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If nothing else, graffiti is contentious. On one hand, spray can-wielding geniuses like Roadsworth and Bansky have elevated the form from petty vandalism to wit-filled art. On the other hand, no matter how gracefully applied, some people will always find the swoops, drips and splotches of brightly coloured paint overly gritty, or worse, completely offensive (particularly if the spraying was done illegally). Living in Toronto, I’ve seen the back and forth of the pro and con camps blow up over the past year as mayor Rob Ford has attempted to rid the city of graffiti, an act which has been met with both applause and derision (not to mention, ironically, a raft of new graffiti, much of which mocks the mayor).

Personally, I think graffiti has its place, especially when it’s clever and provocative (and done with the consent of the building owner). But I would have never thought of appropriating graffiti for interior design and decorating until I watched the online TV segment featuring the latest home revamp by Building Bryks Danielle Nicholas and Greg Bryk. The room that caught my eye was young Billy’s room. When I was growing up, I would have loved a room with such bold, graphic art on the wall (or, more truthfully, I would have loved to spray paint my own walls and not get in serious trouble for it — my mom would have strangled me). Below is a look at that room, plus some other furniture and decor I like that has been inspired by graffiti.  

Graffiti adds a refreshing, punk-y exuberance to Billy’s room in our February 2012 issue.

Spanish ceramics company Lladró is renowned for its soft and sweet figurines, so I was surprised (in a good way) to see their latest ornaments — sinister kids in graffiti-covered clothing, designed by guest artist Jaime Hayon.

Urbankind's humourous, Warhol-esque Imbue bedroom side tables are a subtler take on the graffiti trend.

The ultra-contemporary, very sparse patio of Metaform's new Luxembourg City space is given a lift with this graffiti-inspired mural by Sumo.

French artist Tilt's recent installation at a hotel room in Marseille's Au Vieux Panier hotel (appropriately called Panic Room) is clearly extreme and meant to shock. But it begs the question, what’s more interesting, the pristine white half, or the colourful, crazy graffiti half?

Photo credits:
1. House & Home February 2012 issue, photography by Ashley Tonner
2. Lladró
3. Urbankind
4. Metaform
5. Tilt, photo by BigAddict

Author: 

Matthew Hague

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