I received a wonderful book as a gift this weekend, The Way We Live by Stafford Cliff, and came across the concept of usé opulence. The opulent, abundance of this type of interior is comprised of well used and even slightly worn furnishings, and the accessories are not merely for decoration but also have a purposeful use. It's the luxury of being surrounded by many things that are well loved and frequently enjoyed.
It seems that usé opulent interiors can't help but be personal and revealing of their owners.
Here Fortuny fabric serves as the backdrop - not for the expected portrait or antique mirror - but for a framed collection of locusts and grasshoppers. (first three images from At Home with Pattern by Sally Conran and Katherine Sorrell, photography by Claire Richardson)
This library is in London, of course. English style and usé opulence seem to go hand-in-hand. The furniture is certainly worn but still seems to retain its dignity. It must be the classic form that allows one to view the worn and sagging leather as rather charming. On a less classic piece, it would just be old and tired. (Image from The Way We live by Stafford Cliff, photography by the late Gilles de Chabaneix)
This room is from the book Living in Flanders by Piet Swimberghe and Jan Verlinde. A bit more organized in its abundance and with furnishings that have been well cared for, I think it could also be considered usé opulent or, maybe not...what do you think? (image via Habitually Chic)
 
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