Nostalgia Made New | How To Curate A Nostalgic Design Theme in Your Home

When the waters of the world turn choppy, civilisation has always looked to the home for tranquillity, calm, and reassurance. For many, home is a place of reassurance, a place where the seeds of who we are today were first sewn.

Little wonder, then, the trend towards nostalgic design in the interiors world. At Morris & Co., we know, just as William Morris did before us, all about the reassurance of a fondly loved pattern and the comfort to be found in homely, comfortable schemes. So, together, let’s explore nostalgia in interior design with four quick (and practical) ideas.  

A Quick Word On The Emery Walker’s House Collection

For our nostalgic theme, we’re using designs hand-selected from our Emery Walker’s House collection. It’s the perfect place to start: inspired by the legacy of a truly historic home, Emery Walker’s House draws from the historic Arts & Crafts home of one of William Morris’s closest friends and collaborators. Weaving together craft histories, iconic design and a love of creativity, this collection is filled to bursting with tales to tell.

1. Contrasting Pattern

Talk about an authentic Victorian design concept! Overlaying different patterns creates a menagerie of styles rich in history. Clashing patterns also add a layer of intrigue to the story of any room. We’ve upholstered our sofa in the Citrus Stone colourway of Emery’s Willow, contrasting strikingly with the moodier Dorothy’s Kilim for drapes. Two distinct decorative traditions are at play here in a marriage of colour and style.

Tip: If you’re unsure about mixing and matching too many patterns, throw in a plain to calm everything down. A neutral, such as this Ruskin Weave in Flax, brings warm, earthy tones to the forefront and allows your feature pattern to sing.

2. Ornamental Accessories

Nostalgic patterns are so much more than the sum of carefully arranged shapes and colours. Full of emotion and creativity, even an accessory like a feature cushion can be a nostalgic must-have.

Trent, from 1888, was at the time the most expensive fabric ever produced by Morris & Co. Its rich, sophisticated pattern of curving tulips and meandering acanthus leaves makes it a perfect cushion design. As well, the rich Red House colourway adds another element to the story, as it’s named after the brickwork red from William Morris’s own famous Arts & Crafts abode, Red House.

3. The Joy of Animal Prints

There’s nothing quite like animals and the wonder of nature to make us reminisce about childhood. Chasing birds and hunting caterpillars, it’s the type of natural education that inspired in William Morris a lifelong love of the English countryside.

A pair of cheeky birds play among the thicket in Rose, a beautiful fabric full of hedgerow life. Ideal as a cushion, we also recommend Rose as a blind – just imagine the sunlight streaming in through the panoply of colours… dreamy.

4. Playful Pattern

Sentimentality is the younger sibling of nostalgia, right? A design that makes you think of being little once again, or unlocks the creativity native to every child. Who can say the world doesn’t need more of that?

We don’t think you could go far wrong with Emery’s Willow. An almost exact copy of Sir Emery Walker’s Willow wallpaper from the drawing room of his Arts & Crafts abode in Hammersmith, Emery’s Willow features the meandering silhouette of the willow foregrounded by adorable bubble-like shapes. Fun and light, Emery’s Willow introduces character in spades.


Explore the Emery Walker’s House collection below, and order samples by clicking on any of the product pages.

posted on 11 May 2023 in Interiors

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