How to Love Design Without Being a Snob?

Are you a design snob?
Are you a design snob?

Hello, design aficionados and mere mortals who just like “pretty things”! Today we’re going to talk about something that could be an elephant (probably Eames-designed) in the room: How do you passionately love design without being a snob about it? You know, that guy at the cocktail party who won’t shut up about the intricacies of Ettore Sottsass’ Memphis Group, while others are just trying to find a chair that won’t clash with their IKEA bookshelf.

1. Remember: You Were Once a Design Newbie Too

Ah yes, the days when you couldn’t tell the difference between Bauhaus and an actual house. Cut the newbies some slack. Sure, they may not know their Frank Lloyd Wright from their Frank Gehry, but everyone’s got to start somewhere. Don’t act like you emerged from the womb discussing the merits of Dieter Rams’ Ten Principles of Good Design.

2. Design Elitism is Sooo Last Season

Like wallpaper trends, snobbery goes in and out of fashion—and let’s be honest, it’s never really “in.” It’s tempting to parade your knowledge, especially when you’ve just figured out how Murano glass is made, but no one likes a show-off. Sharing knowledge? Fantastic! Acting like you’re the High Priest of the Design Temple? Not so much.

3. Take Off Those Rose-Colored Ray-Bans

Ah, the classics—there’s a reason they’re timeless. But don’t forget, there’s also a world of brilliant modern designers doing mind-blowing work with smart textiles, sustainably sourced materials, and even 3D printing. Don’t close yourself off to the wonders of current innovation because you’re too busy staring at mid-century modern pieces.

4. IKEA is Not a Four-Letter Word

Okay, technically, it is—but not in the way you’re thinking. Don’t cringe when someone mentions their new IKEA coffee table. It’s not about the label; it’s about function, personality, and sometimes budget. Believe it or not, there are things to appreciate even in flat-pack furniture.

5. Drop the Jargon—Literally, Just Drop It

Utilize “use.” Instead of “material palette,” say “what it’s made of.” Don’t make someone Google “Feng Shui” or “Art Deco” just to understand what you’re saying. Speak human, not Wikipedia.

6. Not Everyone Cares About the “Why”

You may find the history of wallpaper from the 1700s fascinating. That’s great—really, it is! But if your friend’s eyes glaze over when you launch into a speech about how William Morris was the OG of wallpaper design, maybe reel it in a bit.

7. Have a Sense of Humor

If you can’t chuckle at the sometimes-absurd world of design—$300 artisanal paperweights, anyone?—you’re taking it all too seriously. Yes, design is art, but it’s also life. And life is too short to snub someone for not knowing their Corbusier from their carabiner.

So there you have it, folks! Seven golden rules to live by if you want to be a design lover, not a design snob. Now, go forth and spread the good word—but for the love of Eames, do it gently.

Until next time, may your life be as well-designed as a Scandinavian living room—but with way more laughs.

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