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9 Interior-Design Trends That Seem Bonkers to Me

THERE’S A LOT of weird decorating going on right now. After the past two rather disturbing years, when most of us were pent up like prisoners, I understand the urge to act out. But enough is enough.

“I see what people all over the country are buying—and a lot of it is very surprising,” said Noel Fahden Briceño, vice president of merchandising at online furnishings marketplace Chairish. Her company generates trend reports about items that sell within 30 days of being listed. A top seller in June? Bubblegum-colored chests.

“Right now, pink laminate dressers from the 1980s are selling within a few days of being listed,” she said. While that could easily reflect the growing interest in pastels—and particularly the Danish-pastel trend—she thinks it’s because people are excited about Greta Gerwig’s much-anticipated movie “Barbie” coming in 2023, in which the iconic doll will come to life.

More: 3 Hot Designers Making Their Mark in Miami

Pink dressers like this one are hot, says online marketplace Chairish, perhaps in anticipation of next summer’s Barbie movie.


“The color pink is really coveted right now,” Ms. Fahden Briceño said. “It’s Barbiecore for furniture.”

With trends in home décor apparently being dictated by a 63-year-old anatomically incorrect plastic doll, I decided to conduct a highly unscientific survey of a half-dozen interior designers who work around the country to see what other nonsense people are up to. Here are nine dubious design trends.

How are you supposed to read in bed without a headboard?


Low-slung, aggressively minimalist platform bed frames without headboards are ruining bedrooms all across the country. In addition to looking like unmoored life rafts that are floating between a pair of nightstands, these regrettable platform beds make it nearly impossible to read in bed. Are you supposed to lean

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A Designer of 20 Airbnbs Shares 4 Key Things Many New Hosts Forget

  • Jody Carmichael is a baker turned interior designer in the beach town of Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • Carmichael, who started out decorating her own Airbnb condo, has upgraded 20 vacation rentals.
  • She broke down four secrets to a five-star listing, from window treatments to pillow selection.

Jody Carmichael, a decorator in North Carolina, used to own a bakery. Now she adds flourishes to living rooms instead of making wedding cakes.

Carmichael has designed and furnished nearly 20 Airbnbs for clients in her hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, a beachy retreat 90 minutes north of Myrtle Beach. 

There are 1,500 short-term rentals in the Wilmington area, up from 1,100 at the same time last year, according to the industry data firm AirDNA. The influx of Airbnb hosts isn’t limited to Wilmington: Available listings hit a record high of 1.5 million this year, according to AirDNA.

Airbnb <a href=interior designer Jody Carmichael smiles at the camera in a closeup portrait. She has dark hair and is wearing a tube top with a blue flowered pattern.”/

Airbnb designer Jody Carmichael.

Jody Carmichael

Carmichael, 41, said she wanted to warn the flood of rookie hosts across the country against common decorating oversights and mistakes.   

Her experience with Airbnbs started in 2017, when she revamped a condo she and her husband bought while their house was being renovated. After moving back to their house, they listed it on the short-term-rental platform. 

Carmichael previously worked as an interior designer at Ethan Allen for five years. She approached the designing of Airbnbs like any other home, unlike the purely economical approach she’d seen other hosts take.

Instead of finding the cheapest products, she sought out a quality mattress and high-end bedding. It’s the main principle that still guides her projects.

“I really am trying to create a space

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2022 Interior Design Styles and How to Get Them

If, like most people, you’re your own interior designer, you’ve probably accumulated a fair amount of decor over the years. You like it all — okay, most of it — and, sure, it pulls from similar styles (think minimalist and mid-century modern) for a result that makes sense. But it might stop just short of cohesive. What you really want is a space worthy of a viral TikTok, and to get that, it helps to know the elements of the interior design style you’re aiming for.

With the help of the pros at Pacaso, we decoded eight interior design styles popular right now and created a quick cheat sheet for how to recreate them at home. Whether you want to go big and bold with a maximalist or eclectic style, keep it calm with coastal or cottage, or finally achieve the Scandinavian dream, you can find a quick overview for each aesthetic below, plus a few tips for creating each one.


Quaint is the vibe this traditional yet unpretentious style evokes. It dates back to 18th-century Germany where textiles were homespun and furniture was handmade. Get the look today with rustic wood floors, wood furniture with clean lines, and a neutral color palette. Keep curtains airy and minimal — cottage style is all about the interplay of light and texture — and lighting soft and abundant.


After years of living in stark shades of minimalism, maximalism is the outburst we needed in 2022. Here, art is free to take up a whole wall, bookshelves can overflow with trinkets and tchotchkes, and color is always the answer. The trick is to tie it all together with a through line — like the color red in the room above — and aim for a 50-50 space-to-stuff ratio.


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Tips for combining antiques with modern pieces in your home


Vintage furniture and accessories can add personality, authenticity and a touch of sentimentality to any home. Reusing old pieces is also more eco-friendly than buying new. It’s no wonder secondhand pieces are having a moment.

“There’s always a way to tell a story in your home, and that’s what vintage pieces bring,” says Heather Disabella, an interior designer in the District. “That’s where you can be unique and different and set yourself apart from your neighbor’s house.”

Lorna Gross, an interior designer in North Bethesda, Md., agrees. “Some people say they don’t like antiques. I believe there is an antique era for everyone,” she says. “Everyone thinks of antiques as super ornate baroque and Renaissance, gold and heavily carved. Those in proportion work for some, and then for others, they like the clean lines of mid-century or art deco.”

But how can you incorporate older pieces in your home without making it feel like a fussy and dusty antique store or a disjointed mishmash of styles? We spoke with design experts from the D.C. area about how to blend old and new to get a look that is harmonious and reflects your individual style.

To make sure you’re creating more harmony than discord when mixing periods and styles, keep the big picture in mind. “It’s difficult for people, because they are approaching it one item at a time and not how all the items play together,” says Lisa Shaffer, owner of the D.C. design firm Lisa & Leroy.

A vision board can help you see how contemporary pieces look when paired with something older. Disabella recommends using Google Slides to compile personal snapshots and images pulled from websites.

Antique and vintage sales have soared, thanks to supply chain issues

It’s also

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Support by Design Aids Ukrainian Landscape Architects

The flexibility of remote work takes on a new dimension when American landscape architecture firms can bring on Ukrainian designers fleeing war.

By Laurie A. Shuster

The Ukrainian landscape architect Anna Kulvanovska works as a contractor for SWA from a shared workspace in Malmö, Sweden. Photo by Kim Öhrström.

 Anna Kulvanovska had been waiting a long time at an immigration office in Sweden when she decided to check her LinkedIn account. “I don’t use LinkedIn often, but I was waiting my turn and it was a long time,” says Kulvanovska, who is a Ukrainian landscape architect. Having left her home in Kyiv during the first 24 hours of the Russian invasion, Kulvanovska traveled to Romania and then to Malmö, Sweden, where a friend had agreed to help her. “I was very lucky,” she says.

On LinkedIn she saw a message from Kinder Baumgardner, ASLA, the managing principal of SWA Group in Houston. He had posted an inquiry about the health and well-being of Ukrainian landscape designers in the face of the ongoing conflict. Kulvanovska responded. “At first, he wasn’t saying he wanted to work with me; he just asked how I am and where I am,” she says. “We just started talking.”

Eventually Baumgardner asked if she needed work, and if she would like to work as a contractor for SWA. That was the first step in launching Support by Design, an online hub that houses a database of displaced and/or out-of-work Ukrainian landscape designers as well as business tools such as sample contracts—no visas or tax documents required—that U.S. firms can use to hire Ukrainian designers. The Landscape Architecture Foundation and ASLA have supported the program, and architects have taken note, launching a website of their own, Hire Ukrainian Designers. Baumgardner says Support by Design is now in

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9 tips to make your home a more relaxing space

Decades of environmental psychology research tell us that everything that surrounds us is crucial to our mental health, and nature has a particularly powerful role in making us feel good. Clinical studies suggest that natural light can significantly improve health outcomes for patients with depression and agitation. Likewise, cluttered spaces spike cortisol levels in the body resulting in stress and depression, but also make us more prone to making mistakes and giving in to our impulses. A 1984 study published in Science found that surgery patients recovered better in rooms with a view of trees rather than a brick wall. 

This all may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget. Fields like architecture and design, whose main goal is to create pleasant and functional spaces for their inhabitants, haven’t always fully embraced these principles. 

There are, in fact, several easy and right-before-your-nose tweaks you can do to make your home a more hospitable space for your mental health. They are more than just scattering plants around, but they’re renter-friendly, and don’t require a large budget or the freedom to tear down walls.

The rise of biophilic design

Natalia Olszewska, a researcher of neuroscience applied to architecture at The Centre for Conscious Design who works to help build spaces that focus on mental health, explains that there are biological principles, like the need for natural light and greenery, that we should consider when creating spaces. But it has taken a while for architecture and design to accommodate these needs, she adds.

[Related: Best twinkle lights of 2022]

Biophilic design is a novel understanding of the importance of natural elements in home design. Meaning “passionate love of life,” this architectural trend recognizes nature as the stage of our evolution as a species and incorporates that relationship into the spaces we

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RMWB launching new Arts, Culture, and Heritage grant

Photo by Harvard Broadcasting staff

Applications are now open for a new pilot grant in the RMWB.

The 2022 Arts, Culture, and Heritage Pilot Grant will help achieve the priorities of the Wood Buffalo Culture Plan.

Those interested can apply as an individual or group, for a maximum of $5,000 for eligible arts, culture, and heritage-related projects through the Community Investment Program (CIP) Grant Portal.

Arts, culture, and heritage projects can include but are not limited to (full detailed description found community-services-and-social-support/resources/Final-Culture-Plan.pdf”here):

  • Environmental Arts: architecture, urban design, landscape design, environmental installations
  • Heritage Arts: protection, restoration, display, and interpretation of heritage archives and materials, artifacts, archeological and heritage sites
  • Literary Arts: storytelling, creative writing, prose, poetry
  • Media Arts: film/video, photography, sound recording, multimedia, publishing
  • Multicultural Arts: ethnic celebrations, festivals, fairs, ethnic-specific performing, visual, literary, craft, folk tales, culinary traditions
  • Performing Arts: drama, music, dance, choral, theatre, opera, comedic, puppetry, mime, performance art
  • Visual Arts: painting, drawing, calligraphy, fiber arts, ceramic arts, mosaics, sculpture, craft, woodworking, metal work, printmaking

The deadline for applications is December 31, 2022, at 4:30 p.m. MST or until the total $50,000 funding is exhausted.

The grant will be awarded in order of completed applications received.

The Wood Buffalo Culture Plan is a collaboration with the Community Advisory Committee that outlines a vision for arts and heritage, priorities, and strategies to support decision-making and resource allocation to maintain a vibrant, sustainable community, and quality of life for current and future residents.

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Applications open for pilot grant to support arts, culture and heritage projects in the region

2022 Arts, Culture and Heritage Pilot Grant will help achieve priorities of the Wood Buffalo Culture Plan

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) is excited to launch a new pilot grant to support the Wood Buffalo Culture Plan’s vision. Apply online today through the Community Investment Program (CIP) Grant Portal.

Individuals and groups may apply for a maximum of $5,000 for eligible arts, culture, and heritage-related project. The deadline for grant applications is December 31, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. MST or until the total $50,000 funding is exhausted, whichever comes first. The grant will be awarded in order of completed applications received.

What is considered an arts, culture and heritage project?

Arts, culture and heritage projects can include but are not limited to:

  • Environmental Arts: architecture, urban design, landscape design, environmental installations
  • Heritage Arts: protection, restoration, display and interpretation of heritage archives and materials, artifacts, archeological and heritage sites
  • Literary Arts: storytelling, creative writing, prose, poetry
  • Media Arts: film/video, photography, sound recording, multimedia, publishing
  • Multicultural Arts: ethnic celebrations, festivals, fairs, ethnic-specific performing, visual, literary, craft, folk tales, culinary traditions
  • Performing Arts: drama, music, dance, choral, theatre, opera, comedic, puppetry, mime, performance art
  • Visual Arts: painting, drawing, calligraphy, fiber arts, ceramic arts, mosaics, sculpture, craft, woodworking, metal work, printmaking

A more detailed description of arts, culture and heritage can be found in the Wood Buffalo Culture Plan.

One-on-one support

Take advantage of this opportunity and connect with the CIP team to help you navigate the CIP Grant Portal, application process and answer any questions you may have. One-on-one support is available through virtual meetings or over the phone. Please review the grant guidelines in full before your one-on-one meeting. For more information on how to book your one-on-one meeting, contact Pulse.

Completed applications that are received

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Furniture store makes bulletproof desks to protect teachers and students in US mass shootings | US News

A furniture company in the US is developing bulletproof desks for schools.

Tennessee-based First Line Furniture has teamed up with the creators of ballistic tables with the aim of distributing them in schools to protect students from shootings.

In an NBC video, a demonstrator shows how teachers or students can roll the desks up against a door and lock the wheels.

Another three tables in the classroom would flip to form a triangle that could shield up to 30 children and the company said the 360lb (163.3kg) desk is easy to operate.

They work by releasing a lever to put the table in position to form a barricade.

It has been tested with grenades, handguns and machine guns, with the table absorbing the bullets.

John Jerman, who is president of Office Furniture Works, said: “The shooter comes to the door – it’s locked. He shoots the lock out. All the rounds go into the table. It’s not metallic. There’s no ricochet.

“No penetration. In fact, the table never even moved off its spot when it was shot.”

The company added that the tables can be used to protect police officers from a shooter outside the classroom.

The company is based in Tennessee

It comes amid rising calls for tougher gun control laws in America, after several mass shootings in recent months.

On 24 May 21 people, including 19 children, were killed in a deadly massacre at Robb Elementary School in Texas.

Read more from Sky News:
Police review ordered into inaction of officers during Texas school massacre

‘We knew he was a monster’
Is America too divided to tackle gun problem?

The House of Representatives is meeting on Wednesday over proposals to ban certain semi-automatic weapons after a previous federal ban expired in 2004.

Meaningful changes

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Carleton Varney, ‘Mr. Color’ of interior design, dies at 85

Carleton Varney, an interior designer who bathed his spaces in emerald green and melon orange, azalea pink and royal blue, acquiring the moniker “Mr. Color” with a roster of A-list clients including Joan Crawford and Jimmy Carter, died July 14 at a hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 85.

His son Sebastian Varney confirmed his death but did not cite a cause.

Mr. Varney was the president and owner of the Manhattan-based firm Dorothy Draper & Co., the namesake of the venerable decorator who hired him as a draftsman when he was in his early 20s and schooled him in the unabashedly colorful vision of design that became his calling card.

“Mrs. Draper didn’t like anything that looked like it could be poured over a turkey,” Mr. Varney once told the Houston Chronicle. “No fabrics that look beige, gray or mousy or gravy-like,” he recalled to another interviewer.

Mr. Varney purchased the Draper firm in the mid-1960s. Over nearly six decades, he offered guests at White House state dinners, his marquee private clients, and visitors to resorts including the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. — one of his signature projects — a vibrant antidote to the neutral colors of the modern world.

“I once went to a hotel on my way back from Bora Bora, and the carpet was a knobby gray, and the walls were beige with white trim, and the curtains were gray-beige,” Mr. Varney told The Washington Post in 2020. “Even the art was beige. I went into the travertine bathroom, and when I came out, I thought I was naked in a bowl of oatmeal.”

Pro tip from the Greenbrier’s interior designer: Embrace color and shun beige

Mr. Varney’s stories about his clients were as nearly as colorful as the coverings he

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