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.
This is a super-cool post. Learning about a design icon from a designer! Thanks for writing and sharing this. I love learning stuff!
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Kim!
Yes, I love it, too!
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
OMG. I am so pleased you’re back blogging. I have seriously missed reading your insights each day. Welcome back! And I could not agree more with this post. I quite literally cringe each time I read about how this or that is sooo over. I’m over that kind of attitude, quite frankly.
I’m glad to be back, Andrew! 🙂 🙂
yessssssss SO GLAD to be reading a BLOG POST again! blog posts, for like, ever.
HA! I bought that poster after seeing it on the cover and its been in its shipping tube ever since…never ended up framing it so it lives above my closet, always waiting for my “bigger house”
I’ve got some news for you, Vane…that “bigger house”? It’s wherever you’re living now. Hang the poster!
I’ve always loved these posters! I bought one of the “we are so good together” posters which I think came out around the same time – remember those? Still have it framed in my office 🙂
I was lucky enough to get a gold foil version from her, I was so pysched and then saw that backlash and I got all weird and self conscious about putting it up with all my bird stuff that I love so much (thank you Portlandia). Time to frame that sucker in a nice natural walnut. and I just printed out a 30″ x 40″ Audobon print. SUCH JOY!
Definitely hang it up, Karen. Especially in gold foil! I bet you’re gonna fall in love with it all over again. #putabirdonit
Speaking of awesome design–just minutes after I read this post I ran into your “Bagels” print XL in a house listing in Charleston, SC! 🙂 Pic 8 https://www.redfin.com/SC/Charleston/5-Radcliffe-Pl-29403/home/108072425
That is WILD, Abbie! I think that’s actually the tapestry stretched really tightly. I wonder if this is a staged house or if the sellers/homeowners put it up? Thanks for showing me!
My guess is this is the work of some rad College of Charleston girls–the rest of the rooms look fun and personal. Small world!!! 🙂
Yes! to all of this. I credit that Domino pic (and Jenna Lyons’ old bedroom *swoon*) for putting my decor-love into overdrive. Casual, artsy, playful, cosy perfection.
Oh god, yes. I will never get over the perfection of that bedroom—and her bathroom, too.
Excellent post! This is one of the reasons I have given up buying magazines. The ‘hot or not’ type articles piss me off. They spend so much time telling us what’s desirable then tell us they aren’t anymore?! Fuck that. Plus they are usually hypocritical with it. I once wrote to one to point out that several things in the list of things they were sick of featured heavily in their main featured home article of an interior designer’s home. Bad editing, hypocrisy and schoolyard behaviour all printed up on glossy paper. I’m keeping my money! I love to look for inspiration but definitely need to do less of it and just go with what makese happy. Thanks for the reminder!
God YES to everything about this post. I was a lil sophomore in high school when that issue of Domino came out and even though my love of interior design was still in its nascency (I was more of a ~fashun~ Lucky mag kinda girl), I remember stopping in my tracks when I saw that cover while restocking magazines at my after-school Barnes & Noble job. As I’ve gotten more into interior design, I always love seeing the print pop up in home tours and truly don’t understand the condescension it elicits in internet comment sections. Great design is great design, and the impulse to shit on something that someone else genuinely enjoys baffles me. I finally bought a For Like Ever for myself a few years ago. It currently hangs in my pink-and-red bedroom!
THIS: (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.”) YES. Thank you, Anna. Also: “It’s like a three-way marriage between Peter Max, Emigré, and Alexander Girard—tied up in a Tracy Jenkins bow.” Amen.
I remember seeing that Domino cover not long after we’d bought our first house in 2008. I ordered it, and then it sat in the tube for months and months until I gave up on finding the extra money to have it properly framed, and bought a huge Ribba frame from Ikea and had the mat cut to fit. It was on the wall for ages, and eventually the plastic of the frame looked worn, and the poster slouched a little in it. It’s been in my closet for over a year, one of a few prints waiting for proper framing. It occurred to me for a second that it might look dated to hang up now, but that was followed by the quick realization that I don’t give a f*ck what if it’s out of fashion- I still love it!
I have the poster framed in my bedroom to this day. I don’t care what anyone says – it is still good. I also have a Keep Calm and Carry On I bought from the original English printer after it was reissued. Proud to be basic!
What a wonderful, thoughtful, interesting post! Thanks for writing it and sharing it.
I really enjoyed reading this post too! I still have that Domino issue down in my basement and can’t seem to let it go — I guess it still sparks joy.
I’ve also got an orange Keep Calm poster down there. It was the first thing I ever bought on Etsy from sfgirlbybay in 2008 and by the time I finally had it framed I feared it was past its “sell by” and I never hung it… for like, ten years! So thank you for this post (and all of them really!) — I’m gonna give less craps about what someone else deems dated and finally hang it.
Fifteen years?! That’s crazy. Why does time go so fast?
Anyway, I, too love that poster and never got one. It definitely holds up!
God, I am so glad you’re blogging again. Thank you!
You’re back! I’ve left you in my feed reader in the hope you’d start blogging again. Now I’ll start reading blogs again. Great to seee you on the interwebs again!
Yes to everything in this post. Mean comments are boring! Design history is awesome! Beautiful posters are for enjoying! Home is my castle and I love it 😀 So happy to be seeing your posts again. Love you and your blog 1000x over. Welcome back 🙂
Domino Magazine was it for me when I lived in NYC and I have schlepped all the original magazines across the country and through several moves. Every time I tell myself it’s time to let them go it never seems to happen. I’ve put them up for sale locally and then been thankful nobody bit! Now I have to find this one and give it a look see.
I agree!! Do what you want with your own home! Don’t give into other people’s opinons of what they think you should do! I love the poster and the design.
This is one of the reasons I have given up buying magazines.
with kindest regards, Anna
My favorite was the “Do It For Yourself” graphic (pinky/orange)
although I do love the red/pink color combo on this one! i remember the backlash against the “Keep Calm & Carry On” posters ~ i think it came to represent “hipster materialism/Urban Outfitter syndrome”. i was a Domino magazine freak at that time, despite having a budget of $300 to furnish my apartment! Since then i’ve given up reading all magazines up etc… it just wasn’t healthy for me to compare a $10,000 decorated room to my home.