I took a couple days off after arriving from Europe on Friday to recover and adjust to the time difference. It was a quick vacation, and I saw and experienced so much that I’ll be sharing more of what I saw in the coming weeks.
During my travels, I became aware of how the power of the internet is influencing the design industry. The use of design elements is increasing exponentially worldwide as we become more connected.
A week ago, when I sat in a cafe in Brussels, it occurred to me that I might have been anywhere in the United States. White subway tile, metal Tolix barstools, and black warehouse lamps were all present.
the Brussels cafe
Styles are beginning to converge, and globalization is the cause of this. It is thought that when customers enter a coffee shop or bistro, they will receive the same treatment and share the same tastes. Brick walls, salvaged wood, industrial seats, and Edison lighting. These components are currently widespread throughout the world.
Last week, I spent a night at a Prague Airbnb property and noticed right away that every cup, pillow, piece of art, and piece of furniture was an IKEA purchase. It was obvious that the owner had decorated in a quick and simple manner. Although it was tidy and attractive, it lacked soul.
The worldwide design aesthetic has been greatly affected by companies like IKEA, making it all too easy to simply buy furniture from large box retailers and call it a day. They market goods that are first adored but soon grow uninteresting after everyone has them. We enjoy shopping at IKEA since the products are affordable and generally well-made, but we become weary of seeing the same items arranged and photographed over.
IKEA is hardly the only company that produces sameness. When I entered a home store in Antwerp, I had the same feeling as when I had entered Anywhere USA: these homogeneous things are being sold to please the masses. I spotted some things I like for my house, but I was confident I could get alternatives there.
Belgium’s Antwerp is home to Zara.
I stayed in a loft in Brussels through Airbnb, and I liked how the decor was more varied and tastefully done. In addition to furnishing it with necessities, the owner took the time to overlay the room with intriguing lighting and artwork. More effort had been put into fusing the traditional and contemporary, the old and the new.
Belgium’s loft in Brussels
I accidentally entered a room with dappled light and curved wingback chairs covered in pricey velvet when I snuck into a hotel lobby in Bruges, Belgium. It was an unusual combination of hues and shapes, so I paused to take it all in. There was no similarity here. It was a distinctive and lovely room with traditional and thoughtful features that made sense in this small corner of the world.
hotel de orangerie , Belgium’s Bruges
Anyone who visits Pinterest will recognize the similarity I’m referring to. the sensible options. a tendency for people to repeatively acquire the same appearance. Uniqueness is sucked up by similarity.
This is why I now value blogs with original content and websites like Apartment Therapy house tours . It’s encouraging to see people abandon the bandwagon approach to decorating. Another reason I enjoy traveling is to see both sides of design, to see how globalization and mass-produced sameness are affecting the world while also discovering the originality that is still present.
This is why the world needs creatives—artists and designers who enhance surroundings through their skills and unique expression. The internet threatens originality, but it also fosters creativity by preventing the same style from being recycled repeatedly.
If you’re anything like me, you eagerly anticipate reading blogs and design websites every day because that’s where we find design inspiration, education, and stimulation. What do you think about designs that look the same? Do you grow tired of having the same appearance?