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Date published: November 11 2016

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Forget austerity measures, we want luxury

Where do we go from the furore that is the trend for mid-century style? I have been keeping a close eye on the direction of interior trends over the last few years. I continue to be a lover of the mid-century classics and I was therefore quite surprised when it was seen everywhere and became a trend. With hindsight, I soon realised that it was exactly what the interiors and design world needed; a good cleansing, a concrete trend to build upon, reinterpret and then move on from.

The clean and often austere designs of the 1950’s onwards seemed to reflect the pared-back feeling of austerity that prevailed at the time. It also inspired many designers to think about functionality and the purity of design. As a result, the style has developed using new technologies that were not dreamt of in the 1950’s; exciting times to be in the design world indeed!

Now we are adding a new element to this new scene – glamour. Twenty years ago, I moved to South America to create a retreat hotel in the countryside and here I found a new love to mix in with my mid-century pieces – the glamour of Art Deco. You can see influences of this elegant style popping up everywhere now. The message is ‘forget austerity measures, we want luxury, we want to feel good!’

I am of course referring to the materials and fabrics that are currently en vogue, including brass and chrome. Lighting has taken on a smart sleekness, like the beautiful designs that have taken influence from Aerin Lauder (who is one of my favourite designers). Occasional tables – think smart, think elegant with smooth metals and glass and throw in some mirror and marble. You get the idea. I have just enjoyed designing my first ‘brass-and-glass’ collection for I&JL Brown and Fauld Town & Country to launch at High Point this year and I could not have been happier, mixing the two styles together.

Velvet is back – gorgeous and tactile. It was a staple of the Art Deco period and it looks great on the new contemporary designs of today; add some contrast piping to a great sofa
design and it is elegance personified! Fit for Garbo and Coco Chanel. The other fabric to add to the mix is fine-textured linen; I think this material is great for drapes. Velvet and
linen, sumptuous and crisp, luxury and simplicity, are perfect together. The other exciting element making a comeback is colour – thank goodness for colour. I always say to my clients ‘don’t be afraid to throw in a third or fourth colour.’ 

On a final note, there is a bird that epitomises all the elements and style that I have been twittering on about above; the glorious Peacock. Next time you are choosing a colour scheme, think of him and go wild.

Author: David Wilder

Company: I&JL Brown

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