Rx: Using Humor in a Chic Way

Thanks to the American Pop Art Movement, textual, literal items have entered the realm of acceptable decor. Humor is chic; campiness is no longer anything to scoff at. I strongly believe the purpose of decor is to make one smile when entering the home.

A few months ago, I came across a needlepoint pillow at the Jonathan Adler store. It wasn't the most typically aesthetically pleasing item, per se. It was a quote popularized by Kate Moss, who said, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." In my opinion, showcasing such a ridiculous (/true) statement in a home is a great idea. The pillow is funny; but it serves a utilitarian purpose, reminding oneself to cool it on the ice cream. The colors in this pillow match the general color scheme in my home, so I wrote off the $116 as an investment in aesthetics. Yes, for my budget, the pillow is totally overpriced. But it makes me happy, so that's all that matters. ...Right?

The trick to making humor fit into your design aesthetic is balancing it with actual, serious pieces in a cohesive way. If you have a statement painting on the wall, place a plant, lamp, or end table in the vicinity. This way, the statement isn't awkwardly trying to hold it's own. With a pillow, try to surround it with similar or complementary colors, showcasing it in an aesthetically purposeful way. The key is to take text, which is visually neutral, and put pretty stuff around it. It's kind of like surrounding yourself with pretty friends. It does't matter if you're good looking, because the people around you lend your looks credibility.  Superficial? Yes. That's what design is.

Thinspiration. 
Thinspiration. 
In this setting, the silliness of the pillow is balanced by purposeful, symmetrical use of graphic prints. The result is polished, yet fun at the same time. 
In this setting, the silliness of the pillow is balanced by purposeful, symmetrical use of graphic prints. The result is polished, yet fun at the same time.