I adore discussing décor & design – if something strikes your fancy please leave a comment! Enjoy! ~Splendor

March 27, 2015


Well, as a bit of a tomboy it cannot be overstated enough that I grew up with a distinct disdain for dolls. As an adult I am still wary of the little wenches but occasionally enjoy conjuring objects that manifest themselves in a human form. Some are diminutive damsels clad in corsets and crowns while other are but skeletons attired in mouldering robes and graveyard cloth. These ornate effigies are are quite at home when placed in a curio cabinet or haunting a bookshelf, or perhaps encased in a coffin, pins at the ready... 

In fact, many other childhood amusements can become quite lovely interior accents, as well. Vintage chessboards make intriguing tabletops, as do antique puzzle pieces and playing cards when placed under glass. Building blocks can act as bookends, marbles displayed in bowl. Let us not forget a collection of Victorian game boards with their cryptic graphics and long forgotten rules make for much mischief (especially when absinthe is involved.) 

As for our own collections, I still maintain a menagerie of stuffed animals albeit an (ever so slightly) adult version of ornately embroidered elephants that stampede through the studio at will. Fairy tale related ephemera fill our bookshelves, miniature furnishing abound... dissembled doll heads play hide & seek amid a childhood china set, a mad tea party indeed. 

Gathered here are dark and dreamy visions of childhood for those of any age. I am curious, whether newly created or decrepit with age, what playthings have you welcomed into your parlor?  

Please see previous post for our own version of Playthings for the Slightly Perverse. Enjoy!~Splendor


{BLACK BAROQUE LUXURIES} The Belle of the Ball and a Voodoo Doll...



This elegant yet ominous Belle of the Ball Doll was inspired by Baudelaire’s poem “Danse Macabre”. A vision of a resplendent skeletal maiden corseted in a decrepit flowing gown…

A collage of vintage jewelry (including a lovely Victorian filigree dress clip) was used to create an intricate corset and hourglass waist. Wearing a tattered and decrepit ball gown of silk and lace, this deathly doll is shrouded in mystery and decay. Her face, a gilded death mask, is framed by locks of black fringe and a veil of tulle. A set of wicked pins, glittering obsidian and pearl surround her red heart…


March 20, 2015


Here at Black Baroque Luxuries we have noticed the first tinge of Spring in the air... shafts of sunlight have started stabbing through the studio windows illuminating several (dozen?) décor related dilemmas in dire need of our attention. Several windows stand naked, an ottoman goes unclothed. Our sofa sits patiently awaiting a promised pillow set, while our patio chairs simply pout... Finding the time to conjure such furnishings for ourselves might well be a flight of fancy for as the saying goes “the cobbler's children go unshod.” Nonetheless, here are a few highlights from our SERAPH + SPLENDOR'S SPRINGTIME TO DO LIST:

{A fabulous bed designed by the Herter Brothers}

{Brunschwig & Fils Kasba Paisley Cotton Velvet}

{AUDACIOUS AUSTRIAN SHADES} A grand set of Austrian shades (related to Romans but ever so more decadent) for our studio windows are first on our list of luxuries. Several fabrics have been selected including a plum organdy encrusted in gold embroidery with gilded vines at it's hem. A black velvet spangled with tiny mirrors resembling the night sky MUST be worked in as well... As for trimmings, a collection of silver Afghan embellishment should suit quite nicely indeed.

{SINFUL SLIPCOVERS} Now, I consider “slipcover” to be a slightly dirty word for it brings to mind billowing white sheets used to hide away otherwise opulence objects. In a quest to blend practicality (*sigh*) with a bit of posh I have been forced to reconsider my opinion on the matter as a whole. Truth be told, my sewing chair is rather common and most likely started it's life at an office supply store. Yes, I know, I KNOW – the horror of it all... but trust me, dear ones, stitching away teetering upon a parlor chair was problematic to say the least but NO ONE can say I did not try. Thus, a small collection of sumptuous slipcovers shall be assembled for the studio equipment, including silk covers for the sewing machines, and swathing my trusty chair in an ensemble of velvet and lace. 

{The dark romance of dimly lit Fortuny upholstery}
{M. H. Birge & Sons Co}

{OUTDOOR PARLOR PILLOWS} As mentioned before our patio furnishing are in need of a bit of pampering this season as well. All winter long we have been hording away bits of outdoor fabrics for this project in particular. It has not been an easy task for companies such as Sunbrella simply do not make fabrics for the likes of us. Sadly dreams of a Gothic Revival sun porch clad in Pugin-esque patterns have been all but abandoned.  Instead we have settled on a Turkish corner theme in tones of blackened teal, burgundy, black and dare I say a bit of leopard print, too...

Spring is a perfect time to darken one's interior with sublime shades of olive, umber and an abundance of bronze accents throughout... Gathered here is a bit of inspiration. (Top image Nellie Knowall by Wayne Anderson) Enjoy! ~Splendor 

{Luscious room in tones of bronze}

{BLACK BAROQUE LUXURIES} Butterfly Reliquary Parlor Cushion

While quite delicate and demure on the surface, this cushion holds a deeper meaning… A butterfly (long rumored to be a vessel for souls on their journey through the Underworld) sits at this cushion’s heart…

A sumptuous selection of materials were used to create this cushion. Firstly, a fragment of dusty charcoal chenille, a befitting background for an array of silks & trimming in tones of ivory, ecru & celadon. Next, a corsage-like rosette adorned with a lush layer of ribbon fringe, a glittering vintage butterfly brooch perched at it's center. Other details include a wide band of woven passementerie encircling the finery in pleats. Lastly, a luxurious panel of hand ruched silk accentuates the pillow edge, to each side a row of bauble trim making the cushion complete. Perfect for a garden room or grand salon, shall this lovely lady be yours?

This pillow is currently available for purchase at our Etsy Shop

March 14, 2015

{ROCK & ROLL TEA PARTY} Rebelling against formal dining in 4 easy steps...

For many urban dwellers, artists and eccentrics such as ourselves a formal dining room is just NOT an option. Truth be told, the dining room here at Black Baroque Luxuries ran away from home some years back and is quite likely roaming the streets committing acts epicurean villainy as we speak... Due to the situation at hand, Seraph & I have become experts on a rather dark bohemian dining style that suits our needs. Most meals find us in attendance at an odd indoor picnic in our front parlor complete with cocktails and a bit of chaos... We have befriended floor cushions and employ a vast array of trays. Our trusty sofa often acts as a sideboard and our bed has become a banquet table at times but THAT is a story for another day.  To conjure a indoor picnic of your own might I suggest:

Fine china by nature is finicky and fragile, destined only to break your heart. A basic *cough*inexpensive*cough* set plates and bowls in a favorite color will suffice. Our dishes are clad in black (much like ourselves) and dress up or down quite nicely depending on the occasion. A selection of serving dishes and platters adorned in a dark floral motif serve along side. 

When practicing the art of informal dining flamboyant flatware should be an indulgence that everyone allows themselves. Why not make a simple meal perched upon a slipper chair a noteworthy event? Hefty silver knives that one must grasp like a sword hilt are quite irresistible, as are wrought iron forks and spoons. An assortment of unusual serving utensils are also a must. Elongated ladles add an unexpected element as do salad tongs with handles twisted beyond proper proportions. 


We have become quite astute at balancing glasses upon unlikely surfaces and have the scars to prove it. Beverages poured Black Baroque style are best served in silver chalices and hefty glass goblets, ruby is our shade of choice but any jewel tone will do. Absinthe related apparatus is quite essential, as well as a sinister selection of shot glasses. Teacups (while not entirely necessary) are quite lovely adorned with thorns more befitting a of tattoo rather than high tea. 

Much mischief can be made with a variety of objects and accessories. Our cupboard comes complete with gilded brocade napkins, sequin spangled place mats and a runner encrusted with mirrors. Trays abound in staggering quantities; candelabras have a shelf all to themselves. As large tablecloths are not required for this strange style of dining other possibilities are quite endless. Velvet throws, carpet fragments and damask drapery panels have all graced our table-scapes, as have our collections of ornamental fruit. Which reminds me, it is high time once again for our Garden of Earthly Delight themed dinner party – care to join us, dear ones? ~Splendor
For more dining extravaganzas please visit our Pinterest board A Feast for the Eyes.

March 11, 2015


An antique crumpling frame contains a skull crowned in a halo of flora, a shard of time, a forbidden key. A memento mori shrouded in ancient velvet, red as blood, moldering away to ethereal dust. Dead cloth and strings of sorrow binding the bones of the past... 

Gathered here are a few of our reliquary objects that combine appliqué with elements of collage, sculpture and a bit of alchemy. These decrepit mosaics blend ornate fabrics and found objects with forms and spirits from the forgotten realms. Some are contained within gilded frames and resemble ominous oracles while others bring to mind grimoires and books of spells... The Book of the Dead (above) has passed through the veil of life itself for it proved too powerful for the ones that possesses it...
The two objects below were designed for a very dear client of ours and she has given them a wicked & wonderful place to reside. Working from her concept sketch the grim and glittering Vault of Lune was born. A velvet clad coffin rests upon a bed of filigree frames, an enigmatic eye weeps silver tears... The next piece, a bound book of blank pages conceived as a sketchbook to contain her works. I was quite taken with the concept of our artwork mingling together, the object itself transforming over time... a curious creature (a guardian of sorts) adorns the front cover, warning all but his Mistress to enter at their own risk...

Seraph & I greatly enjoy working on custom objects, please inquire if we can create a special piece for you. ~Splendor



March 7, 2015


{Sleeping Beauty by Leon Bakst}
{Bedchamber designed by Gwynn Griffith}

{Prestonfield House Scotland}

Perhaps I perused “Where the Wild Things Are” once too often as I child for I fear I have become obsessed with turning our bedchamber into a fairy tale forest of sorts. The notion began with dreams of hanging a grand Flemish tapestry behind our bedposts so that we might slumber amid scenes of medieval pageantry, mythological beasts bounding about our heads... A rather garish gilded cornice will add a sense of depth, encrusted with candle brackets and gilded leaves... Our headboard will of course be grown of branches, the bed hangings spangled with stars. As to the bedding itself I envision a green velvet coverlet as lush moss, silken pillow dotted like elegant toadstools upon the forest floor. On a practical note, I certainly hope that Sir Seraph agrees with my decorating theme (scheme?) for I have already selected his armor!  Collected here are few of my favorite tapestry drenched bedchambers. Conjuring Camelot will be a continuing saga – so stay tuned for slipcovers inspired by dark medieval times. ~Splendor

{Sleeping Beauty by Warwick Goble}
{Venetian Ambassador's Room at Knole}
{Bedchamber designed by Gwynn Griffith}

{The Heriot Suite, The Witchery by the Castle, Scotland}


 Bringing to mind the Victorian era's fancy for turning bereavement into a decant art form, this cushion collage features pieces from our Coffin Pillow Collection. Conjured in luscious jewel toned velvets and opulent trimmings each are truly befitting the dearly departed...


An element of darkness, a sinister foreboding (even amid the beautifully baroque) is essential to any roomscape. Objects beyond the commonplace, ominous in nature, not readily acceptable to all that might enter one's humble abode... In our studio horned beings perch upon cornices, bookcases sprout odd appendages and malevolent masks greet you at every turn. Cabinets and tabletops act as altars to the unmentionable, while unholy shrines appear among the houseplants. Wrought iron lanterns more befitting a dungeon than a design studio illuminate dark corners where few dare tread and in the evenings, blood red candelabras cast an infernal glow... Our collection of infernal oddities inspired our Coffin Cushion Collection – gathered here are a few of our favorites. ~Splendor 


Baroque and resplendent in death, this pillow has become the final resting place of an unholy saint or perhaps a perverse pontiff moldered away to pearl and bone…


It has been said that even in death Lady Nightshade spends her endless hours in a reverie of beauty, darkness and demise...

For more of our wicked cushions please visit our Etsy shop. Enjoy!

"There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. ..."
Albert Camus 



{Illustration by Paul Berthon}

The Art Nouveau era with all of her seductive wiles has always held a certain fascination for me. What is not to adore about her languid, sensual and perhaps a bit sinful ways? The pillows gathered here quite feminine in nature, blending organic elements with silk brocade and plush passementerie. Beetles and butterflies flit about the finery, a jeweled flower rests upon a fairy's breast... An Art Nouveau Garden Parlor would make a perfect home for these cushions, placed upon the glittering mosaic furnishings and under the ferny fronds... will you join these lovely ladies in their revelries? ~Splendor


A tribute to Titania, Queen of the Fey, this regal cushion was conjured of many curious things... this cushion is currently available at our Etsy shop.



{Illustration by Maurice Pillard Verneuil}