Monday, November 22, 2010

Great Ideas Duplicated

Elle Decor November 2007
Sometimes I’m afraid there are no new ideas out there, especially in the world of design and creativity.  I’ll be the first to admit I’m a bit jaded.  Actually, I’m very jaded and working in retail for much of my career probably didn’t help.  Case in point; I’ve always known that retail merchants and store environment designers continuously steal competitor’s concepts.  But, after I moved to NYC and started a job in the marketing side of the business, I was surprised by the advertising creative process.  So much of the creative design, including graphic, photography, layout and other advertising direction was driven not by innovative new thinking, but was developed from pouring over other peoples work such as magazines, other ad campaigns, swipe and tear sheets, books and any number of other creative outlets.  Its not that our creative department took ideas and reused them verbatim; it was more for inspiration and creative direction.  This is fine.  I learned that very few creative projects start from scratch.

Elle Decor September 2010
One other case in point; years ago I gave C an interesting empire partners desk for Christmas.  Although it’s not a huge piece of furniture, it does command a significant amount of space and pretty much dominates a room.  We have always had a problem making it work to our satisfaction and not unlike everything else we own, it’s been in just about every room in our house.  It would be in his office, except that his office is upstairs and there’s no way the desk will make it up the steep narrow staircase.  We’ve tried! 

So, I was excited when I noticed a couple of pages in Elle Décor’s September 2010 issue under the ‘Great Ideas’ section titled Volume Control.  The article is about home libraries.  The headline reads… “Take a page from these stylish home libraries, which are as intriguing as the books they contain.”  

On many occasions we’ve discussed turning one of our front rooms into a library using the partner’s desk as the feature furniture piece.  The article reminded me that I had been marking library rooms that appeared in shelter magazines for years.  I’ve mentioned before, I collect shelter magazines and have a whole wall dedicated to them in my studio.  As I started going through the archived issues, I was surprised, but not shocked to see basically the same article in Elle Décor’s November 2007 issue.  It too was a several page feature in their ‘Great Ideas’ section.  Of course the title was different.  This one was called Case Study and the headlines read… “Shelves do more than keep books tidy.  The best bookcase can give any room high-flying drama.”  Although the words and photos are different, it’s pretty much the same.  I guess I can somewhat excuse Elle Décor since there are only so many type rooms in a house one can discuss.  Also, I’ve only been doing this blog for a few months and I understand how hard it is to continuously come up with new and fresh ideas.  Either way, I guess it’s OK.  It just doubles my options of ideas I can steal for my own library!

Photo Credit:  Didier Delmars

Photo Credit:  Marianne Haas

Photo Credit:  Daniel Hertzell

Photo Credit:  Marie-Pierre Morel

Photo Credit:  Guillamume De Laubeir

Photo Credit:  Pieter Estersohn

Photo Credit:  Grey Crawford

Photo Credit:  William Waldron

Photo Credit:  Nicolas Tosi
Photo Credit:  William Waldron

Photo Credit:  William Waldron

Photo Credit:  Nocolas Tosi

Photo Credit:  Gaelle Le Boulicaut

Photo Credit:  Georgio Baroni

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