Book: Dark Nostalgia

Violet Hour cocktail bar
Chicago's Thomas Schlesser designed Violet Hour cocktail bar
(Image credit: Thomas Schlesser)

We’ve seen countless trends rise and fall over our 12 years at the creative helm (along with many which have crashed and burned), but the latest high-design fever to be sweeping the interior design world is one we’ve welcomed with open arms.

Eschewing the globular shapes and space-age stylings championed at the turn of the 20th Century, designers these days are taking a far more earth-bound approach. When it comes to hotels, bars and restaurants the trend for high-colour, clean-lined interiors originally advocated by the likes of Marcel Wanders (opens in new tab) and Philippe Starck (opens in new tab) is being usurped by a taste for the darker things in life.

Longtime Wallpaper* contributor and established design writer Eva Hagberg picked up on the change sometime last year, and her latest book – Dark Nostalgia – is a celebration of this shift toward the dark side of interior design.

Hagberg sets the start of the trend at the door of the Roman & Williams (opens in new tab)-designed Royalton (opens in new tab) in New York, which opened for business back in 2007. Filled to bursting with wrought iron, furs and dark, untreated woods – the Royalton marked the original move to a more back-to-basics, vintage inspired aesthetic.

Gritty and glamorous, designers ranging from Tom Dixon (opens in new tab) and Julian Schnabel to Jason Kosmas and even Starck himself picked up on the shift and set to work spreading the word with projects springing up across the globe.

Covering everything from the vintage laden, low-fi stylings of Standefer & Alesch’s Noho Lofts (opens in new tab) and Roman & Williams’s Ace Hotel - through to glossier interpretations at Adam Tihany (opens in new tab)’s Joule (opens in new tab) and Munge Leung (opens in new tab)’s The Foshay (opens in new tab) – Dark Nostalgia is set to be the perfect addition to any adapted apothecary cabinet coffee table.

Reinterpreted chandeliers in a suite

Reinterpreted chandeliers in a suite at Philippe Starck's San Francisco hotel, the Clift

(Image credit: press)

Reinterpreted chandeliers in a suite at Philippe Starck's San Francisco hotel, the Clift

Mirrored surfaces reflect the abundant candlelight at the Clift

(Image credit: press)

Paintings, drawings and a whole host of sensory memorabilia

Paintings, drawings and a whole host of sensory memorabilia bring a sense of history to the Noho Loft

(Image credit: Designed by Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch)

The dynamic reflective bar

The dynamic reflective bar at the Parisian restaurant and Lounge, Black Calvados.

(Image credit: Designed by Alexandre de Betak)

A hand-rendered, antique drafting table and bearskin rug

A hand-rendered, antique drafting table and bearskin rug from Stephen Alesch at the Noho Loft, New York

(Image credit: press)

Adoption and transformation at the Ace Portland

Adoption and transformation at the Ace Portland

(Image credit: Designed by Atelier Ace)

Black Calvados, Paris

Renovated 18th century frescoes at Black Calvados, Paris

(Image credit: press)

The bustling Parisian streets at Black Calvados

Ornate architectural moldings create a calm refuge over the bustling Parisian streets at Black Calvados

(Image credit: press)

Roman and Williams's Royalton Hotel, New York

The one that started it all, Roman and Williams's Royalton Hotel, New York

(Image credit: press)

The dining room of the William Tigertt and Taavo Somer

The taxidermy collection is displayed in the dining room of the William Tigertt and Taavo Somer designed Freemans restaurant, New York

(Image credit: William Tigertt and Taavo Somer)

Violet Hour cocktail bar

Chicago's Thomas Schlesser designed Violet Hour cocktail bar

(Image credit: Thomas Schlesser)

The front cover of Wallpaper

The front cover of Wallpaper* contributer, Eva Hagberg's latest book - Dark Nostalgia

(Image credit: press)

A private Roman and Williams-designed Long Island home

Taxidermy, woods and furs evoke a plush, textured feeling in Montaux House, a private Roman and Williams-designed Long Island home

(Image credit: Private Roman and Williams)

The living room of Montaux House

A curved portion of whale bone in the living room of Montaux House

(Image credit: press)

The dark wooden panelling of the Ace Portland's lobby

A Jorg and Ollif commuter bicycle leans against the dark wooden panelling of the Ace Portland's lobby

(Image credit: press)

Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms