four poster bed

Moody Decadent Bedrooms at Decorex 2014

The entrance to the Decorex 2014 show is always special and this year was no different.  Unlike last year when only one designer, Kit Kemp, inspired with her vision of The Silk Route, this year a handful of leading designers were tasked with the project of the entrance.  Different designers created vignettes based on each of the eight prints from A Rakes Progress, William Hogarth’s indictment of the moral failures of Georgian Society.  The prints show the story of Tom Rakewell, a rich merchant’s son who comes to London, wastes his money on a decadent lifestyle, ends up in debtor’s prison and ultimately goes insane.  Happy times!


Here is the original print which is the inspiration for my favourite vignette, The Prison.  Not only do his debtors want his money, his wife is having histrionics and his faithful mistress has brought his illegitimate son to visit – no wonder he goes a little loony. In my opinion, stitutionalisation would be a welcome respite from all that chaos!

Hogarth's The Prison

The Prison print by Hogarth

The Prison was created by Shaun Clarkson whose style and store (Pitfield London) in East London I love.  Pitfield London is a treasure trove of vintage pieces and homewares that I could easily browse for hours.

The Prison

The Prison
image credit: Decorex

I love the dark moodiness of this room which works really well for a bedroom.  Dear old Tom has not given up his love of luxury as indicated by the sumptuous furnishings and the liquor in the room.  He’s probably only sorry that he lost all his money and has no real regrets about his decadent lifestyle.  This story is clearly not a Victorian morality tale.

A lot of the furnishings were antique or one-off pieces sourced by Clarkson. For example, the four poster bed, the Napoleon chair and the cabinet are from Pitfield London and the antique telescope from Sisters Antiques.  I created a digital mood board of some of the other accessories.

moody decadence

Clockwise, from the top right, we have the following in the above mood board:  angel wings from Cowshed Interiors; leather and fabrics from Altfield London; caged chandelier from Vaughan Design; cushion from Fine Cell Work; and more fabrics from Altfield London.  

Note that all the sumptuous fabrics and accessories are layered.  The luxurious look does not really invite minimalism.  Here are some more affordable alternatives just in case you don’t want to spend £4000 on a chandelier for a decadent bedroom design.  Tom’s decadent lifestyle is after all a cautionary tale to lavish money wisely.

For the bed, try the Eleanor four poster scaffolding bed from The Wrought Iron & Brass Bed Company in a raw metal finish.  The burnished pewter finish has a lovely sheen which will go well with the rest of the golds and greys.

Then layer up the texture for luxurious curtains, wallpapers and fabrics.  The luxe finish in accessories is completely on trend for moody and metallics this season.

luxe decadence

The background is John Lewis cut pile velvet fabric in putty.  Top row, from left to right:  Vintage Brass Candelabra from Etsy (£29); Supersoft Fur Throw from Cox & Cox (£185); and Carved Angel Wings from Cox & Cox (£65).  Middle row, from left to right:  Modesty painting from Abigail Ahern (£179); Acrylic Napoleon Chair from The French Bedroom Company (£125); and Chantal Crystal Drop Chandelier from Graham & Green (£170). Bottow row, from left to right:  Lisbon Silk Quilt and Cushions from The White Company (£30 -$330); Black Baroque Mirror from Debenhams (£120); Andrew Martin Atlantis Wallpaper (£70).

What do you think?  Would you try out a moody boudoir?

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