A Crash Course in Mid-Century Modern Design, and How You Can Get the Look

Mid century modern guide to furniture, architecture and design
Drawing of a Suburban House from a 1953 issue of House + Home
Photo from the archives of the author.

Mid-Century Modernism is ubiquitous – from Ikea to West Elm, Architectural Digest to Houzz, the sleek, clean style remains atop interior design charts almost ten years after its resurgence began (often accredited to the onset of Mad Men in 2007). This article provides a crash course in the movement's important figures, furniture and interior design styles. Continue Reading

Behind-the-Scenes of Rustic Modernism: Your Complete Guide to Farmhouse and Industrial Chic

Farmhouse and Industrial Chic decor and style guide. How to get the look.

In 2016, NPR’s Natalie Jacewicz asked the question: “Why does every new restaurant look like a factory?” Indeed, over the last ten years, the industrial look has dominated popular interior design, aided by the enduring popularity of boutique companies like Restoration Hardware. Recently, more traditional stylings, sometimes called Farmhouse Modern or Texas Modern – like those featured on HGTV’s hit Fixer Upper – have permeated households far removed from the show’s home in Waco, Texas.  Continue Reading

Whose Style is That? Louis XIV or Donald Trump? An Interior Design Guide to the New President

Kate Wagner is the founder and editor of McMansion Hell, a web site for people who love to hate the ugly houses that became ubiquitous before (and after) the bubble burst. Photo: Sam Horine

If I had a dollar for every time I received a request to take on Donald Trump’s interior design, I’d have enough to buy coffee for quite a few weeks – no small feat. 

As the Internet’s chosen McMansion taxonomist, I have spent a lot of time with tacky. Continue Reading

Not Just For Hipsters: In Defense of Tiny Houses


Photo: StudioBuell Photography

As the internet’s authority on ugly oversized houses, I am frequently asked about my views on tiny houses, mostly by people who hate them.

To get my manifesto started: I love tiny houses with all my heart because, above all, they are a symbol of change.

The tiny house movement is a symbol of moving towards a more sustainable way of life in the wake of the McMansion era of old. It isn’t just smug hipsters moving into tiny houses, it’s everyday people who simply want to live with less. Continue Reading