Wednesday 16 October 2013

Get the Look

“We wanted a cottagey stately home kind of feel.”
1991 Martin Parr, Signs of the Times

Sort of the Scandinavian-French-New England style.
(Bunting-loving seller on Sarah Beeny’s Selling Houses)

Natural simplicity/modern heritage/boutique townhouse (Argos ranges)

The Modern Heritage Lounge Look: To create this traditionally-inspired Heritage style, a leather sofa with an antique feel looks stunning accented with sumptuous textured cushions in deep blues and plums. Adorn walls with Darwinian inspired botanical prints in bold picture frames and opt for paint effects and patterns with the patina of age. Occasional pieces with period detail and a sense of craftsmanship complete the Heritage collection. (

Fair Client: "I want it to be nice and baronial, Queen Anne and Elizabethan, and all that; kind of quaint and Nuremburgy you know – regular Old English, with French windows opening to the lawn, and Venetian blinds, and sort of Swiss balconies, and a loggia. But I'm sure you know what I mean!" (Cartoon by George du Maurier, Punch, November 29, 1890)

We're aiming for a fairly cosy, retro-farmhouse kind of look. (blog post commenter re ripping out a 30s kitchen)

Middle-class Upwards loathed the home makeover show Changing Rooms, with its staple-gun approach to design: the opposite of the genuine shabby chic achieved by living in one house for generations. In one episode a Goth couple got – not Dracula’s castle but a pseudo-medieval bedroom with hardboard arches, fleur de lys everywhere, ochre walls and red and blue swags.

Middle-class Upwards do some historical research on the period or look they want, or think they do. Perhaps they are just as guilty of “getting the look”.

“Moroccan is all about sumptuous fabrics and glowing colours.” (TV programme Get the Look)

This translates as “gold thread”. “Inspired by” and “theme” are key. “The wallpaper picks up the geometric theme” – but it’s a pattern of seed-pod slices. You get the “French look” with “curves and gilding”. Boot sale buys are transformed with a bit of paint. Underneath it all is a small Victorian terraced house.

The Get the Look website

offers a choice of:

Shabby chic
Mid-century modern
Art Deco

Bright & bold
Hollywood glamour

Glam Rock'n' Roll
Boutique Hotel

For Hollywood Glamour, “Animal prints and glitz are mixed with muted shades and 1950s style furniture for true Hollywood style. The black sofa brings out the colours of the flamingo wallpaper and the cushions bring a glimmer of luxurious materials to the room - mohair, silk, sequins and diamante. Existing furniture is livened up with a feathered trim added to the standing lamp.”

If Argos customers can get an  off-the-peg Heritage Lounge Look (industrial, worn leather, old books), what will the Upwards do?

And I hate to say this, but it's "standard lamp".

World of Interiors, and links to more on decor.

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