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Theme of the Month: Vienna Secession

Revisiting the Vienna Secession and the Wiener Werkstatte

At the end of September I visited Decorex, the wonderful who’s who in interior design type exhibition,  held this year at Syon Park.

As I was methodically walking the aisles (in a very organised grid pattern to ensure that nothing was missed) a mini-trend began to make itself known. Many of the items on show were displaying tendencies towards the Vienna Secession, the influential group of architects, designers, artists and writers who, in 1897, decided not to exhibit at the conservative Academy of Arts exhibition that year but to break away – secede – and form their own formally recognised group. Further reading about the dynamic background to this vibrant and influential time is available at:

Noticeable within the group was the use of delicate geometric patterns and shapes which were fused with abstraction to produce functional and decorative objects, graphics, art and architecture wholly representative of their times.

It would appear that this time has come around again if the objects on display at Decorex may be taken as a barometer. As well as re-editions of masterpiece lighting by the titans of the Secession, Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos, their influence was to be found throughout the exhibition. Here are some of the items from manufacturers exhibiting at Decorex which encapsulate the Secessionist style, this could well become a major trend in interiors.

A beautiful silk douppion shade encased in a delicate metal lattice.  Available in Flat Nickel, Bronze or Gold Metalwork with sumptuous Birch, Ivory or Celery silk douppion shades.

Available from: Accessed 03/11/14


de Gournay wallcoverings worked with Barbara Ludwig who is the General Manger of Hotel Beethoven in Vienna. The hotel is an elegant 5-floor building and de Gournay Scarlet Lady damask, Bleach Silver slub silk, Pitch damask and Deep Rich Gold gilded paper were used to decorate bathrooms, corridors and bedrooms throughout the hotel.


Design in original colours on deep rich gold gilded paper with custom antiquing and custom border. Available from: Accessed 03/11/14

Declercq Passementiers began in 1852 with a small trimmings factory. Generations of craftspeople have handed down their expertise and ancestral techniques perpetuating the refined traditions of a trade that has now become rare. These fine examples of hand-produced silk velvet encapsulate the aesthetic of the Vienna Secession. 

Available from: Accessed 03/11/14

Woka is known for beautifully produced, timeless design in lighting, particularly those designs from the Wiener Werkstatte and the beginning of the Modern era, Woka also retails and sources original pieces from the period such as the rare cabinet  (above) valued at 97,200 euros.

Available from: Accessed 03/11/14

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