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First things first: Do you have a plan to vote? What’s that, it’s 10 days until the Election and you don’t?! Ok, well lucky for you you can still make a plan - check out how here.
Okay, now that we got our most important business out of the way, welcome to the EXTRA HOME EDITION! The last few weeks, okay months, my boyfriend and I (hi, Mark) have been spending day in and day out getting our apartment in order -- that lovely art of merging the belongings of two highly stubborn, highly sentimental people has been WOW. Relationship limits being tested aside, we have now gotten to spend basically all of our free time scouring the interwebs for the best and coolest stuff, and naturally, I have a LOT to say! Thus, this edition is dedicated to the best and the BOLDEST I could find, plus some light musings on the furniture/home furnishing industry as a whole. Because I have lots to share, ~Maximalist of the Week~ will return next time! *Cues the hot takes.*
HOT TAKES 🔥 // COOL STUFF 😎
HOT TAKE 🔥: The British world of design decor world is way outpacing the US.
In my extensive search to find unique items at a price point that doesn’t make my eyes bulge, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to move to London, stat. In the States, it feels like most roads lead back to the same destinations: West Elm if you’re willing to spend a bit more, Wayfair & Ikea if you’re going budget, then a smattering of higher-end offerings like Room & Board, then the DTC players like Joybird or Floyd. Yet price aside, all generally follow the same Scandi, midcentury, minimalist look. If you’re looking for something a little different, unique gems can be found on places like Chairish or 1stDibs, but most come with a hefty price tag. Now don’t get me wrong— I’m all for a little Midcentury modern, but my struggle is with the homogeny of the choices. The Brits, however, seem to have a much more diversified range of brands to choose from, ranging across eras, styles, colors, and often at a more palatable price point. Some of my favorite finds that I can only dream will cross the Atlantic (or at least do a flash sale on shipping fees!):
So, what’s the take? First, I’d love to see more marketplaces like Trouva spring up that help bring visibility to different sellers, and also make the operations/logistics of getting this stuff delivered across continents possible and scalable.
Lotta Blobs makes the most charming little mirrors I ever did see, with squiggly lines encasing the perimeter in a variety of colors and sizes.
Second, I hope the US-based brands start to take note and follow suit offering more sensational, colorful, EXCITING pieces… (in addition to the 500 identical hairpin leg tables in a light wood wash apparently the majority of the world are perfectly fine purchasing. Le sigh).
Coincidentally, Rebecca Jennings (clearly a fellow maximalist) presents a a similar observation & thesis in her Vox piece "The new maximalism," a highly recommended read that provides not only an interesting perspective as it relates to this resurgence and re-imagination of maximalism, but also threads the needle of the “how” in a way that made me smile and clap.
COOL STUFF 😎: I won’t just get you excited about stuff you *can’t* buy.
Maximalist designers, makers and artists are popping up everywhere, in areas from art to decor items like pillows and rugs to furniture as well. Here are some of my favs that you CAN buy and live out your maximalist dreams.
Studio Hecha is filled with loud, whimsical ceramics -- and has a VIBEY website, which, makes it all the more fun.
When I can buy a Studio Proba rug or table, I will know I have ARRIVED. Until then I'll scroll the site endlessly and wipe the drool off my face.
Last year for my birthday, I was gifted a piece of art from Egle Zvirblyte whose feminist, sex-positive, colorful zany art makes me feel like I'm inside of my own personal animated short where I wear a vinyl trench coat and have blue mascara on. Adding this to your space will make you smile every day (and also get you some great compliments on your Zoom calls, can vouch).
These candles from Yui Brooklyn may look elegant and wispy at first glance, but make no mistake, they are the perfect wacky accent to your home. I recently purchased 2 squiggly candles that smell AMAZING, as well as a small shell which is the most precious little angel that ever did exist. I wouldn't be doing my maximalist duty if I didn't emphasize that the magic is in the details.
HOT TAKE 🔥 : What's old is really actually quite cool.
I have a confession to make. I am deeply addicted to niche vintage Instagram. Niche vintage huh? Let me explain. There is quite a burgeoning network of vintage & secondhand curators and shops on the interwebs, offering really unique stuff. As I dove deeper, one account took me to the next, and the next… Aaaaand many hours spent scrolling later, I am here to share my favorite finds:
The Swan’s House: This shop feels like I walked into a pastel 80s fever dream and I love every moment of it. With a selection of Murano lamps, kitschy yet cool shell lamps and more, if you want to feel like you’re inside the most elegant cotton candy, this place is for you.
Betsu Studio - this one I can *personally* speak to because I purchased a pair of charming, laminate 80s mauve nightstands from this Philly-based seller. What I loved in addition to being a bit unique, the nightstands were so well crafted and sturdy, as compared with items from new sellers that are often flimsy and cheaply manufactured.
Candid Home This LA-based shop makes me feel like I am in an episode of That’s 70’s Show (Side note: let’s just be clear right now that Jackie is a total sartorial icon).
Resident Objects is filled with whimsical home accessories, like little trays or bookends and candles. I feel as though this is what Lisa Frank teenage years looks like and honestly I love every moment of it.
Gates Haus is a full 80s mood. Lots of lacquer. Lots of acrylic. Just add Bonnie Tyler Total Eclipse of the Heart and you are set.
Have a quirky, bold, loud home brand that should have been on this list? Send it my way. In the meantime, I'll be here covering every corner of my walls and every inch of white space until I give myself a headache. Okay and even then... I may not be able to be stopped.
Yours in MORE,