How to embrace the patriotic trend at home

Emily Jenkinson looks at stylish ways to wave the flag for Britain in your interiors.

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The Independent Online

This year, as we celebrate the Queen's Jubilee and the London Olympics, the trend for patriotic interiors is exploding with quintessentially British symbols and imagery featuring heavily on everything fromsplashbacks to soft furnishings. But it's not all Union Jack rugs and corgi prints and, for those seeking a more refined approach to the style, there are alternatives.

London imagery is big theme in the patriotic trend this year, saysJayne Adamson of CP Group, where a 'Cityscape' glass splashback of London's landscape, featuring buildings including Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, the Gherkin, Big Ben and the London Eye, has just been launched to commemorate the 2012 Olympics. "The Royal Wedding sparked a huge interest in British icons and motifs," says Adamson. "With the Jubilee and Olympics this year, this design trend has continued, but more subtly with urban, iconic landscapes now very in vogue."

Incorporating modern urban scenes into the home might be a good way to express pride in contemporary British achievements while supporting the Olympics, but, with the Queen's Jubilee once again focusing our attention on 50s Britain, classic vintagedesignremains a timeless way to reflect upon and celebrate our past. "The key to successfully embracing the British look is to echew the obvious Union Jack cushions and crown tea pots and seek out the authentic," says Lawrence Roullier White, founder and buyer at Roullier White, who seeks out "old British manufacturers" wherever possible. 

"The UK has a huge history of beautiful furniture and textile brands," agrees Sarah Wilkie, co-founder of vintage British homeware outlet, Home Barn. "Singer Stools (available at Home Barn), for example, offer a reminder of when Britain used to be one of the world's largest manufacturers of quality clothing – the stools are now redundant, but they tell a story and look great in a contemporary room." Meanwhile, she says, "vintage sporting prints and art are catching on too."

You don't have to go vintage to get nostalgicthough. Next month, Scottish textile designer, Nikki McWilliams' quirky British biscuit cushions go on sale in Selfridges as part of the department store's ‘Big British Bang' celebration taking place over the summer. Featuring Custard Creams, Bourbons, Chocolate Digestives, Nice biscuits and many other childhood favourites of those born pre-1990, these cushions reflect our national identity (for what could be more British than a nice cup of tea a biscuit?) as well as any Union Jack one could, while showcasing the work of contemporary textile talent.

"The current trend [for patriotism] has its own flavour, with a unique blend of retro and modern leanings," according to the Absolute Academy School of Interior Design in Gloucestershire, but the style, it says, is fundamentally classic. It suggests incorporating a hot colour scheme consisting of velvety reds, deep wood tones, navy accents and gold embellishments to suggest patriotism, using vintage draperies and romantic laces to give an air of nostalgia, and placing "a strong emphasis on simplicity."By embracing the trend in a way that is considered and faithful to Britain's identity and heritage, you can achieve a patriotic home décor thatremains relevant and stylish long after the Jubilee and Olympics are over.

Emily Jenkinson is interiors writer for the mydeco marketplace, an online shopping experience where you can search hundreds of home furnishings and accessories all in one place.