Lately, we've been hoping that mason jars and industrial-pipe shelving might go the way of "normcore" and the "dad bod" — be phased out and replaced by something a bit more...sophisticated. What can we say? Old-fashioned for the sake of old-fashioned just isn't in style anymore. So, we're taking matters into our own hands. As design is trending away from the rustic and artificially antiqued and turning to a more fabulous, beach-house-by-way-of-Bauhaus aesthetic, we're celebrating the only way we know how — with a bunch of super-hot homemakers in rooms outfitted with the coolest furniture and accessories.
"The antlers and haircuts for which Brooklyn has become famous have very little to do with the design coming from there now," notes Isaac Friedman-Heiman, creative director of WorkOf, an online marketplace for independent design. The proof is in the pudding — or, rather, in Pletz's ebonized Maple lamps, which feel timeless rather than retro. "I’m drawn to designers on their own trip, developing a personal vocabulary," says Aaron Shoon, half of the husband-and-wife team behind the brand. Pletz's unique thread of organic modernism, grounded in FSC-certified timber and linseed oil, is complemented perfectly by the evolved materiality of designer Evan Z. Crane's unique credenza. The piece nods to the Brooklyn of yesteryear (we're looking at you, Williamsburg), though the combination of stained Walnut and oxidized Maple with wool is totally, if weirdly, contemporary. "I knew there was a specific personality to be brought out," says Crane. "The sheep pelt was the right material to bring it all together."
Looking to movements like Bauhaus and Memphis for inspiration is only natural.
Isaac Friedman-Heiman, WorkOf
Designer Brian Volk-Zimmerman's St. Charles vanity is another master class in mixed materials, set atop a powder-coated steel base in faded violet. It's one hell of a statement piece, accented here with Debra Folz's braided-leather stool. Consider us obsessed. "I think that the attention given to Brooklyn in recent years has allowed young designers to become part of the international design conversation. Looking to movements like Bauhaus and Memphis for inspiration is only natural in this evolution," notes Friedman-Heiman. "The unique opportunity that Brooklyn designers have is to produce a design language that is contemporary and totally original and that is what we are just beginning to see now."
Minimalist, modernist aesthetics never go out of style.
Aaron Shoon, Designer
All the better when that language evolves around a butter-soft, tufted-leather sofa. "There is definite attention being [paid] to a simplistic, well-proportioned look," says designer David Gaynor, whose compact love seat is ideal for space-starved urbanites. "This allows for a greater attention to detail, like wood piercing through stone or glass, or, [as in] my love seat, a metal base connecting to a wood frame. When these details are executed well, they're seamless." It's a sentiment echoed by Shoon. "Minimalist, modernist aesthetics never seem to go out of style...so much is about letting materials speak for themselves — and elegant details, always." At the end of the day, we can't shave your boyfriend's beard or swap out your cinder-block table while you're not looking, but hopefully we've made the case that maybe — just maybe — it might be fun to look to the slightly more recent past for inspiration. As long as there are hot guys, natch.