Tuesday, April 24, 2012

rant of the day

I'm going to use this term a lot in this post so I just want to get out of the way that I hate it. And it's related to my rant, but not the actual subject.

pop of color


I used to like it. Pop is such a bright and happy word, but man is it overused. Everything is considered a "pop of color" including the actual subject of my rant.

And because the term is so popular (pun intended), temporary accessories being used to justify color schemes.

House Beautiful did this recently. Talked about how a house had so much pink in it. But in almost every room, the pink "pops" were flowers or other accessories that just screamed "the stylist added me!"

The worst offender, to me, is the dining room.

Yes, the pink livens up the space, but how likely do you think it is that the homeowner buys a bunch of hot pink hydrangeas every week? A better "pop" would have been hot pink dishes or a large hot pink glass bowl in the center of the table. Something that at least pretended to be permanent. You know, like the pillows and throw in the living room.

I do think they're pretty fun, but I also have my doubts as to their existence before this photo shoot.

And while I'm sure the orchids in the kitchen were also brought in for the shoot, at least they're plants and could theoretically be considered an integral component to the room.

Now, the faux accents in this house are not all pink. In another dining area, the accent is green and - again - to me, this is how flowers should be used in a photo shoot.

I'm going to assume that the large green cabinet was already there. And, yes, I know that it could have been brought in as easily as the flowers, but it at least seems more permanent. So then the greens in the floral arrangement just highlight the green cabinet and the green in the little painting on the other side of the doorway.

So yes, flowers are very important for photo shoots and make rooms more enjoyable in real life. But they shouldn't be considered the accent color, they should be used to bring out the actual accent colors.

But wait - this isn't even my real rant. All of this is also just background.

My REAL rant is that since magazines do this, now bloggers and blog-followers do this as well. And it's not just design blogs. I remember one blogger - who I no longer follow so can't remember her name - talking about her "pop of color" for her outfit being her orange watch. That she was pairing with a long-sleeved shirt. Which meant that the only way one could see her "pop" was if she happened to move her arm in the right way.

To me, this isn't a pop of color. That's like saying your pop of color is the pink lining of your shoes. Or, back to the home design world, the back of your throw pillows. Sure, it's a fun little surprise (and I highly encourage fun little surprises), but it shouldn't be considered an actual part of your color scheme. A better half-hidden pop would have been a necklace that you tucked inside the open neckline of your button-down shirt. From the back or even the side, it's not seen. But full-on, it's obvious. Or instead of the backs of your pillows, have one or two actually be a color (or a different color). Throw a few colored vases into your bookcase, keeping the rest of the room neutral. Something purposeful and that you don't need to rebuy every week.

It's also like reading a fashion magazine and trying to emulate the models or celebrities, many of whom were airbrushed. And even if they weren't airbrushed, the hairdresser might have back-combed their hair so it looks fuller than normal from the front.

Magazines are about inspiration and one shouldn't try to completely copy the look. It just isn't realistic and, frankly, looks as much a hot mess in real life as that overly back-combed hair.


Alison (Wardrobe Oxygen) said...

I love this. The photos you show are hysterical, how can temporary flowers be considered a pop of color? In a few days' time they will wither and you will be left with a white room again. Switching out the dining room's chair cushions, or a band on the curtains.

And ditto on fashion bloggers. While the term is used to death (and by me as well), a pop is something like a shoe or a belt or a tank, not a watch hiding under a sleeve!

Kristie at The Decorologist.com said...

Wow - I really like this post and totally agree with what you are saying. More and more I am noticing how photos are styled - and that without that last-minute styling, the room would be BLAH and Neutral City. We all want our finished interiors to look great for photos, but there is definitely an artificiality about emphasizing how the designer used color - when really they didn't and a photo stylist just added beautiful floral arrangements or other props. It's the stylist who injected the color, not the designer! Great post.

Jil Sonia McDonald said...

FANTASTIC article, that 'pop' drives me nuts.
Another word in the design business that is so over used and used wrongly is 'juxtaposition'.
Originally it means 2 items side by side, or moving together, now it's the new design buzzword.
At first, ok, great makes you think about mixing things up, now it's used for everything - including for example- throwing in an oddly coloured/designed chair, which should not be there in the first place! aggghhh...