Modern Bear Creator Travis Smith’s ‘Kitschmasland’ is Retro Holiday Decor at its Best!

With the holiday season in full swing, it's always a fun time to go to your friend's apartments and houses to see how they decided to decorate their place and judge it accordingly (as we all do).  As modern technology helps with the ever changing lay of the land when it comes to decorating, it's always nice to take a look back and see how it was done in the yesteryears of the world. 

Luckily, there's a fantastic book for that!  Modern Bear creator Travis Smith has created an updated version of his book Kitschmasland, which takes a fun and nostalgic look at his infatuation with Christmas holiday decor from the 1950's through the 1970's.  

It features vintage everything, including ornaments, trees, ceramics and more.  This whole book goes perfectly with the Modern Bear theme, where they obsess over retro decor and how it can be incorporated into modern style.  Kitschmasland looks to be the perfect coffee table book and stocking stuffer if decor and style is what you are into, as well as a great gift to get your loved one right before the holidays!

I sat down with Travis to discuss his updated version of Kitschmasland and what's next for Modern Bear.  Take a look! 

What inspired you to want to do this book?

I was raised in a "Christmas Lover's" house and it was a natural evolution as a retro collector to include vintage Christmas decor in my collection.  When I was asked by Schiffer Publishing to do a book, this was the subject I felt comfortable tackling because I had so much of it that I could photograph!

How did you come to the name of 'Kitschmasland' for the title?

My family didn't have a lot of money in the earlier days growing up.  Our Christmas decor was limited to Walgreen's and Kmart and dime stores.  These were not sophisticated, high end decorations LOL, they were kitsch!  They were Christmas Kitsch, and thus, Kitschmas!  And the title refers to the world that all that Kitschmas inhabits!

 What can readers expect when they open it up? 

For many, it's a trip down memory lane and childhood flashbacks.  The book covers everything from aluminum Christmas trees and color wheels to holiday albums our families had on the hi-fi!  There's lots of vintage ornaments and even a chapter on "Scary Santa" items that are more than a little creepy looking, LOL!  Probably the most popular chapters are devoted to Mid-Century-Modern homes decorated for the holidays!

I know the popular Facebook page is called Modern Bear, however you do post a lot of retro type of decor with a mixture of smoking hot guys.  What is the reason for this?

Modern Bear has always been devoted to our fave "porn" – modern design and beefcake, LOL!  Who knew it would grow to have such a popular social media following!  Both subjects feature pleasing "architectural" elements, right?  Also, I think there's something very sexy about a hot guy in a T-shirt and jeans in an Eames chair!

What does the future have for you going into 2018? 

Modern Bear is a sponsor of IBC in Palm Springs next February, and we'll have our own PopUp Shop and PopulArt Art Gallery at the host hotel, the Hard Rock, that weekend.  We're also hosting our annual popular Modernism Yard Sale – a vintage Mid-Century multi-dealer flea market the 2nd weekend of Modernism Week also in February.  We're also hosting a Modern Bear Tea Dance benefit for Sanctuary Palm Springs in April as an alternative White Party weekend event at the Fan Club.  And Chris and I have started working on a new book devoted to Mid-Century entertaining!

Interested in buying?  Click here

What do you think?