By Chere Di Boscio
If you’ve ever wondered what Kate Moss’s bedroom looks like, where Eliza Doolittle takes a shower or what sofa Courtney Love sinks into after an exhausting day, a certain statuesque blonde I know can tell you.
Sera Hersham-Loftus, or Sera of London as she is known to her superstar clients, became fascinated by interior design from her childhood. As a young girl, she placed one of her mother’s silk scarves over a lampshade, and was awestruck at the transformation this small difference gave a room: suddenly, the light became warmer, the space more intimate, and the air was scented with the remains of perfume on the scarf. Still today, it is this preoccupation with sensuality that defines Sera’s style.
Her interiors are decidedly softly feminine, strewn with cushions and plush upholstery in tones of dusty rose, old gold and dove blues and greys, but what we love most is their sustainability—the decadence of Louis XIV radiates off a re-upholstered 18th century chair, and the sultriness of 1970’s Tropicana is embodied in a rattan peacock chair, a flea-market find. Sera is nothing less than inventive when it comes to sourcing and upcycling materials: corsets become cheeky lampshades; beat up leather sofas are glammed up with silver or gold leaf, old fashioned lace tablecloths become romantic curtains.
But beyond scouting flea markets for antique, vintage or upcyclable treasures, Sera is also obsessed with creating the perfect lighting. She states that not only does it create atmosphere, but the right lighting can even make people look more beautiful in their homes; perhaps for this reason, her girlie, boudoir accents have attracted a galaxy of mostly female stars, including many models, musicians and actresses, but she has also transformed the interiors of several commercial spaces, such as London’s posh Cuckoo Club, into places of possible seduction.
You don’t have to be rich and famous to bring a touch of Sera’s luscious style to your own home, though: if you’re feeling inventive, a visit to her site may well give you ideas about how to sex up the armchair granny left you. Still need help? Sera has just published a book, called Seductive Interiors, which beautifully showcases highlights of her work and provides decor tips.
4 Tips for Doing Vintage Interiors
1. Start by adding a few small vintage details to your interior
Start with small items, like retro art or some accessories (a stool, a lamp or some cushions). If you like the result, you should then move to the next phase, by allowing yourself some more permanent items such as furniture, wallpaper or tiles.
2. Know where to shop.
Generally speaking, at garage sales, flea markets or antique shops are your best bet. But if you don’t have the time or patience for that, and if money is not a problem, it is possible to find beautiful reproductions in most stores that sell contemporary furniture. And why not visit your grandparents to see if you can find something there? Who knows, you might find a treasure in the attic!
3. Interiors with a retro touch, yes. Museum, no.
You should seek a certain balance while keeping a modern touch to your decor. Your vintage items will better stand out within an overall more modern interior than if they’re the dominant force in the room. A neutral paint color generally allows almost everything in terms of furnishing and decor.
4. Play with patterns, texture, colour
Quality wood furniture mixed with neutral colours and white will create the perfect ‘canvas’ for your home’s interior. Vintage objects made of rusted steel, glass or raw wood will add an industrial flavour; brightly coloured geometric patterns add a little kitsch taste, whilst rattan, shells and macrame are all about the 70s.
5. Look for inspiration
Check Pinterest, decor magazines, books about interiors and websites for inspiration, and then search for similar items at flea markets, Ebay, yard sales and even high street stores. Check out the handmade wallpaper, scented candles, cushions and other accents created by Sera here.