Sometimes, for fun, I check out really old decorating books from the library. Which, by “really old” means from the 80’s, which is also when I graduated from high school, so really I probably should not be calling them “really old,” but you get the idea.
I like to look through them and just see. How different is the style, really? Do I still like it? Have I changed? Is my taste destined to be stuck forever in a bygone era? Or is there something that transcends time and is still exciting today? I wonder about these things.
So, a few weeks ago I found a book that I just had to bring home. It’s The Country Living Book of Country Kitchens by Bo Niles from 1985 and features all of the classic 80’s country motifs. And yes, there’s lots and lots in the book that’s fairly dated. Case in point:
So much more pattern, texture and clutter than you would see today, right? I can’t imagine trying to keep all that clean.
Surprisingly, there’s also quite a bit that’s classic and relevant for today. Maybe not the whole entire room or the way it’s been styled, but certain elements jump out as being things I would love to have in my house right now.
Here’s some examples:
What did you notice? I noticed all the gorgeous patina on the tabletops, the beautiful smooth plaster, the pretty vintage pottery, the graphic quality of the collections. And that yellow kitchen with the black island? If it was styled in a more spare, modern way? It would look fantastic.
My favorite picture in this book, though, is this one. I am in love with the mantel on that fireplace.
As a whole, the picture is very rustic, more rustic than I would make for myself. But I can completely envision that mantel in my house with my plastered fireplace.
What about you? Do ever look at old decorating books? Do you see what I see, or do you think I’m nuts?