Newstalgia home decor

Posted 1st May 2024

Newstalgia is a look that weaves the best of the past with today’s innovation. It’s a curated blend of retro patterns and colours, updated with modern sensibilities to create spaces that have a sense of nostalgia but still feel fresh. This trend celebrates vintage charm by putting an emphasis on upcycling items whilst also embracing new purchases that have a link to the past, ensuring every piece has a story and a place in our contemporary homes.

Nostalgia is recreating identical pieces from the past, newstalgia is seeking to improve them. The idea is to use nostalgic pieces to create something new. You may choose to have an old piece of furniture reupholstered in a modern fabric or to re-paint an inherited item of cabinetry in a vibrant Annie Sloan tone (Capri Pink and Firle Green are two of my favourites).

Though newstalgia is a relatively recent concept, first surfacing a couple of years ago, it has already been used by fashionwear brand Ellesse to name their recent collection of ‘premium, everyday essentials’ and by Interface, a global leader in modular flooring. Interface describe their namesake collection as inspired by decades of iconic design and leading-edge innovation, constructed with the future in mind. They profess to using a nostalgic palette of colours, tones and metallic finishes to create a curated look that presents as familiar yet modern, whilst capturing a distinct retro vibe with tonal block and criss-cross designs.

It is this ‘familiar yet modern’ ideal that makes the newstalgia trend so easy to incorporate into our own homes. As much as we might like the idea of completely revamping an entire space according to the latest trend, for most of us, interior design is more about adding a little bit at a time or adapting one or two pieces to update a room, without the costs and upheaval involved in changing everything. Using ‘familiar’ items should be interpreted as re-using or repurposing pieces that we already own.

At Mills and Kinsella, we are big fans of the sustainable aspect of the newstalgia trend. Where we can, we’ll encourage customers to reupholster rather than buy new. A modern-day fabric and some replacement filling might be all that is needed to transform a much loved, but tired heirloom such as a sofa, footstool, armchair, or set of dining chairs.

If you prefer to buy new then look for pieces with an iconic design. Recall the art, furniture, patterns, colours, shapes and fashion of your past, especially where they evoke happy memories or remind you of people, trips or experiences. Vinyl records used as art, or posters of classic movies, can work well in a home office, snug, music room, movie room or playroom. Retro-looking light fittings are so on trend that they’re easily available to buy. IOS Lighting in Northampton has a lovely range on display and the technical expertise to answer any questions. For fabrics and wallpapers, have a look at Scion (part of the Sanderson group) whose quirky designs have a distinctly retro theme. Mind the Gap has numerous wallpapers featuring iconic images including historical television advertisements, old style speakers and vintage letters.

Remember that this trend demands that you experiment with individual pieces and have some fun. Almost everybody’s home contains one or two items that have moved with them over the years, favourite possessions that they struggle to be parted from. It’s the modern way in which you use these items that will determine whether they can suit your contemporary space.

The most successful interiors have depth and tell a story. Find and use items that speak to you – bite size chunks of memorabilia – vintage items with a history – new purchases that remind you of a bygone time. These are the pieces and aspects of your interior that will become conversation starters and talking points. And the best bit is that you’ll come home at the end of a long day to a space full of sentimental pieces that mean something to you, pieces specifically chosen for their story rather than an ever-changing show home of furniture that needs replacing with the next trend.

Rosie Kinsella
Interior Designer
01604 751262