The revolution takes place in Houseware. The past two years have seen us spend more time in our humble abode than ever before, and as we evaluated our surroundings, we found that they were somewhat lacking when it came to fun. Sure, an elegant home makes the mind uncluttered, but as the great British writer and artist William Morris once said: “You have nothing in your house that you don’t know is useful, or you think is beautiful.” So why not fill your space to enjoy the beautiful things that bring you happiness?
Fortunately, this revolution represents just that. Back to the bright colors the interior From decades past it has been labeled cliched and cliched by estheticians and interior designers keen to push the idea that living in an empty white cube is the ideal state of being. Reacting to the downsized millennium minimalism that saw contemporary interiors stripped of character and weathered by 5,000 shades of gray, this modern look is now being embraced on a previously poor aesthetic with a proper wild abandon.
Don’t get us wrong, the contemporary kitschcore is definitely not your grandparents’ Babycham coupe or painted ceramic figures – although it can be found in abundance in just about anything good. antique store, combined with a slew of colossal treasures—instead, it’s a more sophisticated and refined take on the ironic and polarizing trend that’s taking interior enthusiasts by storm. Think: whimsical textiles, quirky hand-painted ceramics, and fun retro-colored art objects. Fortunately, it’s easy to turn your space into a haven nowadays just by adding a few carefully curated pieces. Not sure where to start? Here’s our round-up of the best homeware brands that bring kitsch back calm.
Amouz not bush
Known for its circus-striped linens, London-based independent brand Amuse La Bouche initially created a stir with its playful ruffled napkins and has since branched out to create a collection of seriously localized ceramics. All 100 percent brand linen textiles are handcrafted in small batches in India by skilled artisans using eco-friendly dyes. In the past year alone, the brand has partnered with leading names in fashion and homeware, including Kitri, Maison Flaneur, and Glasette, for a range of coveted capsules that bring fun back into interior décor.
Following the success of her structured luxury jewelry offering, which reflects a generation of empowered, unapologetic women, Anissa Kermiche has taken her seductive sensuality to the next level with a collection of bold ceramics. Inspired by the beauty of the female figure, the brand’s ‘Love Handles’ vases and ‘Tit for Tat’ candles (which double beautifully as abstract sculptures) quickly gained cult status and inspired a wave of ceramics, textiles, and artwork of similar sensuality in the aftermath of that celebration and elevating the silhouette. Females in all shapes and sizes.
Founded in Portugal in 1884, Bordallo Pinheiro was practicing kitsch long before kitsch entered our collective consciousness. Whimsical ceramics, inspired by natural forms—such as eggplant bowls, watermelon bowls, and chrysanthemum bowls—have since been imitated en masse and led the way for the playful tableware that dominated interiors in the mid-20th century and beyond. Today, the brand’s potters still use the original molds to continue the company’s long tradition of handcrafted pottery, and the distinctive intricate coil-shaped crockery remains a hallmark of refined taste.
While we’re not quite sure Nick Cave would appreciate being called a “kitsch,” the musician’s hilarious group namesake decorative objects imbued with the kind of subversive whims that epitomize contemporary kitsch. Created in 2020, Cave Things provides a humorous window into the mind of the esteemed songwriter, who designs each element himself. Expect everything from hand-painted tiles and tea sets to stationery, wallpaper and pocket charm.
Founded in 2018 by Lucinda Chambers (former British Fashion Director of Vogue) and Molly Molloy (former Director of Design at Marni), Colville’s bold, upscale homeware collections are the antithesis of fast, cool design. Imbued with a European retro feel, the brand’s contrasting and subtle textures and massive marble vases provide an injection of quiet artisanal luxury that every interior will delight.
Are you looking to make happy hour more exciting? Inspired by everything from Alice in Wonderland and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, to childhood visits to the pastry shop, whimsical glassware from Helle Mardahl puts a glossy spin on traditional barware, light fixtures, and trinket trays. The brand’s nostalgic polished glassware is presented in sweet shades of saccharin, a childlike curiosity that leads us to wonder why all other glassware is so ordinary.
Founded on the belief that your home should be a place of happiness, Jonathan Adler’s namesake brand excels in the kind of charming and disruptive household items that bring more than a little humor into your space. Featuring bold color palettes, superior artistry, and unexpected historical references, the brand’s high-octane, delectable ceramics, glassware, and decorative objects are full of character and sure to brighten an interior.
After finding herself unemployed and staying home from chronic illness during the pandemic, her mother, Josephine Foucher, received a stack of earthenware dishes and asked her to paint. She painted, and soon after Josephine Dessin was born, she took Instagram by storm and offered playfully hand-detailed ceramics for those who enjoy their luxury with a side of humour. Inspired by the idea of having the guests of your dream dinner, rather than inviting them, the brand’s “Icon” collection features special graphics of big-name fashion personalities like Iris Apfel, Rei Kawakubo, Coco Chanelall intricately painted on genuine porcelain, so you can dine with the greats whenever you like.
Available at net-a-porter.com
Headquartered in the Czech city of Kamenicky Senov in the country’s so-called Crystal Valley, Klimchi is a group of artisan glassmakers who create colorful, hand-blown glassware that breathes new life into the rich Bohemian tradition of glass production. Influenced by the region’s dramatic landscapes, premium Klimchi glassware in a rainbow of eye-catching colors transforms any scape tables From ordinary to extraordinary.
Available at amara.com
Inspired by her family’s history of ceramics, French designer Laetitia Rouget’s porcelain lends a playful touch to the usual rough medium. Celebrating everything from British characteristics to nature and the human body, one-of-a-kind ceramic plates, candlesticks and the trademark urns are now appearing in every stylish interior across the capital and beyond. Filled with charm and cheerful allure, these adorable flatware are sure to be a hit at your next dinner party. And if the selling collaboration with French-British girl Camille Charrier isn’t enough to turn your head, we don’t know what is.
Designed with sustainability at the fore, Petra Palumbo The eponymous homeware brand paves the way for a contemporary kitchen with its hand-painted glassware and quirky ceramic tiles. Formerly nicknamed the “Queen of the Decanter,” Palumbo has combined her unique blend of Lebanese heritage and old-school Scotch sensibility to create a thoughtful and functional collection of home furnishings that evoke a strong sense of nostalgia and promise to become a legacy of tomorrow.
Dutch company Polspotten was founded in Amsterdam in 1986 and has been making creative and playful pieces for the home ever since. You won’t find any household essentials here—from brightly decorated ceramics and carved candlesticks, to hand-striped tea sets and Memphis-inspired glassware, the brand excels at taking the ordinary and making it feel good. A dose of brilliance and a shot of bold color for good measure.
Founded by French designer Léa Zana out of a desire to reinvigorate mealtimes during the pandemic, London-based sustainable tableware brand Vaisselle is an instant hit with interior enthusiasts. Uniquely blending the tradition of antique Spanish porcelain with a French flair for color, the brand’s comical pottery, with swirling watercolor flowers, checks and contrasting schemes, instantly brightens up any dinner table, adding a little je ne sais quoi to your space.
Available at Libertylondon.com
Read more: The Great: In conversation with award-winning interior designer Catherine Polly