We’re proud to share that two of our listings were featured in an April 2019 Architectural Digest piece called “In Praise of Old School Chenille Bedspreads.”
Discover the Appeal of Retro Chenille Bedspreads
Architectural Digest author Megan Gustashaw writes, “To keep your space from looking like a sterile hotel room, you’re going to need to add something with personality on top, whether it be a unique coverlet, blanket, or a few pillows.
That’s where our newest bedding obsession comes into play: retro chenille bedspreads. Yes, they are on the verge of tacky. Yes, they’re fabulous. Yes, you will be the first of your friends to (re)discover their awesome cuddling powers. (Remember how velvety-soft chenille is?)
The trick to finding one that reads funky rather than frumpy is doing a very thorough search of vintage stores and sites like Etsy before settling on anything.”
Vintage Chenille Bedspreads: Tacky? Classic? Both?
We love how Gustashaw points out that the goal is to find one that reads funky rather than frumpy. To that end, even the article sub-heading reads “Terrific in their tackiness” in reference to vintage chenille bedspreads. One of the major reasons many people associate vintage chenille with being kitschy or downright frumpy is because they’re thinking of the zany, bold, over the top ones that were often popular in mid-century homes across America.
You know – the ones emblazoned with showy peacock designs in a rainbow of colors, or with the now-iconic hearts bursting with vivid reds, blues, purples and greens.
Interestingly, it’s been said that locals on the famed Peacock Alley also often thought many of these types of spreads were, well…tacky, and mostly purchased by tourist traveling through the area as souvenirs that they took back home to wives and loved ones.
For a Classic Look, Think Cabin Crafts Chenille
If you prefer more elegance and a more classic look in your cozy space, the good news is that you’ve got a lot of choices. Popular manufacturers from the heyday of chenille, such as Cabin Crafts, often made beautiful designs, and you can still find some in traditional, neutral colors that bring a timeless, fresh essence into your home.
We also suggest simple patterns featuring wedding rings, overtufted pops, clean stripes, or classic central motifs in shades of white, which typically range from snowy, bright white to creamy antique ivorys and linen tones. These neutral colors are versatile enough to enhance your cozy cottage decor or farmhouse chic bedroom, and they work particularly well as decorative throws, effortlessly tossed over your favorite easy chair or loveseat.
Upcycle Chenille: The Possibilities Are Endless – and Fun!
And what about those bold, proud peacocks and happy rainbows of hearts? If your goal is authentic, MCM decor (mid-century modern), look no further than these fantastic beauties. Think of the retro 1950s pink bathrooms, the black and white checkerboard kitchen floors, and other iconic mid century era favorites.
In these decorative settings, vibrant chenille is the perfect fit. Over the years, we’ve sold many of our more vivid vintage chenille bedspreads to folks looking to recreate a true period look in their MCM home.
These types of spreads, which represent what most people often think of when they hear the word “chenille bedspread,” are also sold to film sets and for theater productions for the same reason – to create an authentic atmosphere.
If the thought of eye-popping lemon yellow or spirited scarlet red in your room makes you shudder, no worries. Don’t ditch grandma’s old chenille spread just yet! Prized among collectors, crafters and quilters, this beloved textile can easily be upcycled into something fun and new.
Upcycle a retro chenille bedspread into any number of creative projects, like these:
- Chenille quilts
- Chenille pet beds
- Robes, bed jackets, and toddler dresses
- Pillows & shams
- Vintage drapes & shower curtains
- Stuffed animals
- …and whatever else your creative mind can think of!
Ahhh, vintage chenille. Sometimes it’s retro fantastic…kitschy…tacky, even. Sometimes it’s sheer elegance…cozy farmhouse chic…shabby cottage divine…hopelessly romantic.
Yep, it’s all those things – and that’s why we love this amazingly versatile fabric. We also love it because it’s an awesome way to repurpose a textile from our rich heritage, representative of a time in our American history when quality in craftsmanship was paramount and attention to detail really mattered.
Like anything in life, chenille will appeal to some folks while others will say “No thanks!” We can tell you, however, that chenille is often dubbed the fabric that makes you feel like you’re wearing a hug.
Now, in today’s super stressed, always-on, overworked world…who doesn’t want an extra hug every now and again?