Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


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!)


Anonymous said...

BRILLIANT blog! I adore it... Do you know about New York Social Diary? The feature a different interior designer, or great house each Friday. I think that they just did Miles Redd a few weeks ago. Today's house and interview are Carolyne Roehm. It's worth checking out!

Style Court said...

Thanks so much for your comment anon! And thanks for the tip on NY Social Diary - I'll check it out ASAP!

Anonymous said...

Hi Courtney!
So glad you liked the NYSD! It's a great site...

I found your site when I googled David Hicks. I used to live in the UK and got to be friends with his great-niece, who's also great-niece to Queen Elizabeth. I have some of David Hicks' books, which are brilliant.

Thank you so much for all of the hard work that you put into your site. It's got so many lovely things and great pictures and ideas.


Style Court said...

Hi Anonymous!
How exciting to have a close connection to David Hicks. Many thanks again for your tip, and kind words.