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Contact Admin. Inside the dimly lighted splendor of the 3-month-old West Hollywood nightclub Voyeur, the chairs look like traditional Victorian antiques. Venture closer, however, and they offer a titillating surprise. One wing chair seems to be encased in a lace-paneled corset; others are detailed with the metal hardware and bondage straps of leather fetishists.
There is even one with a harness that designer Ted Nemeth calls the Restraint chair. Restrained, this is not. The look incorporates the glamorous vintage furniture popularized by Hollywood Regency decorating and modern interpretations of ornate rococo furniture, then takes it all to a darker, more dangerous place.
Los Angeles architect Alex Artigas says history is simply being reinterpreted in a provocative way, turning something as simple as a traditional chair into a sexually charged statement. Interior designer Lori Erenberg sees the trend as a response to the current economic climate.
Indeed, many commercial spaces have embraced a more residential environment that invites lingering and promotes intimacy, Nemeth says, and the emphasis is on comfort over stark minimalism. At the Edison, the cavernous downtown L. Tables sport old-time movie projectors that look ready to show old stag films. The rooms ooze mystery and the promise of scandalous behavior.
She is the designer of the thoroughly modern Corset chair, whose fiberglass seat is pierced and strung with rope. Artigas and others think bordello chic will continue to grow, partly because the look is so L. Many homeowners already have adopted elements of that aesthetic -- a wing chair here, a bronze lamp there. Hard to say, but the look does make fuddy-duddy furniture seem sexy, it can create a seductively cozy atmosphere, and it is much more easily duplicated than some other looks.