It’s August 2017, nearly 100 years after the term was adopted and centuries after the trend first appeared, and yet you’d be hard pressed to not find Kitsch home décor accessories among every household.
A metallic pineapple here, a pink flamingo print there, bright watermelons emblazoned everywhere. You’d have to be pretty unobservant to have not noticed kitsch home décor accessories revival – and have the resolve of an Ox to not have purchased just one set of cactus string lights.
In Primark, the £6 best-selling bikini of summer 2017 has pineapples on it. But don’t worry if it’s flown off the shelf too quickly for you, ASOS have three bikinis with pineapples on them. You can’t scroll through Instagram without a picture of someone straddling a unicorn float.
But what is Kitsch… really? Where has it come from and how can you execute it in your home? Strap in readers, we’ve got you.
What is Kitsch?
Kitsch is gaudy. It’s garish and it’s truly one-of-a-kind. A niche that’s an acquired taste. Hated by most and revered by a small few… of whom happen to be growing in number.
Kitsch can be anything, art, objects or simply a design pattern on clothing or furniture that’s typically poor taste because of its excessive garishness (think bold, neon or clashing colours) or sentimentality (think kitten ceramic). It’s appreciated in an ironic or ‘I know this is distasteful which shows that I’m not uptight and have a sense of humour’ kind of way.
The British began borrowing the term from Germany in the 19th Century to describe art, or other ornaments, that were cheesy or tacky. Things that were considered garish or overly sentimental (one wouldn’t want to upset the stiff upper lip now). However, Kitsch first became particularly popular in the 50s, when things were beginning to settle down; the western world was trying to shake off the depression. Art, music and literature were booming. Famous poets like Frank O’Hara, Barbara Guest and Kenneth Koch were hailed with celebrity status. Jackson Pollock could do no wrong. We wanted bright, bold colours – Barbie pink, palm green and neon yellow. We wanted to be silly and childlike and feel alive.
When the famous plastic lawn flamingo went on sale in 1957, it was a smash hit. Kitsch home décor accessories epitomised everything people were longing for – freedom from repression.
So, Why Kitsch in 2017?
Fashion, style and trends move in waves and cycles (that’s why, you’ll note, that Kitsch had a revival with the bold colours of the 80s). Which is, of course, one factor.
However, when it comes to home décor accessories, these purchases are often emotional purchases. And so, designers respond by offering consumers items that reflect society’s emotional needs (hence the love of Kitsch post-war).
And while we’re not living in a post-war era now, we are living in a very active time. There is a huge amount of civil unrest, where we’re seeing continual activism every-single-day. It’s no surprise that we’re desperate for bold colours that are punchy, loud and fun.
So, what we’re saying is, kitsch home décor accessories are super fun and you should buy them all.
Kitsch Home Décor Accessories (and Where to Buy Them)
If we’re being honest, you’ll be able to pick up Kitsch home décor accessories pretty much anywhere at the moment; any home décor store will have items that you can get your hands on. However, we can point you towards a couple of statement pieces that’ll get the theme going nicely in your home.
Because after all, if your home isn’t instagrammable – is it worth living in?
This Neon Cactus Lamp from Prezzybox
An Inflatable Flamingo from House of Fraser
The Flamingo and Pineapple Collection from John Lewis
A Velvet, Green Leaf Cushion from Made.com
This Yellow Parrot Vase from Tesco Direct
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