I found myself watching Behind the Candelabra on TV the other day. I was flipping channels and stopped on this movie and found myself transfixed. I was always fascinated with Liberace as a child and I thought Michael Douglas was superb in his portrayal of this legendary entertainer. The acting and directing was exceptional but the set design had me completely hooked!
I watched the entire movie and drooled over design that I can sum up in one word…opulent.
We have moved far away from opulence in interior design but I keep seeing glimpses of it moving back into fashion. Liberace was the king of bling and I know he would have loved the sparkle and glitter that is showing itself in home accessories, tile and wallpaper. Every scene in this movie was draped and bedazzled and every inch was gilded.
The multiple swag draperies and the monogrammed lustrous headboard seemed to spread for miles in this portrayal of his home. Gleaming marble floors, massive tufted chairs worthy of palace life were the perfect backdrop to Liberace’s flamboyant style of dressing. I really got a chuckle out of one scene where Matt Damon is swimming and emerges from the pool wearing a black speedo encrusted with jewels in prominent places!
The dictionary defines opulence as ‘abundance and wealth’ and although we have become more socially conscious since the 70’s we have definitely toned down our shows of wealth.
However, I think that the desire for pretty and flashy things doesn’t ever really go away. I was recently given a birthday gift of a light switch cover encrusted with Swarovski crystals, it is so fabulous! A Calgary company, www.blinkle.net, makes these delicious household items and I can’t wait to install it in my elegant new bathroom that is just being finished.
While we may not install yards and yards of velvet and gold damask fabric in our homes, we may have the desire for a sumptuous chair (with fringe!) or a few over the top toss cushions. I have the most beautiful bronze feathered toss cushions in my living room that my puppy has become fond of….oh well, Liberace let his dogs do their business on his polished marble floors! What inspires your inner desire for opulence and all things excessive?
If you are going to decorate, why not put a little fantastic whimsy into your scheme?
Playing it safe has never made you catch your breath and say, this is AMAZING! During a concert Liberace is standing on stage in a white fur cape spinning around asking ‘Well, can you see me now?’
I loved it, I actually think I clapped! The time and effort you put into your design is worth you spinning in circles asking…do you see this? Can you see what I have done!
Don’t be afraid to put a little glam in your home, even if the dog sleeps on it from time to time. The gorgeous and the fabulous are waiting for you to welcome it home as you create your dream interior. Even if you indulge just a little in your desire for opulence you will find it a fun and frivolous way to decorate your home. Sometimes watching a movie or visiting a fabulous hotel will be the inspiration you require to get your glam on!
Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.