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  • Writer's pictureCRAIKER

Stupid Architectural Designs

“What goes around, comes around, to haunt designers and architects”

We’ve all walked down City streets and cringed at buildings that might have looked great in their era, but won’t pass the acid test today. Like all fashion, some architectural trends come and go. Often for better but frequently for worse. Architecture and interior design have their moments and foibles.

Our march to today’s modern convenience has not been easy. Crazy ideas have come, made their imprint, and left us with options to improve our lives. Some concepts come, disappear, but reappear to haunt architects and designers.

Interestingly some trends come back with a vengeance. Mid-Century architecture, contemporary and edgy, is back and alive. Art Deco, popular in the 80s and 90s, is for the most part dead.

And how about the interior of our homes?

Let’s look at how our Living areas have changed. The Sunken Living Room was popular in the 60’s and 70’s as was the isolated Dining Room which was used maybe once a year. Now that dropped Living and crypt-like Dining are giving owners and architects headaches on what to do with them. Remember the Family Room? I worked for a Southern California architect that claimed to have invented the Family Room back in the 60’s. I’m glad to see its demise. And the isolated Kitchen is a thing of the past. Kitchens are bigger, grander and more expensive than ever, so that the owners can eat their Grub Hub delivery in style.

Some trends come and go, thank goodness. Shag rug carpets? Harbingers of disease. Avocado appliances and cabinets? Gone….maybe. Kitchen peninsulas are out and big islands are all the rage. Round beds with ceiling mirrors? No comment.

Today large open multipurpose living spaces that flow together are both trendy and create the illusion of more space than one thinks. The separated rooms are now bundled as a Great Room, which is simply returning to the way we lived for thousands of years.

Interior sunken conversation pits……? Let’s hope they are buried for good, so to speak, but they are returning as an intimate part of our California exterior life. Especially as the pandemic has made us more aware of our wonderful outside living. Interestingly, our human physical temperature limitation-our chill factor-has dropped from the 70s into the 60s as we hang out more while appreciating our cool California evenings.

Enjoy and pass the marshmallows!

Chris D Craiker AIA/NCARB The king of avocado appliances, conversation pits and shag rug in another era

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