Thursday, 11 June 2009

Baroque at the V&A

The Baroque show at the V&A has been getting lots of hype so I went to have a nose. As a modernist minimalist at heart it's not my favorite interiors style but the show does offer inspiration for a modern day take on things. It's worth going for the examples of design and objects from le Palais Versailles in Paris alone. Plus if you're a fan of interiors bling, Baroque will be your thing as the interiors layer gold upon gold and chandeliers are supersize.

There is a way to achieve a pared-down Baroque style in a way that fits in with the 21st century. John Reeves Louis range at Heal's keeps the powerful, ornate shapes of traditional Baroque furniture but the black and white colourways in gloss materials give a modern, graphic edge. I am coverting the purple Louis console, low white bed and and black wardrobe.

Another key item to acheive the look without the bling is Mooi's paper chandelier in ice white which has classic Baroque curves and ornateness and looks amazing hung against draped curtains.

I also love Graham and Green's metal bookshelves in black. The conceit is they look like Baroque style picture frames but they function as book shelves, just right for 21st century space-saving. The timing of the show feels wrong for our recession-hit days, but what it does show is that today's designers are coming up with cool interiors and furniture inspired by the bling but fit for our times.

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