Guest blog by Lynn Byrne
Blogger Lynn Byrne lives in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. New York has always been a magnet for people pursuing a dream. Mother of three and former Wall Street attorney, she fulfilled her particular dream by studying interior design at the renowned Parsons School of Design. These days Byrne writes about design, art and her travels. We accompanied the trend expert as she visited Ambiente for the first time.
“It’s the biggest trend show I’ve ever seen!” she exclaims excitedly. Lynn Byrne has been in Frankfurt only a few hours, but she’s already toured some of the exhibition halls. The New Yorker, well used to superlatives, is overwhelmed by the sheer size of the fair and is pleased that the site layout is so easy to understand. As she walks around, she tells us about her home in Manhattan and what’s important to her: “At the moment we’re living in a rented apartment and unfortunately we’re not allowed to paint the walls in colour. Instead, I use textiles and objets d’art to add colour to our home.” As everywhere else in the Big Apple, people have to make maximum use of their apartment. “In this city you absolutely need furniture that’s multifunctional, and you also need storage space.”
Old-school is cool
“These floor-length silk curtains are really popular among young people in the city,” explains Lynn. She has a hunch why that’s the case: “We sometimes want what our parents didn’t have. In this instance it’s the more traditional designs again. A preference for retro is also apparent with furniture. If the pieces aren’t antiques, then people make them look as if they are and combine them with current design trends.” For the American blogger, beauty and functionality have to go hand in hand. She offers an example: “In Manhattan you see sofas that you can’t put your legs up on because they’re too expensive or too impractical. That’s not relaxing, and it’s certainly no good for families.”
In even the smallest of apartments, New Yorkers find space for indoor plants. They love flowers and foliage that share their living space. “Particularly in Manhattan, where a rooftop garden is as good as it gets. We all want some greenery, which makes everything seem friendlier and fresher. In any case, the Americans are very keen on ‘green living’, and here at the show I can see lots of things that they would simply love, from vases to glass hanging baskets. What’s important for the American consumer is eco-friendly design – there’s a big trend right now for living a ‘green’ lifestyle. A hip boho mix of vintage and ethnic elements is certainly an expression of this. Look at these lights with their elegant perforated patterns: I’d love them for my beach house, they’d lend a touch of Marrakesh. And let’s add that recliner and a sofa in navy blue – everyone’s got a blue sofa at the moment!”
Feels like home
The resurgence of the Memphis style naturally hasn’t escaped Lynn Byrne. That said, New Yorkers still aren’t totally convinced by the current comeback of 80s design. Byrne nevertheless predicts that unconventional designs will come to enjoy fresh impetus. Looking further ahead, she hopes that cosy comfort, family bonds and functionality will continue to be the most dependable drivers of good interior design. After all, what’s the point of the trendiest, coolest furnishings if they don’t meet our needs? A philosophy that is much in evidence throughout her blog: decorartsnow.