Here in the UK, we’ve always been known for our quirky, eclectic taste. From Vivienne Westwood to Tom Dixon, when it comes to British-made design, our innate inventiveness and creativity always shines through.
Perhaps that’s why we’re famous the world over for creating show-stopping fashion, art or gadgets – a body of beautiful, functional work that showcases our particularly UK-centric sense of style.
Combining centuries of craftsmanship with an individual, often eccentric take on life, the look is one that sets trends rather than follows them, mixing modern and traditional. But despite its popularity in other fields, this eclectic look has been less present in the world of interiors.
Displaced by our passion for other northern European styles – think the ubiquitous popularity of Scandi and Alpine pared-back chic, hotel-style minimalism or Oriental opulence, in recent years British interior style seems to have been on something of a back burner.
But now experts say it’s gaining pace again – driven by our passion for quality home wares and a long history of producing high-quality goods that are made to last.
In an era where we’re moving away from the disposable, the appeal of buying British is clear. And as the cold weather draws in, the draw of Country House chic – cosying up on a huge sofa, surrounded by woollen throws and looking into a blazing fire, has never been so strong.
Earlier this year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced their plans to move into Anmer House, a 10-bedroom stately home on the Queen’s Sandringham estate. A ‘country building with elegance’ it represents the very best of new British rural living.
As Daily Telegraph writer Caroline McGhie says, the quality and volume of craftsmanship available to us and our flair for colour and design is making the revival possible.
As they said: “We easily forget that we have a ready-made brand in the English country house look with its mixture of delicate chintzes and flowery patterns, admired around the world.
“Even during the recession, craftsmen and women have continued to carry on the tradition of making chairs, wool, lampshades and other gorgeous things. The great houses run by English Heritage and the National Trust have kept the heritage flame alive and the specialist skills going.”
And let’s face it; there are certainly plenty of artisan producers to choose from. The UK is home to some of the world’s best and most well-established textile-producers, furniture, wallpaper and paint makers.
Throw in hundreds of years’ expertise creating pottery and an eye for unusual detail and you have the recipe for an enduring look – one that harnesses the very best of past and present Great British design.