On Thursdays, we read reviews or news stories about art or design and study the language used to describe them. This week’s article is from The Independent, where writer Michele Lerner shares interior design trends for Millennials.


Here are the first six paragraphs, in italics:

LED lights in the shower that bathe a user in colour and a reclaimed wood accent wall near the fireplace. Artisan hand-baked clay tiles as a kitchen backsplash and a bathroom exhaust fan that turns on and off through a sensor.

A barn door on the master bedroom closet and upper kitchen cabinets that lower to the counter with the touch of a button, eliminating the need for a step stool.

Rustic-tech chic is hot, particularly with millennials who like the yin and yang approach to home decorating. 

Every year, interior designers, architects, real estate professionals and home builders pour into Las Vegas to view the latest trends at the International Builders Show, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and the Consumer Electronics Show.

While they’re checking out ideas for the future, these industry pros attempt to match what they see to the personality of their local market and to upcoming home buyers, particularly millennials. 

Some of the design trends seen around the country that particularly resonate with millennials may seem contradictory: these buyers want modern, sleek lines in their homes, yet they also love rustic looks. Millennials love natural materials such as wood and stone but are also drawn to coloured lights that can turn a shower into purple rain. Smart home technology is revered, but so are artisanal items that can add a curated look to their homes. 

In the first two paragraphs, the writer describes examples of what millennials like. (Millennials are people who became adults in the early 21st century.) She mentions a reclaimed wood accent wall. Reclaimed wood means wood that is being used again and that comes from another building. An accent wall is one that is different from the other walls in the room to make it more interesting. Lerner also talks about artisan hand-baked clay tiles as a kitchen backsplash, which means that the clay tiles behind the sink, stove, or counter in the kitchen were made by an artist’s hands, not in a factory. The phrase with the touch of a button, means all you have to do is press a button to make the cabinets come down to a level that is easy to reach.

In the third and fourth paragraphs, she describes these trends as rustic-tech chic, which means a style that is good for the environment, and also has the best new technology. She also mentions the yin and yang approach to home decorating, meaning opposite forces that balance or complement each other. Next, she talks about the popularity of three big tradeshows in Las Vegas for home industry professional groups.

In the fifth and sixth paragraphs, she describes how these professionals try to make connections between what they see and future home buyers in their area. She gives more examples of how some trends particularly resonate with millennials, which means they have a special meaning or importance for this group. Again, these examples are contradictory, or opposites. Modern means new and is usually used more in urban environments, and sleek means smooth, but rustic means rough and usually describes things in a rural environment. (We also refer to rural environments as being “in the country,” but that means the opposite of being in a city, not a country like a nation.) In the last sentence, she says that smart home technology is revered, which means it is very important, and a curated look means that the person wants their home to look like they chose each item in it for a special reason, like a curator in a museum.

I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.

What do you think of this article? Which phrases do you like best? Do you have questions about the vocabulary? Do you want to suggest a review for me to discuss next week? Leave a comment below!

To read the original article, written by Michele Lerner on January 19, 2018, click the link below:

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