This year, I didn’t have to search for presents; my loved ones kindly informed me of what they wished to find under the tree this Christmas. For the man in my life, it was a Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol watch – silver with a dark brown leather band. He’s a bit of a watch afficianado, so I trust his judgment; apparently the brand has a pretty cool story and the sophisticated simplicity of the design is impressive even to novices like me who never wear watches.
This Bristol watch, such an appealing, simple, and functional thing (both an adornment and a tool) stands in such stark contrast to the season in which it was gifted. Christmas, and all the surrounding bells and whistles, can leave most of us feeling exhausted, over stimulated, and sometimes even a bit nauseous—often the exciting, busy, frantic things that catch the eye and excite are also the things we tire of the quickest, while the simple, classic, and dare I say plain things in life are what we enjoy and love and keep with us forever. (If you really need another example, think of the child who discards the expensive doll to play with the box it came in).
And of course, the same goes with hospitality design—while there’s nothing wrong with a little glitz and glamour, it’s often the simple, the timeless, that we come back to again and again. We’re all looking for that perfect balance between comfort and familiarity and beauty that makes us feel at home, but better. And striking that balance without seeming dated or boring is often much more difficult than mastering the latest trend. I look forward to seeing what the designers of our world come up with for 2013—how they make basic, clean, and traditional exciting. In a world as frantic and fast-paced as ours, we could all do with a little simplicity.