Will the Millennial Aesthetic Ever End?

Illustration: Fala Atelier This article was featured in One Great Story, New York’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly. You walk beneath a white molded archway. You’ve entered a white room. A basketlike lamp hangs overhead; other lamps, globes of brass and glass, glow nearby. Before […]

Illustration: Fala Atelier

This article was featured in One Great Story, New York’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly.

You walk beneath a white molded archway. You’ve entered a white room.

A basketlike lamp hangs overhead; other lamps, globes of brass and glass, glow nearby. Before you is a couch, neatly tufted and boxy, padded with an assortment of pillows in muted geometric designs. Circles of faded terra-cotta and pale yellow; mint-green and mustard confetti; white, with black half-circles and two little dots — aha. Those are boobs. You look down. Upon the terrazzo nougat of the coffee table, a glass tray trimmed in brass. It holds a succulent in a lumpy ceramic pot, a scented candle with a matte-pink label. A fiddle-leaf fig somewhere looms. Above a bookshelf (spines organized by color), a poster advises you to WORK HARD & BE NICE TO PEOPLE. In the far corner, within the shrine of an arched alcove, atop a marble plinth: one lonely, giant cartoon jungle leaf, tilting from a pink ceramic tube. You sense — in a way you could neither articulate nor explain — the presence of a mail-order foam mattress somewhere close at hand.

All that pink. All those plants. All that white. It’s so clean! Everything’s fun, but not too much fun. And there, in the round mirror above the couch: It’s you. You know where you are. Or do you?

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