Thanks to the Citizenry, I now know the name of my fave design style.
For ages, I’ve been obsessed with everything clean and light and soft and warm. Whites and mixed neutrals, natural elements offsetting sophisticated silhouettes.
If I could have bought all new furniture for my house (and maybe had a guest house to decorate, too), I would have been smack-dab in the most wonderful oasis reminiscent of Phoenix, Arizona. I think I need to admit that my ultimate goal for my 80-year-old future self is to be Georgia O’Keefe in the widest span of the desert, with Saguaro cacti as my companions.
The thing is, because I’m so fresh into my house journey, I haven’t been daring enough to go full-throttle into my dream style. There are elements, for sure, but I’m still a far stretch away from that perfect bohemian-minimalist balance. I can tell that my default monochromatic nature is something I’ll need to gently stretch and challenge as I continue to curate and transform my space. I love the clean contrast of light and dark lines, and find that my style is decidedly more of a northern modernism. But it’s exciting to think about my house as a long-term adventure instead of having no ‘home’ identity like the past 6 years – looking at it as an opportunity to continually evolve and grow.
Needless to say, you get it. When I’m 80 I want to be a badass woman dressed in black with big-brimmed hats and a sprawling adobe bungalow with hand-painted mosaic tiles in a courtyard surrounded in cacti.
How does this relate to anything? Well, today I got an email from the Citizenry, which is one of those brands that I want EVERYTHING from. Absolutely gorgeous artisan crafted home decor items, curated by style to make it super easy to design your space. It’s one of my favourite websites to browse – the photography is beautiful and they have in-depth stories of the countries and makers behind their products.
Today’s email was about Marfa Modernism. Maybe I’m totally behind the times – but I took a few moments to be like… Whaa? Let’s just say they got me to open the email pretty quickly out of curiosity.
Turns out that Marfa Modernism is the exact categorization for this elusive design style I’ve been lusting after. How on EARTH had I not heard of it? As someone who was avidly in love with art history in college, this was a bit of a wake-up call to remind myself to always keep learning. Like, woah. Can’t believe I missed learning about this!
For those of you like me, here’s your download on what Marfa Modernism is:
According to the Citizenry, Marfa Modernism adopts “Minimal lines. Laid back, West-Texas vibes […] High desert style.”
So, I have to admit. My Arizona dreams have turned out to be a bit more Texan than I thought. There’s more to it than that: Marfa Modernism gets its name from the town of Marfa in West Texas, which was used for Hollywood films back in John Wayne days. It was semi-forgotten and re-invigorated by Donald Judd moving in and using it as his artistic abode. You’ll know him for his super-minimalist, linear sculptures. Boom, you now have an art hotspot.
Really, Marfa Modernism originated from minimalist art (as much as Judd opposed the label ‘minimalist’), and became an interior design style that adopted the warmth of the landscape blended in harmony with the clean sophistication of lines and curves.
This is what I love about it. The understanding that sophistication and crispness brings a sense of calm, but when it’s balanced with the earth, it brings out the human in us. Our living spaces need to be comfortable. They need to feel lived-in so we have license to unwind. It’s a reminder that we are organic beings and it’s what makes us feel most like our original selves.
In my eyes, that’s Marfa Modernism: marrying our desire for peaceful progress with our need to stay rooted in our origins.
If this was all a bit new-agey for you, don’t worry! I’m not always this conceptual with design. But GOSH this whole thing had me riled up in the best way today.
Have thoughts on this design style? Pop into the comments below!