I read a comment recently that expressed concern for the aged look going “out”. I get that concern. If you are addicted to painting and have literally gone all through your house and painted every ugly piece of brown furniture what happens if it goes out of style? Have a few things to say about the matter.
1. Love the look.
You have to like the overall look first and foremost. You have to appreciate it when you see it in homes and shops and while traveling. You may even have had to have a past memory that sheds a touch of nostalgia.
I feel connected to the painted look for a few reasons. I know you’ve heard me mention these things in the past. I grew up on fiction set in England 1900s and it came alive for me only in my mind and my little space in my childhood home. This is the image painted in my head and if I had to guess I would say there is OLD stuff in these houses. Old cutting boards, tattered chairs, painted cupboards and maybe a few union jacks.
2. Neutrals will never turn on you.
I always tell clients to pick a neutral color and I do this for their benefit. You don’t want to change a piece into something trendy. You want a piece that will be timeless. This is also why I’m not drawn to modern. I don’t want to spend money on a lucite chair that I’m going to find tacky in 15 years. (Eames is the exception of course.)
3. Old is old.
Painted furniture dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptians where these societies put great emphasize on the art of painting and decorating. It was during the Renaissance that the idea of painting items in the home became as popular as frescos and relief sculpture. Painting furniture became another way to enhance their surrounding and the tradition continues today. Hey if it’s good enough for Botticelli it’s good enough for me.
4. Open a Magazine.
Seriously. Open a magazine of a ka-zillion dollar house and you will see painted furniture. You know those colorful ones that we drool over standing in the check out line? The houses of celebrities and famous people? They have old, painted furniture that looks really fancy in their fancy homes.
The world works in circles, doesn’t it? What is in goes out and what is out eventually comes back into vogue. I understand that painting furniture is a really fun thing to do right now, but I am not sure we will tire of it if we continue to strive to paint in a classic and sophisticated way. Only paint pieces that are not true antiques so you won’t regret it. Use colors that you can die with. Appreciate the artistic process and effort.