The Republican primaries are a long ways away and a good reminder of this is that Donald Trump is leading in some polls. Trump has a special place in the primaries and it is, as far as I can tell, as a gadfly, a provocateur, someone whose raison d’etre is to provoke others. Of course, he is trying to enhance the visibility of his brand, that is his name, and win or lose in the primaries, it is still a winning position for him. It may be costing him business in some ways now, but in the long run, he knows that his name recognition is worth a fortune.

As in Greek tragedies, although more nuanced, Shakespeare always has a provocateur in his dramas, someone who could stir the protagonists into action. Whether they were mendacious or truth tellers, drunks or jesters, what they said often dictated a response of some form or another. In “Othello”, Iago’s innuendos and whispers are too much for the somewhat simple minded Othello. Falstaff, on the other hand, comes across as a buffoon, drunk and whoremaster whose words often appear foolish, but which often are truthful and on point.

Trump’s bloviations are largely aimed at the far right of the Republican Party. The Republicans, who empowered the far right in the election of Ronald Reagan, are reaping the results of that strategy today. George Bush was elected on it, but few Republicans seem capable of finding the same timbre that their predecessors took. It is a delicate balance, one that requires not a little mendacity, much like all political posturing, but in this case, the litmus test is social issues, and that will always be a sore spot as the evangelicals of the far right push for a no-compromise agenda.

The question remains as to just where Donald Trump fits into this puzzle. Is he helping or hindering the Republicans? I would say that he is helping. He is giving cover to many candidates at this point and he is also making it clear that the far right issues, such as immigration, need careful consideration, not a sound bite. The candidates that have the most chance of victory should be using their cover and looking for the correct timbre that can embody their message and appeal to the big tent of Republicans. Donald Trump should be making that clear to everyone. What’s a buffoon for, after all?


The word timeless, when used to describe a designer, is supposed to mean that what he or she may design will never need re-designing. What a thought! Any interior designer that wants to be timeless should ponder a professional change, because interiors are nothing if they are not about change. What about all those country homes and palaces, you may ask? Well, there are exceptions to every rule, but in the year 2015, change is not only to be expected, it is mandatory.

I well remember the modernist interiors of the 1950’s. People who decorated in such a contemporary fashion were thought to be futuristic, as if they saw something that no one else could see. The bright colors, the use of plastic and laminates and metal were all thought to be the future for all decors. Of course, there was a backlash and traditional style came roaring back, once again.

One would hope that there is a sifting of what is good, what is better and what is best as time goes by. I am not so certain that is true. Mediocrity is a function of fulfilling market demand and, if the demand is sustained for any length of time, the market gets flooded by ever worse imitations of what started out as fresh and different. Timelessness has nothing to do with what sustains a look. That is due to inertia and many designers might wish their customers weren’t quite so into the timelessness of their work.