26 July 2022

Bucking the ID Trend – creating a forever style

You know those moments when your guests look at your once cherished sofa as if it has just made an inappropriate joke? As you gaze at it in horror, you realise that it’s been a decade since it was on a trending-now list. But how do you prevent a similar shameful eyesore from ever taking up residence in your home again? We’re delighted to tell you that it’s super simple, and an awful lot of fun. So, let’s do a body swerve around biophilia and its fashionable friends, to discover some ID style soulmates that will weather the ages.

Inspiration number one is from a recent piece in British Vogue explaining how to make your home feel like a Wes Anderson set. Radhika Seth describes how Anderson’s latest film, The French Dispatch, has a background of lemony walls, patterned wallpaper, mid-century modern sofas, antique tables, rotary phones, film cameras and candy-coloured typewriters. Sourced and put together by set decorator Rena DeAngelo, who also worked on Mad Men and Bridge of Spies, the whole ambience was created by painstakingly scouring Paris flea markets and prop houses, as well as an estate sale.

One of DeAngelo’s top tips is to find a vintage wallpaper seller, and source something stunning and authentic from anytime during the 1930s through to the 70s. This suggestion alone can take you out of Wes Anderson territory, and well on the way to finding an evergreen eclectic style.

The next stage in the journey is to remember to mix old and new. Instead of a vintage wallpaper, you could go for a pattern that’s searingly contemporary, or a plain wall in a beautiful period-authentic colour. Whatever you decide your background is going to be, will decide your furniture and furnishings for you. Mixing contemporary pieces with antiques will bring a vintage feel into the room, while surprising the eye with modern fabrics in hot-right-now hues. The key to success here is to confine those modern touches to easily swapped cushions and rugs that can be shown the door without your wallet wincing.

The most cost-effective way to source great period furniture is to find your local auction house. You’re likely to make some amazing finds there – they don’t just flog Chippendale chairs and Ming vases. We’ve seen everything from original 1930s wind-up gramophones for £15, to a shabby chic red Victorian armchair for a tenner. What are you waiting for?

The next thing to concentrate on is your flooring. If you want to inject a splash of character, then do it with a rug, or you may have costly buyer’s regret under your feet until you can afford to break up. Probably your best investment would be reclaimed or authentic reproduction wooden flooring in boards or parquet. It’s timeless and gorgeous. If you live in a period property, then sneak a look under the carpet – there may be something salvageable and amazing lurking underneath. 

Last but not least is some advice from lots of martial arts movies and your grandparents. Balance in everything, my child. So, don’t overload the antiques, period pieces or modern touches, and definitely err on the side of caution where patterns are concerned – that doesn’t mean you can’t be bold. Just don’t be bold everywhere the eye can see. And before you know it, you’ll be the talk of the in-crowd forever after.

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