Decorating & Design

February 5, 2010

Oscar-Wilde Chic

“I have the simplest tastes,” said the famously fashion-forward wit and author, Oscar Wilde, before adding, “I am always satisfied with the best.” CityLine designer Janette Ewen would definitely concur. She has been charged with decorating the entryway and dining room of the 2010 Eurodale Dream Home at the National Home Show (NHS), and plans to imbue these spaces with an over-the-top, literary theme. (This blog and the Little Projects Guide are sponsored by NHS.)

“I like to develop a story behind each space that I style,” explains Ewen. “In this story, I’m imagining a turn of the century writer— a dandy who likes to stay out late and then come home and write. I’m imagining that the dining room table is where he does his work, with sheets of paper flying out of the typewriter, and the heads of mythical creatures on the walls, which he’s slayed in his imagination.”

This cabinet display from The Cross Decor & Design in Vancouver definitely captures that flavour, says Ewen.

Cabinet Display Cross Decor Design

Ewen was particularly inspired by the decorating motifs of fantasy and luxury on display at the Maison et Objet 2009 design fair in Paris. (See some of her favourite spaces below.) “It’s not dissimilar to the great depression, when fantasy became huge,” she says. “It’s about getting a glamorous look for less.”

Maison et Objet 2009 Janette Ewen

Maison et Objet Janette Ewen

The concept of fantasy versus reality will play large in the Eurodale Dream Home dining room. “I’m going to have the outdoors coming in, with ice or water coming in an as a resin, along with moss and flowers,” says Ewen. From a decorating perspective, think mismatched chairs, floral patterns, chandeliers, crystal, stacked-up vintage dishes and wallpapers from Graham & Brown that have been layered and stenciled on top. “It’s Oscar Wilde chic,” she says.

These hand sculptures at The Cross Decor & Design offer that same sense of surrealism.

Hand Sculpture Cross Decor Design

As for the colour palette, it will be very natural. “For the paints, I’m thinking sage green and black,” says Ewen. All of the colours will come from natural elements such as green moss and yellow tulips, she adds. And because she can only afford one white unicorn head for the walls, she and her team are getting their hands dirty, creating additional heads with paper mâché. “I love the way fashion designer John Galliano creates fashion shows turned upside down,” says Ewen. “This will be like that — really quirky.”

See Ewen’s designs and get more design inspiration by visiting the 2010 Eurodale Dream Home at the National Home Show between February 19 to 28, 2009. (Advance discount tickets are available now — save $5 by using the promo code: HOUSE.) Plus, get solutions to all your home decorating dilemmas (and a chance to win prizes) in our Little Projects Guide.

Photo credits:

1-4. Janette Ewen