in.

What I did not expect were all the rave reviews it received. Really, it does look like someone's old relative's apartment. That is not bad, it's just not a decorating miracle.

Anonymous said...

"it's more that he's doing a weird high/low slumming."

Anon 9:12 AM--What details say "slumming" to you?

Lolo said...

Agreeing with J.W.Hunter and adding ~
It takes more effort and imagination to make a home out of what is available on limited means than it does to adopt someone else's template and fill in the blanks with brand new items.

Tara Dillard said...

Beatrix Potter began buying farms in the English Lake District to preserve land-homes-interiors.

She kept the homemade furniture & scoured for more.

Ahead of the curve on realizing style isn't contained to the wealthy.

Dupont of Winterthur did the same thing in USA. He often bought furniture/art thru an assumed name so prices wouldn't inflate in the primitives realm.

I noticed long ago that the best gardens NEED the poverty cycle. Without it we wouldn't have Monet's Giverny, or, Sissinghurst. Two of the most visited gardens in the world today.

There's a saying, "Poverty is a great preserver."

It's not what you have, it's what you do with it.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

An Urban Cottage said...

I believe that interiors are transporting. You can live in the high energy of a large American city and once inside your front door, be in another place. For me, the photos of the subject apartment took me to a time when I was living in a studio apartment I could barely afford where the the kitchen was similarly jammed into a closet. Another person may have been taken to the nostalgia of an episode of The Honeymooners. The commenter was apparently taken to place was neither pleasant nor positive. While Decorno is sometimes entertaining for belittling her detractors, how boring a world it would be if everyone agreed with her.

s. said...

While I don't agree with Anon's point of view, I do "get it." My in-laws came from lower income European backgrounds. They, and all their French friends, are astounded that I buy vintage embroidered linen sheets and tattered leather chairs at the markets when they see them as just old and imperfect. They worked hard not to HAVE to own things that bear the patina of time and use on them. To them, the most gorgeous homes are those filled with brand-spanking shiny matching furniture from the La Redoute catalog (kind of like Sears). It's easy to sneer at their taste but it's also not fair to do so.

Bailey @ peppermintbliss said...

I think there are some design lovers who get off on high end decor porn. They don't want to see something realistic, they want to fantasize. And that's fine. As we have seen with this Times series they are showing truly average, and a lot of below average spaces.
This space, however, I thought provided some great attainable design ideas. Those floors?? It wasn't a 5 page spread in ElleDecor meant to make you drool. It was a tiny NYC apt done on a budget, and you aren't going to out snob me anonymous, it turned me on.
I have never, trust me never, been accused of slumming before, but if this is slumming sign me up.

Iheartfashion said...

I loved the place, but then again I liked John Derian's too and that seemed to similarly offend a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

This person reminds me of my EX-husband. He'd say, "Why does everything you buy have to be old and crusty?" (It wasn't crusty, but nevermind.) He also railed against "cloth-y-ness." (For example, lush linen curtains.) He loooooooooooved Pottery Barn and wanted to fill our 1925 Spanish bungalow with the stuff.

By my estimation, half of your readers don't get this apartment, decorno. That should tell you a little bit about your audience.

Anonymous said...

s. gets my vote for Best Comment.

I remember my Depression-era mother being horrified that I chose--chose!--to buy clothes at the Goodwill when I was a teenager.

drollgirl said...

generally anonymous commentors (ers?) are fucking douchebags.

Global Atelier said...

Wow - I adore what you post and I love the idea that not everything needs to be expensive to have style. Perhaps her Aunt and Uncle had a great place that all of us would have loved. Keep posting the great photographs - If I had millions, I would still love a style that is simple.

Tara said...

"I really just don't get it."

Decorno - congrats, you stumped Anon good this time.

Anon - I'm sorry, life must be difficult for you, because the obvious conclusion was that you & Zach clearly have different tastes, no accusations of poverty necessary.

Please tell more about Canlis, I have heard mixed reviews.

Christina said...

As regards your other news- I can't think of Canlis without remembering the time I lived in Seattle and a guy hit on me at the Queen City grill. He asked me for my email so he could invite me to a party he was throwing. My email consists of my last name- let's pretend it's Letchman@yahoo.com. So the next day I receive an email: "Dear Letchman, it was a pleasure meeting you last night. Letchman, would you like to go to Canlis with me on friday?" Letchman did not reply.

Decorno said...

Canlis: The food is so-so. Actually, it was good, but not 5-star amazing. It's not Per Se, it's not Gramercy Tavern. It's just pretty good. (You can get better steak in Seattle, so don't order it here. The crab cakes were fantastic, though.)

BUT, the atmosphere (dressed-up Brady Bunch with a view) is fantastic. It's a unique spot. Totally worth going.

Anonymous said...

"Dear Letchman" is going to keep me giggling for the rest of the day.

Lynn said...

I just love that Decorno can pull one comment out of a post, knowing that it has the power to incite a whole 'nother conversation. This is why I love this blog! We don't all have to agree, but the conversation is always compelling.

Anonymous said...

being drawn to the aesthetic appearance of appliances of another era is fine. learning to live well in smaller spaces is admirable (that's what i first thought when i saw the pics). also, i do not see borderline poverty at all when i look at these. so i guess i don't "get" the comment.

Libby said...

I was surprised at the number of readers who agreed with the comment. I see many design ideas & execution that don't particularly appeal to me, but I like to look for the creative elements & understand the inspiration. As Nick said, Zach's place was just so clever & well-thought out that it was easy to enjoy. You needn't have lived in NY to appreciate how expensive the real estate is compared to the rest of the world; I wish I think I could be so inspired under the circumstances, regardless of style. Plus it got him a J-O-B!

Anonymous said...

Fucking anonymous douchebag commentators...generally provide the interesting and provocative comments.

Anonymous said...

"anonymous commenters are fucking douchebags..."

"...when they don't agree with me."

John said...

I have never seen the financial portfolio of the owners of any of the houses I have admired or hated in photos. I don't care too, I am just interested in the decorating.

I found myself wondering how I would decorate in 178 sq ft. It was a post that stuck with me for a while...I even mentioned it to a couple of friends to have them check it out.

With the economy still in the shitter I think what periodicals on design that are left will have to embrace poor people design/ingenuity.

Perhaps Annon is in the banking industry that has prospered on taxpayers dollars and this post just struck a nerve. How sad a life they must lead if this post on a poor person disturbed their day.

AilanthusAltissima said...

The anon poster started with the admission "I don't get your idea of style" and I will take that statement as face value - anon doesn't understand the aesthetic. The U.S. has long promoted an ideology that equates 'goodness' or social merit with the ownership of things that are new and large. Our economic machine seems to run off of planned obsolescence, so if a person drinks that particular kool-aid, then many things are hard to understand or to reconcile with that worldview.

I think anon and other posters here have questioned the motives and values of some who may fetishize the 'authentic' and this critique has its place. I think the reality is probably more complicated because for many of us, our relationships with our things **is** complicated.

I actually really liked the apartment depicted and I thought it was very well-done for such a tiny space. I thought it was beautiful irrespective of its size. I spent a long time looking at the pictures and analyzing the uses of space in such a tiny footprint. I like looking at homes like this one because it challenges me to examine my own priorities and my own relationships with the things that I possess.

Anonymous said...

melissa and design citation:

Why are "stones" and "balls" good, but "pussy" is bad?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:50pm - you are so right!

LB said...

It seemed to me that the apartment was a little too mis-matched. Like he went out of his way to choose mismatched items or to make stacks of clutter. Does he really play with that Rubix cube?

I can't tell you how many times I have looked at items in the store and said no because it reminded me too much of something my grandma would put in her home. Nothing against Grandma, I just don't want my home to look like her home. So I can see anon looking at this and thinking "Gads! This place looks my Aunt and Uncle's place!"

Ties in a bowl?

And do people actually still use phones? That phone on his desk is huge!

With all that said, I do like the green couch and the kitchen.

Lolo said...

The essence of interior design will always be about people and how they live. It is about the realities of what makes for an attractive, civilized, meaningful environment, not about fashion or what's in or what's out. This is not an easy job.
Albert Hadley

Hadley has some of the best pull quotes in regards to designing and decorating.

style-for-style said...

this person clearly has no idea what true poverty really is.

Denise Smith said...

People who freak out about anonymous commentors have supreme egos. What difference does it make if I know the commentors name? Does it change the sentiment? The internet is HUGE and the world is even bigger. Stop acting like your name gives any weight to your statement. It only allows you to say, "You're an ass, BOB" as opposed to "You're an ass."

Jessica said...

This is my first visit to your blog and when I read that comment I thought, "hm, yes, I think I'll like this person's style." For what that's worth.

The Countess of Nassau County said...

My first apartment in NYC was surprisingly similar to this one. I never saw it as poverty, I saw it as a wonderful, exciting beginning.

Some people see poverty, others see personality. I'm amazed by how much creativity and energy comes out of this space, perhaps Anon would like something like you see in more high end mags, which ironically do not have the sense of personality, creativity and practicality this one has.

Anonymous said...

Why is it "brave" to sign a fake name? Especially a fake name with no profile attached to it?

What is the difference between calling yourself "Design Citation" and "Anon 8:41 PM"? They are equally unrevealing.

Anonymous said...

EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO AN OPINION, AND ANONYMOUS HAS HIS/HERS. POINT WELL TAKEN. ZACH'S HOUSE IS A BIT 'OFF' THE TYPICAL DESIGNER BEATEN PATH. REFRESHING TO SOME, DISTASTEFUL TO OTHERS..SO BE IT. BUT LET'S NOT THROW ANON. UNDER THE BUS FOR SHARING A VIEW POINT. TO EACH HIS OWN!!!

sarah, flourish design + style said...

guess your aunt and uncle had style. Expensive and new does not mean good taste.

2 By Design said...

Living in a land where tract homes rule, bigger is better, and anything built after 1996 is considered "old" I totally appreciate this space. Seriously, it's refreshing to see something other than travertine and "Keep Calm and Carry On" prints. I'm just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Travertine is "new"?! You need to go to Greece.

Persian Tea said...

i agree with the person's comment. 100%. and i'm not about to go anonymous either.

love your blog! keep up the good work and all the controversy that comes along with it!