I love beautiful surroundings, and until the last two years, I looked to Instagram when seeking inspiration for my home. No more. The aesthetics of home design from major industry players has become predictable, boring and soulless.
The question is, why are we accepting ugly, bland or conformist styles as something we must emulate and admire? The late great Roger Scruton, a rare intellectual conservative and beautiful soul himself, spoke often of the importance of beauty and our modern lack thereof.
Scruton not only discussed the ugliness of modern architecture, but the importance of beauty in music, desirable spaces and why the progressive movement has sought to give us mutton for cupcakes.
Like many of you, I am yearning for a more beautiful world, where Hollywood starlets don’t show up to the Oscars with barely a wisp of clothes on and the Architectural Digest doesn’t feature one more home with an out-sized concrete ball in the middle of the room.
If the interior design world were to think through the thoroughly tired and long-lasting trend of shabby chic or modern farmhouse, they would more than likely say it was America’s way of yearning for a more simpler time, but they’d be wrong.
When all the trimmings of a Laura Ashley home were stripped and we stared at our ugly new construction, builder-grade homes we could actually afford, we have been left longing. At least Laura hid our nakedness in florals and chintz for a fleeting decade, or so we thought.
We are at least two generations deep in negative space, space where once beautiful crown molding, craftmanship and delightful angles and awkward nooks once stood. We were, essentially, left holding our hollow doors open for ugly.
How does one, after all, make drywall, cheap siding and wi-fi outlets into a beautiful home?
The purveyors of Architectural Digest have all the money in the world to create truly beautiful spaces, yet they, too, have fallen into the same ugly trap as us deplorables at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale.
Always behind the curve, I finally starting watching Downton Abbey, and was suddenly awash in inspiration. The wall coverings, the lamps, the curved furniture, dinnerware, chandeliers, beautiful rugs and wall hangings were like a breath of fresh air.
The lines of the estate could not be more beautiful to the eye, as are the meticulously groomed gardens and grounds.
While Instagram feeds us boho fodder—fiddler leaves and macrame—and “understated” tan rooms decorated in Southwestern cattle horns and ethnic patterns, my soul has already left the building.
This is not the foundation on which to build our lives. We need a foundation for our soul, our traditions and our longing for home. We need a decent canvass for God’s sake.
Like fast fashion, the realm of interior design and architect for the working man, has been relegated to the design bin. Gone are the ideas of proportion and symmetry—so pleasing to the eye—and the importance of form, which gives peace to the soul.
“In” are the mean and minimalistic designs meant to please modern men, as they do in the fashion world.
Gone are the curves, depth and interest once found in furniture, wall coverings and textiles. The layers, the time, the beauty and the care of beautiful objects passed from generation to generation.
Progressives seek to burn down our past and rebuild it with something new, but are we taking the time to examine whether what they are offering has any merit? Is our music, our homes, our fashions or our culture more beautiful, or are they abased?
It is the human condition to aspire to the sublime, so let’s make our exit off of Instagram and the cultural train wreck around us and seek beauty where it may still be found. #Reignwell