Felix In Hollywood

A Blog for the Smart Set

Monday, July 19, 2010

What, Exactly, Is Chemstrand?


Old magazine ads typically fill me with a sense of nostalgic warmth and an occasional giggle.  But when I saw this one I screamed, "NO!  MY EYES, MY EYES!  NOOOOO!" so loud that I thought the denizens of the neighborhood watch council would ask me to move at once. 

I'm sure you thought the life of Felix has been one long glamor-thon, but the truth, dear readers, is that this is the precise crap I grew up with in the family living room.  More specifically, our suite (the phrase my mother insisted on) was all gold, not avocado.  And when anyone, anyone would refer to the style as being Early American, my mother would narrow her eyes, look down her nose and sniff with complete exasperation, "It's not Early American -- It's Colonial"

It could have been Battle of the Bulge for all I cared, I wanted something sleek and modern.  Several years ago, in a group of friends the question was posed, "How old were you when you realized your parents had no taste."  The question was definitely a 'when' and not an 'if ' as we had all grown up in the suburbs.  Well, pretty much to a man the answer was twelve.  I had to answer ten, because that's how old I was when this shit was delivered.

I think that even maybe me in the advertisement.  The one with his head hung in shame and blindfolded so as not to see the offending furniture one more second.

You wanna know the worst part?  It was the most comfortable stuff I ever sat on.

13 comments:

mrpeenee said...

O dear god sweetie, we had it also, right down to the stiff little ruffles. And it never wore out or broke down. Ours was the color of the layer of grease in a can of chili when you first open it. Top that.

Mean Dirty Pirate said...

We had a Monsanto plant for years here in town and nearby is a Chemstrand road. I can only imagine what kind of hideous furniture lurks behind the windows of the houses on Chemstrand road.

normadesmond said...

alas, we never had any colonial wing back stuff....but we sold it! i ended up selling it too...lots in herculon. my favorite part? sticking a pencil thru the fabric and into the cushion and exclaiming, "look, you can stab this shit all day and it won't hurt it a bit!"

my best friend's home was a shrine to everything early american, with little glass bottles sitting atop the double hung windows, glass balls ensconced in netting, dangling from the center of the curtain rods, eagles everyplace you looked and a beautiful RCA color TV that matched the tables (and the wood on the upholstery)....in gleaming rock maple. i don't know why there hasn't been a revisiting of this stuff, well, i guess i do know. the nostalgia factor is zero as y'all are pointing out.

Lil' Eva in DC said...

Remember that white french roccoco shit that adorned every 1960s little girl's bedroom? All dust ruffles and boudoir chairs... Uuuuggghh! I taste something bad in the back of my throat.

kabuki zero said...

chemstrand was obviously a petroleum by-product, as I am sure Herculon was. But does kabuki still crave a 'herculon barcalounger'? Hell yes, just as long as I don't have to touch it. kabuki's beloved auntie went directly from early american to spanish meditteranean. EEEECCCHHH. you just can't make that kind of selection by mistake. it was a deliberate action,and kabuki is still scarred.

Rob said...

I just want to SINK into one of those rockers, snuggle up with an afghan and watch Laverne And Shirley!

Mike, Studio city said...

My Aunt had the "One arm" sofa, and chair, that Lucy and Ricky had on some of their shows. It had that "fabric", so modern.

* R e N a * said...

nice post!! I really like old magazines and the advertisements sometimes look hilarious nowadays!

I'll be following you!

MJ said...

This room could be radically improved by removing the children.

Stephen said...

I was 16 years old, & it was just after watching- ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER.

Debs said...

I was 10. My mother did our ranch house in shades of blue, white and silver. Including a bed spread and chair cover she made out of some sort of white fiber glass fabric. And the silver bamboo print wallpaper. In retribution, she died shortly thereafter. Were they related?

Debs said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FelixInHollywood said...

Hi Debs welcome aboard.
With that color scheme it must have been like a year round Hanukkah celebration!