Are you reading this while sitting in your home? Of course you are! It’s lockdown season two, winter edition, and it’s likely you’re spending the majority of the day couch, desk, or bed-bound. (We’d call this phenomenon corona-and-chill, except instead of relaxing, you’re clouded in an omnipresent state of anxiety.)
That said, the sudden onset of our sedentary existence does, however, make this the perfect time to finally make those small changes to your house, or apartment, that’ll make it the sanctuary you’ve always envisioned. We aren’t going to advocate a complicated overhaul at the moment. (Trying to do a Zoom call amid kitchen cabinet installation seems like, well, torture.) But that blank wall that’s been bugging you? You finally have enough time to pick out some art. Or that worn-and-torn rug that doesn’t really go with your couch, yet it seemed like such a hassle to replace, so you kinda just let it disintegrate over the years and now you occasionally trip over its furled corners? You just found your new Sunday afternoon activity—replacing it. And, as we’ve all learned lying horizontal for hours on end, a plethora of plushy pillows doesn’t make this once-in-a-generation pandemic go away, but it does make it comfier to live through.
In the pursuit of doable home improvement, Vogue decided to ask 18 of our favorite interior designers what home objects, exactly, they were loving during the this time. They answered with everything from classic Turkish cotton towels, to bonsai trees, to a fuzzy blue notebook that looks like it belongs to a hype beast Cookie Monster from Supreme Street. What did all these items have in common? They brought a sense of comfort, joy, and (in the case of an extravagant sheep sculpture), a bit of a laugh.
“We have certainly all been through a lot in the past year,” says Candace Rimes, Associate Director of Interiors for Fogarty Finger. “As 2021 kicks off, we want to surround ourselves with objects that have a personality, sense of humor, don’t take themselves too seriously, and create conversation. Lisa Frantz, of Lisa Frantz interiors, seconds that: “Buy pieces that evoke happiness.” So perhaps that's the ultimate home decor trend for 2021: a splash of fun.
Below, their picks. Peruse (and if you feel like it, purchase), at your leisure.
“I’ve really been into classic bold patterns that are applied to unexpected materials, and teaming them with beautiful monochromatic palettes. This checkered pattern black and white shag rug by Aelfie is something that I am really into for a new McKinley Bungalow that we’re working on at the moment.”
-Robert McKinley, Studio McKinley
"My favorite home objects allow for reconfigurability and encourage the user to delight in participating with them. JiuJie Decor sculptural pillows are so versatile: One or more can be knotted together or unknotted to serve as a long lumbar bolster on your bed."
-Candace Rimes, Fogarty Finger
"Bright bursts of colors are my absolute favorite, so this hand-stamped and hand-stitched quilt is my latest obsession. Whether used as a bedspread, throw, or wall hanging, it’s a gender-neutral object that’s neither feminine nor masculine and instantly revamps a room. "
-Kathryn M. Ireland
“I'm all about inviting the outdoors in, and these little Bonsai trees are bringing me a lot of joy right now. (Also Perennials, trees and shrubs purchased at Home Depot have a one-year guarantee!)”
-Justina Blakeney, Jungalow
“Clay-ware and anything handmade are always a go-to object for me to decorate and style with in a home. This footed tray elevates the everyday fruit bowl.”
-Sarah Sherman Samuel
"I’ve been a longtime fan of Mary Maguire art, which looks like something one would inherit from a very chic grandmother. Her perfect intimate printed watercolors are framed in one-of-a-kind vintage frames which makes the works all the more personal. They brighten up any space."
-Lyndsay Caleo, The Brooklyn Home Company
Pink Blooming Rose Watercolor
Sumatran Tiger Watercolor
"Tamar Mogendorff is an extraordinary maker who puts so much love, talent, and thought into everything she creates. We love these wheat-pattern blankets she made as a throw; they're soft, look beautiful on a sofa or a bed, and are handmade by artisans in Guatemala."
-Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger, BoND
"I got this mobile around the holidays as a Merry Christmas to me. It sits on my windowsill near my new office (the dining room table) and makes me happy as it slowly moves in the wind."
-Sara Duffy, Stonehill Taylor
"Every time I have new ideas, I love to write them in this notebook. It makes taking notes fun.”
-Harry Nuriev, Crosby Studios
Crosby Studios Blue Fur Notebook
"I’m a firm believer in the old adage: the more pillows, the better. Layering, rearranging, and switching out pillow covers is also one of the easiest and most impactful ways to refresh your space, and I often find myself satisfying a redesign ‘itch’ by updating my own assortment of pillows. This Costa Nova Pillow Cover from Serena & Lily, complete with tassels and stripes, is a fun neutral with a bit of texture that works well alongside others but is also a standout on its own."
-Lee Mayer, Havenly
"Natural stone materials, particularly travertine, are so relevant right now.I love the Round Tray from Populus Project, a gorgeous detailed piece with faceted edges and inlay brass coin that elevates any space."
-Erick Garcia, Maison Trouvaille
"2021 is the year of the artisan and the time to buy statement objects for the home that make us feel good! Whether it is art, sculpture or a collected object from a favorite place or culture, buy pieces that evoke happiness."
-Lisa Frantz, Lisa Frantz Interiors and NYDC’s Access to Design
"Lampshades are the new throw pillow. With fun prints, new pleating materials, and colored cords, lampshades are the trendy accessory of the moment, offering an immediate way to add color and interest to any room.”
-Carleton Varney, Dorothy Draper & Co
Pair of Hand-Painted Lamp Shades
"This fun gourd-shaped porcelain lamp by the master of porcelain lamps, Christopher Spitzmiller, cannot help but put a smile on your face. Pools of light around a room are so much nicer than the harsh and flat light that comes from overhead can light in the ceiling."
Christopher Spitzmiller Buatta Large Table Lamp
"Our Seamoor chair is stable, comfortable, and natural—that’s why it’s trending! From ancient Egypt to 20th century Scandinavia seagrass coupled with wood has been used to weave the perfect seat, as sea grass is a natural reliable material to cradle the human form."
-Robin Standefer, Roman and Williams
"The Arteriors 'Mahoun' Dining Table would work beautifully in either the city or the country. Its distinct shape commands attention and works as a handsome dining table, but I can also see it gracing an entrance as a dramatic center table. My clients are asking for more versatility than ever before, so beautiful pieces like this are perfect for a range of interiors and uses.”
-Kathleen Walsh, Kathleen Walsh Interiors and NYDC’s Access to Design Designer
“The lamp design by Foreign National’s Noah Phillips and Loren Boggs comes in five mouthwatering glazed earthenware candy coated colors—and with names like cinnamon and tu tu tango, who could resist? The lamp is dimmable with a brass button yet stands alone as a sculptural piece even when not lit. Truly a conversation piece.”
Foreign National Nessy Lamp in Tiger Tail
THANK YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY
Foreign National Nessy Lamp in Cinnamon Stix
THANK YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY
“An exciting young design studio based in Berlin, New Tendency makes a range of furniture and products that are extremely memorable in their simplicity. We've been using their Meta Side Table as a nightstand, although it is versatile enough to be used in a living room or even an office setting. A limited edition of this piece was recently released in collaboration with fashion studio Etudes.”
-Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger
New Tendency Meta Side Table in Black
New Tendency Meta Side Table in White
New Tendency Meta Side Table in Sienna
New Tendency Meta Side Table in Dark Green
“I have this rug in our bedroom and I love its earthy tones and its soft wool blend texture. I think we could use a little comfort underfoot right now. I’m seeing more and more nature-themed pieces being brought inside for their grounding attributes and even though the icons are more abstract I designed the rug with a sunrise icon with birds, a lighting icon and mountains and the double triangle symbol for earth.”
-Sarah Sherman Samuel
"The cotton Turkish towel is my current favorite chose, perfect as a towel, sarong, tablecloth, throw, and even custom pillowcase or lampshade—you can do practically anything but eat it. Since we can’t travel these days, I love that this piece immediately transports me to lying poolside on the Côte D’Azur."
"Brooklyn based artist Danny Kaplan is making table lamps that are works of art. They would work beautifully in any room style, his subtle material, palate and forms make a statement."
Danny Kaplan White Ceramics Octavius Lamp
Danny Kaplan Seneca Table Lamp
"I love to fill my walls with art that makes me feel uplifted and inspired, and this print from Melissa Koby gives me all the feels."
Melissa Koby Built on Pride Print
"Many homes these days don't have distinct dining rooms and most people don’t want to have all their china and collectibles out on display. Breakfronts used to hold all these items, but they are too big and just don’t suit today's tastes. Yet, you still need a pediment piece to display tableware and house collectibles in a fun and attractive way—these two takes on the Chinese-inspired pagoda work with contemporary, vintage and traditional styles."
Pair of Red Pagoda Étagères
George III Style Red Pagoda Étagères
“I am always searching for decorative lighting that can easily be moved around to unexpected places in the home or office. Humanhome has an amazing collection of plug-in sconces so no electrician needed.”