Emma Chong


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Make your home look like a retro cake on Instagram

The cakes. I’m sure you’ve seen them – those beautiful pastel confections, swathed in swags of impossibly intricate icing like a Marie Antoinette ballgown, courtesy of April’s Baker, Juujuu Cake, Dee’s Basement and more. They look beautiful, tooth-achingly sweet, and infinitely Instagrammable. And also… inspiring? There’s something incredibly tempting about dressing your living room up to look like a Regency boudoir, something you’ll understand if you binge-watched Bridgerton and gasped at all the interiors instead of the raunch. 

There are a few key things to achieving the look, and fortunately most of them are small and portable. Of course, should you want to paint your walls lilac and peach and plaster in some elaborate cornicing, all I can say is godspeed, and wish I had your bravery. (For great wall colour inspiration, follow renovators Jess and Rick at The House That Colour Built. The space they’ve created is absolutely jaw-dropping.) For those who are more risk-averse and perhaps doubtful of the longevity of their desire to live inside a cake-themed boudoir, allow us to point you in the direction of some great accessories. 

Think pink

No surprise here, pink is a recurring theme in retro cakes. Many shades of pink but particularly a sweet, unapologetic candy pink. If you’re really anti-pink, you can achieve the look without it, but it may always be missing a certain something. Try injecting just a pop of unobjectionable pink, like Helle Mardahl’s highly coveted blown glass lamps, or a throw cushion that you can layer with other coloured cushions.

Scallops & waves

Remember, what you’re trying to do here is imitate the an intricately piped line of icing. Scallops and wavy lines are the easiest way to achieve that, whether on the edge of a handmade bowl or a bit of rickrack trim.

More cushions than you could possibly imagine

What do we want? Throw pillows! How many do we want? An unfathomable number! Cushions are the easiest way to add softness, texture and colour to a space, and are especially great here in candy colours, embellished with ruffly trims.  

All the soft furnishings

Throws, rugs, table cloths – anything with a bit of drape and space for some embellishment. Add in some soft baskets as well for extra curves, and a place to store those throws when they’re not in use.