How does one do a Moorish-Moroccan interior after YSL?
I ask the question as I am in the early design stages of a small bathroom and searching for a theme, or rather a style. The theme of the last bathroom (and a future blog posting I’m sure) was ‘a first class men’s bathroom on the Titanic.’ Female friends have quite simply requested that the theme of the next one (intended for guests) be ‘the girl’s bathroom’ but other than that have left the style choices pretty open.
At first I was considering something in the Chinoiserie line but then for reasons unknown I began leaning towards the oriental aesthetics of Frederick Lord Leighton. His is a house museum that I’ve never managed to visit but that seems to be looming large in my imagination, probably because the house has recently undergone restoration and photos of it have been popping up everywhere.
The great treasure of Leighton’s house is the Arab Hall, a symphonic arrangement of friezes, coloured tiles and metal work all surmounted by an impressive dome. This is not something I could pull off in a guest bathroom little bigger than a shoebox. However it’s not the scale of Leighton’s endeavours that puts me off. It is the observation that, at least as far as the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries are concerned, Moroccan is the preferred style of the ageing (now wealthy) hippy – as seen on Absolutely Fabulous.
This is something we can blame on the brilliant and all pervasive Yves Saint Laurent whose Moroccan inspired homes, gardens and collections through the 1970s cemented the style in the imagination of a generation of hashish-smoking, free-love seeking world travellers, among whom the transplanted style is a perfectly logical way to spend the pots of disposable income that seems to magically attach itself to even the least materially focussed of baby-boomers.
Generalisations, especially broad and sweeping ones like that one above, have a weird Karmic ability to come back and hit me. This happened the other day when tired and defeated by the hum drum boringness of contemporary bathroom shops – with their conformist European modern stainless steel tapware – I strayed online and discovered a seller of brass (and ceramic or silver) wash basins – all sourced in Morocco or thereabouts. A few numbers rapidly entered and a good hard tap on the enter key and a few days later I took delivery of a lovely beaten brass washbasin.
The question now is how to progress from here?
I’ll keep you posted.