Imagine my horror when reading the online cover story on this months Domino on Barrie Benson. This up and coming designer from North Carolina is featured front and center on the cover and shows a melange of her work inside. She practically boasts about "snaking" designs verbatim from other designers. Benson says, "We snaked the entire look from a house done by Tom Scheerer ...."
Check out the designs below. The first picture is Benson's Room - the second the original room done by very talented designer and "snakee", Tom Sheerer. I ask you to be the judge. Is Benson paying homage to the innovative and well designed room by Scheerer or is she just ripping him off. If I were Scheerer I would be more than a bit peeved to see this less than stellar duplication complete with over sized lampshade minimal wall decor and identical bedding. It seems that all she did was swap the colors of the walls and lampshade.
Below - Another picture from the photo spread in Domino - Look Familiar ??? Why yes, that is Kelly Wearstler's famous plate wall from the Viceroy. Again, as with the other room, we have the swapping of color from dark to light. Does the fact that these are Hermes plates make it good design? They aren't even hung straight.
The article quotes Benson describing the room below as follows:
"Mid-Century furniture in a Mid-Century house is so, well, last century! The mixing styles and using luxurious new fabrics with saturated colors makes it so fresh and new".
What is she talking about? I see a photo of my cousin's paneled basement with the old furniture that grandma was throwing out mixed with a worn out couch found on the street and some yard sale lamps and pillows. Where is the "saturated color"? Take a look at that sad blue velvet bergere and the cheap looking under filled pillows and tell me what's fresh and new.Below- Find a superbly done room by the afore mention Tom Scheerer with a brilliant mix of period and modern furnishings. Benson should have ripped off - I mean - taken inspiration from this room.
So, as you can tell I have no opinion on this subject. But you decide, Homage - Rip Off - or - Just Bad Design? You be the Judge!
My opinion - Domino should be doing a cover with Tom Scheerer on it. !