When Wrong is Right: Strange DIY Interior Design Ideas

Pacal Anson's Reunification ProjectMost designers, celebrity or not, are usually interested in trying to get their look just right. They look at a house, a living room, a kitchen, and they think "What's wrong here? How do I make it right?"

Not Pascal Anson. The London-based designer is the whimsical (which doesn't mean his points aren't serious) genius behind designs like the Reunification Project, a series of projects in which he unifies previously mis-matched items like forks or tables by treating them, as he says, "in the same way" (dipping cutlery in black and then red; covering bedside tables in red-dipped plastic deer) and also high-luxe designs like a porcelain birdbox for china giants Rosenthal or a totally rocking rocking chair. He is also the host of a series of short videos detailing ways in which people with a lack of budget and a surfeit of creativity can outfit their homes.
In a video posted on his utterly addictive Youtube channel, Anson explains how he came up with his profoundly mis-matched kitchen cabinetry. Realizing that cabinet-makers made all of their money on the doors, he decided to circumvent the system, installing the baseline hardware and then buying all sorts of different doors at the IKEA clearance section. "The rule with this kind of thing," the charming designer explains against a backdrop of white, brown, different-colored brown, and still-different-colored-brown cabinet doors, "is that if you're going to use a mix of doors, make sure it's going to be a real mix." In other words? "Make sure it's really, really wrong." Anson didn't stop at the doors -- the cabinet-knobs are painted, as he points out, yellow, pink, blue, and white.


Rented Spaces tracked Anson down to ask a few questions about his Really Really Wrong Design (which he also calls Twisted Design.)

Rented Spaces: Could you explain a little bit more the fundamentals of "really really wrong" decorating? How do you know when something's crossed that line into "so wrong it works?"
Pascal Anson: So wrong it's right is a tricky one to get right, but we can see it in the food we eat...have you ever eaten Pretzel Flipz....salty and chocolaty at the same time....they taste amazing. I suppose it is visually easiest to see in fashion when colors, patterns or textures clash. I think it is so conservative to live by the rules that says everything must co-ordinate, go with one another or match...if you follow this dogma you end up in a very bland existence with no tension.

Herein lies the proof, if what you are doing feels exciting, naughty or a bit edgy, then the chances are you are doing something 'right', if you are trying to emulate a look you have seen somewhere or to try and keep up with the Jones' then it's probably boring...ask yourself how does what I'm doing make me feel?

RS: What is it like to actually live with mismatched cabinets on a day-to-day basis? Does it ever bother you? Or do you live in a constant state of enthrallment?
PA: I suppose mismatching becomes its own form of aesthetic. I think if asymmetry and un-coordination bothers your soul and gets on your nerves then it's probably not for you, however if you are stimulated and not irritated by that then that's all good. So, I live in a constant state on enthrallment anyway!

RS: What kinds of suggestions would you have for someone who is perhaps a little bit less handy with cabinets but still wants to make improvements?
PA: With most of the videos, I tried to focus on ways of working which requite little craft skill and whose emphasis is much more on the idea. Anyone can shop in a certain way on eBay and can drill holes to put up mirrors. That requires very little expertise. It's just about seeing the world in a different way. I think we are told what is beautiful way too much. With the Go sign, I was suggesting that people look through new eyes for something that they might put in a frame....again there is no skill required, just a shift in vision.

RS: What's your background?
PA: I was born in South London and I graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2000 from the Design Products course. I love getting involved in all forms of visual art and design, from fashion to film making although graduating as a product designer. Also, I love swimming.

RS: What's coming up next for you?
PA: The videos have started to lead me in some new and interesting directions, I would love to work with a TV company with just a little higher production to turn the ideas from the clips into a TV show.

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