When it comes to decor and digital shopping, no one knows the game better than Tom Delavan, creative director of home at Gilt.com. As the former editor-at-large at Domino mag, former Sotheby’s contemporary-art specialist, and Harvard grad, Delavan is a certifiable interior-design expert. But what makes this industry pro truly special — besides his résumé and, of course, taste — is his knowledge of the world of virtual-shopping and inspiration. Ahead, Tom breaks down his favorite decor and design apps, blogs, and tips on how to curate your home when, literally, the entire market is only a click away.
As part of the Make It Yourself trend from our Future of Home Living report, which looks at how a new range of DIY kits and technologies are making the process of envisioning and producing custom products and designs accessible to anyone, regardless of space or skills, PSFK Labs has identified the following example.
Everything But The Manual is modular furniture kit developed by Dutch designer David Graas that arrives as a cube comprised of 177 identical oak building blocks that can be screwed together to make almost anything imaginable. The flexibility of the system combined with its ease of assembly make it accessible for makers of all skills, while still challenging them to create and build their own designs without the use of a manual. The designer has suggested three designs of his own—a dressing table, lamp and cuckoo clock—which he hopes will inspire countless other DIY creations.
Take a look at your bedroom. Is it scattered with laundry? Adorned with photos? Are you only leaving a sliver of space in the closet for your partner’s clothes? These seemingly mundane domestic scenarios may reveal a surprising amount of information about a couple’s relationship, according to a forthcoming study led by Lindsay Graham, a psychology graduate student in the College of Liberal Arts.
In collaboration with Sam Gosling, professor of psychology and author of “Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You,” Graham and her team of student researchers will leave no knickknack unturned as they search for signs of a happy home — or possibly trouble in paradise.
When it comes to interior design, we could use a little help. An Elvis paint-by-numbers print and a Ping-Pong table are the two best pieces we currently have in our office, along with a massive beanbag chair and four identical couches that might be futons, but nobody is really sure. With that, we feel like we’ve summed up a good percentage of American living spaces: comfortable yet confused.
The reality is that most people know what they like, whether it’s by look or by feel, but don’t know how to bring everything together in a cohesive look. Noa Santos, co-founder of NYC design firm Home Polish, wants to make sure that if you need professional interior design help, you are able to use it wisely.
“By hiring a designer,” Noa says, “people try to put a brand stamp on their space without knowing who they are as a person.” They may be attracted to a name like David Bromstad or Emily Henderson, but unless they like ultra-modern and colorful spaces with custom wall art or spaces that make use of up-cycled antiques with a bright accent color, their space won’t truly represent them.
“One of the wonderful things about having your own home is that you can create your life within its four walls. Whatever, whomever you want to be is entirely possible because you control the space, the colour, the design, and the style that suits best.
Graphic designer Sarah Jackson feels that way about the condominium she purchased in downtown Edmonton two years ago. Located in the historic McLeod building on 100th Street, just north of Jasper Avenue, her home reflects the urban culture that Jackson longed to embrace. Growing up on an acreage, she often felt isolated. When Jackson first moved downtown as a student to study graphic arts, she fell in love with being able to walk everywhere. So the fact that the McLeod doesn’t have parking is no problem at all; Jackson travels by public transit, bike or on foot, navigating downtown streets for everything from her morning latte to groceries. She loves the bustle that characterizes living in any city core.”