Decorating Guides

The New Nostalgia: History With a Kick

Layout is cyclical, but it’s not redundant. We crave nostalgia: It will help root our identity, it reminds us where we all come from and it creates the emotional foundation for our substance histories. However, as far as we adore the past, we are creative beasts who need to impose new ideas into old looks. This careful juxtaposition has generated the “new nostalgia.”

Fashion design tendencies in autumn 2012 are leaning toward pretty florals, wrought iron leather, womanly jewels and metals, and lots of vivid, saturated colours. However, the appearance also includes restraint; too much of anything and it starts to look costume-y instead of sexy. Exactly the identical rule applies to insides — building the narrative of a space maximizes the careful pressure between the then and the now.

Jamie Laubhan-Oliver

Leather and Lucite, concrete and fur, industrial and conventional all come together to replicate this autumn’s fashionable trend of adding pretty elements to industrial and tough spaces.


Mystic Collection Turquoise Rug

Iconic Barcelona seats in white leather and chrome set off this storied patchwork carpet, made of assembled and redyed remnants of Turkish rugs. A basis of the nostalgia, patchwork, has become a massive fad in 2012.

1 2 1 S T U D I O . C O M

Although art deco frequently feels overdone to the point of thematic, this vignette makes it right. The pairing of this vanity with the graphic rug and conventional armchair produces a fantastic three-way that marries the then and now.

Chronicle Books

Would you put your finger on why this hot kitchen gets the rounds on ? The mad mixture of modern cabinets and vintage-inspired wallpaper in this bright and unexpected way gives this space so much character, you can almost hear it sing.

Watch the hottest kitchen photographs on today

CWB Architects

This muted palette gets a dose of glam using a brass-legged upholstered ottoman and geometric mirror. This room feels timeless but totally current, as a result of this exercise in restraint.

Bells of the Ball Bell Jars

Designer Michael Madjus designed these bell jars to the autumn 2012 line from Imm Living. “I’m inspired by classic and Old World,” he says, “but I’m taking a look at a more lavish and fantastical component of that aesthetic.”

Opulence and fantasy play into our collective inability to fantasy. The concept of new nostalgia springs to life in this continuous narrative of what’s happened and what we wish had happened.

See related