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The Globe and Mail

Punk’s in the house, channelling anarchy

Punk has gone posh. Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario is currently hosting a show of Polaroids by singer/writer/artist Patti Smith (her 1975 album Horses was one of the first to shape the genre). And this May, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art – one of the most staid institutions in Manhattan's staid Upper East Side – is hosting Punk: From Chaos to Couture at its Costume Institute (the show looks at how the fringe style influenced high-end designers like Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano).

The aesthetic is also influencing decor – fitting, perhaps, given the chaos and rebellion that often accompanies everyday family life.

Furniture makers and product designers are channelling punk's energy and spunk into chairs, cabinets, pillows and wall coverings. Studded leather, graffiti, and subversive imagery are giving a hard, head-banging jolt to sophisticated spaces. In a demure room, these pieces add a vital spark. In an already offbeat abode, the clashing colours and patterns just amp up the volume even more.

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