Trend Alert: Modern Romance Style

New takes on florals, ruffles and other feminine frills give spaces a sexy edge.

Fashion and interior designers are reshaping romantic style with contemporary tweaks to classic elements, such as lace, ruffles and florals. Modern romance style radiates femininity with an edge. It’s cozy, yet gutsy.

Luxury Master Suite with Green-Blue Floral Draperies, Modern Bed, Metal Chandeliers and Herringbone Wood Floor

Luxury Master Suite with Green-Blue Floral Draperies, Modern Bed, Metal Chandeliers and Herringbone Wood Floor

his master suite is draped in painted de Gournay silk Chinoiserie blue-green fabric and adorned with jewelry-like chandeliers around a modern bed with gold leaf and a patina bed. The room was designed by Pamela Babey with BAMO.

Photo by: Lisa Romerein

Lisa Romerein

In a California master suite, designer Pamela Babey of BAMO draped the sleeping alcove with hand-dyed and hand-painted silk de Gournay fabric behind a custom bed with an upholstered headboard and an elegant frame. The blue-green tones of the chinoiserie drapes are soft and watery, while two large-scale chandeliers made out of metal mesh dramatically flank the bed.

“It’s traditional, in that it’s carved and has a patina and has gold leaf, but the shape of the bed is very modern,” she says. “The shape of the bedside table is very modern, and yet we have this totally soft cocoon around the bed with the de Gournay draperies.”

The chandeliers are not dainty, but delicately light the niche, which conveys a sense of nostalgia in a “more modern, happy tone,” Babey says.

“The whole thing is very gutsy,” she says. “The headboard is really sexy.”

Luxury Mirrored Dressing Room and Elegant Closet with Chandelier and Ottoman

Luxury Mirrored Dressing Room and Elegant Closet with Chandelier and Ottoman

This dressing room features 12-foot high storage units that are decorated with panels of mirrors and lacquer. A marble mosaic lays the foundation for dramatic details, such as a a French-inspired crystal chandelier and white ottoman stitched with a Hermes shawl top. The room was designed by Pamela Babey with BAMO.

Photo by: BAMO

BAMO

In the same home’s oversized and enviable dressing room, Babey was inspired by the grand sparkle and reflection of Versailles. The floor-to-ceiling panels of mirrors and lacquer are used in a mysterious way. The moldings limit the ability to walk in and see yourself from every direction, which means the room is not just a mirrored box, Babey says. 

“You get these romantic impressions of yourself,” she says. 

The gold walls also add interest and the allure of romance. The lamps have playful, organic and modern features and the French-inspired crystal chandelier dropping from the 12-foot ceiling lights the mirrors running across the top of the fluted band around the room.

“Especially at night, they create reflections of the chandelier. so you get more chandlers and more lightbulbs,” Babey says. “It’s like old rooms lit by candlelight.”

For the 2017 San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show, Babey thought of Italian fashion house Valentino, which has a fantasy-like summer 2018 collection and a 2018 resort collection with "romantic soul," and her own love for Venice when she created her vignette. 

Romantic Venetian Garden Vignette with Luxury Wallpaper and Antiques

Romantic Venetian Garden Vignette with Luxury Wallpaper and Antiques

A custom-designed de Gournay wallpaper set the scene for designer Pamela Babey’s depiction of a romantic Venetian garden—after a party—in a vignette for the 2017 San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show. A Venetian carved and painted chair, a Danish painted day bed and Chinoiserie-painted wire and wood demi-lune tables are sourced from New York-based antiques dealer Carlton Hobbs.

Photo by: BAMO

BAMO

She styled the space after a romantic Venetian garden, set in the morning after a lavish party. The custom-designed de Gournay wallpaper depicts an old rose garden in a panoramic prospect. The idea was to create a scene with a dreamy villa in the background, through the bramble in the foreground that had been the setting for a party.

“If you felt like it was a space that moves beyond you and that there was something in the distance, it would really add to the mystery and really the romance of the idea,” she says. 

Romantic Venetian Garden Vignette with Antique Daybed, Chair and Table

Romantic Venetian Garden Vignette with Antique Daybed, Chair and Table

Designer Pamela Babey with BAMO created a vignette for the 2017 San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show styled after a romantic Venetian garden, set in the morning after a lavish party. The space included a custom-designed de Gournay wallpaper. A silk throw from Maison Tenn20 is on a Danish painted daybed. The Aubusson tapestry billowing over the table and onto the ground is through Peter Pap.

Photo by: BAMO

BAMO

Her “Fantasy Sunrise” vignette conjures a fabulous picnic in a timeless garden through nostalgia and the careful use of fanciful details, including a silk throw from Maison Tenn20 on a Danish painted daybed and an Aubusson tapestry, through Peter Pap, billowing over a table. A Venetian carved and painted marquise — a rare, 18th century, wide armchair — with mirror glass details, and chinoiserie-painted wire and wood demilune tables, sourced from New York-based antiques dealer Carlton Hobbs, added more layers of richness. 

“Modern romance is about having a story that you can kind of imagine yourself in or being a part of, and a positive experience,” Babey says.

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