Friday 30 September 2016

Granny gorgeous - How to add nostalgic chic to your home

Florals, pastels and knits are the perfect way to add a touch of nostalgia to your home

Emily Westbrooks

Published 06/03/2016 | 02:30

Wing back chair and padded bench from M&S.
Wing back chair and padded bench from M&S.
Knit cushion
Floral plates
Next sheets
Argos sofa
Wallpaper: MCRB Paints.

It's a style that's often referred to as 'Granny chic', but I prefer a more subtle approach, giving just a hint of what will remind you of your gran. We'll call it 'Elder Accents,' shall we?

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After all, the beauty of bringing back prints and textures that our grandparents used to covet isn't in recreating them and feeling like you've stepped back in time. The real trick is to sprinkle in dashes of nostalgia that add extra warmth and a homey vibe.

No need to match the sofa to the drapes (or to call them drapes, for that matter), but instead, channel your inner baby boomer by dropping in a few key pieces of tufted velvet or all-over floral, then accessorise with pastels and knits and even a piece of pottery or two.

Wallpaper quickly brings back memories of my grandmother. In fact, she's still wrapping presents with leftover swatches of the stuff from the 1970s! But after a hiatus, wallpaper is making a comeback in a big, beautiful way. From large gold foiled prints to more delicate, textured options, wallpaper can be a bold interior design choice. We've gotten past the days of the post-tiger accent wall in beige and turquoise oversized floral, and now the wallpapered accent wall is acceptable again.

When choosing a print, consider scale first. A large print might be better suited to a room with more formal details, like wainscoting or moulding, while a smaller print can make a child's room soar. Or, if you're looking to add texture, consider a grasscloth paper that will add depth without leaving you sick of the print.

Fresh Florals

Start in the most obvious place: florals. All-over floral prints can be stunning, but opt for a fresh design to make sure one piece doesn't date your room. This wing back chair and padded bench from Marks & Spencer has the pattern played perfectly.

Buy it: Jocelyn chair in Phoebe, €630, Marks & Spencer

Chunky Knits

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Knits of the chunky variety are cosy and top of the trend chart at the moment. You'll find oversized knits in blanket, cushion, pouf and stool form, typically in warm whites, greys or pastels. Mix chunky knit cushions with modern paisley or calico prints.

Buy it: Gray & Willow knit cushion, €55, House of Fraser

Pop of Pastel

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Pastels get a very bad rap in the interiors world. But so long as you steer clear of that terrible 1980s colour palette of mauve-y pink and mint toothpaste green, it can be a really pretty colour combination. The trick is to use pastels in unexpected ways - like with this modern printed set of geometric sheets from Next - or paired with non-pastel colours. Jewel tones mix well with pastels, as do natural textures like wood or knits.

Buy it: Pastel geometric sheets set, from €44, Next

Trinket Tricks

Ornaments, trinkets, whatever you call them they're practically granny chic currency. The key here is to curate a creative and restrained collection of decorative items, taking care to leave surfaces as uncluttered as possible with only a few select items. Unsure where to start? Brass, gold or even rose gold is a good bet.

Buy it: Gold pineapple, €41, House of Fraser

Crisp China

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For a dinner party or just to mix into your everyday collection, vintage-inspired china adds a feminine touch. These plates from Marks & Spencer have just the right dose of modern in a lovely springtime colour palette. Or go the true vintage route and scour second hand shops for the perfect pieces. Just stick to a few rules to keep the collection cute - choose a restrained colour palette and stick to it; one or two colours will do the trick; mix vintage pieces with crisp white plates to give a blast of brightness to your everyday table.

Buy it: Floral plates, from €6 at Marks & Spencer

Totally Tufted

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Chesterfield couches have a vintage, fussy flair to them, with their deep tufts and heavy lines. They will quickly add a big dose of our 'elder accents', and this one in duck egg blue velvet, from the Heart of House collection at Argos, would be luxurious as well as comfortable. Pair it with a few chunky knit cushions and a floral wing back chair to create your nicely updated granny chic living room.

Buy it: Tufted sofa in duck egg blue, €500, Argos

Wonderful wallpaper

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Wallpaper quickly brings back memories of my grandmother. In fact, she’s still wrapping presents with leftover swatches of the stuff from the 1970s! But after a hiatus, wallpaper is making a comeback in a big, beautiful way. From large gold foiled prints to more delicate, textured options, wallpaper can be a bold interior design choice. We’ve gotten past the days of the post-tiger accent wall in beige and turquoise oversized floral, and now the wallpapered accent wall is acceptable again. 

When choosing a print, consider scale first. A large print might be better suited to a room with more formal details, like wainscoting or moulding, while a smaller print can make a child’s room soar. Or, if you’re looking to add texture, consider a grasscloth paper that will add depth without leaving you sick of the print.

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