In a recent post, I told you about my not-so-secret attraction to dark and "haunted" spaces. Every October (and sometimes around Christmas, or mid-summer... or spring) I get to thinking about these spaces again, how magical they are. A few months ago, I was talking with a group of designers about a design style and was trying to describe it. "Steampunk?" they asked... yeah, maybe a little. "Goth revival?" perhaps. "Urban Goth"... that might be it. Steampunk was missing the soft lines and elegance of the French Rococo time period that it seemed to hold. Goth revival had the almost over the top detail of the Boroque period that fit the style, but was missing the fun and playful aspects. Urban Goth seemed a little too "Interview with a Vampire" and not enough "Harry Potter" or "Beetlejuice".
So, I set to describing the design style. And, here is the description that I came up with:
The style is organic, with a trapped lifelike feeling. The paintings on the walls are watching you. The colors are dark and neutral with occasional royal blurbs. Architecture varies, but it works particularly well with historical styles or oddly sci-fi modern. Light is emphasized by being singular and minimal- one glowing fixture in a dark room, reminiscent of old houses lit only by candle light. It may also be stage lights, focal and dramatic. Contrast is high. Materials are old and worn or luxe and rich.
But, more than the aesthetic, the importance is what this style represents. It represents magic, hope, adventure, the silver lining that is always there if you're willing to look for it. At a glance, one would think it is dark, but the truth is that this is the lightest design style there is. Lys- Norwegian for "Light".
I have found a few images of spaces that seem to somewhat represent what I am describing, but very few nail it right on the mark. I've created a Pinterest board that comes pretty dang close and as a whole nails it. Take a look! Would you ever create a "Lys" home?
Here are some images that... almost...