Anatomy of a Design - Anthology Creative Studio

If the Canadian firm Anthology Creative Studio hasn't come up on your instagram feed yet, trust me... they will. This design studio has a perfectly undone aesthetic that's both minimal and textural, while still being very intentional. Their studio embodies a creative process that begins with a narrative framework and you can see their storytelling approach play out in every space they touch. Although wabi-sabi is definitely having a moment, Anthology Interiors is making a strong argument that this design style is not just a trend and is here to stay.

In selecting the next space for my "Anatomy of a Design" series, it was incredibly hard to choose just one from this amazing studio. But there is so much to learn from this living space that I knew I couldn't pass it up. Let's get into it!

Hackett House Studio anatomy of a design series breaks down this wabi sabi style living room by Anthology Interiors
Anatomy of a Design - Anthology Interiors

  1. Tone-on-tone styling - The most prominent and consistent feature of Anthology's designs is the monochromatic color palette. They use three to four colors max in most of their spaces. Although that might sound like it would get boring, it's anything but. The tone-on-tone nature of their designs serves to calms the senses and instills a sense of peace and serenity, giving the mind a rest and boosting serotonin. It also tends to enhance the details of the objects versus having the space dominated by color; the shapes and textures of the individual pieces tends to stand out more when they don't have to compete with each other.

  2. Use of texture on walls - Similar to the way tone-on-tone styling gives the mind a rest, so does the decision to use textural wood elements on the walls in place of traditional artwork. Art can often make an entire room -- emphasizing the color palette and providing a mood all its own. Anthology's use of something a little more minimal still gives the room so much character, while allowing the space to feel relaxed and at ease.

  3. Purposeful juxtaposition of rounded and square edges - This studio knows that even though their designs might read as minimal, that doesn't mean they are lacking in detail. To create a truly balanced space, you have to have opposing forces at play. The two very square pieces of wall art are perfectly juxtaposed between a large rounded chandelier and not one - but two - rounded coffee tables. It's intentional, and it what's make the space interesting and balanced.

  4. No "designer chop" for these pillows - It's not often you'll pillows strewn about on a sofa in what is supposed to be a perfectly styled interiors photo. The creatives at Anthology achieve the perfect wabi-sabi style by being careful of not being too perfect.

  5. Modern decor brings a touch of perfectionism - Mid-century modern style is marked by its clean lines and smooth textures, which brings the perfect amount of perfectionism into this studio's undone style. It all comes back to balance. Pillows strewn "carelessly" across the couch make it an inviting place to relax, but the clean lines and smooth textures present in the carefully selected decor give the inhabiter a sense that there is still order and stability.

What else did you notice about this design that I've left out? Let me know in the comments. I sourced a few items from around the web that will help you achieve this look in your own home, if you'd like. I even found the exact chandelier in this photo. It is the Vertigo Pendant Lamp, and you can find it at Simig Lighting. Happy styling!




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