Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Late 80s Style That Wasn't In for Long

Am I the only person who remembers this? There was a style for the interior of public places which was really "in," and really seemed to be spreading and catching on, for a brief while back in the late 80s. I'm talking like 1987 or 1988.

I first noticed it in a shopping mall I frequented. Then you'd see it around in libraries or other places that had just been remodeled. Heavy use of certain colors: salmon and sea green. Lots of ornate brass, elaborate light fixtures with spherical or bowl-like glass shades, brass chandeliers, brass wall sconces, all in bright, bright shiny brass. Decorative wooden or plaster molding. Colored wood or blonde wood. Overall a rather geometric effect, something like Art Deco but all in off-color metrosexual pastels.

Back in 1987 or 1988 this style was spreading. I mean, it was appearing all over. It looked like it was going to be the Next Big Thing. Then within just a year or two it fizzled out, and fell completely out of style. Though to this day once in a while I'll run across a restaurant or a library reading room, and I'll think to myself, this place must've been redecorated in the late 80s.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Lucy said...

(To borrow a word from Dean) GAH! My experience was so awful in the late-eighties that to this day I can't tolerate anything brassy or goldtone or seafoam/salmon in the house!

This makes my husband's life interesting because here no one stocks chrome or brushed nickel. Its all about brass and fake-brass and goldtone.

We ended up special ordering a lot of stuff for the new house. Not "special" stuff, mind you. Just ordinary stuff. Well, ordinary if you aren't stuck in a state that thinks MiamiVice is still the height of fashion.

Sometimes I think my husband is getting indoctrinated by locals. Then I show him pictures from Metropolitan Home or Architectural Digest and he's Ok again. (Its possible he might just be faking understanding to avoid more forced exposure to modern magazines)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Lucy, thanks, I'm glad to know I'm not retroactively imagining things. I mean, sometimes I remember weird items like this from way back when, and I wonder if my memory is confabulating or something...

Yeah, salmon. Sea green. And way too much shiny brass.

Thursday, February 22, 2007 8:34:00 AM  
Blogger Tremenda Trigueña said...

I totally remember that. I was only 11 or 12 at the time, but I have an uncanny memory of those pseudo-oceanic hues all over the place. Oddly enough, a couple years ago that was part of the color pallette of the Spring '04 or '05 women's fashion collections. I thought we were over it but apparently Hideous made a name for herself.

Friday, February 23, 2007 3:22:00 PM  

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