Tired of minimalist chic, understated tones and a sea of beige? Then it might be time to go gothic. Taking its cue from the alternative cult club/fashion scene, home designers and retailers are putting their own spin on goth. It might take the shape of an ornamental antique cross hung on a whitewashed wall or rich crumpled velvets in shades of red and burgundy. The look, say design experts, is part Spanish colonial, part Renaissance and includes plenty of dark tones. 'It's heavy and rich, and certain people like that style,' says interior decorator Kamini Ezralow. A savvy touch of goth in interiors can be comforting when done the right way. In her book, Living Spaces: Bringing Style and Spirit to Your Home, author Marlee LeDai addresses design elements culled from places of worship and employed in the home, an example of which is the use of church pews around a kitchen table. The influences can be abstract or blatant. Retailers as wide-ranging as American chain store Target and furniture maker Grace are infusing the trend into their wider collections. From Grace, that might be a loveseat with wrought-iron engravings in an arched wooden frame. Numerous other retailers, such as Touch of Class Catalog ( www.touchofclasscatalog . com), have sparkling crystal finials and fan pulls. The fleur de lis motif is a crucial component of goth and this can be seen in wall ornaments, switch-plate covers or lining the edge of an area rug. Also from Touch of Glass is a Gothic revival wall mirror (below left) that recalls a church window. At www.trystancraft.com , a website dedicated to what Martha Stewart would do if she were gothic, the shopping list for a goth-inspired interior includes brass serving trays and goblets, crystal liqueur decanters, iron candelabras and crucifixes. Fringed shawls, vintage buttons and glass votive-candle holders are items that can be found easily and inexpensively. Ezralow advises introducing gothic elements gradually. 'The architecture around doors and windows should be scalloped,' she adds. Light fixtures in brass with crystal drops lend to the overall aesthetic, as do long windows. Dining chairs with high backs, perhaps studded with grommets, can also impart a gothic flavour. A study in such darkness is the Los Angeles home of jewellery designer Loree Rodkin (far left).