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:
Just like the poster itself, there was a time when this kitchen seemed to be everywhere.
And another Keep Calm kitchen; that thing must’ve really resonated with home cooks.