Decorated ‘brown’ furniture
There has been a marked interest recently in fine, late 18th and early 19th century furniture, with good embellishment and in richly coloured woods, such as Italian or French fruitwood or walnut commodes with ormulu / metal mounts or decoration. For international buyers pressed for time, there is no better one-stop-shop for European and English furniture than the Decorative Fair.
From left: French Restoration period mahogany commode of small size with fine original mounts (and detail). Late-C18th North Italian walnut inlaid commode
Classic country house style / maximalism
The country house look is definitely back in, and the Decorative Fair is the home of classic English country house furnishings: Persian rugs on floors, a mix of polished and painted wood furniture and nicely upholstered regency sofas, elaborate mirrors, traditional portrait and landscape paintings, tapestries, etc. Chintz is back in, big time, in terms of textiles and pattern. Layering different periods of furniture and accessories adds instant ‘family history’ and an established, ‘been there forever’ look to a room. You can decorate an entire country house from top to bottom at the Decorative Fair! It’s the only fair you can sensibly achieve this at.
From left: Pair of early C19th mahogany lyre-back hall chairs; carved gilded mirror with oval plate probably Flemish c.1710; early C19th Chinese ceramic jar; C19th serpentine English sofa in vintage chintz.
Have been a big thing for the past year or two, and look set to retain their chic; groups of white German modernist vases, large Regency-style French tureens and jugs, and more ornately decorated pieces for impactful tablescape and cabinet displays.
Decorated folk furniture / art
Traditional pieces that have a homespun air: decorated furniture, either painted, or découpaged, or decorated with more unusual materials such as seeds, i.e. truly unique pieces.
From left: Pine Seed Graduated Shelves, 90cm x 53.5cm x 16 cm, Streett Marburg & Charlotte Casedejus. German Augsburg Arte Povera (folk art) painted decoupage small cabinet, c1700 (sold)
Art Deco glamour
Art Deco design is selling well, especially glass – colourful, and looks great on the cocktail shelf/bar cart. You can see Deco style in many of the leading designer contemporary brands at present.
From left: Deco turquoise ‘rope’ decorated vases by French ceramics house Sainte Radegonde, 1930s / 40s. Aldo Tura 1960s lacquered goatskin drinks cabinet. Deco Josephinenhütte decanter with silver plate collar with flashed amber panels to the front and back, c1930s, designed by Siegfried Haertl, Richard Hoppé
Bamboo and rattan furniture is still having a strong ‘moment’. As are bar carts of every style and era!
Selection of rattan and bamboo furniture photographed at recent Decorative Fairs.
Indigo blue / blue and white
This colour, and blue & white china, has been having a renaissance; classic blue and white Delftware pots or English china plates are being used once again by decorators, even using gilded sconces to mount them around fireplaces (as per the C17th habit) or in dining rooms. Indigo blue is a big interiors colour at the moment, so we don’t see this trend changing anytime soon.
Selection of C18th and C19th Delftware pots and vases can always be found at the fair; gorgeous indigo blue vintage Chinese folk textiles from new exhibitor Bleu Anglais
Velvet upholstery and trimmings
Top of the list in terms of luxe upholstery trends right now! The Decorative Fair presented a passementerie foyer display a couple of years ago, and since then, tassels, trimmings, and fringes have been back with a vengeance in high-end interiors. Antique passementerie, metallic threadwork and haberdashery items are offered by many of the textile dealers (and others) at the fair.