A darker vision of Victoriana





QUEEN VICTORIA would not have been amused. The recent revival of Victoriana as hip Hollywood décor — fainting chaises, nailhead-studded wing chairs, carved spider-leg and hoof-foot tables and vintage taxidermy — would have sent the prudish monarch scrambling for smelling salts. They are the kind of parlor pieces that would make Morticia Addams and cartoon Goth tween Emily the Strange feel right at home. When we say stuffed animals, we don't mean the kind at Build-A-Bear.

What is old — and odd — is new again, and quickly creeping into American homes. Black crystal chandeliers, old-fashioned patterned wallpaper and fabric, heavily carved and tufted furniture and an explosion of antlers and other animal parts have brought an eerie elegance home. Take the recent ad campaign for furniture maker Maurice Villency, which flanked its sofa with two taxidermy peacocks.

In L.A., the New Victorian look — modern updates of oddball antiques, vintage scientific equipment and specimens suitable for a natural history museum — is its own décor genre.


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