Feeling nostalgic? Take a trip down memory lane with your home décor

When Osborne and Little launched its Zagazoo collection of wallpaper and fabrics this summer, a warm, fuzzy feeling came over me. Designed by Quentin Blake, the collection features all manner of his trademark cheeky characters: mischievous-looking cockatoos perched on jungle branches, wiry children flying about on skateboards, and perky farmyard animals that take me straight back to childhood and my first forays into the rich and magical world of Roald Dahl’s books.

Search for the perfect furniture with The Independent house and home database, powered by mydeco. 

Nostalgia is a powerful trend that has come about in the world of interiors in recent years. Not to be mixed up with ‘retro’ and the revival of 50s or 60s-style fashions, nostalgia is more about a ‘feeling’ than a ‘look’. Nostalgic designs, in other words, hold meaning to the person who owns them, helping to conjure up memories of one’s own past - be those from a much-loved book, a family holiday, mother’s wallpaper or granny’s tassled lampshades.



Last year, the consumer trends firm, trendwatching.com identified nostalgia as one of the key trends of 2010, noting: “Storybook sentiment has got hold of consumers looking to escape their stresses and find a temporary refuge from adult responsibilities. Nostalgia marketing holds great appeal in times of uncertainty as it allows consumers to reminisce, bringing them back to simpler, more carefree times.”



In a post-recession world, looking back and emulating the values of a previous time provides an escape from current pressures. In today’s world, cheaply-made furniture with no history and no longevity is symptomatic of a consumer culture that went wrong. Vintage buys in a market, family hand-me-downs, or things which have been personalised by hand with love suddenly seem so much more appealing because they tell a story, and this has a value which cannot be measured.



Recently, while rifling through the attic at my parents’ home, I discovered a beautiful red screen, painstakingly decoupaged, it emerged, by my great-grandmother. The screen shows Hollywood stars such as Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn interspersed with magazine illustrations of London and fresh-faced cut-outs of a young Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II. On one panel, Father Christmas, snowmen and 30s children opening presents under a tree are pasted on, implying that this section was done at a Christmas period over 70 years ago. The screen is the prized possession of my flat because it is so striking and expertly done, but also because it is so highly individual to me and a great-grandmother I never met.



The nostalgic look is “the antithesis of mass market and intensely personal,” says Marianne Shillingford, Design Director of Dulux Design Service. “A set of authentic old cake tins and mixing bowls replace slick designer stainless steel and glass functionality. Meanwhile, patchwork quilts and dress print curtains from the family home or your first flat combined with home-made soft furnishings and reclaimed re-painted furniture help you to create a room that is unique and heartfelt.”

The nostalgia trend is not just evident in our interiors. Across the country this summer, bookings for campsites, holiday parks, self-catering cottages and boating breaks were up on years before while popular beach resorts such as Blackpool, Brighton and Torquay were busier than ever.

Meanwhile, the joys of retro sweets such as Space Raders or Sherbert Fountains are being rediscovered with the help of sites such as Bah Humbugs or A Quarter of Old-Fashioned Sweets. Fashion has also succumbed to the nostalgic mood with Autumn/Winter 2010 collections characterised by quirky prints, soft palettes and oversized wooly jumpers reminiscent a post-war sartorial style.

Nostalgia might be defined as escapism in its purest form, but, if it reminds us of what really has value in life and helps us to see the cheap, throwaway culture of pre-recession years for what it really was, then I, for one, am all for it.

Emily Jenkinson is interiors writer for furniture and interior design website mydeco.com.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: National Account Manager / Key Account Sales

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Analyst - Bristol

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick