Vogue Living Editor in Chief, Neale Whitaker, on the 50th Anniversary issue
And the recipe for the perfect room
Neale Whitaker, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Living and presenter on Channel 9’s The Block talks to Divya Bala on the last 50 years of interiors trends and the pieces to invest in for the perfect room to see you through the next five decades
"Right now I'm on deadline for Vogue Living and I'm filming a new TV show for Foxtel," explains Neale Whitaker. "I'm kept pretty busy."
Chatting to Buro between a jam-packed schedule, Whitaker casually dissects the last five decades of interior design. Though he prefers not to talk in trends when it comes to interiors, he notes defining characteristics of each era and their influence on interiors today. The 70s, "There was a swing towards that Scandinavian look. When you look at those images, the only thing that tells you that they are not contemporary images is the quality of the photography." Then the 80s, "Everything in the 80s was either English country house or pretending it was in Tuscany. And they are definitely styles that I would love never to see come back again." The 90s, "...were a bit of a no-man's land," and the noughties, "There was nothing particularly interesting or definable."
And right now? "I think what we're doing with homes is what Australians started doing with food 20 years ago, creating a very distinct Australian cuisine by cherry-picking elements of other country's cuisines. By doing that we ended up with a look, a taste that was very much our own. I feel that a similar thing is starting to happen with interiors. And what we're not doing in Australia is slavishly copying one look from overseas. We're mixing it up a bit and the overall result is we're creating a style that's all our own."
"If you were doing it as a recipe, your starting base would be the Moroccan rug," Whitaker explains. "That's not going away any time soon. Almost every single interior that comes across my desk or into my inbox from anywhere in the world features a Moroccan rug in one form or another. Those berber rugs whether they are hand woven otraditional ones or new ones seem to have taken over the world but I think there's a really good reason for that because they work so well with any interior scheme."
"I would then layer it up with some beautiful timeless pieces of Danish furniture as the 'protein'. You'd be choosing Danish chairs with timber and rattan which are having a moment. Then you'd probably throw in something velvety, glassy and Italian for a bit of effect. "
"Then, more furniture; a beautiful chair or chaise in rich velvet, most of which come out of Italy. It's the contrast between the very functional Scandinavian look that very European French or Italian look."
"So then you'd have a gallery wall of art. I love the way people are filling their walls with totally randomly with paintings sketches drawings photgraphs and mixing it all up. They would be the elements that I'd do. They are of the moment but I think all of those things will be with us for a very long time."
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