Precious materials and gorgeous details combine with stunning effects to take centre stage. The world of “Opulent Narrations” has thrust modern interior extravagance into the limelight. We present the leading actors in this drama.
But where to begin with this lustrous style universe, where the past blends in with the future? There are embroidered petals and arabesques on silky smooth fabrics, while prints on antique linen evoke memories of the Silk Road, or of old masters from the major museums. References to paintings are also evident on handmade paper and in the once-again-fashionable room dividers. Besides patterns from all sorts of cultures, this trend has room for traditional (and sometimes rare) craft techniques, such as intricate leatherwork from Africa, or relief woodcuts. You often wonder exactly how long the item took its skilled creator to craft. These influences from Asia, Africa and the Orient are so attractive because of the stories they have to tell: A thousand and one tale that make modern interiors come alive with atmosphere.
Moments like jewels
A hint of mystery typically provides a hidden level behind the new opulence in this style. The lavish jewellery shows this too: ‘it’ pieces are awash with colour. Two types of extravagance are at work here. In the first, free spirits apply diamanté and semiprecious stones liberally; in the second, the well-travelled draw attention to the influences and materials they have collected from around the world. The philosophy seems to be ‘more is more’. The latest earring size is XXL, big on decoration, perhaps with cloth-covered beads or sheet-metal balls. For even greater jewellery impact, just add textile beads in necklace form. These pleasantly light necklaces can be worn in layers, combined with smaller gold and black stone beads.
Prince sang a paeon to Purple Rain in his famous song. The on-trend colour for 2018 is a strong shade of ‘ultra violet’ which ticks all the boxes for opulence. Adding violet accessories and items of furniture will bring a touch of glamour and style. Purple velvet adds a feelgood factor to the modern interior must-have – the pouffe – while shimmering surfaces and a combination with gold (think cutlery) or black look spectacular. Today’s trend also subtly cites the colour palette popular in the salons and boudoirs of the roaring 20s: emerald green, dark blue, dramatic red and powder pink.
It looked like we had stepped back in time with these Kamakura-bori carvings and other Japanese lacquerware items, originally produced under the influence of Zen Buddhism. Eastern ceramics or petal patterns on porcelain also uphold ancient design values. Such harmonious shapes reflect the tranquillity of the Japanese teahouse. The “Opulent Narrations” trend illustrates just what a living craft, in its original form, can do. There is no need for traditional techniques to stand in the way of new looks. And just as Far Eastern aesthetics have adapted gracefully to modern requirements, so flexible furniture has also emerged in Japan, where living space is at a premium. This low table can be assembled and stored away again quickly. It’s all possible thanks to handmade cardboard, covered in washi tape, plus a sophisticated folding mechanism. Opulence is the modern metamorphosis.