HBCH September, October, November 2010 : Page 56
dave hopkins interior photo by bob coscarelli Heiji Choy Black in her home office, where cool design mixes with cords, stacks of books and the chaos of real-life. Dave Hopkins fills up the nooks and crannies of his apartment with collections of unconventional oddities. Some people call it clutter. Vintage merchandiser Martha Mulholland calls it an in-home art installation. The interior of Jeffrey Moss’ loft is cluttered with personal artifacts that reflect his life. An up-close look at one of Martha Mulholland’s collections on display. “We’ve all known people who fill their houses with crazy wonderful stuff, but they used to be underground—the ultra, ultra-hip,” says Jeffrey Moss. “now because of the selby, we’re experiencing a moment where it’s cool for everyone to put their life on display.” ...continued for lifestyle brands like Pottery Barn. Moss has ushered a parade of shelter photographers through his Pilsen loft recently (his place will turn up in the November issue of British Elle Décor). Editors are endlessly fascinated by the stunning avalanche of vintage photos push-pinned to his walls. “It’s not clutter,” he insists. “It’s evidence of personality, evidence of life.” So about now you’re thinking: “Tis is a design trend right in my wheelhouse. I can leave my stuff all over the place and be done!” Right? Well, actually, no. It’s like the guy looking at the Jackson Pollack who says, “My kid could do that.” Tere’s a little more going on. “When it comes to clutter, it either has to be in one’s blood or it’s best to avoid it,” Smith warns, a sentiment reinforced by Moss. “It would be misleading to say my things are arranged randomly,” he says. “Tere’s a naïve sense of placement, but there’s always a narrative.” Another local professional who’s gotten attention for an unconventional aesthetic is 30-year-old designer David Hopkins. His much-photographed place (see Apartment Terapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces and back issues of this very magazine) might be this city’s loveliest Edwardian curio cabinet. “I like rooms that are full of junk but I don’t let them become a clutter-fest,” says Hopkins, who’s currently re-upholstering his sofa in old Soviet parade flags. “For example, I have 40 little pots, similar in tone, shape, and origin, on my mantel. 56 | | Fall 2010 Grouped together they read as one object; if I’d put them all around the room they’d just read as a mess.” And 26-year-old visual merchandiser Martha Mulholland thinks of her flamboyant accessories as art installations. “It’s not chaos, ” says Mulholland. “I’m very anal. Te pillow has to be a certain way, but it’s not perfection either! I like special antiques but I want them next to something trashy. My biggest compliment came from a photographer who thought Todd Selby should photographmy apartment.” Ah yes, Todd Selby. If not the father of the clutter look, he’s certainly its prime enabler. “Todd Selby started documenting it, but the style’s been around,” Moss demurs. “We’ve all known people who fill their houses with crazy wonderful stuff, but they used to be underground—the ultra, ultra-hip. Now because of Te Selby, we’re experiencing a moment where it’s cool for everyone to put their life on display.” Hopkins says the Randolph Street flea market is his barometer of how much clutter has taken off: “You’ve got these hipster shoppers right alongside the Lincoln Park housewives, and they’re fighting over some old baker’s hook. It’s hilarious” “It’s a fresh, jolly, permissive, inclusive approach to design,” explains Moss. “Now when you find yourself asking ‘I like this but does it work with that?’... you can say ‘yes, yes, yes.’” Yes!