Back in the '90s, the term "bling bling" made its presence via the hip hop culture and then found its way to mass culture. It started with jewelry and cars and bitches, but sure enough, it made its way to my mother's mouth. Not to fret, mother didn't get a grill or anything! She looked at me one day and said, "That necklace is very bling bling!"
Looking back, it was a moment made up of equal parts gut-busting hilarity and utter heartbreak. I was secretly hoping the day would arrive where she would tell me if I didn't call her she'd "put a cap in my ass!" Oh my!
So, eventually "bling bling" morphed into simply "bling," and was now something widely accepted in clothing, accessories, automobiles and dare I say, home decor. Kids with rhinestone backpacks, Grandma rocking a pink glitter cell phone case even though she cannot text, and pillows from a Home Goods in New Jersey that would've brought Liberace to his knees.
The world, in general, tried to tone it down a bit after the recession hit. It became "uncool" to exhibit excess in any form for what seemed like five minutes. Yeah, nice try. The fact is -- in good times and bad -- we like our glitter!
Tacky. Garish. Nouveau riche. Bridge and tunnel. Pas chez nous! Oh, please, really?
Through my work as a designer of several product lines in the global marketplace and someone very plugged into the media, I'm here to tell you that glitz, glitter and rhinestones are all the rage, to your dismay or not. Should you question my findings, please take a moment and look around. It's everywhere from cell phone cases to furniture. Every time I post photos of crazy blinged out furniture, it garners a big response. What actually prompted me to write about this was a photo of a pink Swarovski-encrusted bathtub by designer Lori Gardner. I have to tell you, it was gorgeous. It would not work in my house, but I really wish it would. Everyone loved it!
If you still don't believe me, check out a few places I discovered:
I found glitter tiles on Maryland Mosaics, jeweled sinks on Linkasink that are stunning, and doorknobs and drawer pulls on Etsy. In Germany you can buy a couch from Crystal Edition, where the tufts are Swarovski-enhanced. OK, maybe not so much.
The first prize for getting it oh-so-right would have to go to an Atlanta-based company, House of Habit, where they trick out the legs of your furniture... love, love, love.
Now, I'm not saying to go out and bedazzle the couch. I'm simply telling you if you want to, you can. Just for the record, please don't. But, it's actually available. Now, those who know me know that I almost always prescribe to the thinking of "less is more." So, should you decide to add some sparkle and shine to your home, start off small and make sure it works in the room. In other words, your country kitchen is not the starting point. Bedazzling the master bath while your honey is out tailgating might not be met with enthusiasm. Just saying.
My point is that it's OK to like this openly. Done in small doses with a gentle hand, it can actually be quite chic. Clearly, there is a huge market for it because so many agree.
Come out of that glitter closet already and embrace your inner shiny-self!
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