Heritage styling this Spring

Our Creative Director Joanna recently wrote a styling article for the Homes & Gardens section of Sixty Plus Surfers, an online magazine. It's all about how to use heritage furnishings in your home. Here it is:

After months of cold and darkness, Spring is a great time to breathe new life into your home. Make a fresh start on your style sprucing and transform your décor with heritage inspired furnishings.

Whilst there has been a trend towards neutral colours and minimalism in recent years, there is now a movement towards ‘maximalism’. Maximalism is about layering lots of furnishings, textures and patterns together, and not worrying about them matching or being in the same colour palette. It is also about beautifully displaying art and objects you love.

The Victorians were the ultimate maximalists – they loved to show off everything they possessed all at once and felt joy from having their favourite patterns around them.

If you want to incorporate a bit of maximalism this Spring, then seek out heritage inspired furnishings that are colourful and highly patterned. A couple of cushions or a new lampshade will make a bold style statement and brighten up any room.

Joanna Sanderson is the Creative Director of Zena & Rose, a surface pattern design studio, which retails its own collections of homeware. The company’s mission is to highlight interior design heritage and bring it into contemporary consciousness, whilst making desirable and original products.

Joanna says, “A lot of heritage styles can be quite busy for modern taste, so consider focusing on a feature wall or star piece of furniture, and then picking out key colours for the accessories. The patterns can be different but should complement each other.

“We have produced several heritage influenced collections, which are based on styles from the past, but with a new twist. Our Sea Holly and Hydrangea cushion covers have an Arts & Crafts feel but are a fresh interpretation of William Morris.

sea holly and hydrangea cushions

“A heritage inspired wallpaper can make a big difference for a relatively modest cost. Our Wisteria fringe cushion cover is derived from the Aesthetic movement tradition, when Japanese design influence was huge in Britain. We have paired it with wallpaper by Thibaut, which uses Asian heritage design motifs, combined with a contemporary colour palette.

“Our Poppy cushion cover has an Art Nouveau look, which was popular around 1900. We have paired it with blue and gold wallpaper, which is a modern interpretation of the traditional damask pattern, originally a type of fabric from the medieval Middle East.”

Poppy cushion

In her own home, Joanna’s living room is loosely inspired by Art Deco exotic motifs. She says, “In the 1920s and 30s, there were lots of exciting archaeological discoveries in Egypt so Egyptian design motifs were incorporated into European interior design and decorative arts.

“We were not aiming for an authentic period look, just a few touches of heritage design here and there. There are two rectangular velvet sofas, with palm tree cushions, palm tree lamps, and geometric patterned furniture.”

If you don’t fancy patterned wallpaper, then the star of your room could be heritage inspired curtains or blinds. Loome Fabrics sells traditional heritage textile designs and allows you to search the website by colour, style or designer.

Alternatively, there are thousands of heritage inspired designs by contemporary artists on Spoonflower. This is a digital printing site where you can order samples of your favourite fabrics before you buy and it is easy to order in small quantities.

There are so many ways to incorporate heritage design into your home and ‘maximalise’ its potential.