Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is dripping in diamond-drop style from its swaying chandeliers to its mirror-like marble floors. You can practically smell the glamour in the air, thanks to the savvy, vintage sensibilities of Oscar-winning production designer (and Mr. Luhrmann’s wife) Catherine Martin. (Here’s a Catherine Martin L.A. Times interview here – plus, check out the stunning production design photo galleries here)
Though all of tinsel town has been going gaga over Art Deco glitz lately, I realize that sometimes you might want just the suggestion of a certain style. Here are a few tips, most of them wallet-friendly, on how best to achieve that chic, crisp, black and white elegance that’s so in right now:
Black and White and Sexy All Over: Color is key: and by color I mean black and white, of course. It might help to think of your home as wearing a tuxedo. Compliment the monochrome with deep, chocolaty wood-grains, and royal colors like gold, silver, russet, and purple. Tassels and features also suggest chic sensibilities.
Tactile Texture: The secret to this style is to mix fabrics, textures, and accents to imply theatricality and drama. Chandeliers (or sleek pendant lighting), lots of slender-taper candles, rich fabrics and wallpapers (velvet flocking is nice), furs (faux, if you please), shimmering silks or satins and rich woods and metals are good, too.
Hit the Books: Back in F. Scott’s day, big, weighty hardcovers on art, travel, and the natural world lined the walls in sitting rooms and studies. Nowadays most of us keep our books in virtual libraries, but you can still place a few color-coordinated tomes bracketed between deco-lady bookends on a shelf. Or you could hunt down a few picture books from the era (hello, local thrift stores!), and keep them stacked casually on an all-glass coffee table.
Other small ways to mimic Hollywood Regency swank:
-Frame black and white prints of Old Hollywood stars, or frame the covers of Fitzgerald novels.
-Have your family photos reprinted in black and white.
-Is your pet’s bed threadbare and scruffy? Replace it with something in leopard print, retire his old food bowls and replace them with something monogrammed or accented with rhinestones.
-Statuettes were quite popular in the 20s and 30s (they were like action figures – before Batman, there was Nike); find some in faux ivory and you’ve got instant cachet.
-Small decorator mirrors add class and light.
-Fresh flowers in cut-glass or crystal vases not only look gorgeous and opulent, but they smell great.
-Throw rugs with Mondrian or Frank Lloyd Wright squiggles and lines connote taste and impressive design-sense.
Have I left anything out? What would you add to show off your inner Jay Gatsby?