Modern Victorian, with a Hint of Savage

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I have to admit that before I embarked on this blog project, I never really gave much thought to defining my style when it came to interiors. But when I started the Savage Interiors instagram account a year ago, I was suddenly exposed to loads of different styles. Today, I follow fabulous instagrammers whose choice of interiors are very different from mine, and yet I am able to appreciate the boldness of an unusual room styling, a colour combination I wouldn’t have thought of or a wallpaper I never knew existed!

But still, I couldn’t quite describe my “style”. Then, on a cold January morning, I attended a “No rules interior cool” workshop at Houzz of 2018 in London with the legendary Lisa Dawson and Dee Campling. Through a series of carefully selected images, they got the 40-odd of us gathered in that room to narrow down our style type. Except I was exactly between 2 types: Classic Glam and Eclectic Collector.

Fast forward 3 months and my very stylish friend Janaan sent me a fabulous blog by Emily Henderson on “Introducing Modern Victorian and How to Do it in Your Home”. And that was it. Right there. To date, the best way I can describe my style (although Janaan suggested we call it “Modern Downton Abbey”, in reference to a trip we made a couple years back which I wrote about on this blog).

Emily describes it as “a style that is a spin-off of a very classic vibe, done in a fresh, new, and relevant way”. So, here are some examples of Modern Victorian from the House of Savage, mixing vintage and new as well as giving a Victorian portrait a new dimension against dark walls):


Another good example of revisited Victoriana vibes is the Lime Wood Hotel, which we recently visited. A haven of calm, yet curated interiors, juxtaposing vintage furniture against the 2018 pantone colour of the year I swore I hated only a few months ago! 

Modern Victorian can also play on something specific like fringing, and give it a modern twist. Exhibit one is the achingly exquisite Parrot Bar at Beaverbrook in leafy Surrey just down the road from us (food is uh-mazing!), a master class in Modern Victorian, courtesy of none other than Susie Atkinson. A more modest interpretation of the fringe revisited is this lampshade I found in a charity shop for a pittance and sprayed black to pick up on the ombré trend:


The older I get, the more confident I become with my style when it comes to interiors. In the last year, inspired by some of my new instachums, I have tried to add a little bit of “savage” to my schemes. Not too much, but just a touch. It could be just a striking old painting like Lady Annabelle, an unexpected object or something quite decadent like the globe de mariée I recently acquired.

So, give your style a go (whatever it may be), pick one room to experiment and push the boundaries a little. You might just surprise yourself!

{Photo credits: The LimeWood hotel, Beaverbrook}

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