Hudson’s Bay Company – Cabin Decor Style
It was on a recent trip to Canada with my husband that I became intrigued with the Hudson’s Bay Company colors in a window display. The day was gray, overcast and drizzly, and the vibrant colors of the yellow, red, green and navy blue just seemed to burst with energy! The familiar striped pattern on their blankets, apparel and accessories demonstrated to me how a classic motif never ages and is always in style.
In looking at the window display I got to thinking how little I knew about this extraordinary retail company and how amazing that it is still thriving after hundreds of years! Did you know that the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) was founded in 1670 and is the longest continually operated company in North America? It was started as a trading company backed by financing from King Charles II, and known as the “Honourable Company of Adventurers” with trading privileges along the lands drained by the water flowing into the Hudson Bay. Trading forts were established and the Company conducted trade with the natives, with wool blankets traded for beaver pelts.
The HBC “point” blanket was introduced in 1780 and was produced with a green, yellow, red and indigo stripe on a white background. In the point system, thin indigo lines were woven into the blanket to denote its size and weight, and without having to unfold the blankets, the dimensions were known! Points ranged from 1 to 6 with the number of points representing the overall finished size, not its value of beaver pelts for trade, which is a common misconception.
Point blankets are still made today in England and by Woolrich, of Pennsylvania, and vintage ones are highly collectible. For those of you lucky enough to have an original blanket, check out the fine indigo lines on it and just imagine the use it’s had!
Living in Montana, the lodge look is a popular choice for décor, and using the Hudson’s Bay Co. colors in a guest room or boy’s bedroom as inspiration would be a fun makeover to do. Incorporating old photos of the Park, a series of canoe paddles or oars hung over the bed horizontally, or standing vertically along a wall, with each painted a different color of the HBC colors, would be perfect! Continue the theme with a painted red chest or a deep green accent chair and even hand paint the 4 colored stripes on a white cotton rug for a floor accent, and you have a very fresh look to the room!
There’s nothing quite like a vintage blanket to add just the right accent to a bedroom, and with cooler temperatures on the way, put it to use this autumn. I’d love to hear how you’ve incorporated these ideas into your home, so stop in Station 8 and share your stories!
All the best,
Colette, Shop Girl