In our new regular feature, stylist and interior designer Jono Fleming shares his research on decor across the decades and what he would have done with those Block master bedrooms. And we are LOVING his mood boards. A lot! Over to you, Jono…
With one bedroom down, on Sunday night we moved onto the big one: the master bedroom reveal!
There’s a lot to unpack with the eras but this week I’m going to be focusing on the 1920s and 30s. These two eras are often confused and for good reason: trends carry across decades (we saw pedestal basins for almost 50 years last week!). So I’m here to clarify a few key differences and focus on some particular styles within this era.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room. I’m going to be very clear here: I don’t hate velvet bedheads. I think in the right context, in the right room, they can be amazing. But velvet bedheads don’t automatically transport you to the roaring 20s and make the room instantly luxe.
That’s a good jumping off point for a bit of context. People associate the 1920s with the Art Deco style. Think Baz Lurhman’s Great Gatsby, black posters with ornate gold trim adorning movie theatres, shimmery tinsel! It was all very glam. But when it comes to a 20s home, there are many different styles to go off.
The 1920s was the end of a period called the Arts and Crafts movement where there was a focus on the handmade, carved timber and ornate art. Beds in the 20s, especially the first half of the decade, reflected this and were often carved timber, with beautiful detailing. But since this is the master bedroom week, let’s step away from the homier style of the Arts and Craft movement and go all in on the grand deco references.
If you look at the bed in the master bedroom in The Great Gatsby movie, it’s actually a sleek, lacquered timber base with chrome detailing. It looks more like a sports car than a bed, it’s got sexy curves and it’s incredibly simple in design by comparison.
The glamour and detail from this period came from overly patterned rugs, wallpapers and elegant timber side tables. Fabric wise, it was all about silks and jacquards with patterns, Yes, velvet was around but it wasn’t quite as prolific as we see in modern interpretations.
Which brings us to the 1930s, specifically the ‘Hollywood Glam’ style room that Shaynna Blaze wanted to see. The 30s of course had their versions of the bungalow home with the more working class houses still having beautiful crafted timber bed bases, but we’re wanting glam! Material wise, there’s still lots of lacquered timber everywhere in the home, especially the bedroom. Beautiful deco arches are translated into bedheads (in timber), sideboards with inlayed timber into geometric patterns and when it comes to fabrics, there’s silk, and lots of it.
One of my favourite things about the Hollywood Regency period is the shapes that come with it. Curtains, chairs, lighting; there was scalloped detail everywhere. In a weird turn of events, shell shapes have become extremely trendy again nowadays and these shell-like shapes were all over the Hollywood 1930s bedroom.
When it came to the walls, they were adorned in padded features, Chinoiserie wallpaper, mirrors; if it was shiny and lavish, chuck it in the room! Really fun details like tassels were hanging off everything: tying up a curtain, the base of a chair, the end of the bedhead, everywhere! This was definitely the appropriate time to use a velvet bedhead! Velvet was very in vogue at the time and is completely appropriate to the era.
There’s so much to unpack with each of these eras, and when you’re designing your home, whether or not it’s a heritage building, it is completely up to you what you put in it. If you love velvet, no one is stopping you! I know I made it seem like there are rules but there really aren’t. However, since this series is all about respecting the era the homes are designed in, attention to detail can help create a layered and interesting room. And that’s the key, isn’t it? If we’re designing, styling or creating, we want the final product to be a treat to look at and live in.