PERFECT IS BORING

Updated: Oct 17

Don't get me wrong, perfect will always be, well, undeniably perfect, but at the same time mostly unreachable. Therefore, this time I'm demonstrating the beauty of imperfection, because we're all flawed one way or another, so why hide it? Cheers to a glorious imperfection in design!

A drop-leaf dining table, surrounded by mismatched chairs in an old kitchen, this Swedish home uses basic items to create a charming setting. The use of neutral colors and natural materials creates an inviting, warm space with a timeless quality.


Tara Mangini and Percy Bright are the duo behind Jersey Ice Cream Co. They consider themselves "the homeless home designers" since they relocate to each property they renovate, making all the design decisions and process from start to finish.

They transform old houses into exquisite dwellings, by stripping them down to their core and rebuilding them as a lived-in space with a fresh new touch, rather than a completely brand new, sparkly home. Old, rugged items are essential for that purpose, just like the in the above dinning room.


A one-of-a-kind piece, DIYed by the same duo, is an old-new headboard made out of two different antique headboards. I also love how the simple, plugged-in light fixture compliments the bed. Creativity doesn't stop there; all their projects benefit from their expertise in color-tinted gypsum plaster, which has a rough, unfinished look, adding depth and texture to each space through the walls.

Because plaster is tricky to install, it can be pricey. But good news is you can get the textural look with limewash paint, as in this DIY project . You get the visual charm of plaster, but it’s much easier, quicker, and more forgiving to install.


Avenue Design Studio is a Dutch, minimalist, interior design studio run by Holly Marder. The studio always uses a neutral color scheme, materials are basic and natural, and the overall atmosphere in their projects is subdued, yet warm and rich in texture. The above example is more refined than the previous ones, but still has an imperfection quality, thanks to a curated collection of mismatched chairs.


Real estate websites, such as The Modern House, are my inspirational rabbit hole. This time I went down to discover this simple, old beach house that demonstrates how EVERYTHING looks good in monochrome, or white, to be more specific.


Another beautiful example is Samita Patel's minimal house , also shown on The Modern House.

the stairs above were stripped back to wood and left unfinished, showing marks of a runner that used to cover them.


In her bright dining room is a rustic table top that contrasts the wall's freshness, and an old, stained mirror is hung on the wall instead of a predicted, framed painting.


Another imperfect version of wall décor is this folded/unfolded, crumpled paper sheet I found on Flos Instagram page.


What's that got to do with us, you might ask? When shiny & sparkly are considered a privilege, just keep it simple, raw & basic. Pull together your old, wobbly, wooden chairs (or go snooping around yard sales for them), set them around an old hand-me-down table, cover torn upholstery with white linen, hang up some flee-market finds or crumple up a large paper sheet and hang it on your wall, framed or not, and make it all your unique, personal statement.

Imperfection is the new perfect.


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Architecture & Interior Design

© 2020 by Elinor Gefen-Rotstein

Greater Boston Area

Real Design For Real People