As is usual with a new film release, the creative minds behind The Great Gatsby have been discussing their inspiration and what they hoped to bring to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel of decadence and social unrest. Head of Production/Costume Designer, Catherine Martin, explains that Gatsby’s residence has “the feel of the Disneyland castle” – complete with towers – and if we look at Gatsby’s property, we build up a picture of an extravagant man who is living an imagined, fantasy life. Crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling, the decorative wood veneered floor depicts his monogram by the art of marquetry and the staircase is lavish and winding.
If nothing else, we’ve all been captivated by Director Baz Luhrmann’s visuals and while we might not live in such an upmarket property, we can still bottle some of that 1920’s charm through replicating different stylistic elements in our own homes. Traditional Hollywood glamour is timeless, just as long as it’s not overdone.
Nothing says extravagance quite like a chandelier and Lagoon’s globe chandelier, in pewter crystal brass, is perfect for providing a classic shape while keeping the look contemporary enough for a modern home.
The most iconic scenes in Luhrmann’s film centre around Gatsby’s parties, where heavy use of glitter and streamers emphasise his preference for the finer things in life. Glitter and streamers may be impractical for day to day use but a crystal chandelier, in all its sparkling glory, is the next best thing.
And it needn’t be the only thing with glitz appeal. Our 1920’s friends were big fans of the table-top lacquered finish. Clean, streamlined furniture was set off by the glossy finishes, polished to within an inch of its life. While black will give you the most authentic result, any colour of your choice will have that much lusted after sheen. There’s even a rumour that car lacquer sales are set to rise as we invest in heavier gleaming finishes to transform what we already own…
If you’re not quite ready to embrace the lacquer, mirrored furniture is the perfect alternative. This faceted mirrored side table is comprised of mirrored panels over engineered wood. The reflective surface will do a brilliant job of bouncing light around your room to bring that 1920’s vivacity!
As for traditional colour, black, silver, grey and a greeny gold will take you right back to the period but my advice is to isolate the bolder colours to smaller areas like your hallway or closet. Let your accessories do the talking in your bedroom and the other main rooms in your home. You would never find a home missing a cigarette box but be careful to keep the look rooted in the present. A golden trinket box will hint at opulence and provide an oriental touch while being entirely functional.
Accompany any ornaments with one Art Deco style poster. A skyscraper or mode of transport like the plane, car or ship was the thing to have – hinting at wealth, power and travel and Artrepublic offers hundreds of affordable replica prints.
Finish off by paying attention to my top design tip – always carry the look through to your textiles. In the bedroom, the bed is often the focus point, so choose a duvet cover and pillow in a comfortable fabric with metallic threading or an all-over shiny fabric such as satin. Practical needn’t mean dowdy.
With décor trends coming full circle, any Art Deco doubters can take comfort in Gatsby’s infamous words. “Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”