May 13, 2013

What Sells and What Doesn't: The Downton Abbey And Great Gatsby Influence

I'm a huge fan of Downton Abbey and I can't wait to see The Great Gatsby next week. 

How will the popularity of these 1920's shows affect what we sell?  

I was excited last week to read an article in my local newspaper The "Orlando Sentinel" entitled 
"Buying a bit of Downton" 

The article said Gareth Neame, Executive Producer of Downton Abbey told CNBC that the show is about to put out a large line of merchandise.  "We'll be working across an entire range of products coming out this year.  From fashion, apparel and home ware and furniture to wallpapers, beauty products and stationary".


The June 2013 issue of Romantic Homes has a drool worthy article entitled "A Downton Abbey Tea"

So, this brings me to the question, how will this affect what we sell in antique malls and other selling venues?

I am not the expert here so, I researched some decorating sites and asked a friend who is a decorator and another friend who is a decorator/antiques dealer.  Last year at a design conference my friend went to, Downton Abbey was a huge topic and everyone was in agreement that we are going to see new trends in decorating.  Home furnishings that have become very casual over the last decade will be trending to a more formal look inspired by Downton Abbey.

Here is some of the items that will be gaining in popularity...... Should we be looking for them as we treasure hunt to stock our booths and selling venues?

 Silver plate trays, tea sets, utensils, fancy spoons, forks, and serving pieces...Many of the contributors to my "What sells and what doesn't" series are already seeing increased sales of these items

Carved ornate frames with a gold finish 

Vintage Portrait pictures

Richly upholstered furniture and gilded finishes
I guess I had a jump on the gilded trend when I painted my entrance cabinet

For the dining room- Fancy china, tea cups, formal and monogramed napkins and table cloths.  For about 3 years I was not able to sell tea cups, but recently they are selling again.  I find they have to be priced between $10-$12

  Formal center pieces, candle holders, and ornate gold light fixtures.

Now, the fun part......... Apparel

Hats, hats, and more hats..Yea! I am already seeing this, I recently did a post on Altering vintage hats and I am thrilled that all but two have sold.  I would love if wearing hats came back into vogue

Large jewelry 

by Marty White Designs on Etsy

And gorgeous clothes from the 1920's 

I love Downton Abbey and I admit I'm seeing an increase in sales of some of the items listed above.  I have started incorporating silver into my home, but I would hate to see the "Shabby Look" trend out in favor of a more formal decor!

So.....Let me throw this out to you...Whether you are a Seller, Decorator, or just an Avid shopper...I would love to know what you are hearing and Seeing.  Is formal trending in?  Is shabby trending out?  

Happy Creating!


Bluebirdbasketry said...

I think the shabby look will always be popular because it is affordable, adaptable and easy to maintain. It is also conducive to mixing in more formal pieces like silver and china, so maybe the styles can coexist and this trend will give you more selling options. You already are on it with your gilded cabinet and I can't wait to see future Downton and Gatsby inspired tutorials :)


PastMastery said...

As one who has a home ( scaled down Downton ) and has collected these items for years, I have to's all very well.. but they are high maintainance and you need a lot of space for them. Few here in the U.K. have that amount of time to polish silver, and de-tea stain cups, iron and starch antique linen, or dust ornate picture frames.
Let's keep it in perspective. It's lovely BUT why do you think they had an army of servants?

Irene Helms Designs said...

I think the shabby trend is still going strong Carol. But you are smart to be looking at the market trends because we know how trends come and go. The smart sellers - like you - know how to mix in new trends with the old, thereby staying "ahead of the curve." As usual, I enjoyed your post!

Debbie said...

Well the whole thing just gives me the chillbumps. I love the style and femininity of the times, from the clothes to the furnishings. I was recently shopping with my daughter, and she pointed out the D.A. influence of some of the styles.

I'm thrilled at the idea of silver tea services and wonderful tea cup and frankly just tea time coming more into vogue.

And I'm with you times 100 on the hats, even though I seem to have a sad lack of "hatitude" myself. They scrunch my big hair.

Perfectly Printed said...

I love a combo of the shabby look and a low key formal look. I love my silver tray that keeps my butter, and salt and pepper by the stove! So much more fun drink your morning tea out of a lovely tea cup than a mug!

Connie@shabbyforsure said...

Hi Carol, Love Downton. At one of the Fancy Fleas I set up a display of my most gorgeous cup & saucer sets, priced at $12.00. Only sold one. It was a lot of work packing and unpacking. After that, I just put them in storage. Maybe I can unpack them again. hehe..Connie

Unknown said...

Carol, I am definitely not an expert on this subject and I love the shabby look but I also have a ton of silver, ornate frames and teacups that I would be thrilled if they would come back in vogue. I look forward to future posts about this subject. I think the 2 styles can co-exist rather nicely and I would love it if hats would come back in vogue too! Anyway, I will get out my silver and polish it up and put it on the website. l Thanks for keeping us all updated on the trends and what sells.

Unknown said...

I love anything inspired from the 20's-30's. I'm already grabbing up all the silver I can get I'm also running right out for RH so I can check out that article...xoxoElle@sweetpeaschicnshabbies

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Carol, I am a huge fan too!! Love the mix of shabby with elegant and a little distress too.
I have made tweaks to what I sell because you have to give the market what they are currently decorating with. Buyers get to a saturation point and look for style changes to add or redo all together. It's a cycle really just like a lot of rustic is coming back and the new country we are now calling farmhouse with whites, silver and of course burlap. Pink is just not selling for me as a background now, but give it a whitewash and that will move!! The key is to still work in those signature designs that our customers will always want. Keeps us hoppin, but I love the changes too. You are a master at it all!!

I saw The Great Gatsby Saturday night and loved it. The costumes, scenery and story line is awesome. Saw the original with Robert Redford many years ago and this is so much differnt with Leo being the dream guy he has always been.
Have fun.
XO Celestina Marie

pipigirl said...

i think that shabby will always be a part of style. it is so comforting. i love the abbey style, but im afraid its just going to be forthose who really have the money for the more expensive lifestyle. dont get me wrong, i will def be incorporating some, as i think that it will mix beautifully. will be glad to see the wallpapers tho. getting ready to do some remodeling. hope its out in time. i closed down my shop as im doing a whole house update and just wont have the time. going to be nice to be on the other side for awhile. im sure ill miss it tho. but ill be back.... cant wait to see all this new style beholds.

Bente said...

Everything is just beautiful.
Have a great week


Mom E. said...

The decorating trends are definitely trends. Different areas of the country decorate differently and I thinj they can be mised to a degree. I have always loved the English Country look, but when I described it to people 20 years ago, they thought I meant Victorian. But I meant a less formal Downton Abbey look. Less formal because I can't afford the extremely formal version and I want it to be inviting and comfortable and not "stuffy" or pretentious. I have always loved gold, even when it hasn't been the trend. Not everything gillded, but touches here and there. I love the mix of a more formal shabby chic and a less formal DA look. I have been collecting it for years!
Works just right for me!
Love your blog!

Kathy said...

I agree with several of the commenters. I love the look but would not necessarily want to live in it. Shabby Chic has been trending to a more refined look for a while and I do think people are getting tired of too primitive and too distressed. I think we will see more elegance thrown in, but not full-on.

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

I love Downton and Gatsby was great. I think there will an increase with this trend but shabby will always be in.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh, I so agree! We are all loving the romantic items that we see on these wonderful shows. I wish I had bought some of the hats I've seen over the years! Sweet hugs!

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Carol,
I've found that vintage ornate hats have always been a good seller for me, even the vintage knock-offs are selling. Tea cups have not been selling so I might have to get mine back out on the shelves. Silver trays have started selling again.
I think that Shabby is already changing by mixing more of the French farm house look and natural wood furniture. I can see the future combining the influences of the movies with the shabby pieces.

Who knows in this crazy business!


Createology said...

I am no expert and certainly do not sell any wares...however I truly believe timeless elegance NEVER goes out of style. I love all the Downton Abbey and Gatsby inspiration. In fact I just bought a new hat and wore it. Carol I think your wonderful style will always be in Vogue. To a more serene and ladylike era...

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

We love Downton Abbey and I just looked at the article in Romantic Homes this afternoon. I am past the silver stage as don't like to clean it but have been looking some for tea cups and saucers for awhile now. Not sure how I feel about hats as they do flatten the hair!! Nancy

Little Miss Maggie said...

Fascinating post, Carol, and it certainly gives food for thought. I'm a huge lover of Downton Abbey myself and also of fine china, silver and lovely linens. I hope they make a huge comeback. I don't think the shabby look will ever go out of style because we all love our comfort now, but I would like to see the two styles merge. I'll keep you posted if china makes a comeback in our area. It's been on the outs for a long time and has been nearly impossible to sell.

Old Time Cindy said...

Thought provoking post. I must admit that I have not watched Downtown Abbey (don't do much tv), but am aware the show exists. As a seller, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Farmhouse hugs,

Unknown said...

Carol, I am so glad you like the cake server. I put one of those in my kitchen with a bowl underneath and when my husband comes in with keys and bolts and little things out of his pockets, it all goes in the bowl and is covered up with the cake top. Keeps down the clutter and pretty to look at. So glad yours found a home on the frig. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't believe in or follow trends. I believe those of us who love floral tend to stay floral and just mix it up. Those who are primitive or country, same story just different techniques or colors. It can be said for all themes and styles of decorating.

I personally love DA and all it represents but I've always been drawn to days gone "way" by. I still believe one day I will live in Beatrix Potters house, :). So there you go.

I do know trends tend to come and go and those who truly stand by what they love find a timeless look to show in their own homes. Whether the look of the moment or not, their love of prints, colors & textures will last a lifetime.

If your into trending, go for it. If your love an era, lean on it for inspiration. Either way, follow your heart.
Tammy.... can't wait for season 4!

DownTheLaneWithDaisy said...

Nice comments, nice post. I adore Downtown Abbey and love the elegance and beauty. I still love shabby chic, which really has not reached where I live as a decorating trend YET, can you believe? I hope it never goes away. Making vignettes with nature, classic, shabby chic is fun and certainly not boring! I love the dresses. Thanks for your thoughts, Carol.

Unknown said...

LOVE Downton Abbey! My favorite are the fashions...especially the earrings! Honestly, French Farmhouse, rustic, shabby and beach cottage chic are big influences for me. We live near the beach and I can't see the "gilded" trend getting much notice around these parts any time soon. LOL

Melodee said...

I think shabby is always going to be "in"....and you will just love the decor from Gatsby....have you seen it yet? yikes....awesome!

Debbi said...

You can take all the various shabby, Victorian, Country, English, French and basically throw them into one as "Romantic Cottage Style" and it never goes out of style. It just goes thru trends. I myself, have always been about lots of color in cottage design. Garden florals and roses never will go out of style!

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

My motto has always been "mix the old with the new" and that's what I have always done. I love the elegant with the rustic. So we can keep the shabby, the cottage, the silvers, the burlap....the trick is styling it and mixing it together right. I have read on several blogs, where the person has gone out and bought a silver teapot since watching DA. So I guess we better grab 'em when we see at GW & SA. :) I have the one given to me as a wedding gift (43) years ago and the one I inherited from my M-I-L. I use them as flower vases. :) :) And I have collected old silver platters for the last year or two. I use them on the dinner table as chargers. xo