Archive for the ‘Interiors’ Category





I love retro design, especially in interiors. I particularly like it when people pick out elements of what they like and mix them with contemporary pieces (old + new!)

My favourite decade is the 1950’s, although I do like aspects of the 1960’s; the curved edges and the fun, geometric shaped prints. A dear friend of mine (also called Emma) shares my passion for this decade. In fact, probably more so than I! A few days ago, I went to visit her and ended up taking a lot of photos of her house.

I have known Emma for just over ten years and she and her partner Tim, moved into their mid-terraced, stone cottage in Rossendale, nearly three years ago. What was great about the house when they first moved in, was that all the walls were whitewashed, giving them a completely blank canvas to work with. Since moving in, they have gradually added pieces of furniture, artwork and accessories which they have gathered, carefully selecting retro/vintage pieces and placing these alongside pieces in a more contemporary style.

Emma and Tim are both creative people and they teach art. Emma works in the community and Tim is an FE teacher. Together, they both like to buy local art and art from their holidays.

I thought it would be nice to show snippets of their lovely home, because it definitely has a particular style and what is interesting, is how their two different tastes work so well together. Emma loves brighter colours and predominantly the 1960’s. Tim on the other hand has a more ‘natural’ and earthy taste in décor. On the whole, their interiors are colourful, but not too bright, and accented with earthy tones.  These are illustrated most in the wooden furniture – teak, walnut, elm and pine. The mix goes perfectly with the property, which has laminated floorboards upstairs, oak and brick/stone floors downstairs and oak beamed ceilings. When they first started to buy accessories, Emma chose purples, pinks, lime green, turquoise and orange colours.

Both the kitchen and living room are distinctively bright and colourful with a strong influence from the 1960’s. It is the décor in these two rooms, which I am showing off in this article.





Just a few colourful retro pieces on the top shelf. Love the colours and patters against the white background.



Emma and Tim display an array of brightly coloured,retro patterned kitchenware on the three shelves.



Funky microwave and coloured quirky jelly moulds and cheese grater sitting on top (I bought Emma and Tim the hedgehog cheese grater as a Christmas present a couple of years ago).



Bubble clock.



Local art displayed in square white frames.



Living room

Purple sofa

Violet fabric sofa with a variety of patterned and textured cushions.


Glass vases

Emma’s love of glass vases.


Mag rack

Can see the vintage magazine and just about notice the retro print in the thin black frame on the back wall to the left.



Vintage sideboard – large enough to display more retro/vintage pieces.


Green sofa

Vintage 2-seater, green sofa.



Retro graphical coasters.



Emma and Tim’s design and art book collection.


hen pic

1960’s inspired screen print.



Three postcards collated from different holidays.


I was interested to know more about Emma and Tim’s tastes, so I asked Emma a few questions, which I would like to share her answers with you, below:


Me: Describe your fashion and interior tastes?

Emma: Regarding fashion,I am always on the hunt for 1960’s/1970’s clothing and accessories at various antique shops and vintage fairs and occasionally the high street retailers venture into this area of clothing design which is always a welcome move. This passion started when I was 18 with an eye-opening Nostalgic Trip to Afflecks Palace and emerging some hours later with an armful of finds such as a pair of 1960’s bottle green corduroy flares and billowing colourfully embroidered folk tops! Currently I tend to combine authentic pieces with contemporary separates which like ‘mid century modern’ inspired design utilise the same principles of bold colour, clean shapes and psychedelic patterns!

With interiors,Mid Century Modern is my absolute passion, in particular the decades 1950’s – 1970’s plus a sprinkling of the 1930’s! I am completely drawn to the curvilinear shapes of furniture and accessories fused with funky patterns inspired by Mother Nature, Space and beyond! Your eye is encouraged to simultaneously relish and get lost in the patterns of psychedelic cushions, only to re-emerge and travel down a splayed leg of a 1950’s chair before being enticed to trace the chunky rounded handles of a 1960’s sideboard. Although you cannot beat the ‘real thing’, contemporary ‘streamlined’ and ‘organic’ interpretations are equally desirable!

‘Rustic Modern’ as an interior style definitely has it’s place in the 1830’s cottage I inhabit and share with my partner, Tim. We were compelled to honour the history of the house by bringing in more ‘olde worlde’ / ‘industrial’ objects and multicultural antiques dating from the 19th century. So stylistically, there is a fusion of retro/modern/rustic style in the house – distributed in varying degrees, across each room.


Me: Do your fashion and interior tastes cross over?

Emma: Absolutely – as described above!


Me: How did you decide to decorate your home?

Emma: Tim and I equally felt that we would identify what was needed to put our‘own stamp’ on what was basically a white interior with renovated / rustic elements such as wooden and stone/brick floors and exposed beams, mullion windows and stable doors. Tim naturally had an affinity with modern rustic style whereas I was mid-century focused but the marrying of the two has enabled each of us to have input and playfully combine both elements as we have sourced and purchased items as we found them, during our shopping missions to Antiques Shops, Vintage & Retro Fairs and department stores such as John Lewis and House of Fraser.


Me: Where do you mainly shop for your home?

Emma: There is no ‘main’ place but in addition to the above mentioned stores, we have purchased items from Habitat, Ikea, Home Sense, Nolte Mobel, Graham & Greene, Dwell, Ebay, Made, and other online vintage retailers such as Cream &Chrome.


Me: What designers, websites and books do you look at for home inspiration?

Emma: I don’t choose furniture necessarily because it has been produced by a designer as such but we are the proud owners of an Lucian Ercolani Pebble Nest of Coffee Tables made in 1979, some glassware produced by Murano and Mdina from the 1960s/70s, a selection of ceramic vases and containers by West German Pottery Designers, Orla Keily, Villeroy & Boch, Midwinter, Sagaform, Portmeirion ‘Magic City, Royal Doulton, Swinnertons and a 1960s ‘Royal Copenhagen’ Lamp Base amongst others!

The list of websites is as long as my arm but some of my favourites have to be:

Books that are particularly bountiful as a resource are the Taschen Series ‘50s Decorative Art’ ‘60s Decorative Art’ ‘Design of the 20th Century’ and ‘Sixties Design’. There’s also a series of books produced by The Design Museum, the 50…..series including titles such as “Fifty Fashion looks that changed the 1960’s” etc….plus a wide and varied range of Fine / Contemporary Art & Photography Books – the amount is ever inspirational and ever growing!


Me: What is your favourite piece in the house and why?

Emma: It has to be the genuine Teak 1960’s sideboard we purchased at a bargain price from Ebay. We had scoured high and low before we found our little gem – a solid structure on an understated pair of legs with quirky yet chunky circular handles on 2 doors and nose-shaped handles on the drawers, it has a beautiful lustre and is the perfect display area for a prized selection of books and ornaments!


Me: Have you any future improvements for the house?

Emma: Our plan is to slowly replace some of the white expanse with colour and pattern in the form of block painted walls and designer wallpaper. Additionally, we need to source and purchase yet more furniture for various rooms; top of the list are a pair of – matching or not, mid-century Danish armchairs for the Dining Room plus artwork, shelving, carpets and rugs… is a journey that I don’t want to end!



My friend, Emma, relaxing on her vintage 2-seater sofa.











I am still researching ideas for my living room and have recently been browsing some Scandinavian blogs. The ones I have viewed are very modern and show a predilection for black and white interiors.

Even though I love colour, after looking at the Scandinavian blogs, I started to like the black and white palette. The photographs looked fabulous, but would I feel like I am living in an art gallery or hotel? I ask myself, “Could I live with black and white?”

I, more often than not, tend to wear colour. I find that wearing colour makes me feel happy, confident, and expresses my creativity. I suppose it all depends on how I feel on the day, whether I wear monochrome neutrals or colour. I would comment that how you dress, determines what you choose for your house interior. It does for me, anyway.

So colour or black and white?….I have come to the conclusion that I need colour in my life, I need personality! Would you agree or disagree?!


COLOUR IMAGES taken from Pinterest and John Lewis













BLACK & WHITE images taken from DESIGN & FORM