Do you remember where you were when Jessie Randall’s living room was on the cover of Domino? The year was 2006. Door Sixteen was a newborn, and Domino magazine was IT. When the September issue arrived with that bold pink and red poster on the cover, I was smitten. Just like everyone else who saw it.
Now, when Tracy Jenkins designed the poster in 2004 as part of her MFA thesis, she never expected it to become a thing. In fact, even when Village reprinted them on the back of a type specimen poster a year later and offered them for sale, they still didn’t become a thing. I mean, they were using them for gift wrap. It’s not as though she had hundreds of them rolled up in tubes waiting to be sold.
Then Brian Murphy of Loeffler Randall bought one, framed it, put it on the mantel in the Brooklyn apartment he shared with his wife, Jessie Randall…and here we are back at the first paragraph of this post, when the September 2006 issue of Domino hit the stands with Max Kim-Bee’s photo on the cover, and Jenkins’ For Like Ever poster officially became A THING.
I never bought one. Not because I didn’t want one (I did. I still do…), but because the poster immediately sold out, and then sold out again. And again.
There was a time in 2007 (and probably still in 2008) when For Like Ever was absolutely everywhere in the world of interiors on the internet. In babies’ rooms, in college dorms, in the living rooms of people entering “Small Cool” apartment contests…everywhere.
This popularity was, naturally, accompanied by an intense backlash against the poster, as though it represented everything that was wrong with the uptick in people—especially women—caring about the interior design of their homes and wanting to share their efforts with the internet. I think this was probably the first time I considered that even GREAT design can be subject to being deemed “tired” almost immediately after its birth. I’ve seen this play out time and time again since then, perhaps most remarkably even in the case of the most enduring, longevity-proven icons of design—I’m looking at you, Eames shell chairs and Noguchi coffee tables. (As an aside, the most disturbing aspect of this backlash is when it’s someone’s culture on the other end of the finger-pointing. Whether it be Malian mud cloth, Cameroonian Juju hats, or Otomi embroidery, other people’s cultures are not “trends” for you decide are “out.”)
Well, I reject ALL of this rejection! Your home does not exist for the sake of pleasing others, or to impress strangers with your collection of things nobody has ever seen before. Your home is a place to feel comfortable, protected, and grounded. If there’s any place where you should be surrounded by things that bring you joy (wassup, Marie Kondo?), it is your home. Hang whatever you want on the walls, sit in the chairs you think are beautiful, and screw anyone who tries to tell you the things you love are “overplayed.” And FFS, don’t be that person who leaves an anonymous comment on a website about being sick of the artwork in someone’s home. How boring.
From a design standpoint, For Like Ever is a triumph. It’s like a three-way marriage between Peter Max, Emigré, and Alexander Girard—tied up in a Tracy Jenkins bow. It’s immediately recognizable, it’s full of energy, and it makes you smile! Even the texture in the clouds is uplifting.
Do you love it? I love it. GO GET ONE! Check out Super Rural’s Instagram—see how great it looks in all different settings? For Like Ever even comes in a bunch of other colors and sizes if you’re not feeling like pink and red (which is weird of you since that’s one of the best color combos ever, but you do you).
HAPPY 15th BIRTHDAY, FOR LIKE EVER! I bet I’ll still be seeing you in another 15.