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Undecorating: Grey Gardens Faded Glam

Grey Gardens DVD

So beautiful … the original Grey Gardens documentary is available on DVD at www.criterion.com. (Image courtesy of Criterion Collection.)

In the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens – its subject matter crawling with peculiarity and can’t-look-away decay – unlikely fashion icon Little Edie Bouvier Beale says to the camera, “It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present. You know what I mean?”

We do know what you mean, Edie.

A Life In Pictures

A Life In Pictures, written by Eva Marie Beale. Recommended reading ...

The curtain may have closed on the Broadway musical, the documentary’s status as cult darling long established, but those of us obsessed with everything Grey Gardens can all march together with renewed vigor. Thanks to the popularity of vintage pieces in home décor and perhaps in part due to a frail economy, we’re looking down the dilapidated stairwell of the Grey Gardens trend in home interiors for fall/winter 2012/2013.

2012 Home Color Palette

From trendbible ... and we say amen.

Referred to by Trend Bible as the notion of “undecorating,” the Grey Gardens theme is one of four moods for fall/winter 2012/13, alongside “Undone,” “Curiosity,” and “Wild Spirit.” The Grey Gardens trend conveys a sense of once-glamorous pieces and décor, aged and distressed, with a hint of down-on-heel.

We couldn’t love it more.

Here, in one of our all-time favorite trends, we offer a few ways to “undecorate,” to fashion a vignette or two around your home that Little Edie would find a perfect costume of the day

1. Mismatched Pieces

As we all know, odd pairings can make the best love stories. Give yourself permission to boldly place the red velvet pillow on the purple plastic chair. Who says it’s all the rage? You do.

2. Faded Glamour

A mirrored nightstand, a tarnished bistro chair, a wrought iron bird cage with nary a bird to be found … here are a couple of pieces that illustrate a storied past – without the mildewed basement smell. Consider applying step 1 to step 2; i.e., an old picture a la thrift store leaning from a vanity table.

3. Meaningful Personal History

Go to the storage closet and fetch a few items from your past. Maybe it’s your dad’s bronzed baby shoes … or your grandma’s ratty yet beloved quilt. Or if you haven’t a past you wish to unearth, stroll down to your local Salvation Army thrift store and fashion a new history.

Infuse a bit of Grey Gardens into your style, and see if you don’t find yourself smiling a little more around the house … and dancing. And collecting cats.

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