The Happy Movement
[Above, Steven Gambrel is a master when it comes to creating cheerful rooms that are not too happy.]
[ Miles Redd and a few of his interiors.]
A few weeks ago there was an article in the New York Times about the whole "Happy Chic" movement in decorating. The piece focused on the psychological impact of color, and the current interest in old school decorators, such as Dorothy Draper, who used bold, upbeat color.
For the most part the article dealt with two extremes in decorating: the beige and black "sophisticated" room versus the in-your-face wildly colorful, "fun" interior. Although designer Miles Redd was cited as one who can deftly use candy colors in bold strokes without being too sugary sweet.
Of course, along with Redd, there are a host of other designers who have always used clear, cheerful colors without going too garish or saccharine. For example, the Joe Nye-decorated beach cottage, above and below, which was featured in House Beautiful, 2001, has a very strong Sister Parish vibe. It's optimistic and cozy, and it doesn't take itself too seriously. But, to me at least, it is not ridiculously whimsical.
(If over-the-top whimsy makes you happy, though, follow your bliss!)