6 of The Best Places I’ve stayed in The Uk

I’ve always loved exploring our little island and have had a vintage VW camper van for 20 years, but since our children starting getting older, we replaced those camping trips with all inclusive hotels abroad, to satisfy their needs over ours. As the saying goes, if your kids are happy, then you’re happy and it’s very true.

However over the last few years, during the pandemic, when we were allowed to travel around the UK, we did. Getting those holidays in when ever we could before our wings were clipped again. The amount of paper work and latterly flight delays and cancellations, meant to have a staycation was much less stressful and it gave us the opportunity to explore and revisit places we haven’t been to for years.

Obviously travel overseas, has now returned, more or less, to what it was pre pandemic, but if like us you are eager to explore the UK more, then these are the 6 best places that we’ve visited recently. Some of them have appeared in previous blog posts here, but I thought this would be a handy post to keep all my recommendations and experiences together to share with you.

1.Southwold

The first trip we took back in June 2020, when lock down measures were being slightly reduced, was to stay at my friend Sally Dennings cottage in Southwold. Sally is a very well known stylist and author of 2 interior books “Relaxed Coastal Style” and “Calm” and so we knew before arriving just how beautiful and thoughtfully designed this cottage would be and we weren’t wrong. Sally has since sold the cottage but it can still be rented through Durrants under the name Millies Cottage. It’s perfectly situated in Southwold, just behind the High Street and within a 5 minute walk of all the restaurants, opubs and the beach.

2.Deal

Later that year in September, we had a week in Deal Kent, which we absolutely loved. It’s a genteel seaside town but with a great selection of shops, bars & restaurants and a lovely coastal walk to Walmer where you can stop for a beachside coffee at Hut55. From Deal you can easily explore the Kent coast. We visited Margate, Folkestone and Dungeness during our weeks stay. If you want to read more about what we did, you can here. We stayed in an Air BNB owned by Emma who runs a lovely shop in the town called Barkened. The cottage was siutuated in the conservation area and a stones throw from the beach. Another fantastic place to stay, if you prefer a hotel, is the recently renovated The Rose which also has a fantastic restaurant and bar which we ate at. Delicious and stylish.

3.Norfolk

We were lucky enough to visit Norfolk twice in 2022. The first visit was in January when we stayed at Spinks Nest Cottage near Holt. I wrote a blog post for 91 Magazine about our stay which you can read here. The second trip was for my birthday weekend in May and we stayed at Settle Norfolk in a converted railway carriage. It was absolutely stunning and so beautifully restored and styled by the owners Jo and John. The site houses 3 carriages and a luxury cabin and a recent addition this year includes a group space for workshops and retreats. The idyllic space includes 3 lakes for outdoor swimming and an honesty shop for all your weekend essentials, plus a beautiful shop stocking all the interior objects that Jo has used to style the cabins, which you can buy and take home for your own space.

4.North Wales

Last year we decided to take our camper van out of her early retirement and spend some money on getting her back to her former glory. We’ve owned her for 20 years and are only the second owners from new, so the interior is immaculate but the body work needed some attention, as we all do in our later years! So back from the garage we decided we needed to book a few trips away in her, nothing too adventurous, just to North Wales which is literally an hour away from Manchester. I still don’t know how I found The Hawarden estate but I’m so glad we did. It’s probably the most magical campsite we’ve ever stayed on and we’ve stayed on many throughout the UK and France. It’s owned by the Gladstone family, Charlie being the great great grandson to the prime minister William Gladstone and general all round amazing entrepenuer. Founder of Pedlars Vintage, anyone remember that? The Good Life Society and The Hawarden estate Farm shop. As of last year, the estate now has it’s own campsite. There are a few pitches for camper vans, but no electric hook up, this site is aimed at getting back to basics but in a really stylish way. You can pitch your own tent in the meadow area or hire a canvas bell tent with a bbq and fire pit on a decking area. There is an outdoor lake which is available several times a week for guided swims with a life guard and once a week you can take a tour of the castle ruins which stand on the estate, walking past the grand pile where the Gladstones reside. This year there is also a bee keepers hut for rent and a cottage. All your amenities are catered for in the farm shop, which has it’s own bakery and butcher and is open until 10.00pm as a licensed restaurant. The estate also own The Glynne Arms gastro pub which is a short walk away in the village of Hawarden. I would tell you more but I’m afraid I’ve already given too much away and it will become too popular. Oh they also have live bands playing for free on a Friday night, whilst you sit around camp fires and let the little ones toast marshmallow, also available at the farm shop. See I told you they’ve thought of everything!

5.St Leonards

St Leonards near Hastings Sussex, was a place that I visited years ago and remembered nothing much about. However, after following Nicola @Oldtownhaus for years on instagram and seeing a beautiful flat she was renovating which would be available short stays, my curiosity and the beautiful design of her flat, got the better of me and we booked to stay for 4 nights in September last year. To say it’s now become one our our favourite places for a short break and that we are hoping to go again this autumn, says it all and if you want to know why then you can read more about our stay here. The flat is at the top of a grand mansion on Warrior Square, directly opposite the sea front, with commanding views from the huge curved window in the lounge. The interior design has been beautifully executed and styled, with every amenity and luxury you could want for a staycation. I’ll let the photos below do the talking for me. Available to book through Old Town Haus.

6.Bath

It’s around 30 years since I last visited Bath and when my friend, who was celebrating her 50th birthday in October last year, asked me to book a place for 4 of us to stay, somewhere within a few hours drive away, as she’s cabin crew and didn’t want to do any more unnecessary travel, it seemed like the perfect time to revisit. I haven’t written a blog post about our stay as it was four women who just spent 2 days and nights, shopping, eating drinking and laughing our way through the weekend. We did go to the costume museum and we did hop on the open top bus tour but that was the total sum of the culture partaken during the weekend. Nothing more to say about our trip really, but I was absolutely blown away by the architecture, which feels just like walking through a film set and there were so many wonderful places to eat and drink and shop and visit, that I know it won’t be another 30 years until I return. We stayed at a lovely Air BNB which I can highly recommend. Lots of amenities if you want to stay in and cook but close to everything if you want to eat out every night you’re there. Again beautifully styled and furnished and really comfortable for 4 adults or a family of 4. Since staying there I’ve also discovered a lovely small boutique hotel in bath, on Pulteney Bridge, Guest House No.15 which is a wonderful area of the city, should that be your preference, and if I go back with Mr B, i’ll most defintely stay here.

I hope these places have given you some ideas about where you might like stay for your next short break in the UK and I’d love to hear back from you with your recommendations.

A Day Trip to Rye East Sussex

So following on from my last blog post, which you can read here, we took a day trip to the Cinque port town of Rye, whilst staying in St Leonards.

It’s only about a 1/2 an hour drive and is a well established town, with a rich history and amazing historical architecture and is bordered by the beautiful beach of Camber Sands. There are lots of lovely shops and places to eat, including a great pub, with rooms to stay, above. The George, has a beautifully designed interior, with a bustling bar and great food.

Photos of The George Booking.com

As you enter Rye, you’ll be directed to one of the car parks near the train station, which is a good place to start your exploration of the town, as it’s situated next to one of the loveliest shops we visited. Soap & Salvation, is housed in a former chapel and stocks an abundant range of vintage and antiques, many sourced from Europe, including bread boards, stools, textiles and some really interesting mid century furniture, studio pottery and a vintage book section, situated on a mezzanine overlooking the ground floor shop. The lovely white interior is offset by the gothic arched chapel windows and it’s all just a wonderful, visual delight.

Pretty much next door to Soap & Salvation, is Merchant & Mills, a must for any sewer or anybody interested in making their own garments. This drapers store stocks a range of natural fabrics from linen to wool and checked and striped cotton textiles, as well as a range of Japanese Shibori fabric and a selection of their own garment patterns. A one stop shop for modern contemporary patterns and textiles.

Another favourite shop that we visited, was Sailors of Rye, which was tucked away at the time of visiting, but has now has a larger presence on the High Street. The stock all has a nod to the outdoors and includes work wear garments, knitted items, simple contemporary homewares and candles and skin care. They guys that run the shop are super friendly too.

This town again, like St Leonards and Hasting up the coast, offers many opportunities for antique shopping. One of the best shops, that I covet every time they post new stock online, is Puckhaber. It’s gallery like space, is sparse but everything they display is stunning and is the shop I would definitely buy from to furnish my home, should my lottery numbers ever come up.

Photo Puckhaber

McCully & Crane, run by two former Londoners, Marcus & Gareth, is an interesting and diverse shop for purchasing a mix of old and new art and objects d’art. The space is very cleverly and stylishly curated.

Rae lifestyle store offers an eclectic collection of vintage and antique homewares, mixed with textiles made from Rae’s own independant makers, together with a range of better known, branded, modern Scandi homewares. This is a shop I regularly buy from when sourcing props for shoots as there is always something just that little bit different.

Photo Rae

If you like to rummage to find your antique treasure, then you’ll enjoy a walk along The Strand to the quay side, where there are a myriad of antique and vintage shops, selling all kinds of household items and clothes. We bought a set of Judge Ware enamel pans from this area around 30 years ago, when we were in our first home and we’re still using them!

A walk along Mermaid Street is almost a requirement when visiting Rye. It’s one of the prettiest streets in any town I’ve visited. The gently sloping cobble stoned hill, is flanked by tudor buildings and period properties and in the summer months, each property is enveloped in flowers. As you turn from Mermaid Street onto west Street, you’ll come across Lamb House, former home of many literary greats, including US novelist Henry James. It’s now a National Trust property which you can pay to visit. As well as the house, which includes the library of Henry James, there is a beautiful well stocked walled garden and kitchen garden. A lovely place to sit with a book for a while if you can resist the pull of the retail experiences Rye has to offer 🙂

Photo National Trust

A Short Stay in St Leonards & Hastings Old Town

Many many years ago, when I was in my 20’s, my best friend relocated to Richmond in Surrey. She had met a boy on holiday in Greece and followed him there. Stick with me on this as this is heading somewhere & is connected to my stay in St Leonards.

Pauls dad (that was the boy) had a carvan in St Leonards and one sunny summer weekend, he loaned it to us. We spent that weekend exploring the area, visiting the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill (once an architect geek, always an architect geek!) We visited the pretty town of Rye, more on that in a later post and we drove to Hastings for the afternoon, but surprisingly we didn’t bother much at all with St Leonards. Too old and genteel, too much faded grandeur, for us bright young things!

Well recently I had been hearing that St Leonards was far from that slow and faded town now and was the new Brighton or Margate in the making, full of smart, cool London migrants, opening bars and restaurants and making St Leonards their home. So last September as the summer was slowly turning to autumn, we decided to spend a few days there to discover it for oursleves.

The perfect apartment for our stay was found on Instagram @oldtownhaus. I’d followed Nicola for ages and loved her style and just as fate would have it, she and her partner, had recently renovated a mansion flat, with sea views and we booked it for 4 nights.

It was the perfect staycation. Large and airy, with lots of period features, very contemporary furnishings and fixtures, a very well equipped kitchen and comfortable beds. With that magnificent sea view, there was understandably no TV, so we could immediately unwind. We cooked, we read, we listened to music and we watched the changing tides and weather from the large bay window in the lounge.

St Leonards, as we had read, is quite the culinary destination for foodies. Home to many great restaurants and old victorian pubs, that have been gentrified, such as The Royal which appears in The Michelin Guide and is run by James Hickson, latterly of Moro London.

A favourite place for us to have a drink and a snack during our stay was The Goat ledge which was right opposite our apartment on Warrior Square. A brightly coloured shack of a building, sitting on the shingle beach, which serves locally caught fish snacks and is a great place to have a sundowner. Open from breakfast until around 9.00pm, this is the place where many of the locals gather to listen to the live music acts which often appear and have a pint whilst watching the sun sink into the ocean, which is exactly what we did.

St Clements has earned itself a Michelin star and although we didn’t eat there, prefering to have a casual relaxing holiday with no plans in place, this restaurant is definitely on the culinary map.

ST CLEMENTS RESTAURANT SHOOT BY GEORGINA COOK, MAY 2021

Farmyard is a completely sustainable restaurant, serving only seasonal and local produce, natural wine and no bottled water. A beautiful fresh and constantly changing menu makes it a favourite of locals and visitors.

Image from farmyard.com

If you’re looking for something more casual and drop in as we were, then Heist Market is fantastic. A Street food bar and cafe with several restaurants under one roof, craft beer and natural wine and a great atmosphere. This was definitely a favourite during our stay.

We always like to ask locals where they eat when we visit anywhere, and several people recommended Three Faces of del Parc to us, which by day is a deli, by night a pop up tapas bar. The food is off menu so you are served what the chefs have made that day. If you’re a fussy eater, maybe this isn’t for you. I’m not, but I am unfortunately coelaic, however, a Facebook dm to the guys that run it, sorted that out for me and it was all fantastic and delicious. It’s not open every evening but if you check their facebook page, the days that they are open will be on there.

If you love vintage and antique shopping, then you’ll love the selection of shops in St Leonards. There are too many to mention individually and most of them don’t have websites to link to anyway, but one of the best vintage clothes shops that I’ve ever been in is here. Sunless Antiques is a fantastic shop run by a lovely couple who moved from London 8 years ago. They make regular monthly trips to France to source beautiful clothes for women and loads of fantastic French work wear for men, as well as the odd antique.

Image from Sunless Antiques

Shop on the corner of Norman Road is a beautiful store with a great mix of vintage and new homewares and clothes, some reloved.

Image @shop

The other great thing about staying in St Leonards is that you are only a 15 minute walk, along the sea front, to Hastings Old Town.

I can’t recommend anywhere to eat in Hastings, as we only went for the day. We walked there and as the weather was wet and windy, we just nipped into a cafe for a quick lunch, some warm lentil soup and some shelter from the rain, but there are some fantastic shops here, many of which I’ve been wanting to visit for some time, after fixating on their beautiful instagram feeds.

One of them is A G Hendy & Co which is literally like stepping back in time. Alistair Hendy the highly creative proprietor, has created a beautiful hardware store, from a time gone by. Situated on two floors, although the upper floor was closed, at the time of our visit, the store is a plethora of new and antique kitchen ware and the type of hardware items you didn’t know you needed until you stepped inside and then can’t possibly leave without. There are no amount of decriptive words I can use here to conjure up the atmosphere, you simply have to go for yourself.

Another must go to destination for antique lovers and general nic nacs and interesting gifts, is Butlers Emporium. The shop, which retains it’s orginal antique frontage, was originally a hardware shop and the shop fittings remain, instantly creating a wonderful visual atmosphere.

Another one of the loveliest shops we have visited, was Warp & Weft. On first entering, it looks like just another lovely small independant clothes boutique, but it’s much more than is at first revealed. As you climb the stairs you enter the atelier, where each garment on display has been hand made and can be recreated for you, made to measure, in a range of fabrics of your choice. It is a wonderful shop, with beautiful linen and wool garments and accessories made from the finest leather. A real treat.

There are also some very good antique and vintage shops in Hastings, again many without websites, so as you walk around you’ll find them, but one of my favourites, with a beautiful curation of garments, was Hawk & Dove. Feminine, gothic and other wordly would best describe the selection.

I loved this part of the country so much. there is much to see and do. St Leonards is still evolving, it’s not completely gentrified, which I’m really glad to say. It’s a little rough around the edges still, but in an interesting way which gives it an edge and character, like all the best places, I think. For my next post, I’ll cover the day we spent in Rye, which is a lovely cinque port town, completely the opposite and very smart, but full of history and lovely for it.

Oh and just in case you were wondering if my friend stayed with the boy, yes she did. They married and have two beautiful girls, one of them my god daughter, and have relocated back to Manchester. She loves Paul but not as much as she loves Manchester 🙂

A Stay in Deal on The Kent Coast

A trip to deal has been on my mind for many years and if anyone watched Liar, the TV drama which was filmed there and seen the sweeping coastline, lined with candy coloured period buildings, then they’ll know why.

The last time I visited deal was when our first child was a year old. we had gone away for a week to stay in a cottage and we weren’t sleeping that well, as anyone who has had a one year old will understand, and so one morning, I left my husband in bed to catch up on his sleep and myself and George drove to the coastal town in search of some breakfast.

We found the perfect cafe, at the end of the pier, frequented solely by fishermen, other than the two of us, who were tucked heartily into a full cooked English breakfast as rain misted up the windows inside and the waves crashed around us. As the skies cleared, with George into his pushchair, we went off exploring the streets. I remember being utterly charmed by the beautiful Georgian architecture and winding streets, as well as the High Street, which was very traditional, lined with hardware shops and grocers, selling fresh and seasonal produce, and I made a mental note to return and spend more time there one day.

That one day took 25 years but, when we finally arrived back in Deal last September, little had changed, other than the Deal Pier Kitchen is now a rather smart restaurant serving, breakfast & lunch and dinner two nights a week and the High Street has now been gentrified and has some lovely and interesting independent stores lining it. It was otherwise just as I remembered it with the Georgian architecture beautifully preserved thanks to the area around Middle Street, off the main road lining the beach, becoming a conservation area in the mid 1960’s. Pretty Georgian houses stretch seawards towards the coastline and are interspersed with little pubs and a fantastic fish and chip shop where queues form on a regular basis to taste the freshly caught and battered catch of the day.

We had chosen to stay at an Air BNB which was in one of the houses in the conservation area. It was perfect for it’s location and amenities and leant itself ideally for early morning swims every day of our stay, so close to the beach. The owner of this delightful Georgian house also has a really lovely independent store on The High Street, Barkened, selling homewares, gifts and a great selection of clothes. One evening we sat with a bottle of wine and some delicious nibbles from one of the towns many delicatessens, and we were still close enough to run back home for an extra layer as the the sun dropped below the pier.

If you prefer to stay in a hotel and have your food prepared for you, I can highly recommend The Rose on The High Street. There has been much press written about the restoration and renovation of this old pub into what is now a beautiful boutique hotel, and the press coverage doesn’t disappoint. Although we didn’t get to view the rooms above, we did eat at their restaurant, which was fantastic, and with just the right buzzy informal atmosphere that you want while on holiday by the coast, but smart enough to feel as though you could be dining in London.

Dining options in Deal are still pretty informal and limited a little to mainly pub food but other than The Rose, there was another fantastic restaurant opposite, Frog & Scot and a very atmospheric wine bar, La Pinardier with a wide selection of excellent wines and options of either a cheese selection or charcuterie board to go with your drinks. There is also often live music. Check the calendar of events before booking.

If you’re preference is for craft beer, then there are also some great options in Deal. The Just reproach bar has a wide selection of beers and gins. These aren’t smart gentrified bars but they are full of atmosphere & people with character. One of them, Smugglers Records, doubles as a vinyl shop, so if you don’t mind sitting with your pint whilst people browse the selection of vinyl, then you might find yourself having some very interesting conversations. We loved them and went along a few times during our stay.

If your idea of shopping heaven is for homewares and bric a brac then you’ll love the range of independent shops in Deal. Most of them are along High Street in the main part of town.

One of my favourites was Will & Yates which is part interior and lifestyle shop and part gallery. Owned by Jane Will an interiors stylist and Caroline Yates an artist, the shop stocks lots of rustic antiques and hand made interior items, natural skincare by Margaret Haeckles with works of art hung around the walls. It’s all beautifully displayed in a double fronted store.

A few doors away is Dunlin & Diver which is stocked with homewares, gifts and accessories and lovely hand made soaps.

Mileage Vintage is an emporium of retro and vintage furniture, lighting and prints and has a tearoom in the back for contemplating potential purchases.

Hoxton Store was once located in London until the owner moved to Deal and moved her business with her. The stock includes bright and colourful patterned homewares and clothes and accessories.

On Saturday mornings there’s a weekly market, which unfortunately we didn’t get to as we didn’t arrive until late afternoon but apparently it’s the place to go for bric a brac, Swedish bakes by Bygga Bo and epicurean cheeses etc.

If you walk out of town towards Walmer, you’ll find yourself at Deal Castle and opposite you’ll find the loveliest shop housed in the old captains stable building, in the grounds of Deal castle gardens. The Green and Found is a magical mix of antiques and vintage, hand made homewares, skin products made in Barcelona especially for the shop which smell divine, candles and plants. It’s all so beautifully curated and the displays are endlessly changing with the seasons and around the style of stock that’s been sourced. It really is a must visit destination if you’re in the area.

If you are feeling peckish after all this shopping walk along the coastal path parallel to the beach, just opposite Deal castle and you’ll find Hut55 which serves fresh coffee and home made cakes which you can eat whilst lounging on one of their red and white striped deckchairs or bean bags on the beach and if the sun is out and you fancy a cycle, they offer a bike hire service too.

Continue along the coastal path to Walmer and you’ll find 60 _Strand, an antique shop run by dealer Lou, which is an Aladdins cave of beautiful decorative antiques, art and furniture.

Further along this coastal path, which is a lovely walk, with the far stretching shingle beach, scattered with Fishermans wooden huts and flanked by stunning Victorian villas, you’ll come to Kingsdown, where you’ll find The Zetland Arms. This lovely pub, is approached down an unmade road lined with pretty cottages and is nestled directly amongst the shingles and pebbles on the beach. The menu serves up the fresh catch catch of the day amongst other fine food or you can find a seat on one of the wooden benches outside and sip a sundowner, whilst looking at the boats sailing across the bay. A beautiful spot to end your day in Deal.

If you prefer to be off the beaten track, then this part of the Kent coast is a perfect spot to stay and there’s a lovely holiday let right on the beach here at Kingsdown. The Victory can be booked through Air bnb & is ideal for getting away from the madding crowd, for beach walks, swimming in the open sea and with a great pub next door. What more could you ask for?

{All words & photography by Karen Barlow except the last 3 images which are from the Victory’s own images on Air BnB & the images of The Rose which are from their own Website}

Why I won’t be Chucking out My Chintz Anytime Soon – Grandmillennial Style and How To Get The Look

They always say if you’ve lived through a trend once, you shouldn’t revisit it and I’ve got to agree with that when it comes to fashion. I won’t be wearing flared jeans and band t-shirts again in this lifetime or a leather mini skirt, but interiors trends are a little more forgiving and nobody is judging as harshly???

If any readers remember the Ikea campaign in 1996 “Chuck out your Chintz” it might be a little hard to believe that the decor du jour is everything 80’s and chintzy. Grandmillennial style, as the trend has been named, has been embraced by many a designer, too young to remember the pattern on pattern interior style of the popular interior designers from the 80’s such as Nina Campbell and Nicky Haslam and are using chintzy wallpaper designs and fabrics, layering pattern on pattern, colour on colour, within their schemes, in their own way.

An interior designed by Sister Parish, the brand which was founded by Mrs Henry Parish, considered to be one of America’a greatest interior designers.
The home of Rita Konig interior designer daughter of Nina Campbell.

House of Hackney were one of the first brands to embrace this new maximalist style of using layers of the same pattern together in one room, but the trend for all things 80’s has evolved even more recently.

House of Hackney Dalston Rose Design fabric and wallpaper.

If you don’t want to use the same pattern on all your walls and upholstery, then another classic style of decorating, is to use the same colour palette but in various patterns, demonstrated in this shot by Colefax & Fowler.

Using a myriad of patterns such as florals, checks, gingham check is huge again btw, stripes and trellis, but all in the same colour is also a tried and tested method of creating maximalist country house style.

Fuchsia fabric and wallpaper Colefax & Fowler

As a former employee of Laura Ashley, it’s a style that I’m really familiar with and actually quite fond of. I prefer to think of it as classic country house style and in my opinion there’s not many cushions that aren’t enhanced by a trim and a room finished off with a large, extravagant display of cottage garden flowers.

One of the simple ways you can bring some 80’s style into your own interior, is by adding a frilled skirt to a piece of furniture, such as a chair or kidney shaped dressing table or around a Belfast sink in the kitchen. A decorative headboard upholstered in a suitably chintzy fabric will also do the trick.

Designer Matilda Goads kitchen
A beautifully upholstered headboard by Charlotte Gaisford

But chintz style fabrics and wallpapers are not the only items resurrected from the 80’s. Over the last few years we’ve seen the return of coloured bathroom suites. Burlington Bathrooms produce a full suite in several colours, including confetti pink and Alaska blue and there are now salvage warehouses that specialise in reclaimed suites in colours such as mint green and primrose yellow. Try nationwide discontinued bathrooms for a large range of discontinued coloured bathroom ranges.

Burlington bathroom’s confetti pink suite

Another material which has seen a renaissance in recent years, with many designs reminiscent of the 80’s, is wicker. Seen in the form of mirrors and light shades, as well as bedroom furniture and dining furniture, this textural accessory is the more subtle way to inject some grandmillennial style into your home without going for the full look.

Matilda Goad Wicker pendant light
Vintage dealer Folie Chambre have a constantly changing selection of wicker and bamboo pieces

If you thought things couldn’t get any more twee, then brace yourself. Needlepoint is the new hobby of many a twenty to thirty year old and framed needle point works and cushions are the accessory any home shouldn’t be without. American brand Lycette Designs are one of the fore runners in this revival with their witty, 21st century examples.

Lycette Designs Needle point cushions

No grandmillennial style interior is complete without the addition of scallops which can be seen everywhere from the edge of rugs, lampshades to table line. Talking of table linen I’m sure it’s not gone unnoticed that table scapeing or setting a formal table as we used to know it, is a huge micro trend in itself, with realms of instagram feeds dedicated to the art of it. One of my favourites is @Fionaleahydesign who is a professional event planner and table scape extraordinaire.

One of the tables capes by Fiona Leahy

If you aren’t ready to chuck out your chintz and want to bring some 80’s style into your home, then I’ve put together a mood board of some of my favourite products with a shopping list below.

  1. Wall Light Shades – Matilda Goad
  2. Lamp by Alice Palmer – Edit58
  3. Fuchsia fabric – Colefax & Fowler
  4. wicker mirror – Dunelm
  5. Scalloped edge coir rug – Tate & Darby
  6. Scalloped edge wool rug – Lesser Spotted
  7. Willow pattern ginger Jar – Cavendish House
  8. Frilled edge Leonora cushion – Host Home
  9. Staffordshire Wally dogs – Trouva
  10. Scalloped edge napkins – Sophie Conran
  11. Gingham upholstered button back chair – Zeba Homes

It’s fun, it’s colourful, it’s sustainable, as there are so many vintage originals you can reuse from the era in your home, and it’s the injection of fun we perhaps need to see again in our interior design schemes.