You could spend every waking hour searching for furniture, lighting, and outstanding objects for the home. There are several reputable websites devoted to this effort. And there are countless mediocre ones that offer mid-century modern bootlegs, vintage pieces with dubious origins, and an onslaught of Get-the-Look-For-Less options (with free shipping!). And that’s to say nothing of the antiques world. We are in an era of endless design options. One where the shame of ordering the wrong chandelier, for example, is blunted knowing that almost anything purchased online can be returned—even a mattress.
What kind of a world is this? What sort of mercurial decorative, class-cutting behavior does this encourage? The sort that ignores the advice of a well-informed interior designer. The kind that leads to bad influences, a lack of direction, and a deeply unattractive home. When bad taste happens to good people, our whole society is at risk. It’s enough to make one aesthetically obsessed Home & Design editor retreat even further into the world of high-end artistry, where the luxury goods take this whole thing very seriously. That doesn’t mean a dull existence—there’s enough color, verve, and magnetism to keep the sallow rule of greige at a distance.
For this year’s Best of the Best, we selected pieces that leapt from that carnival of product introductions and did so without getting by on their good looks. Not entirely, anyhow. Here are the most exciting, most captivating intros—all of them evaluated and fretted over like prize-winning show dogs—as chosen by your tireless design advocate. If we do one thing well together, let it be our mutual love of design with an edge. The play-it-safe types have enjoyed a long enough reign, let’s see where the new line is.