Home looks: old-fashioned charm

Home looks: old-fashioned charm

7 easy ways to adapt your style to stunning effect.

Old vanity case
If you need more shelf space in your bedroom or bathroom, get a pretty, second-hand vanity case and keep it open on a shelf. There’s a handy mirror, little pockets for trinkets, and somewhere to stand lots of bottles of lotions and potions without them tumbling over.

Metal frames
Instead of choosing mirrors and pictures with wood surrounds, go for metal frames – either ornate or at least curved with decorative details. Buy these from a junk shop or, if buying new, choose black or cream painted frames for a retro look.

Potted flowers
You might have lovely big green plants standing around your lounge, but a shapely flowering plant as a table centrepiece on a small white cloth gives a French country cottage touch.

Have you got an old wicker chair buried under a stack of clothes in the bedroom? Bring it into the lounge. Or replace plastic boxes and sorters in your kitchen for wicker baskets to sort your recycling or organise shoes, etc.

Coloured glass
Whether you choose beakers for drinking from or just pick out the odd vase and tumbler in which to place flowers, pencils or other mantelpiece mess, choose glassware in pale greens and blancmange pinks.


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Source white linen bedding with delicate embroidery details, or  create your own little embroidered pieces and celebrate these by putting fabric works behind glass in little frames for your walls, and scattering pretty pillows at the head of your bed.

Cream and blue
In the kitchen, highlight a few Cornish blue-style (blue and creamy striped patterned) pottery pieces by sticking to cream and blue throughout the room. It works really well with wood finishes.

Savvy tip
Keep it mixed. Create the illusion that your home’s décor has come together lovingly over generations – layer contrasting fabrics: light cottons, heavy linens, cosy woollens for chair covers, blankets, cushions, tea cloths. Choose old-fashioned English garden motifs like rose, wisteria and foxglove.

Pass it on
– home comforts
Check out our 5 cosy lounge ideas, too.

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