A classic beauty. What makes a classic so beautiful? Its ability to glide effortlessly into foreign environments. Mix and mingle with those from different backgrounds. Throw classic and modern together, and voila – sophisticated. Bohemian and classic, fun with polish. Classic never goes out of style. It gives depth and interest to a place. It’s a bit like a neutral without ever being boring. My favorite classic decorative motif then is the fret. Known also as Greek Key, Key Fret, Meandering Design, and I am sure there are others.
It’s depth, I suppose, comes from centuries of being part of a multi-cultural history. If I were a betting gal I would say that the Greek’s were responsible for its invention. They were responsible for so much; indoor plumbing, the Olympics, the alarm clock (for which I am grateful and owe in part my steady employment), cartography (map making), democracy, philosophy, need I go on? I’d be wrong though, as Mayan pottery, Egyptian tombs, Chinese and Japanese textiles, and of course Greek architecture all feature this interconnecting “G” pattern. It’s been painted on, inlaid, carved, woven, and printed. I find it soothing in its repetitive nature, and bold all at the same time.
The world of decorating takes full advantage of this timeless pattern. It can be found featured as a trim on curtains, pillows, painted as a border under a crown molding, lining the inside or outside of a bowl, as a pattern on a blanket. It never gets old and always seems to add that little je ne sais quoi that speaks to sophisticated design.
I plan to trim my living room curtains with it. That is, after I get that bloody chandelier hung, and as soon as I figure out how I am going to hang said curtains. Nothing is as simple or straightforward as is might be. Some trim resources if you plan on doing the same:
- Samuel & Sons (to the trade),
- M & J Trimmings
- Zimman’s . Lynn . MA (limited quantities and selection)
Whether you introduce it in a small way like a set of coasters displayed on a side table, or in an ever present fashion through the use of a elegant wall covering, even a newbie decorator need not “fret” when using this motif. Toss it in your tool kit, and like your trusted tape measure, plan on using it frequently.