May 31, 2023


Creative living

The retro-inspired interior design trend that is making a comeback

4 min read

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, most of us will find ourselves social distancing or working from home for the foreseeable future.

But while spending more time in the comfort of your own home comes with a myriad of benefits – think staying in your favourite pyjamas all day and evading the morning commute – life within the confines of four walls isn’t always the most inspiring.

As such, many of us will begin to place a higher value on our home’s role as both a motivating and relaxing place where we can feel nurtured and grounded.

According to Laura Anderson, PR and social manager at La Redoute, the best way to do this is by injecting a little personality on to your walls.

“Wall hangings are not only a great feature piece for a room but can work alongside existing wall art – they are an accessible and affordable way to add instant colour, texture and style to a room,” Anderson says.

Katie Wagstaff, product designer and founder of homeware and gift brand Oh Squirrel, agrees: “Banners and textiles hangings are a great way to add a bit of interest and texture to a wall. They work well for renters as you can make a big impact on a room without causing long-term damage, and when you come to move you can take it with you.

“I’ve been making personalised banners for weddings and celebrations for a few years, as these are something that can be used on the big day, and then hung in the home after – it’s a decoration with longevity rather than being disposable.”

‘You & Me, Always’ – Velvet Flock Printed Macrame Banner, £30, Oh Squirrel

Gone are the days when you would only find 2D masterpieces hanging on the walls of the chicest people you know. Instead, today’s interior trends are designed to add a splash of vintage charm and inspiration to your living space.

The type of wall hanging you choose will say a lot about your personality and can do wonders in conveying a message or setting the desired mood for the space.

Katy Casey, an interior designer, maker and owner of Make Waves Studio in Folkestone, Kent, says handwoven tapestries, fringed pieces, graphic prints and vintage banner style hangings are among the top trends to look out for.

“The popularity of textured wall art goes hand-in-hand with the boho, vintage and handmade trends. Blousy florals, Seventies knotting, tapestry and naturalistic salvage,” Casey explains.

“We’ve responded to minimalism with maximalism. From grey matte paint with dark walls and raw yarn to fast-track lifestyles with slow-lane crafts.”

In the woven wall hanging department there is an array of styles to choose, with online retailer Trouva selling a range of 1970s-inspired macramé pieces created by independent boutiques and high street stalwarts such as Wayfair and Made offering colourful geometric prints and tapestry weaves finished with pom-poms, fringing and tasselling.

Hemp Wall Art – Maha, £25, Rose & Grey

Alternatively, throwing slogans up on the wall can have a transformative effect on your space; making it feel homelier, inspiring and more personalised to you.

“Slogan art has always been popular, particularly as a subversive response to advertising and propaganda,” Casey says.

“Slogan T-shirts were popular in 1980s and 1990s for this reason, but with home design having a sojourn – not least because of Instagram and ‘normal’ people gaining accolade for their style – the slogans have shifted to the wall with rude, romantic or comic references.”

Erstwhile Green Botanical Musa Vitatta Print Airtex Canvas Wall Hanging, £230, Trouva

From song lyrics to inspirational quotes there is more to slogan banners than first meets the eye.

Today, there is more of a need to find an escape from the outside world, and create a space that can help you unwind and keep your, or your housemates and children’s minds and moods healthy.

“I believe the encouragement these pieces can offer everyday as you pass them, whether they feature a slogan, verse or a joke, can lift the spirits,” Casey says.

“We are going to be seeing our own four walls a lot more in the coming months, better they be encouragement than empty.”

Wagstaff agrees, adding that uplifting slogans help provide a little reassurance around the home during uncertain times.

“I’ve just set up a desk for working at home and popped a few postcards with positive words on to look at for words of encouragement. The ‘…but what if it all goes right?’ print in my handwriting is one that particularly means a lot to me, as in times where worrying takes over, it’s what I try and focus on to hope for the best.”

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