In every era items of dubious taste appear on shelves of home décor stores and invariably we have a good laugh when we find them in people’s home.
The term kitsch refers to an item regarded as tasteless, sentimental, or ostentatious in style. Sometimes an item is so kitsch to turn irresistibly attractive, perhaps because it has an inner beauty, or an intrinsic collectible value, or better a memory of a romantic past.
I love to hunt in flea markets. Looking at some items often is a learning experience of the past, especially when I engage in conversation with senior exhibitors who know all the life story of an object and turn into instant storytellers. I could spend hours and hours listening to people who have lived in different eras, I find it very fulfilling and educational. Today I want to talk about the funny aspect of a few kitsch items.
Click on each photo to see details.
Take a look at this David statue, one of the most recognizable masterpiece of the world and an enduring symbol of Florence. To see the David in Piazza della Signoria in Florence is natural, it fits the historical environment, but to see him naked in a home would be a bit annoying.
Coat of Arms near the living room fireplace, or on top of the doorway will really tell your friends how highly blazoned you feel, unless you have royal blood for real, but in this case you wouldn’t display the coat of arms so visibly anyway.
The Folies Bergère stool is very kitschy and extremely whimsical, but I wouldn’t put it on display in the center of the most used room. It would feel appropriate in a boudoir, where you can sit to take your shoes off after a night of follies.
The Babette side table. Just the name alone of this table will tell the story. It might be useful to rest a drink on it, but its disheveled look, seamed stockings, red garters and strappy red heels demands attention!
A romp boisterous lad experiencing his first flat might like this piece as a way of entertaining his friends in funny conversation.
Ah, the guillotine was a classic in the ‘70s. I have seen it in some offices propped proudly on a boss’s desk used for cutting the tip of cigars. It was considered an unusual historic executive toy. It hurt just to see it and wondered what kind of pleasure there was to own such object.
The wall-mounted fetish would be a knight to remember. Folies BergèreImagine going to the bathroom in someone’s home and find him at your service. The advertisement in the store says: “A knight’s job is never done!”. I bet his Medieval mannerism extended far beyond the protection of the realm and “love service” offered to the courtesans.
Cleopatra Chaise, even though a little garish and excessively ornate, I can use it as an accent piece and let it claim a place of honor in my décor. After all, it is a reproduction of the famous ruler’s chair and it is fit-for-a-queen (me). By the way, my title of my second published book is: Sins Of A Queen. You can find it here: https://valentinaexpressions.com
Ok, I have been playing around today with outrageous things, I know, but not all kitsch items are unattractive, extremely in your face, garish, or unpleasant. The idea behind choosing a kitsch object is to have fun and to create an attraction, just do not use many of these objects in one room.
Ultimately, if you like one piece, nobody can tell you what you should or should not have in your décor, just do it sensibly. Do not overlook flea market findings, they could be a treasure sometimes.
As a professional designer, I can stir the selection toward a more valuable choice and toward the choice that makes sense for the style of your home. I shall be here to help with any choice, selecting furniture and accessories is one of the specialty of my business. Leave your name in the box, I will answer you in 24 hours time. Ciao,
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