By Julia Fairley, Houzz
It’s a good bet that you’re wearing a pair of jeans while reading this — about half the world’s population is at any point in time. Every year, 3.9 billion pairs of jeans are manufactured in the global market, which is worth roughly $75 billion, according to Amy Leverton, author of Denim Dudes. Denim has developed cult status in the fashion world, and it’s sashaying out of our wardrobes and into our interiors.
Before the first pair of jeans was made, denim was used for wagon covers, tents and horse blankets, so it seems apropos for this distinctive cotton cloth to creep into the world of interior design. The upholstered chairs in this Sydney home by Brett Mickan Interior Design nod to the origins of denim culture, which are rooted in industrial design.
A Leggy Stool
The story of denim jeans began during the Californian gold rush in the mid-1800s. Jacob Davis, a Latvian-Jewish tailor, was asked to make a pair of trousers strong enough to withstand manual labor. He purchased denim from Levi Strauss, reinforced the pockets with copper rivets and, you guessed it, the first pair of jeans was born. Davis and Strauss became partners and patented their invention in 1873.
Today, jeans are repurposed as statement pieces of furniture. Industrial designer Vedat Ulgen of Thislexik, in Brooklyn, New York, recycles these wardrobe staples, coats them with an eco-epoxy resin, and then applies a thermosetting technique to create one-of-a-kind, lightweight denim stools.
Originally used for manual labor, jeans came to represent blue-collar workers. In the 1950s, they evolved into a symbol of defiance and were popularized by the denim-clad James Dean in the movie Rebel Without a Cause. These days, they’re considered sartorial essentials, with rare collectors’ cuts selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This denim-inspired bathroom vanity features stitching details similar to those on your favorite pair of jeans. The drawer handles are also a reference to jeans’ characteristic metal rivets.
The Color of 2017
The good folk at Dulux in the U.K. recently announced Denim Drift as the color of the year — a testament that a denim-blue wave is washing into our homes.
Dulux expects denim blues to dominate the year’s interior and fashion agendas.
Tip: Can’t decide which blue to paint your interior? Take inspiration from Dulux’s dot wall, and use a tonal palette of complementary denim hues ranging from muted and dark to light and bright.
Soaking in Denim
Die-hard denim fans who want to fully immerse themselves in cloth culture now have another way to do it. The inside of PSCBath’s Dip Jeans tub is made from a light-colored synthetic material with a specially formulated denim fabric on the outside.
Can you spot the jeans injection in this interior? Look closely at the tiles. In response to the current denim craze, Beaumont Tiles released a collection of tiles that look like the fabric. Their soft, textural structure and sheen evoke an unconventional but fashionable ambiance and can be used on the walls or floor.
Besides the gray and off-white tiles pictured here, the collection includes beige and, of course, the distinctive indigo blue so characteristic of denim.
The Joy of Japanese Denim
Enthusiasts often praise Japanese denim above all other types for its thickness (which makes it more durable) and texture. Japan boasts a rich history of textile weaving and dyeing, so it’s no surprise that the country’s thriving denim industry has started expanding into housewares and upholstery. Here, a plush denim sofa takes pride of place in a Tokyo loft.
Tip: See the denim wall art? It’s yet another creative way to repurpose old jeans.
Here’s one for denim devotees who lament the loss of their favorite jeans when they reach the end of their life span. Denim jeans and jackets often wear out only at the knees or elbows, so why not repurpose the rest of your garment if it’s still in good condition?
Denim pillow covers such as this one are easy to make if you fancy a DIY project and have access to a sewing machine. For a subtler style, you can also apply a denim trim to new or existing pieces.
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