Behind the Design: VHS-Inspired Shelf & Wall Art

You ever notice something for the first time, and then you start seeing it everywhere? Weird, right? That’s happened to me lately with the classic Polaroid VHS cassette colors. You know the ones I’m talking about—the hot pink, orange, yellow, lime green, and blue bars. I’ve seen these colors on windbreakers, t-shirts, and hoodies all around town. I don’t know if it was a thing before and I just never noticed it, or if that style has just come back in a major way all of a sudden. 

Either way, I’m diggin it. 

As early as three years ago when we made our first retro Astros-inspired Texas, I’d been wanting to use vintage blank VHS covers as inspiration in our work. Last year, I finally took a crack at it in the form of some one of a kind state wall hangings. I liked how they turned out, but it wasn’t until this past fall that I let myself really lean into that retro VHS vibe. At Kelley’s urging, I took my attention off of designing states to focus strictly on panels.

I was experimenting with bright retro colors when one day I got the idea to do a panel in the same size as an actual VHS cassette. 

These first pieces were well-received, so I kept experimenting with color and form. One of the colorways I loved was the retro Polaroid rainbow. We made several of the VHS-sized pieces in these colors and a few in a scaled up size.

If you’re worried that you missed the nostalgia boat, you’re in luck.

We still have some of the VHS-sized panels and a couple of the larger pieces. The smaller ones can be hung on the wall, used as shelf art, or bought in pairs to use as bookends (for books or movies). The larger ones make great wall art for media rooms, living rooms, or offices. 

We’ll almost certainly make more of these, but because these are all one of a kinds, if you see something you like, you better grab it while you can!

Thanks, y’all!

Like many great discoveries in history—chocolate chip cookies, Post-it notes, the Slinky—Kris and Kelley Denby came up with their popular Texas wall hangings almost by accident.
In 2013—about a year into their sputtering business of repurposing furniture, called Hemlock & Heather—the Denbys decided to make and donate something to a silent auction that would benefit the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West. Kelley, who is from West, asked her husband to build something “Texasy.”
So Kris came up with a colorful wall hanging made entirely from reclaimed wood and in the iconic shape of Texas. It sold for $150. 
“People just went crazy for it,” recalls Kelley. “We were like, Maybe we’re on to something.”

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