Saturday, June 30, 2007
I grew up with many European and British influences. We ate meals on English earthenware and admired the china cabinet full of Royal Albert Old Country Rose. I’ll never forget one rare and wonderful day we had a tea party and actually used the Royal Albert. I’ve loved English china ever since.
I’m wild about American-made pottery and tableware. Names like Homer Laughlin, Russell Wright, Metlox, Franciscan, Taylor Smith & Taylor, McCoy, Hall, Marcrest and Vernon Kilns are among my favorites. Today many people purchase dinnerware in “big barn stores” and think nothing of it. The dinnerware of the past are collectable today because the importation of dinnerware from foreign countries drove many American makers out of business. Even English makers were influenced by the American designs of this era. The Japanese companies, like Noritaki and others are known as the “pretenders” by Mid-Century purists. I’m not a purist.
The first element of my design style is Eclecticism, a fancy word that just means selecting what you like from various design styles.
I refuse to edit my life to fit one defined style.
I love sleek and modern, but I love grandmas’ china too! My own interiors are filled with items made in the USA, England, Canada, Egypt, Morocco, Japan, India, Germany, Poland, France, Africa, Denmark and more. I have chosen elements that are modern and abstract, Native American, Colonial, African and Traditional. I have combined geometric prints with bamboo, copper, cork, hand carved wood and one-of-a-kind treasures made of clay. Some things are old, some new and everything in-between! Somehow it all works.
My second design element is Retro: a fashion reminiscent of the past.
The easiest way to turn your house into a home is to include memories of the past. I’m a Mid Century Modern girl myself, so I love all the kitsch of the 50's and the pop art, flower power flair of the 60s and 70s. I’ve filled my kitchen with Pyrex, Fire King, Anchor Hocking, Imperial Glass, Corning Ware and others. It’s not necessary to go “all the way” with retro. But it is the coolest way to entertain. Have a hip rat pack martini party and enjoy all of the cool bar ware of the 50s and 60s. Use grandmas’ china every day, just because you can. Don’t forget a great set of vintage flatware.
The modern styles of the 50s to 70s are being recreated by today’s manufactures. Everything old is new again. Remember lava lamps? Check out the big barn stores and you’re sure to find a “new” one. My favorite modern design style is Danish modern. Dansk tableware is perfect in the modern home. My concept of modern is based on elegant simplicity, form meeting function, and natural materials. Clean lines, biomorphic. shapes and organic materials fit seamlessly into the modern home of today