Thursday, April 25, 2013

This, That or the Other???

As major collectors of Art Deco, Art Nouveau and anything uniquely old and quirky, decorating our new 1956 home has been challenging yet fun. It's a completely different aesthetic. Imagine riding a stagecoach on the Autobahn. Not that I'm saying the stagecoach wouldn't be a cool portal for transportation, but it sure would be out of place. Same thing happens when you take gobs of early-century antiques and place it all over a mid-century home. It holds up the task of decorating, but just doesn't always look right.

Hubby has the theory that if you make a few modifications to the stagecoach, it should hold up just fine on the Autobahn. In other words, we will move all of our belongings to the mid-century home and see what might blend in, and what might be destined for the estate sale. I tend to agree that Art Deco design is compatible with Mid-Century design, and that "eclectic" is a lighthearted method of decorating...

Case in point: Here we compare a deco sofa against an atomic sofa. Pretty similar, right? Again, different aesthetic, but the lines are simple.
Deco-style sofa
Danish modern sofa

Another consideration are tchotchkes. They were plentiful (yet looked really neat) in our 1920s home. Hubby and I had many discussions whether or not to bring all the tchotchkes to our new home. As you might infer, mid-century design is typically minimal, with emphasis on the design of the home and the furniture. Tchotchkes will act as a strobe light in your face. You won't focus on a damn thing.

But again, Hubby the modifier believes that if we take it all, we can get a better feel for whether we can decorate differently. This had my head gears rotating. I thought, "if you give the tchotchkes structure, maybe we can make it work!"

Case in point: Here are a few examples where major collectors and mid-century lovin' collide. You will notice a theme of structured placement.
Mid-century odds and ends specifically placed on shelves
Ms. Lucia Eames was quite fond of tchotchkes! Note her designated place for each one on the table, and the tiki grouping untouchably behind the seating area.

Obviously, not all of our antique furniture will work out for us. The new home is expansive and some of our old furniture looked out of scale and dwarfed in some of the rooms. Some of the furniture we had brought over looked just "okay." I have always been a fan of eclectic design. I will make as much of what we already own work for us, by golly!

Here are just a few examples of eclectic design that I'm loving. A happy marriage of early and mid-century. Humor and seriousness. Structure and chaos.