A Little Bit of Kitsch
Kitsch /kiCH/ is a fun word, but unfortunately, it has a negative connotation. An item may be classified as kitsch if it is deemed garish by today’s standards, or has sentimental value and not much else going for it. But I consider these objects quirky and full of personality! I say put them out in view! The key is to display them in small doses.
Kitsch: noun 1. art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.
They usually have history and a story or two to tell. It’s how you display the item that sets it apart. A little kitsch goes a long way. Don’t gather all of your knickknacks, line them up on a single shelf, and call it a day. Your unique items will just get lost in the clutter of one another and look like a dust bunny trap. Keep reading to find out some better ways to merge your kitsch with your regular decor.
Styling Your Kitsch
Instead of clumping all of your treasured pieces together, try to disperse them throughout your home. Start by separating similar items into groups. They can be categorized by colour (blue), theme (cats), type (plates), or you can try a combination of the three. These groups will look cohesive in the same room. A good design rule to follow when placing groups is to split them into trios. Our minds naturally prefer the look of odd grouped items, think 1, 3, and 5.
Use placement to turn your favourite items into focal points. Try positioning one in the center of a shelf, or as the front and center piece in a grouping. You can draw attention to it by setting it apart from your other decor, such as having a single object on a side table. Use these centrally placed pieces to grab your guests’ attention and start a conversation about the history of each one! Doing this will turn that elaborate cat figurine into a work of art instead of remaining a knickknack. It’s the items like these, special and meaningful, that show your individuality.
Revitalize Your Kitsch
If you find an item to be too garish, but you can’t bear to toss it, try giving it a face lift with some spray paint! Unifying objects by painting them the same colour is a great way to make them work together in the same room. You can tone down their colours and let their structural details show. No more guilt trips from tossing out that family heirloom! This tip is not recommended for plates or paintings though unless you are going for that blank canvas look.
Personalize With Your Kitsch
I have the lime green frogs, from the photo above, proudly displayed on my fireplace mantel. I have had them since I moved out on my own and had my first place. They bring me joy. I love their bright colour, which you can find in spurts throughout my home, and how they break up the monotony of neutral tones around them. I like their different poses and quirky personalities which break up the room’s formality. But mostly, I enjoy that they are my oddball frogs being displayed in the sitting room, defying the trends around them.
It’s important that the objects you surround yourself with bring you joy. By decorating with the items that mean the most to you, and using them with purpose throughout your space, you turn your house into a home. Consider this permission to decorate guilt-free, even if the decorative source of your happiness is a little outlandish. Go ahead and drink coffee in the fine china your grandmother gifted to you, display the unicorn figurines you secretly love but have been afraid to take out of their box in the basement, and fluff the colourful throw pillows that remind you of your last trip abroad. Use meaningful and inspiring items when you are decorating your home. Give them a platform on which to tell visitors a bit more about the person living there. Every piece has something different to tell.
Do you have a favourite decorative item that fits the mold for Kitsch? I’d love to hear about it! Drop a comment below letting me know what it is and where you have it! And for more inspiration subscribe to my email list!