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
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
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: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor