Comeback or Time Warp?

Here are four design retirees that have recently been re-discovered, re-styled, re-interpreted, please welcome back,

 Copper, Brass, Formica (yes, Formica) and Chintz!

Having a "danger, Will Robinson, time warp ahead" moment? Stir up childhood memories of Grandmother's house? Too young for either?

Copper's warmth evokes long lost days of yore when we were civilized and sat at the kitchen table with a glass of red wine reading real cookbooks rather than blindly walking grocery store aisles crashing into unsuspecting middle-aged shoppers because we are downloading the shopping list from a recipe ap (I was the crashee not the crasher). Men who stand stock still in the middle of the aisle staring at the shelves with phone glued to ear pose no such danger and can be somewhat endearing, especially when I hear "honey, I can't find it."

These polished copper pulls and handles are from Christopher Peacock's newest collection, Culinarium.

A new copper tile backsplash with new copper cabinet hardware. The previous pulls were stainless steel.

Hammered and aged copper hardware, Breckenridge.

Copper is perfectly at home in the kitchen but feel free to use it elsewhere.

Brass. Nix any thoughts of a WASPy New England high polish for this comeback. Finishes will be brushed, burnished, satin or antiqued. Or even unlacquered and left to age and tarnish with authentic grace.

Don't you just love these brass balls spheres?

Formica. This was time warping for me but I got over it. Remember Gram's white Formica with cheesy gold flecks? The pattern that covered half of North America in the 60's? 

Formica has shed her low budget ugly duckling status and emerged looking good. No brown seams and a real edge treatment. Added bonus, Formica is more eco-responsible than stone and much easier on the pocketbook.

Formica's 180/fx.

Chintz. Big floral printed chintz. Out of style for over a decade, I'm happy to see chintz making it back into the limelight. 

Fabrics and trims for a recent client presentation. Lee Jofa's exquisitely printed Althea polished chintz is the star player. Shown with Brunschwig and Fils' Bristol Check, GPandJ Baker's Moss Fringe, Fonthill's Marigot Weave (the blue), Lelievre's Berry Velvet (the green), Kravet's Elephant Border and Schumacher's Gainsborough Velvet (the red).

Love the elephant.

This time around the experts advise using a large printed chintz in a small way.

Or a little more, like this.

Julia Reed's New Orleans library. WSJ.

Restraint this time around rather than chintz on everything which was first made fashionable by English firm Colefax and Fowler. Lady Annabel Goldsmith's bedroom epitomizes the Colefax and Fowler style. I scanned this from my copy of Colefax and Fowler, The Best in English Interior Decoration by Chester Jones.

Easily in the top 10 of classic English chintz rooms. 

London's version of Studio 54, Annabel's, opened in 1963, is named after the very same Lady. 

Lady Annabel Goldsmith, July 2012. The Telegraph.
Lady Annabel's second husband, Sir Jimmy Goldsmith, BBT (Billionaire Business Titan) liked it (the bedroom) so much "...he practically commandeered it, sitting there the whole morning, smoking cigars and working on business papers." (AD January 2012.)

Just my opinion, based on nothing more than working with client couples, it takes a man with the self-confidence of a Titan to do floral chintz much less admit he hangs out for hours conducting business. Bravo. Wish I had more of them. I suppose that came off completely wrong, like I'm a sexist Luddite unable to download phone aps.....

What are your thoughts? Will this Fab 4 make it back in a big way? Please comment!

thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

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  1. Anonymous30.11.12

    I don't know about all of them coming back, but I do like the chintz!

  2. The aged hammered copper cupboard handles remind me of the ones in my previous house, which was built in 1960, and had the original kitchen still in it when I bought the house. I don't think mine were real copper, but they were copycats. Very homey in a down to earth way.
    I didn't know they did nice edges on formica now. Good to know, since I see a kitchen rehab in my future. Speaking of Formica, I never minded the white with gold flecks, maybe because it is what our mom had, and it feels like home to me.

  3. I had no idea that Formica was still around and actually looks lovely!

  4. I really like all the copper! But not the brass....I think the Christopher Peacock cabinets are great!


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