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19 November 2010

it's a small (and unscrupulous) world.

first let me apologize that today's post ain't so funny, rather a bit on the angry side, but hey- that's how i'm feeling today,  so i  hope you'll bear with me while i vent:

on tuesday, we published a snarky little post on "chateau d'omg", an over the top mansion for sale in bel air.  turns out an acquaintance of ours actually knew the decorator who furnished said chateau, so of course, we asked them not to point out our blog to the decorator- we would hate for anyone to get hurt by m21 being a smarty-pants at their expense, especially because in all probability,  he just gave the clients what they obviously wanted.   also, in truth, m21 doubts that le decoratuer would care less about our snark- after all, he is working on chateaus and cashing big ol' mansion-sized checks, while m21 merely works on homes and cashes mere powder room-sized checks, all the while writing this lil' blog and toiling in relative obscurity.    ;-)

but then i googled the dude, and you know what?  frankly, i don't care if his feelings get hurt!

why?

because he is using other peoples work in his design portfolio, passing it off as his own...

how do i know this?

because a project *i* worked on over a decade ago, while working for my former firm, is on his site as an example of his work!  on that project, three people, and only three people designed and executed  the interiors of a beautiful home, later featured in florida design magazine, and i can assure you, mr. kenny, most certainly was NOT one of the three!  i've even kept my original hand drafted elevation of the fireplace surround i helped to design (as well as the drawings of the custom furniture pieces i was responsible for), as i was so proud of the way the project turned out.

the screen capture from dude's site:  

second row of photos is the project i assisted on, and which has NOTHING to do with the dude who is embarrassingly posting it as his own work. did he really think no one would ever notice?

my original elevation sketch for the picture in the middle of above:

original elevation sketch of a bollection mantle/overmantle surround to highlight the client's prized dubuffet painting.

it is simply unconscionable to post another person's work and claim it as your own.  you are cheating the original creative team behind the project, as well as the original client who PAID for the work to be done, and also misleading your potential new clients by promising a level of talent and sophistication to which you clearly cannot rise, or else you'd already have that quality of work in your own portfolio!  and if there is one project i KNOW this dude didn't have anything do with  posted on his site, are ANY of the pictures his own work?  who knows?
does he really expect anyone to believe that the guy who designed this...
and who claims to have designed this...

also designed this?

or this?

or this?

no matter how you slice it, appropriation of another person's work is never kosher, and it gives all of us design professionals a bad name to have this sort of blatant plagiarism in our ranks.

shame on you, mr. kenny.  shame. on. you.

and no, i prefer not to directly link to mr. kenny's site.  if you are really curious, you can google his name from the above screen capture...  first thing that comes up is his site, and the second, is work done for his most famous client, and  *that* name will tell you everything you need to know about the decorator in question- if chateau d'omg didn't already, that is...

32 comments:

ArchitectDesign™ said...

UGH -thats the worst! Seriously -how do people think they can get away with stuff like that! And like you said - a certain taste level is missing from the 'chateau' which is clearly there in the gorgeous photos of the project you assisted on! OMG I LOVE THAT!
Shame on him!

ClarityK (Sarah) said...

I feel your pain/anger! This has happened to me too - I called the offenders and told them how much I liked the bathroom, asked who exactly designed it? They ummed and aahdd and said the designer was no longer with the firm - YOU BET, since "the designer" never worked there in the first place! Aargh. I suspect this kind of misrepresentation/theft is more widespread than we'd like to think.

Erika said...

I am sorry someone is stealing your work. Despicable.

Raina Cox said...

Oh my gosh - what an asshat!

(Your fireplace is exquisite BTW.)

Ashley said...

This is terrible! What a jerk! I hope you write a strongly worded letter to Mr. Kenny and let him know how you feel!

www.cookin-in-heels.blogspot.com

MadHat said...

The dude is sitting on a gold THRONE for petes sake (on the homepage of one of his design "divisions"). Much talk of luxury, perfection, celebrity, yet no mention anywhere of taste, and restraint. He should be ashamed of himself. Does he have a "cease and desist" letter coming?

Heidiopia said...

That is crazy! Good for you for calling out this unethical behavior!

artluvr said...

Thank you for restoring my faith in my own sanity. After your original post of the chateau (and thanks for the laugh -- this beats stuff I saw in royal palaces when I lived in Saudi Arabia, which, in the 80's, was the land of big money and no taste), I did google this guy and I'm asking myself, out loud mind you, how does a guy who did that design all this elegant stuff? I mean NO ONE is that versatile, well, except for Maison21, peut-etre. Now I know.

I believe this is copyright infringement and that your ex-employers should be made aware of it. A guy like this won't be stopped until it hurts.

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating said...

It's unimaginable that people do things like this and expect that they won't be found out!! I had someone on my A2D Facebook page direct me to this post because I had to write a similar post just a couple of weeks ago about a Texas interior designer who was using my designs in her online "brochure" advertising her services!!

http://blog.addicted2decorating.com/2010/11/dear-thieving-unethical-texas-interior.html

It's just unbelievable that people stoop to this behavior.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

Wow. He's pathetic. Kudos for exposing the fraud.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

Kudos for exposing the fraud!

Michelle said...

lol...busted!!! professional photos are expensive after all...

Brillante Home Decor said...

As I said on FB if it was not so upsetting, reading his website would be totally hilarious! HRH Prince Charles? it could be a prince of an oasis in the desert...and so on!Great post Christian, we all need a warning to wake us up. Internet is an ocean of news and images and we must be extra careful!

Suzy said...

in the age of the internet, I'm not really sure how he thought he'd get away with it. but as you pointed out, it clearly was not his work (its quite obviously done by someone else)...you did a great job, its a lovely room!

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Ewwww...you get him, m21. He deserves it, and what he did is pathetic.
Sorry someone did that to you. I would be furious too.
Teresa

Concrete Jungle said...

It IS a small world...how incredibly sleazy...love that you have called him out...wonder if he will adjust his site or if he works on anyone talking is good.....really that livingroom of his is beyond the pale....I'd say it was a pretty gentle rant and you deserved to be able to have it...still gotta smile at that beyond hideous design that actually sells....my oh my honey chile give us a sweet puppy picture tomorrow!

Sydney said...

In other areas of design I have had ideas stolen. It make you furious, but it also makes you feel slimed it’s so vile.

booradley said...

I'm new to this blog but my curiosity, and ire, is piqued. Please keep us updated on developments!

On a brighter note, if you designed that room a decade ago and it still looks current, you're doing something right!

maison21 said...

thanks for the support, y'all. my former employer called me, and we had a good laugh over the incident, but he's also going to have his attorney draft a letter to mr. kenny to take down our photos.

i did a little research too, and it turns out that the other pictures aren't his work either- surprise, surprise.

i'll keep y'all posted with new developments!

qerat said...

Disturbing indeed.
I have no idea how people can do that and think that it will be OK. I think they are one project away from being exposed.

jones said...

Passion is a good thing. Deception never is. Awesome post. Mary

Ron said...

That is downright nasty.
Looking at the 'cheap and bad navigational' website/images, it does not surprise me he stole more design photo's. The section 'disco's and nightclubs' does not show any images. The site is not very professional for his 'stature'.
The name dropping is sickening. There is actually no word about 'design' at all. There is no mention of any staff......there probably aren't any employees.
You and your former employer...GO GET HIM !!
Best Ron ( empel collections)

CindieQuilts said...

Very few designers have M21's handsome and enduring sense of style. Guess this pathetic cheat decided to copy from the best. And now attorneys will be involved and making him miserable. Dubai will be waiting with open arms, and that's all you need to know.
HA!

Vickie H. said...

Christian, you have every right to be incensed! Your design work that he claims as his own is jaw-dropping and he clearly does not deserve to carry your sample books!! I can't wait for him to receive the letter from your previous employer's attorney. Fortunately, I don't believe that anyone who enjoys your aesthetic would every even SEE his tacky web site.
Also, I want to say that I think a little well-edited SNARK (as in your case) is often a welcome respite here in the blogosphere.
This man is an idiot and you are to be commended for "outing" him!

camdesign said...

I read this hours ago and had to come back with my thoughts cleared, I cannot believe anyone would put up someone elses projects on a website as their own!
Someone needs to shut him down, this has bothered me all day...there should be something done more than just asking him to remove the pictures...
I do remember one of our teachers in design school telling us to hide our name somewhere in our room drawings so we could prove at a later date they were ours, now I know why...

Margaret said...

You rock, Christian!

julia wheeler said...

ew ew ew. this is just awful.

David said...

If you were photographed sitting on a red and gold throne, you'd quite likely be covered with Richard and Ted and I'd think it was adorable. His throne shot just makes me think he's a douche.

The money made decorating for Saudi Royals obviously doesn't buy one a conscience.

Bromeliad said...

Rats. At least he had sense (sometimes) to steal credit for a good design.

The nerve.

findingfabulous said...

I am so glad you are not scared to call a jerk a jerk, more frauds need to be called out in life we have to stop running scared.

Sketch42 said...

HO-LY CRAP. I hope this guy gets whats coming to him...

tula said...

Hell no. He has to take that down NOW! Seriously. Get a lawyer on him, honey.