Crate&Barrel Turns Vintage Industrial
As the hand-made and independent designer powers grow stronger, it is interesting to see how the big box retailers respond. It seems that Crate&Barrel is certainly watching the indie pulse closely, as they realize that people want a mixture of elements – old and new – in their interior design. Lovely reader Sara of the inspirational living blog FromAtoZen sent me an interesting email pointing out Crate&Barrel’s “conversation pieces.”
For example, Crate&Barrel is jumping on the train of letterpress inspiration, made re-popular recently by independent artisans, with their “letterpress” inspired coffee table — which is a mass-manufactured rendition of what we have seen in the handmade scene. They are also hitching a ride aboard vintage industrial revitalization with their new coffee table, which is an interesting “weave” of industrial materials. I do like that they are calling these elements “conversation pieces,” which is a great description of the interesting vintage pieces we all have in our home
Erin of DesignForMankind recently wrote a very interesting guest post on Decor8 regarding imitation vs. inspiration. Unfortunately, I think that big boxes, driven by the bottom line, will inevitably jump on any trend bandwagon that has proven successful – as this reduces their risk of investment cost, while increasing the likelihood of solid revenues. What do you think of Crate&Barrel (and other retailers) in reflecting the trends seen in independent movements? Does the entire existence of “trends” (think owls, Amy Butler, silhouettes) nullify individualized design?