Retrofuturism, 1980s maximalist interior design, Grayson Perry, polka dots and bright colors: That is what we are bringing into 2021. What we are leaving behind is empty, cold interiors and minimalist, Cape Cod-style houses. After binging every single episode of Architectural Digest’s Open Door series, I feel as though I have the authority to speak on these matters. I’ve decided that I will not be accepting modern, airplane hangar-like houses ever again. Sorry, they’re canceled. If the decor in your house is a black-and-white photograph and a log…we are no longer on speaking terms.
If you want your faith in humanity and interior design restored, may I suggest watching Lenny Kravitz, Dita Von Teese, and the Delevingne sisters’ tours. Watch Kravitz’s tour, where he shows off his Brazillan farm compound featuring custom black palm tree leaf wallpaper and amazing photos of his family. Also, watch his tour because he’s the coolest man alive. He takes chill to a whole new level. The Delevingne sisters, Poppy and Cara, truly know how to keep with a theme, and their jungle-centric house and Mad Hatter-inspired table don’t disappoint.
That being said, my favorite, my inspiration, my blueprint is Dita Von Teese’s home. Bright-colored walls, ethically sourced taxidermy, and vintage, vintage, vintage! Von Teese is an eccentric burlesque dancer and, well, she’s great at following a theme too. That’s what I love about her house. It’s so uniquely hers, and everything in it is amazing, meaningful, or just fits the aesthetic. She embodies maximalism—not only in interior design, but also in her wardrobe and lifestyle. Watching her tour reminded me how important it is to be surrounded by things you love. There is definitely a debate over whether “material things” can bring happiness. I think that they can. Being surrounded by taxidermy and burlesque art brings Von Teese happiness, and I understand why. Your space should be a reflection of yourself. Your room, home, apartment, dorm, or whatever is yours should be uniquely yours and nobody else’s. When someone walks into your space, they should know it’s yours.
I write this as I sit in my practically empty dorm room without a single piece of wall decor. Maybe I need to get off my high horse and take some of my own advice. Is it bad that I want my life to be filled with things? If I were as rich as the AD Open Door celebrities, I wouldn’t want to live in an empty, gray house.
So let me paint you a picture of my perfect house. The walls of my living area and kitchen would be a mix of dark forest green and a rich blood red. The walls would be covered in things that I love: loads of vintage gold picture frames with interesting photos inside. Assuming that I have the necessary funds, I would commission British artist Grayson Perry to make me a giant tapestry, which would be my statement piece. Perry produces amazing art that is often cartoonish, colorful, and comedic in a sophisticated way.
Another takeaway from hours of watching Open Door is that if you truly want to have a celebrity home, you have to have a pot filler. Seemingly useless and definitely frivolous, a pot filler sits above your stove so that you don’t have to walk to the sink to fill up your pots, because who has the time or energy to do that? So, of course, I will have one of those in my home because I want to fit in.
I also want to replace all regular, boring rectangular doorways with circular ones. Here, my retrofuturist fantasy will come to life—think the 1956 movie Forbidden Planet. My kitchen will be orange with stained glass windows and, obviously, a huge bowl of limes inspired by Dakota Johnson’s Open Door episode.
My dream house might be over the top, slightly clashing, and inspired by a burlesque dancer, but aren’t all the best things in life? I just want interior design to be fun again! I want to live in a place that is slightly eccentric and reflects me. No more creepy, empty, Tesla-like homes, unless that really is your vibe. I want my house to be as weird and inspiring as a Grimes music video, and I stand by that. So, let me leave you with this: Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you a pot filler.
Graphic by Ally Mozeliak / Heights Editor