Homeliness is back in, and it seems that part of what makes a house a home is outfitting it with personal accessories and decorative elements. Of course, more spare living environments can also be furnished with decorative elements to make for a homely space. The current trend towards the decorative, however, applies to entire living concepts, extends to sofas with cushions and side tables, shelving units and console tables with decorative accessories, makes for baskets scattered across overlapping rugs, and takes possession of entire walls. If there isn’t at least one wall in the home adorned with patterned wallpaper, then photo galleries, wall decals and shelves arranged in groups work to break up the two-dimensionality of all too stark wall surfaces.
Nevertheless, it isn’t as though decorations are simply scattered about with abandon. Sleek shelves and single, small boxes hang on the walls, displaying carefully selected decorative objects. The passion of the collector, previously stigmatised as bourgeois, is allowed to flourish once more. The type cases of old are being replaced by individual box shelves with one or two compartments at the most, which lend themselves to being hung up in rows. Instead of yesterday’s collectors cups, it is today’s design objects or vintage sunglasses with which today’s accumulators are filling their homes; instead of the tin toy car, design enthusiasts place wooden cars by designers like Matteo Ragni on their shelves, and Star Wars fans of all generations can feature their collections in modern display cases. Small treasures such as the classic wooden Eames House Bird are showcased in the same manner as the family photos that used to sit on grandmother’s chest of drawers, while vases sit in groups on sideboards and extra large tables, the purpose of which has long left the realms of dining.
Perhaps today, we simply have more space to be filled. After all, many hours in the lives of the younger generation in particular are now being spent in virtual space, where no documents or books need to be filed, nor LPs or CDs shelved. Computer, internet radio and smartphone are becoming increasingly slim, thereby making many pieces of furniture obsolete. As a result, shelves often function less like storage spaces than display cases.
A new category of furniture is offering an answer to the decoration trend; this includes individual shelves, side tables with a single drawer, and wireless charging stations for the latest smartphone, minimalistic display cases and small chests of drawers which protrude from the wall like a ledge or a climbing hold. Folding screens offer themselves as design solutions and even flower shelves are making a comeback, but in modern forms and made of modern materials. Towels are no longer stacked and hidden away in cabinet drawers, but rolled up and arranged by colour on an open shelf, creating a bright display. Or they are draped over ladder shelves leaning on the wall, making the textile arrangement an eye-catcher, impossible to ignore. In any case, only that which should be seen is visible. Everything else still discreetly vanishes behind those very same smooth surfaces, doors and drawers mentioned above.Photos