Thursday 12 December 2013

The Retro Decorator - 90s Christmas Opulence

Who remembers 1991? It was the year of the first Gulf War, the year of the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the year Freddie Mercury died. Bryan Adams was riding high in the UK charts with "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" for weeks...and weeks...and weeks...and on TV the UK was watching the first "Prime Suspect". It was also the year that the first "PC World" store opened in Croydon.

It was also the year of a major UK recession caused by high interest rates, falling house prices and an overvalued exchange rate(1). Not that you would notice if you were a regular reader of House & Garden magazine at this time. No, the December 1991 edition can be described in two words: Christmas Opulence. No sign here of minimalist Scandinavian interiors, no driftwood trees or home-spun decorations. This is a Christmas of conspicuous consumption.

Exhibit 1 - the London home of florist Martin Robinson:

...and exhibit 2 the Christmas Eve dinner designed for a china shop by consultant designer Tom Ellery:

Quite frankly, I wonder how anyone had any space for the food!

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