What's New in Art, Architecture and Design

Artists are threading their works with embroidered designs, front porches and entryways are becoming more welcoming, and kitchens are now as colorful as peacocks. Here are the latest trends in art, architecture, and design.


A new generation of artists is turning to embroidery to bring a tactile feel to their pieces. For Peruvian Ana Teresa Barboza, this means infusing her work with small strokes of hand-stitched color to create what she calls “messy lines that cover the surface.” Loom work and basketry as well as photography and drawings are intertwined in her works, inviting the viewer to touch as well as see.

In a nod to his heritage, Jordan Nassar, who is based in Brooklyn, N.Y., features traditional Palestinian hand embroidery, mostly cross stitch, arranged “in ways that you wouldn’t find in Palestine.”

It “was pretty natural for me to choose tatreez [Palestinian embroidery] because I was inclined to crafts, and I never painted or drew,” the self-taught Nassar says. Meanwhile, Australian Meredith Woolnough draws her nature-inspired sculptural embroideries with a sewing machine, a technique she learned while studying fine art at university. “I love the look and feel of a stitched line,” she says. “It is such a beautiful way to make a mark that is textural and sculptural.”


The work-at-home lockdowns of the pandemic have led to a reimagining of residential spaces, with the entranceway and the front porch taking on novel entertainment and wellness roles. “With more time spent at home, individuals begin to see their space as a canvas for new opportunities,” says George Yabu, a principal in the design firm Yabu Pushelberg, which has offices in New York and Toronto. “The home’s entry vestibule, for example, has taken on considerable new meaning. While it continues to serve its regular functions, it has been redefined as a gatekeeper.”

Envisioning a gardener’s greenhouse, Yabu and partner Glenn Pushelberg designed a conservatory-like vestibule that, Pushelberg says, allows those who enter to “exhale to take off the day and prepare for the warm embrace of home.” A wooden bench allows residents and guests to take off their shoes and replace them with indoor slippers, stored in an adjacent basket.

The space is also appointed with free-standing hand sanitizers, which are sculptural in form and release a cleansing spray, and a water basin for lathering the hands. “The moments within this venue of the home can define an individual’s mood as they enter a different environment,” Pushelberg says.


Kitchens, which traditionally embrace conservative neutral hues, are starting to show their true colors.

Amy Leferink, owner and principal designer of Interior Impressions in Woodbury, Minn., is seeing color not only in cabinetry but also backsplashes, counter stools, and furnishings. “People have less fear in adding color to their cabinets because they realize that at the end of the day, it’s just paint,” she says. “It’s not that difficult to change down the road.” Her clients are partial to blues, ranging from navy to aqua, as well as greens.

In a recent project, Interior Impressions used bright aqua counter stools and a matching pantry door. In another kitchen, Leferink designed deep green kitchen cabinetry to coordinate with the home’s ocean blue laundry room cabinets and navy bathroom vanity. “The kitchen is the heart of the home,” she says. “It should be a place that makes you smile.”

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