Designer Spotlight: 6.23.21

Ashley Obradovits of Karr Bick

What style element are you excited about?
I love ‘grandmillennial’ design. It’s like your grandma’s style mixed with a modern sensibility. The traditional aesthetic has never gone out of style; it’s just being rediscovered by millennials who are drawn to the nostalgia it gives them for their childhoods. It includes a lot of the design elements I was raised with: scalloped details, ruffles, tassels, pleats, large florals, patterned wallpaper, and heavily adorned bedskirts and ornaments. It’s an explosion of feminine details that rebels against a monochromatic, white-walled look. It’s nice to see design come full circle and these things being appreciated again.

What appeals to you about the trend?
I’m a very nostalgic designer. I always try to incorporate items that evoke memories and emotions. I recently designed my daughter’s bedroom with elements from my childhood, including the actual chandelier from my room when I was kid. Clients also often have pieces passed down from generation to generation, and I enjoy finding new ways for them to love those pieces with history.

How can people incorporate the grandmillennial style into their homes?
If you don’t have pieces that fit, garage and estate sales are great places to find them. Some homeowners may find grandmillennial style a little overwhelming, so small changes like recovering a chair or hanging antique china on the wall are good places to start. You can mix some of these key trends with an abstract piece of artwork or a lacquered buffet to throw in some modern and antique elements. Right now, I’m working with a client who wants to incorporate patterned wallpaper. Instead of covering every wall, we’re just putting it on the ceiling. It’s a nice surprise when you walk in but not too in your face. You don’t want to go overboard so it looks like Laura Ashley threw up all over your room!

Are you seeing any trends on their way out?
All-white design is less popular right now. It’s always going to be a nice, clean blank slate, but people are wanting to welcome color back into their lives. As a designer, I find it really refreshing. I get to play more with color, texture and all of the details.

How has the pandemic impacted how people approach their homes?
Everyone has been sitting at home and sharing work spaces with their family. Rooms with specific purposes and a less open floor plan are becoming popular, and home offices are big. Kids also are more involved in design after spending so much time at home

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