This Week's Thursday Styles sends Critical Shopper Jon Caramanica on a home decor shopping tour of Brooklyn's tonier neighborhoods. Our shopper ascribes the Brooklynian vogue for artisanal, handcrafted home decor to a reaction against the peculiar mix of mid-century modern, thrift shop and camp aesthetics that has typified influential designer Jonathan Adler's style. Now, the whimsy-weary of Kings County have turned to handcrafted, limited edition accouterments, and from what we can tell, they are on their way to turning them into just as much of a hackneyed cliché, proving that there is no trend that New Yorkers cannot hammer until we can no longer bear to look at it.
But, we haven't gotten to the maximum saturation point yet, so Caraminaca hits several hotspots starting at Williamsburg's Joinery, where in addition to the fashion offerings, we find wooden bowls and enamel colanders. Next it's on to Beam, home of brightly colored but kitsch-free options and then to the more sophisticated but somewhat arid Abode, where the offerings lack soul. "...the charm of these pieces is largely digital. Almost certainly, they were designed on a computer, even if it was one with, like, an X-Girl sticker on it," he complains. Then it's on to The Primary Essentials in Boerum Hill, "a calm white space on a thriving strip of Atlantic Avenue now in its second wave of commercial gentrification," that seems to fit his requirements, calling it a "shrine of the small batch". But what will happen when those Clam Lab infinity bowls start looking tired? Time to chase another trend.
Critical Shopper: Spoons for the Picky By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)