|Betty and Don Draper's carpeted bedroom|
Mad Men and Carpet: Going Up Against the Wall for Bathroom Blogfest 2010~ Or, you can’t polish your wingtips on ceramic tile
“Stuck in the Sixties?” Not me. I say bring them on. (Well, most of them, anyway. I can do without the girdles and the constant cigarette smoke.)
As a trend in furniture, interiors, fashion design and cocktails, the Sixties are hotter than a Sterno can at a fondue party. And since I am a natural-born child of the Sixties, I am hot by association. Naturally.
The Sixties are back largely because of the AMC Network TV series Mad Men, which is set in the mid-1960s and follows the fascinatingly sordid lives of the denizens of a chic, Madison Avenue ad agency. The show has influenced popular culture is so many ways - trendy bars in Chicago are offering classic cocktails like Pink Ladies and Rob Roys, the ideal female silhouette is changing to emulate the Anita Eckberg-like curvaceousness of actress Christina Hendricks, one of the show’s regular characters. Costume designer Janie Bryant is introducing a retail clothing line based on the show.
Don and Betty Draper’s bedroom, as well as throughout the ad agency offices.
So, is wall-to-wall carpet coming back?
Maybe, says designer and fellow Mad Men devotee Emily Morrow. Emily is Director for Color, Style and Design for Shaw Industries, a Carpet and Rug Institute member company and the world’s largest carpet manufacturer. She's also a Great Designer.
One thing is certain, Emily says - while it’s easy to recreate the look of a 1960s shag or patterned carpet using products available today, technological advances over the last sixty years have made carpet a better product – and even better value – than it was back then.
Emily agreed to talk to me for the CRI Blog.
EM: The biggest change has been the introduction of soft fibers - carpet today is much softer to the touch. A coworker recently brought in several samples of carpets that were actually manufactured in the 60s and I was amazed at how coarse the fiber feels. There have been many other technical advances in carpet manufacturing since then, like stain and soil treatment, improved backings, and of course, the introduction of carpet made with post-consumer recycled content.
BR: What about the look?
EM: In the Sixties, carpet color palettes were shorter – maybe eight to ten colors, but the colors were bold – deep blues, reds, golds and greens. Today, a style might be offered in 40-50 colors, but 80 percent of those will be neutrals and beiges. Fifty years ago, consumers really had a tactile sense – they wanted deep pile that you could dig your toes into – we may be seeing a return to that.
EM: Sixties Retro is a definite trend, but beyond that, consumers may come back to carpet because of its acoustic benefits and the warmth and comfort it brings to a room. Plus, carpet is a great value. We’ve had hard surface, hard surface, hard surface for several years, and I don’t think that is going away. But we know how hard they can be on the joints and how bad they are with acoustics in a room. Carpet is a good choice for all these reasons – plus, it’s beautiful.
Thank you Emily!
Here’s a great article about Sixties carpet styles in England, plus a designer - James Rixner - who’s creating gorgeous high-end Sixties-look rooms using wall-to-wall-carpet.
Happy Mad Men inspired Bathroom Blogfest 2010!