Vintage interiors have a new edge. The shabby chic style of the last few years is giving way to a revival of 1960s design with an industrial-style feel.
The harbinger of the new Mad Men-era trend is the ultra-fashionable, £100 million Paynes and Borthwick Wharves development by United House Development. Situated on the southern bank of the Thames at West Greenwich, London SE8, this Grade II-listed building – once a marine boiler factory that provided engines for ships such as HMS Warrior – will combine the original listed façade with a new glass and steel two-storey pavilion and a stunning tower looking out towards Canary Wharf and The City.
But the decorative scheme at this landmark development are just as significant. The show apartment was created by Christopher Dezille of Honky in a distinctive retro style (below).
“The design had to be very much of the moment,” Christopher explains. “The retro look is very reflective of now, vintage is back in, there is a strong return to the make and mend culture. But vintage is not shabby chic any more – it is that industrial kind of chic that you find in areas of London like Hoxton and Shoreditch, and now Greenwich.”
So he set out to create a what he calls “a less frilly vintage look: a sharper Miami meets Palm Springs,” featuring vibrant colour, groovy, patterned wallpaper in the hallway, striking sunburst mirrors, retro clocks and oversize budgie pictures for a tongue-in-cheek touch.
Although he freely admits that not every buyer of the 213 apartments at the Paynes & Borthwick development will choose to go retro, Christopher believes this style is very much here to stay. “The industrial look, is going to be with us for a while,” he says. “This retro vibe is having a real renaissance, with brands like Ercol now being sold in key retailers, not only in the UK but also in other countries around the world.”
And, undoubtedly, retro charm is also becoming more prominent in the wave of private properties that have come onto the market in recent months.
One such is Starvecrow Cottage in Peasmarsh, East Sussex (above), which combines a streamlined contemporary design with retro-style polished stone mosaic fireplace in the living room and, outdoors, a genuinely vintage Airstream Excella 500 travel trailer with water and electricity.
For more information on Starvecrow Cottage, visit the website of selling agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, while for more details on the Paynes and Borthwick Wharves development, see www.paynesandborthwick.com. For more great properties like these, visit the website of our sister magazine, Country Life.