Trend Watch: Modern Trompe L’oeil

Cripes, probably about time I started posting on here instead of just building my (frankly rather impressive) links lists in the sidebar – though if you’re interested in design happenings in London Town, want to know what other blogging stylists have been up to or just want to waste a few hours web surfing, then do feel free to have a click-about. So. Onto a post!

It’s trompe l’oeil, but not as we know it: the centuries-old art form Trompe l’oeil (or ‘trick of the eye’, if you will) has been enjoying something of a renaissance of late. Since Phillipe Starke’s reworking of the baroque classic Louis XV style seating to form his infamous Ghost Chair, designers have been clamouring to streamline, simplify and sex up a range of silhouettes in ever more inventive ways. Here’s the best of the bunch:

Handpainted headboard. Channel your inner Picasso and paint on your dream headboard for a fraction of the cost of the real thing (assuming your dream headboard isn’t just something very cheap from Ikea). Fill in the whole thing with paint or just paint an outline if you prefer, then lie back and think of England. If you want the look but aren’t too steady of hand, you could do worse than check out a stick-on version, available from wall decal emporium Blik.

Which leads me to, err, Blik (though us Brits can order from these Yankee specialists by visiting Supernice). Perfect for renters and those with commitment issues, live out your dreams of owning a huge chandelier/anglepoise lamp/antique armoire through the medium of vinyl wall stickers. Simple to apply, even simpler to remove and no lugging of heavy furniture and accessories required.


Taking the wall sticker theme a step further, up your Trompe factor by adding a realistic element to your design – add a floating shelf (try Ikea’s Lack) to your faux dresser legs, or hooks to your 2D coatstand to add a surreal twist.

And if all that hasn’t filled your boots, check out the glorious work of metal designer Susan Bradley, whose powder-coated masterpieces see drips of paint and creeping ivy sneak away from shelves and tables to add a truly unique, decorative twist to their functionality.

{image credits:}

1. Design-Conscious

2. Living Etc

3. Supernice

4. Sally Conran

5. Etsy seller aOlive

6 & 7. Susan Bradley

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About Joanna Thornhill/Stylist's Own

Freelance Interior Stylist, Author, Writer and Crafter working for a range of magazine titles and commercial clients. Author of Home for Now (CICO Books 2014)

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