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Dream Home News, Issue #016 -- Style Report From London!
July 01, 2010
Welcome ...

... to your new (or your first!) issue of Dream Home Decorating News.
This month's issue contains a short-n-sweet overview of current London decorating trends.

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Thanks for joining me today, and enjoy this issue!
Renate Hering-Shepherd

PS) If the newsletter is difficult to read as an e-mail,
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  1. Style Report From London!
  2. Legal Stuff

Style Report From London

Vintage rules!

The midcentury-modern vogue is still going strong. Shops are full of 1950s/60s color schemes (muted blues, mustard yellows, grays, dusky pinks), Fifties print patterns, furniture and accessories.

Some iconic Modernist pieces, like Charles & Ray Eames’ chairs, have been in production ever since they were first released. So they’ve been around for 60-odd years – but this year in London, you really can’t move for Eames chairs. (Should you fall for one of these staggeringly comfortable thrones, promise me that you'll only ever buy guaranteed originals from Herman Miller/Vitra, either direct or from licensed resellers. Pay the full price - avoid being scammed with cheap knockoffs. It would be heartbreaking!)

Apart from the revered icons, there’s Fifties-inspired furniture as well: Hans Wegner-style wing chairs, tables with rounded edges and splayed, tapered legs. This is great furniture for small(ish) spaces, where you need ‘leggy’ pieces that reveal a lot of floor space and make a room look wider.

French curves remain fashionable.

They can’t help it. The playfulness of 18th-century French Rococo, with cabriole legs on chairs, armoires and tables, chests of drawers in the ‘bombe’ shape, ornate mirrors, toile de Jouy … those 70 years of French design history, long past, are constantly being recycled into new design incarnations.

Matchy-matchy is so last century.

Just thought I’d mention that ... but you knew anyway, right? There’s currently an abundance of lovely, fun accessories and furniture pieces in the shops – in amazing colors and quirky shapes.

It doesn’t have to be a bright orange cheese grater lamp (I mean, really), but if you’re wondering how to liven up a room that’s slightly on the boring side, consider adding one or two truly individual pieces that can stand on their own and attract lots of positive attention by being gorgeous/tactile/off-the-wall/seriously fun. Look out for things like
  • An accent chair (or armchair & footstool ) in a bold color
  • A statement rug (there really are some artsy designs on offer, some even with ‘sculpted’ surfaces)
  • Eye-catching pillows/cushions
  • A coffee/side table with a whimsical personality
  • An exuberantly stylish lamp
The new item(s) needn’t match with anything else in the room (except they need to somehow fit into the existing color scheme). If you’re buying two of a kind (e.g. end tables), see if you can get them in different colors/heights/shapes, or buy vintage ones that don’t match.

Spread the new item’s color around just a little, by adding splashes of it elsewhere in the room (e.g. as cushions, picture mats/frames, or by painting an accent wall in a related color).

Simple is simply perfect.

A lot of current furniture is so sparse and clean-lined that it practically ‘disappears’ in the room: no-frills platform beds, solidly built, well-proportioned storage with an air of no-nonsense practicality. Interesting surfaces (oiled wood, textured fabrics, subtle colors & pattern) prevent a sense of minimalist austerity.

This furniture may look unremarkable, but it is quietly beautiful, and provides a wonderful opportunity to express yourself in the details. Make your personal style statements through color schemes, accessories, and occasional eye-popping accent pieces (… see ‘Matchy-matchy’! )

… And some good news at the end:

If, like many others, you mourned the closing of the much-loved Domino magazine last year, have a look at, where a (hopefully substantial) number of articles from the magazine’s archive will be uploaded in the near future. I counted 16 articles when I last looked.


All the Best,

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Here's to a gorgeous home – yours!

"See" you again on September 1, 2010 -
Renate Hering-Shepherd

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