Apr 27, 2012

Glamorous Interior :: What is it? :: Can we define it?

 The Oxford dictionary defines "glamour" as
"alluring or exciting beauty or charm".
Which is a definition I rather like. 
Because it isn't just sparkles, or velvet, or high heels.
That can be glamorous, of course.
But a truly glamorous room is something much more.
It is a space which exudes a magic of its own,
acting as a magnet to draw people in to explore, to sit, to enjoy.
To linger.
To allow the eye to simply feast.
 In her own apartment in Paris,
Joséphine Gintzburger
has created rooms which help to explain 
some of the elements of glamour 
in an interior space.
 And colour, especially the tension created with it, is one of them.
The same colour tension can also be seen in the work of Diney Phillips, 
a very talented Melbourne florist.
Pinks, reds, purples, oranges - together on the colour wheel,
but then contrasted with green - the opposite colour on the wheel.
Bright, bejewled tones contrasted with deep, dull dusky ones.
 Pretty pink, hot pink, bold red, cool stainless steel, sultry black.
The tension is exciting and dramatic,
balancing dainty & assertive colours and textures.
Now this kitchen would definitely be a magnet at parties! 
So wildly colourful, I just want to be there. 
Cooking up a storm, or sipping a martini.
There is such a crazy combination of colour & texture happening,
but it works, 
because there are just a little less "fun" than "serious" elements.
The pink refrigerator is grounded by the rustic timber box;
the red dishwasher grounded by the simple stainless steel stove.
In the floral arrangement, the wild richness of colours,
almost a saturation of vibrancy, 
is grounded by the deep no-nonsense blue on the tin.
Quirkiness, or combining pieces from different eras, styles & provenance,
is also an integral element in a glamorous space.
It is the wit of the unexpected.
There's a very fine line here between contrived and casual elegance,
but again, it is about creating enough tension to stimulate the eye,
without jolting it.
Dark and bright, shadow and light.
Tension resolved, but with its fine balance it creates a dramatic intrigue.
And lastly, the tension created by playing with 
masculine & feminine elements, 
creates a room which feels balanced. 
The over the top frou frou lamp works,
because it is sitting on a very simple, very bold and very black table.

They are a clever pair, these two girls on opposite sides of the planet.
But, through their work,
 they can perfectly illustrate some of the elements of glamour.
Because these images just emanate, in deep breaths,
that alluring and exciting beauty and charm.

flowers by diney phillips via her blog marigold


  1. Hello Virginia:
    Glamour is, as you suggest, not always easy to define but we should certainly concur with you that all of these images, which are wonderful in their own right, do exude that very elusive quality. And as for the flowers in the tomato tin, such style.

    Have a wonderful and glamorous weekend!!

    1. Elusive indeed. Actually, I would go so far as to say it is partly the elusiveness itself which makes up part of glamour. A bit of mystery.

      Thank you and I wish you the most glamorously wonderful weekend too!

  2. These images are fantastic! I love the kitchen with the pink smeg fridge and the fabulous artwork...! The unexpected use of colour and texture throughout is refreshing and very inspirational, love it Virginia. Have a fab weekend xx

    1. Well an artist appreciates artwork Claudia, that's for sure!

  3. Yes, I absolutely agree about the element of mystery as being a key component of true glamour--just think of Marlene Deitrich lighting up a tuxedo frfrom within! A truly glamorous woman doesn't even need beauty to be alluring. Diana Vreeland! The Duchess of Windsor! Sigh. We have so few really glamorous figures in public today, non?

    I loved this post because I always appreciate when you break down the hows and the whys--wonderful for those of us that aren't in the design business! All I could think of was how could she hang a painting above the stove! Heehee. But I now see the importance of tension--wonderful, merci!

    1. ah - that is the smeg stove with the lift up stainless steel cover - so when it lifts up it forms its own splashback, protecting the wall behind. Even so, I also wondered how it would stay pristine!!

      And yes, I do agree it is much harder to find the glamorous figures around today. Perhaps it is almost impossible with the public eye so obtrusive? So the mystery is lost?

  4. My philosophy exactly Virginia ... I couldn't have said it better. Just love your words in this post!
    I remember seeing Josephine's house featured in Living etc and falling in love with it!
    Have an incredibly beautiful weekend my friend.

  5. I was mesmerised by this apartment in Living etc. Especially the kitchen.

    Sar x

  6. I love this post Virginia, you write so well! Those exposed beams in the first two images and the beautiful bright fresh flowers are drool-worthy. Have a wonderful weekend, Sasha x

  7. I am not a glamour person and don't know how to achieve glamour but I do know that when I am in the presence of glamour I stand a bit straighter, walk with more purpose in my stride, hold my head higher and am overcome with a feeling that I cannot put into words. The room in the first photo takes me there.

    1. You said this so perfectly that I want to print out those words and frame them! Gee, that sounds good.

  8. What a lovely, thoughtful post Virginia!
    I adore the colour combo and the flowers illustrate your point beautifully!

    I always love red and pink together, and what is that amazing sculptured rose pink velvet chair?


  9. Beautifully described and explained. Love those images, so rich and colourful and bursting with life.

  10. Goodmorning Virginia!
    Lovely post. Lovely written. I am all into glamour!

  11. Wow I'm really chuffed to see my photos on Glamour Drops but I can't help but wish the flowers were Josephine's and the apartment was mine. Love that painting over the cooker!

  12. What a fabulous kitchen! That SMEG is just gorgeous! Enjoy the beautiful day, Kellie xx

  13. Glamour & the DRAMA. The large scale artwork in those colors is not only glamourous but very dramatic. I think this is my style most of all. xx's

  14. OMG pink fridge! How gorgeous is that? I lovelovelove it!

  15. The artwork in the kitchen - stunning!

  16. Stunning pics, love the rose chair and the posy in the tomato tin x


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