A fabulous style has emerged over the past few years using vintage items, flat-pack furniture, antiques, combined with a moderate budget and ingenuity. It has been reinforced on design blogs and in shelter magazines and in books about design and decor, so much so that it is becoming a main stream look unto itself.
|Interior design by Amy Azzarito|
I love the look because it quickly becomes unique to the homeowner, even though certain staples have become expected. Vintage and antique items usually insure a one-of-a-kind experience. Having little money results in making something special out of the ordinary.
|Antique plaster mold and a used industrial cart mow used as a bar cart are classic elements of this style|
Though it seems this type of decorating is the favored by younger decorators, probably because this is a time of life when money is scarce as careers and families are being built. But I think everyone of every age has embraced this style of home decorating. Also, the notion of recycling and up-cycling has become a part of every one's consciousness. It's no longer radical or only the realm of special interest groups to "go green". All age groups are aware that every little bit helps when it comes to saving the planet.
I was watching (again) the Woody Allen movie "Midnight In Paris", and I always smile when Owen Wilson's character is explaining the novel he is writing to "Ernest Hemingway". He tells Hemingway that the setting of his book is in a nostalgia shop, and the Hemingway of the 1920's did not know what that was.
|Charts as art - It's no longer quirky, but it's still cool|
The notion of nostalgia started to take hold in the 1970's when people started to discover affordable (i.e. cheap) vintage items (including clothing) were widely available and "cool". Tiffany lamps, Art Deco, Victorian, and then Mid Century Modern (and now things from the 1970's to 1990's) all became things incorporated into people's homes, even if these items were not passed down through ones family. Ralph Lauren built an empire on creating posh nostalgia lifestyle for sale to the masses (that would you and me).
|Flea market and junk shop vintage furniture is so much a part of this look|
So though the idea of using vintage furnishings and accessories is not new, every new crop of decorators seems to find a heretofore cache of previously unused stuff. I would say that scientific charts and taxidermy and "curiosities" are the newest in the lexicon. But even they are now mainstream, reproduced for sale on catalog web sites. It's no longer quirky to hang up an anatomy chart, map, or specimen chart as an affordable and interesting way to add "art" to a home.
|How many of you have a chair like this? I do!!!!|
I chose this group of photos from an article in The New York Times (written by Penelope Green, photos by Bruce Buck) about the home of Amy Azzarito.
Amy is interesting because her roots are in blogging. I think her formation of style is unique to that experience.
|Painting a room black or gray has become a classic choice|
|Who doesn't have (or want to have) a black bathroom or kitchen? Or at least an accent wall or a door?|
If you read blogs, I am sure you too have been inspired and influenced and supported by the community that has come together over the love of decorating, design, and home keeping. I love to see what all of you are doing and saying. And I love to see your creative processes and successes, like the one Amy Azzarito has organically accomplished.
|Quirky has become classic|
|Ingenuity and creativity are the mothers of invention - Can't break out a wall to hard wire a cord? Just wrap it in pink duct tape! DIY is major component of this style|
Amy has a book out that I want to pick up, called "Past & Present: 24 Favorite Moments in Decorative Arts History and 24 Modern DIY Projects Inspired by Them".
From the blurb:
"From the Palladian columns of our government buildings to Victorian-style taxidermy and terrariums, highlights from past decorative eras frequently resurface in our modern lives. In Past & Present, Design*Sponge managing editor Amy Azzarito presents 24 pairs of essays and craft projects that explore the connection between decorative arts history and present-day design trends. From a Wedgwood-inspired headboard made using molding from the hardware store to an art nouveau– style tree-branch chandelier, the projects celebrate their roots yet fit perfectly into our contemporary living spaces."
|Wedgwood-inspired headboard made using molding from the hardware store |
Try these elements of Amy's accessible user friendly style:
- Vintage and antique items
- Whimsy and quirky
- Flat pack furniture
- Blog resources
Amy's book has delightful and thoughtful essays and history lessons about many antique and vintage styles. It gives objects a back story that will make your experience in using them richer. She also has a lot of cool DIY projects with instructions in the book.
|Amy has an essay about obelisks in her book|
|Amy Azzarito covers a timeline of decor history, including Gustavian - I love this mod twist on it|
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