Domino Magazine: Decorators, step away from the coral ?

So, I’m looking at my August Domino that just came in the mail – packed with do’s and don’ts from several of today’s big name decorators. I generally don’t ascribe to hard and fast “Do’s and Don’ts” rules because really, decorating is personal and transient. I’ll have more to pick over from this issue, but the first thing that really popped out at me is on page 60, “We all make mistakes” – the admission from Suzanne Rheinstein that “Stying with branches of coral is so overdone, even though I use them myself”. Huh… In September 2005, I did a post, Coral, Coral everywhere where I talked about the abundant use of the coral motif in decorating. The image links in the post are no longer active, but as I recall, I showed a lampshade, vases, fabrics, bedding, etc. My point, which I would still make, is that the overuse of a motif pushes it to the realm of trend and trends come and go. Today’s coral could be tomorrow’s lava lamp. Not wrong, per se, just tired feeling. However, if you love the lava lamp for its’ own sake and not just because it’s “in”, then you should go for it. Decorating is personal.


The coral trend is still going strong, but it makes one wonder – is it still special if everyone is doing it? And if professionals keep using the same items in their work over and over again – even when they know they are overused – what does that say?

(top photo by domino digital studio, August 2007)

xoxo Linda

5 thoughts on “Domino Magazine: Decorators, step away from the coral ?”

  1. It says that we aren’t “thinking outside the box”. However I do think that classic white coral will never be overdone. It will endure the way a good chanel handbag from the 60’s does. So the important thing is to buy quality and timelessness for the major pieces and have fun with the accessories and to above all think for yourself and not be dictated to by trends. Good thought provoking post. Thanks

  2. Thanks Patricia. Your comment about the Chanel handbag got me thinking – with fashion – accessories are trotted out on occasion, but in interiors, we buy accessories, plunk them in the room and there they sit. It would be great if we all rotated our accessories and art so it always feels fresh. Like visiting with an old friend!

  3. eek, I am looking at a tile with coral on it for use in our guesthouse. I was thinking dark grey with red coral. Given Patricia’s comment, I am wondering whether dark red with white coral is more timeless. Or what do you think?

  4. I have to chime in… I read this feature in Domino myself and felt my jaw drop into my lap. I recently scored a gorgeous piece of pure brain coral for my guest bathroom. The sample is large and lends a modern, graphic element to the room. Coral can indeed be a timeless piece when used properly and when trendy hues are avoided.

    Maryam…interesting question. In your case you have to throw in the Morocco factor. Culture-centric design in the states is vastly different than the varied, bold choices you have at your disposal in Marrakesh. You can certainly afford to be bold with color and pattern in your architecture and design. As to whether the red/grey combo works it is difficult to say with out seeing it in context.

    In the end I believe that if you love a piece or a design, you should go for it. Who cares what a Do’s and Don’ts list has to say. 😉

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