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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 3, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    Will despot decor catch on in Ireland?

    Edel Morgan

    Where would you be going without your gold mermaid chaise?

    Feeling a little powerless in your life? Well according to the FT, despot decor  is coming your way if you live in a western city.  You may  feel like  a minion in your everyday life and think your innate superiority and general fabulousness  has gone largely unrecognised  but inside your own four walls you can be master or mistress of all you survey (if you are despotic enough to get your family to go along with it that is).

    Inspired by the opulent palaces of Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein et al the dictator chic look is  designed to make you look all-powerful and intimidating and keep your guests  in a constant state of awe . I’m not sure how I’d implement the look  in my three-bed semi but apparently a good starting point is to hang a portrait of yourself looking important and imperious  in all major rooms especially the bathroom  so visitors can contemplate your regal bearing while they sit on the throne (gold plated of course).

    Another essential is  an enormous gold eagle or a marble lionhead  and all furniture should be as uncomfortable and unwelcoming  as possible, preferably in the old style of the absolute monarchy. Then it’s a case of out with  the Laura Ashley and anything fluffy or squishy and  in with  the  gold paint which should be lashed on every available surface. And remember no amount of ormulu and marble is too much.  Scale is  also important  – everything has to be miles too big for comfort. Why settle for a lampshade when you can have a chandelier the size of a two-car garage  a la Saddam Hussein?

    The FT predicts that  dictator chic is coming  our way but  are we ready for it as a nation?  Or have we seen enough  scenes of unbridled extravagance for one lifetime already?

    • jaygee says:

      I fear that despot decor is alive and well and living in these islands. Didja ever have a look at Harrods when Mr. Al Fayed owned it? Amongst other extravaganzas, if I remember rightly, he had a full sized statue of himself in the Food Hall.

      Currently i believe he has a statue of Michael Jackson at Fulham football ground.

      A man of impeccable taste !

    • Edel Morgan says:

      yes a classic example and apparently dictator chic is really catching on in areas like Knightsbridge and Mayfair , a good example is One Hyde Park. But do we have any good examples in Ireland?

    • Oscar D Xavier says:

      Dail Eireann is full of dictator chic. I dare say Bertie has a few portraits of himself in chez Ahern.

    • Simon Oliver says:

      Alas, here in France dictator chic has been a national pastime since the Sun King. Despite the revolution France’s leaders have continued to bling bling their way from the Elyée Palace to the mirrored gilt of Versailles as if there was still a Louis on the throne.

    • JOD says:

      Hmm. Gives a new sense of meaning to ‘designer racks’.

      Mebbe we could borrow a few a la mode orange jumpsuits to go on them from our American friends next time the CIA whispers thru’ Shannon with a cargo bound for Uzbekhistan’s boiling kettles? Em. Better to wait til they’re whispering back with empty orange jumpsuits. Ssshh. Don’t ask. Don’t tell. Or ye’ll be accused of giving our despots cheek.


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