• Richard Davignon

Bringing Sexy Back

Updated: Aug 23, 2019

Reviving the sensuality of the 70s

I often hear “I love modern, but not if it’s cold or stark”. A very well received solution to this condition is to reference mid-century modern – the use of a lot of walnut to warm up the white walls and some fantastic bright coloured classic pieces. We have all come to know and love the pieces given to us by Charles and Ray Eames, Aero Saarinen and Florence Knoll. In fact, my reverence for the era goes deep. I faithfully paint my toe nails with the promotional “Knoll Red” polish as soon as the weather warms up enough for open toe shoes. It’s a great color for spring.

I was reading something recently that made me realize that for all that mid-century modern is admired by us purists, there was something that followed this style that had a huge draw on people and the same phenomenon is happening again today.

At a certain point people began to yearn for environments that stimulated their senses. They were less interested in the proper idealistic rigid architecture that had been built since the 50s. They wanted something with a different more rebellious attitude. Things got sexy.

The 70s took modern away from the analytical and into sensual. Forms became more organic and less rigid. This is when the overstuffed sectional was born – giving people a place to lounge around in their leisure suits. Shag, velour, satin… materials were meant to be felt, not just touched. Spaces were meant to be felt and experienced. Of course, much of what we image today about the 70s was over the top, but the idea of reviving the sensuality of the era inspires me.

We all love to live in comfort, we all love to be entertained. Should our surroundings not endorse our lifestyle? Throw back or not, I love the idea of bringing sexy back. I think that we are all ready to engage again in spaces that flatter or shock or otherwise give us something to react to. And although there may be reference to the past, it will be fun to see the new version of sensual design.

I’m sure no one is ready to throw their shag rug up on the wall, but if you do own a shag or high-pile rug, you are already one step ahead of the trend!

– Doris Martin, Principal, Senior Interior Designer Davignon Martin Architecture + Interior Design

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