This nostalgic wallpaper trend is set to be big news in our homes this Spring

Dress the walls with these fabulous new prints
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  • Call it chintz, ‘newstalgia’ or a bit like Nan’s front room, but many new wallpaper launches this year are a result of delving into the archives, sparking a heritage wallpaper microtrend.

    Related: Wallpaper trends 2021 – the designs setting the scene for the year ahead

    So why are we loving these heritage wallpaper designs? It’s a classic case of reaching for the familiar in a time of uncertainty. The traditional florals, classic scrolling repeats and Arts & Crafts inspired designs are bringing a comforting sense of familiarity and warmth to modern spaces. 

    Add to that a year of staring at the same four walls and sales of these patterns are soaring as we all look for interesting bedroom or kitchen wallpaper ideas to liven up our spaces.

    Heritage-wallpaper-Sanderson

    Buy now: Hollyhocks wallpaper, £105 per roll, Sanderson Exclusive Wallpapers Collection at Wallpaperdirect

    Heritage Wallpaper Microtrend

    So what’s brought on this yearning for nostalgic, romantic designs? According to Anna Ross Brand Curator at Notonthehighstreet, they are seeing consumers connecting to heritage-inspired design, with archival prints and rich materials bringing a touch of magic to the everyday.

    ‘This trend is reminiscent of times gone by. It celebrates traditional craftsmanship with vintage-inspired touches.’ 

    It’s not just on the walls either, ‘There are plenty of artisanal pieces and heaps of original design features, such as extravagant frills and fringing, fluted glassware and scallop detailing’, says Anna Ross.

    Heritage wallpapers_William-Morris-Lampshade notonthehighstreet

    Buy now: William Morris Fringe Lampshade, £245, Notonthehighstreet

    Here are a few of the brands digging into their back catalogue of prints to fuel our fascination with this nostalgic trend.

    Through the decades at Graham & Brown

    For their 75th anniversary, Graham & Brown have re-released their favourite archive wallpapers that sum up these decades to a tee. From classic Parsonage Bloom of the forties to the fabulous Flower Power of the sixties, retro lovers can paste the wall with a real piece of design history.

    Heritagewallpapers5

    Buy now: 1940s, Parsonage Bloom, £65 per roll, Graham & Brown 

    Pairing the vintage roses with bold block-colour brings a fresh twist to the design, and is a brilliant living room wallpaper idea

    Heritage Revival at John Lewis & Partners

    This season, John Lewis has developed a series of wallpaper designs that have taken inspiration from the 1800s and early 1900s.

    ‘Each design has been redrawn and painted to create new colourways to reimagine them for the present. For SS21 we have focused on greens, from soft dusty shades through to a richer myrtle green. We’ve also added metallic highlights into some of the designs for a more luxe finish,’ says Naomi Barber, Partner & Designer, Home Design Studio at John Lewis & Partners.

    ‘Familiar colours and prints are growing in importance as they draw on the appeal of nostalgia and a return to the comforting things we know’, adds Melanie ArcherPartner & Designer, Home Design Studio at John Lewis & Partners.

    Heritage-wallpapers-John-Lewis

    Buy now: Henriette wallpaper, £40 per roll, John Lewis & Partners

    Naomi advises taking a bold approach, rather than just wallpapering a chimney breast, go for wall to wall coverage. Pick out the vibrant coral shade for woodwork to add a maximalist flair to the space too.  

    Sanderson Exclusive Wallpapers at Wallpaperdirect

    To celebrate 160 years Sanderson have teamed up with Wallpaperdirect. The collection features 12 iconic designs, many of which originally fabrics, have all been given new colour treatments for modern homes. 

    Heritage wallpapers Sanderson_Brewers

    Buy now: Chelsea wallpaper, £79 per roll, Sanderson Exclusive Wallpapers at Wallpaperdirect 

    As this Sanderson design classic from 1957 proves, you don’t need to be a slave to the design era. To make such a bold floral work in modern homes, remix those signature design features across the decades. These fifties florals bring flamboyance to pieces like the fluted Deco chair, seventies-inspired sideboard and contemporary, streamlined lamp. 

    Pearl Lowe at Woodchip & Magnolia

    If you want to see an expert in the art of pattern clashing, then take a look at Pearl Lowe’s interiors. She’s not afraid of using prints to dress the room along with her curated collection of antique gems. She has injected her feminine flair with a rock and roll edge and passion for vintage into a new collection with Woodchip & Magnolia.

    Heritage wallpapers Pearl Lowe

    Buy now: Cameo wallpaper, £120 per roll, Woodchip & Magnolia

    ‘For this collection, I drew from the grand regal influences of the Victorian period but viewed through the lens of 21st Century vintage style. I love how a design inspired by a long-gone era can be told for the contemporary world, ‘ says Pearl. 

    Amongst the collection is Cameo, ‘I love the level of detail that went into carving Victorian cameo jewellery. I wanted to deign something equally as beautiful and classic’. 

    The unexpected pairing with natural shades and rattan means the room still feels fresh and light, with the wallpaper bringing plenty of unique character to the space.

    Related: Bedroom wallpaper ideas – that are guaranteed to make your sleep space gorgeous

    Will you be trying this wallpaper trend in your home?

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