Neale Whitaker’s take on “beautifully dishevelled” bedrooms.
FOR A TRULY MODERN BEDROOM, YOU NEED TO EMBRACE A BIT OF MESS
You know how much I like to throw a new word into the mix, especially a foreign one. It gives this column a nice international spritz. Today it’s sprezzatura. Style- conscious Italian readers might recognise it as the effortless elegance (usually achieved through a great deal of effort) that paces the streets of Milan. “Beautiful dishevelment” is one of the best translations I’ve read, an apposite way of describing that nonchalant chic Europeans do so well. And how does this translate to interior design? The unmade bed. You thought it was just lazy, but no, it’s sprezzatura for the home.
Something that has divided my fellow judges on The Block and me is how unmade a bed should be. “Too much information!” screamed Shaynna Blaze on one occasion. Quite apart from the research that tells us unmade beds are healthier (less of a breeding ground for dust mites), the messy bed is one of the most enduring style statements of recent years. Home magazines and catalogues all favour the rumpled look when it comes to the bedroom – a far cry from the hospitalcorner approach of past decades. But at what point does desirable become daggy? Vogue Living style editor Joseph Gardner comes at it from a stylist’s perspective. “There’s something voyeuristic and effortlessly cool about an unmade bed,” he says. “But getting the balance right is key. You want it to feel like someone just rolled out – or is about to jump in.”
Not surprisingly, the sprezzatura trend parallels a similar appetite for linen bedding. Sharon Patsiotis is the owner and founder of Melbourne-based Hale Mercantile Co. (halemercantilecolinen. com), whose European linen products are now available worldwide. Patsiotis sees linen as a sensible lifestyle choice. “With so many dual-income families today, people have little time for the family home. Embracing products that look best creased and crumpled makes sense. You don’t need to have ironed sheets anymore to make a statement.”
Talking of statements, when British artist Tracey Emin exhibited My Bed at London’s Tate Gallery in 1999, the world recoiled. Admittedly, Emin’s was styled with empty booze bottles, cigarette butts and more than a few stains. Not a look that would win points on The Block. Too much information? Just a tad.
ORGANISED CHAOS Gone are the ironed sheets and hospital corners – today’s ultra-chic bedrooms boast elegantly unmade beds and linen that looks best when crumpled.