Pop art packs a decor punch

08/09/2014 7:00 AM

08/09/2014 12:00 PM

Midcentury modern style is now firmly planted in the home décor landscape. And one of its elements, pop art, is cultivating a 21st century following.

Eye-catching, graphic, often tongue-in-cheek or sassily whimsical, pop art décor plays well off the vintage vibe and makes contemporary furnishings, well, pop.

In the effervescent, culture-obsessed 1960s, artists like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein created collages, mixed-media art and lithographs that depicted the talismans of popular culture. They took inspiration from consumer culture, from soap boxes to soup cans, flags to the funny papers, Marilyn Monroe to Mao. While some critics derided it as jokey, low-brow or too focused on materialism, the approachable imagery connected with mainstream America. It was hip, fun and relatable.

“I consider pop art a classic,” says Jennifer DeLonge, an interior designer in Carlsbad, Calif. “It was such an important time in design, and it continues to withstand so many fleeting trends. As a designer, I’m always drawn to pop first because I appreciate graphic lines and obvious color.”

DeLonge has launched a marketplace app called Reissued that brings lovers of vintage, one-of-a-kind and hard-to-find items together to buy and sell. A bright yellow 1960s Coke bottle crate was recently up for grabs.

Fab.com’s pop art décor includes Quinze + Milan’s giant Brillo box pouf. Also of note: Karlsson’s minimalist wall clock made of two oversize red hands; Finnish designer Jonna Saarinen’s abstract, printed birch tray in vivid tangerine and red; and lithographs in the Masters of Pop Art collection that includes Warhol’s portrait of Muhammad Ali, Keith Haring’s “Untitled” series and Roy Lichtenstein’s “Blonde Waiting.”

Biaugust’s whimsical little black upholstered chairs shaped like ponies, lambs and buffalo are available at Mollaspace.

A few pop art accessories in a room make a statement for a modest price. Creative Motion’s cylindrical table lamp printed with comic-strip imagery is under $50 at Wayfair. A collection of kicky, ’70s-style graphic print pillows from notNeutral pack pop punch.

Canvases and throw pillows from the Los Angeles lifestyle art studio Maxwell Dickson feature arresting, edgy designs, including a photorealistic image of a tableful of empty liquor bottles, a typographic traffic jam of color-blocked letters, and the word “POP” exploding like a cartoon graphic.

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