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British Influence: Keep Calm and Carry On. | japanesetrash.com

Remember when this seemed to be in every interior that showed up online? That was back when Japanese Trash first began–I felt like I was seeing them everywhere. Who started the craze, and where did it go?

Houzz comes up with over 3,800 Keep Calm and Carry On home design photos, and the first one on the list (at least it is for me; who knows if the images show up in the same order for everyone) is from Victoria Smith’s blog, sfgirlbybay.com. When I saw that, I decided to take a look there and see if I could glean any history of the poster’s use in the kinds of interiors that were coming up on interior design blogs four years ago. And, guess what? Jackpot.

It turns out that Victoria herself seems to have (at least partially) built her empire on sales of her quality reproductions of the Keep Calm and Carry On artwork — note, I use the term “empire” as a pun here, just in case that wasn’t clear. The New York Times wrote about it a full year before Japanese Trash came online in its current form, and Victoria weighs in on the phenomenon in an interview on The Everygirl that was published in 2012. Well, good for you, Victoria!

Of course, as is the way with all popular culture it seems, it wasn’t long before backlash and parody began and now you don’t see the Keep Calm and Carry On posters around too much any more. But they will live forever on Houzz.

Here are a couple of classic examples, just in case you’re already feeling nostalgic:

Remember when this kitchen-and that poster-was everywhere? | japanesetrash.com

Just like the poster itself, there was a time when this kitchen seemed to be everywhere.

Another "Keep Calm" kitchen. | japanesetrash.com

And another Keep Calm kitchen; that thing must’ve really resonated with home cooks.

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Over the past four years, I’ve posted only a few images of the quintessential British furniture piece, the Chesterfield Sofa, but each one is worth revisiting because each one — and each interior style shown — is different in some way. And that sort of tells the tale of the Chesterfield in a nutshell: it’s the “goes anywhere” ubiquitous item. Let’s take a look:

Rustic Industrial

Leather Chesterfield in a rustic industrial setting. | japanesetrash.com

The  rough and smooth textures in this rustic industrial space, along with all the brown tones, combine to be the perfect setting for a Chesterfield. This one is skirted and has a tight tufted seat.

Contemporary

A fire and a Chesterfield; meant for each other. | japanesetrash.com

What’s cozier than a Chesterfield by the fire? This sofa, with exposed caster legs and three loose seat cushions, looks perfectly at home in this contemporary decor.

Brutalist

A red Chesterfield adds life to this awesome Brutalist interior. | japanesetrash.com

A terrific red Chesterfield looks right at home in this amazing Brazilian Brutalist space.

Ready to get your own Chesterfield sofa but not sure where to look? The only place I would turn to would be Roger+Chris; their Higgins Chesterfield can be ordered in literally hundreds of configurations. Here are a few of my favorites:

Higgins Chesterfield from Roger+Chris in traditional brown leather. | japanesetrash.com

Higgins Chesterfield from Roger+Chris in camo. | japanesetrash.com

Red leather sectional Higgins Chesterfield from Roger+Chris. | japanesetrash

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