Vintage and Nostalgia Play Important Role in Today’s “Industrial Sleek” Kitchens and Restaurants C Dianne Zweig, Editor of Iantiqueonline.com explores how nostalgia and vintage play a role in "industrial sleek" kitchen and restaurants. What's new in today's kitchens and homes?
News-Antique.com - Oct 28,2008 - With so many people updating their kitchens and adding sleek cabinets, stainless steel appliances, industrial touches, is there still interest in vintage accessories, textiles and collectibles.
You bet there is.” While the styles for home and restaurants have most certainly leaned in the direction of “commercial looks” , don’t kid yourself, retro, vintage and nostalgia still play an important part. Perhaps not necessarily in the “purest” form but certainly from a design influence.
Over the weekend I had a chance to try a new upscale trendy “build your own burger” eatery, called, “The Counter” an upcoming franchise started in 2003 by Jeff Weinstein. I sat at a streamlined bar (“the counter”) which glistened with stainless steel cabinets , overhead lighting and counter tops. The bar was a contemporary version of the old fashioned drugstore counter of the colorful eras of the 30s, 40s, 50s.
The “bar tender” was not only serving beer and wine, he was making milkshakes. Later I watched him make root beer floats and wondered if he could pull off an old fashioned egg cream.
Let me remind you that the surrounding of this restaurant looked nothing like an old drugstore of the 1940’s nor did the fellow look like my grandfather, a soda jerk who owned a luncheonette in Brooklyn, New York. The guy behind the bar was a twenty something young fellow who probably has never heard of egg creams or Lime Rickey’s for that matter.
While this restaurant was clearly designed with an urban chic, “industrial sleek” motif, care was also taken to bring in some subtle memories of older looks, wainscoting, chair rails, cement floors, mosaic tiles . While there was an absence of textiles, the soft blue walls evoked earlier times.
Marrying different looks is extremely popular today, both at home and in restaurant designs Home kitchens , like restaurants are also being featured with elements of earlier times blended with cleaner, “contemporized" surfaces, appliances and accessories. In fact, small appliances and kitchen-wares are being made in nostalgic colors with a kicked up design flare that seems to suggest “vintage” but is nothing like grandma. Mixing bowls, linens, dishes etc are following similar trends.
So what do today’s collectors consider “ kitchen collectibles”? Factory finds are replacing the usual vintage items and furnishings. Yes, stainless steel shelving, interesting industrial racks, metal containers and baskets as well as all kinds of urban nostalgia is popping up either in original forma or replicated as manufactured pieces which mimic factory designs.
Or course there are still plenty of folks who will have nothing to do with the industrialization of the kitchen and who still prefer warmer traditional looks. Even in these kitchens and home however there is both the influence of older looks kicked up a notch with modern interpretations. For example, not to long ago I was poking through a home magazine and drawn to a fabric by Lee Joffa, a stylish high end fabric company popular among decorators.