Here’s a Seems Like Yesterday flash back; Are you covered?
I was just thinking about my Nona’s house (“Nona” is “grandmother” in Italian) and of her plastic covered protection on everything! Do we live in a very disposable society now or have fabrics improved? It’s expensive enough sometimes–even more than buying new in many cases–to recover an upholstery piece, which made me think about the companies that serviced these oddly, super well fitting, custom plastic covers for sofas. After a fun walk down memory lane with some friends on this, I realized that there was a great industry that had to have had a great boom in custom fitted plastic frame and pillow covers. They weren’t loose or one size, they fit like a glove!
Naturally this lead me to recall the runways of plastic runners with spikes into the carpet. Again we laughed at how we would turn these over to race in bare foot across the spikes with our cousins to see how far you could get…like a burning coal run…it was a hilarious kill of time at grandma’s house. And that, my friends, is how I got my first stitches (½-inch from my eye), as I tripped over a wave in a plastic runner to find the corner of the wooden TV console!
Finally the doily; which covered anything with wood surface or chair that did not have the plastic wrap. I picked up a boat load of doilies at a yard sale last year. Why you ask? Not really sure, but I was fascinated that each pattern had multiple matching sizes to fit side tables, short dressers and long consoles to keep each room in coordinating doily pattern! The pride this older couple had taken was being sold off for pennies by their children; I was struck by the lost era to protect their furniture investment. I put one on display and put the rest in an old cotton seed sack. I liked them, but I’m not crazy; I’m not decorating every piece of furniture in my house with them!!
Yes, plastic covered furniture was horrendous to sit on, runners were a liability and doilies a pain to deal with. The fashion of this has past, no one seems to want resurrect this “style” in home furnishings, at least not yet… So, how do you stay covered? In my business I hear younger families say, “I have pets and kids; I need furniture that is disposable!” I hear grandparents say, “I need resilient, washable fabrics,” willing to pay a little extra for pretreated fabric protection direct from the suppliers. And everyone wants the miracle top coat on their wood furniture, glass that won’t scratch and floors that won’t mar.
USA’s National Park Service website: “America’s Everglades – The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States”.
We live right here, surrounded…can’t go any further west without getting wet, definitely can’t go east, barely south or north without going through, around or bordering this magnificent eco system. The funny thing though: as I looked up “Florida Tropical” on Google images, 99% of the photos were NOT of the Largest Subtropical Wilderness in America!
I find this interesting because I am intrigued with the “tropical” look. I’m admittedly a little jaded by architecture that is not designed for subtropical living along with materials, fabrics and patterns that have nothing to do with living in the subtropics of Southwest Florida. The images that do show up, by the way, are of beaches, palm trees, and some well-groomed botanically interesting back yards and pool areas.
So, what do we do about this? It’s more than a swamp buggy ride in Everglades City whenever guests come to visit or a short stroll an Eco Boardwalk in town. When JR and I met, we used to go on a lot of off-road trails, take my old Land Rover through deep mud baths up to the windshield, and find our way to fishing holes way off the beaten path. For me, it’s been a long time (JR takes buddies and goes more often than I now) but after some adventures through some national and state preserves recently, I can’t help that my design mind wraps around how we can capture and celebrate our own celebrated “tropical” look in Naples.
Palm trees, sand, and seashells can be found in all kinds of places and are definitely part of our precious ecosystem and should always be celebrated. However, the Florida Everglades is one of a kind. I believe Naples can truly set one foot forward on this and embrace its own sense of the “subtropics” style. I believe more should be available in the marketplace of design, architecture and decorating.
What happened to George Jetson?
Weren’t we all supposed to have houses that were high in the sky by now? Are modern looks really in style or is RETRO modern evolving forward to take center stage? From home furnishings to fashion and even hobbies, I can’t help but notice an Industrial Age Revolution being resurrected over the past few years. This year more and more furniture and accessory vendors have entire lines dedicating most of their line to the look. A couple of summers ago I started noticing the hobby magazines with DIY Steampunk style projects (which I couldn’t help but be intrigued with), a bit of throw back to my own early punk culture days. For those of you who don’t know Steampunk culture, check out this lovely beach photo by Belgian Photography Artist Viona. (See below for more info and her website)
Yes, even I strutted around for years in military surplus belts, boots and bags mixed with vintage clothes all strangely layered. The only color I owned was black and cleverly tightened all my clothes with dozens of “stylish” exposed safety pins mixed with one of a kind garments that I was given in trade by clothing designers for their fashion shows and photo shoots. Yikes, confession over. For those who have known me a long time…its surprising to see me wear any shade other than black, I’m over it, sort of, I still have my black days: who doesn’t?
Back to Interior Design: look around, it’s all the rage! Steel pipe furniture, mechanical parts, exposed brackets, nuts and bolts in purposeful or useful product design. Sure there’s a few clear plexy tables and round pedestal mounted chairs for you Jetsons but most of the furniture manufactures these days have straight lines, exposed welded edges, raw iron or hammered metal in appearance with the wood or glass used only for functionality, not necessarily to achieve the design. If you look closely even our vintage beach inspired line, Seems Like Yesterday and showroom, hosts a little industrial resurrection and that’s why I loved Viona’s seaside steampunk glamor girl.
For more Steampunk inspired photos from costume designer and photographer Viona; visit her website @ www.viona-art.com She currently resides in Germany…you’ll have to travel if you “dare to cross the borders to Viona’s world!”
My Mother kept a garden, a garden of the heart,
She planted all the good things that gave my life its start.
She turned me to the sunshine and encouraged me to dream,
Fostering and nurturing the seeds of self-esteem…
And when the winds and rain came, she protected me enough-
But not too much because she knew I’d need to stand up strong and tough.
Her constant good example always taught me right from wrong-
Markers for my pathway that will last a lifetime long.
I am my Mother’s garden. I am her legacy-
And I hope today she feels the love reflected back from me.
When I personally reflect on my childhood home and my mother’s contributions to our environment, I think clean, well-cared for, maintained. However, though my father is the “designer” in our family, it is my mom that adds the feelings of “hominess” with the finishing characters and details that makes a house feel like a home! From the nicely framed collection of family photos, odd collection of ceramic gifts to the proud display of track and field trophies our home is personalized!
While my dad always tended to the “real” garden; our home’s multiple fireplace mantels with growing collection of accolades was my mom’s proud display of her flourishing garden!!
Design reflection: don’t worry so much if “it goes”… make your house a home and keep the near and dear memories of your family on display. After all, for most of us, it’s NOT on display for the world to see, it on display for only those special enough to be invited in to see! Don’t get me wrong though, super cute photo frames from our boutique Seems Like Yesterday sure can help!
As dealers of the 125 year old F Schumacher Fabric line, we have the opportunity to sell alluring, timeless and fashionable fabrics that are deep in heritage. The company was started in 1889 by Fredric Schumacher a Parisian born man who came to New York to start in the textile industry in a fashionable end of town where ladies of high fashion could see his imported stunning fabrics from Paris.
The brand grew famously with Jackie O, showing off the newly decorated White House in F Schumacher wallcoverings, to gracing the sets of I Love Lucy, Gone with the Wind and as a back drop for pics of rock star sensation Mick Jagger.
Ask Odyssey how your home can be decorated with a piece of history in a new and fashionable way!
Every year the world of fashion and design look to the Color of the Year announced by Pantone. This allows the industry to connect on a level of consumer needs from the dress to the matching nail polish, or the newest fad to paint your walls in commercial and residential environments. Though I believe it takes a while for the furniture industry to get on board, there no denying that graphic design to fashion design is using the color of the year in new and exiting ways. 2015 is Marsala: a color of fortified wine, that is reddish brown, sophisticated, natural earthy color.
Pretty sure I won’t have a client asking for a Marsala colored sofa anytime soon, but I can certainly see it being picked up by OPI or Mac, and when it looks good on us we do look better sitting in and around an environment that matches!! As I’ve mentioned before: when you know what color looks good on you, don’t be afraid to use it in your home: at least you’ll look stunning when you are at home!
Sometimes it can be really scary for people to introduce bright colors into their interior spaces. It makes sense — it’s obviously a lot safer to go with muted or subtle neutral colors.
But when our client came to us wanting vibrantly-colored custom pieces for their beach condo, we were so excited! We think it turned into a pretty great entertaining space, especially with a custom LED-light up dining table! What do you think about this space?
Hi there! Thank you so much for stopping by our blog!
Seems Like Yesterday, an exclusive upholstery line and home decor boutique, is the inspired creation of Athena Thompson from Odyssey Interior Design in Southwest Florida. Here you’ll find the musings of Athena as well as a link to our online shop where you can purchase items directly.
Keep an eye out on the blog for great interior design pieces and inspirations from Seems Like Yesterday!