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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Is American Colonial the next big thing?


For those of us of a Certain Age, our childhoods were spent traipsing through Ethan Allen showrooms and dusty antique shops while our mothers swooned over the latest in retro American Colonial decor. The Bicentennial was fast approaching, and the mid-century modern pieces of recent decades were being tossed aside for spindle-back chairs, fake spinning wheels, and anything with a bald eagle on it. 

Young readers, I guarantee this is sitting in your grandmother's attic.

Given the renewed popularity of Brunschwig & Fils' "Battle of Valmy, 1792" wallpaper (see first photo) and hints from several top design purveyors, I wonder if "Lifestyles and Military Battles of the Late 18th Century" might not be the next Big Thing.

Serena and Lily Tucker chair, $188.

 Anthropologie Leather English Fireside chair, $3498.
(That's a ball and claw foot there, folks.)

Anthropologie Cushioned Woodwork chair, $398.

Even West Elm, the Millennial font of all things MCM-ish, dipped a toe in 
with this little cutie recently, only to unceremoniously pull it last week.

The Bicentennial decorating fervor of the mid-1970s gave birth to the Shaker/Country madness of the 1980s which was then replaced by Shabby Chic in the 1990s. The Aughts got a breather as other countries' "Country" took hold of our imaginations; see Moroccan Atlas Mountain Chic, Uzbekistan's suzanis, and India's carved wood anything.

Decor abhors a vacuum and the MCM, Steampunk/Industrial, and World Bazaar looks are winding down. Dumplings, are we ready to revisit this...

A mid 1970s Ethan Allen catalog image.

 Look at that floor and proto gallery wall!

This Ethan Allen gossip bench (it held a telephone, youngins) 
sat in our front hall, and my mother thought it was chic as shit. 
It's proof positive that I'm adopted. 

Supergraphics were the chevrons of the 1970s - inexplicably everywhere.

Hee Haw-someness!!


All Ethan Allen catalog images via Retro Renovation.

11 comments:

DaniBP said...

It's all so hilariously comforting looking, for those born around 1970 this could be dangerously attractive!

Debra Phillips said...

once lived, that's it!
oh the horror driven nightmares of my youth, these flashbacks are terrifying, particularly if this look makes a come back!

Pigtown*Design said...

We had one of those phone table/chair things. It wasn't colonial (haha), but a little more craftsman era. Super uncomfortable, so you wouldn't talk too long.

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

Oh the mixed feelings! As a child I desperately wanted a house filled with EA red, white and, blue but it was born out of a desire to live somewhere that was a bit more put together than my house was. My parents did not care so much about interior design and I threw the occasional hissy fit when they brought yet another rust or avocado colored, crushed velvet chair. Do you think I was adopted too?

Price Style & Design said...

I have fond memories of sitting at the telephone table on the phone with my bestie while browsing through the Sears catalog. Loved the '70's!

wellfedfred said...

Folks down the street were serious Early Americans. My favorite creation - home-made Early American radiator covers. The heat came out through hand-hammered perforated sheets of copper on the front of each Colonial Blue cover. The perforations made pictures, my favorite was a large duck with mismatched feet. How the pioneers stayed warm....

jason said...

Oh dear, you must be reading my mind.
I was thinking this not long ago.
I was thinking about which style of decor I hated the most...right after "Tuscan" was Ye Olde American.

Kimberly Lemmon said...

my mom still has a deacon's bench and a milk can with an eagle on it in her kitchen. in harvest gold.

Marcheline said...

To answer the question posed in the title of this post: NO!

Bethany [at] Powell Brower Home said...

you have no idea the heart palpatations I got from reading this... HAUNTED....

life, in small chunks said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! *runs away screaming*