Curbly Original
A Crash Course in Mid-Century Modern Design, and How You Can Get the Look

by Kate Wagner
Drawing of a Suburban House from a 1953 issue of House + Home
Photo from the archives of the author.

Mid-Century Modernism is ubiquitous - from Ikea to West Elm, Architectural Digest to Houzz, the sleek, clean style remains atop interior design charts almost ten years after its resurgence began (often accredited to the onset of Mad Men in 2007). This article provides a crash course in the movement's important figures, as well as some tips on how to get the mid-century look in your home without paying a fortune. 

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Curbly Original
Whose Style is That? Louis XIV or Donald Trump? An Interior Design Guide to the New President

by Kate Wagner
Kate Wagner is the founder and editor of McMansion Hell, a web site for people who love to hate the ugly houses that became ubiquitous before (and after) the bubble burst. Photo: Sam Horine

If I had a dollar for every time I received a request to take on Donald Trump's interior design, I'd have enough to buy coffee for quite a few weeks - no small feat. 

As the Internet's chosen McMansion taxonomist, I have spent a lot of time with tacky. After spending so much time with tacky that my fingers have started to stick together at the mere thought of a grand estate, here is my thesis: 99% of McMansion decor is inspired by people like Donald Trump. As Fran Lebowitz so elegantly put it, "Donald Trump is a poor person's idea of a rich person." It's a pretty simple system, really: gold = rich. Columns = rich because banks have columns. Chandeliers = rich because they're big and shiny. You catch my drift. 

We as people have been fascinated by the dwellings of celebrities since the dawn of celebrities, who, back in the day, were usually royalty or the Pope. Donald Trump's Manhattan penthouse apartment is a particularly interesting (and recursive) instance where a celebrity decorates based on the taste of previous celebrities. In this case, King Louis XIV and King Louis XV of 17th and 18th century France. Luckily, the world was spared from the continuation of the heavily ornate Rococo style for a couple centuries thanks to the French Revolution. Then the 80s happened, and Donald Trump came with them. A fun guessing game to play is: Is it the French Palace of Versailles or a Donald Trump apartment?

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