A tonic for the nation

Reading the weekend guardian supplement  today I came across a page full of 1950’s graphic print designs. Ahhhh

It was a blast from the past in more ways than one. I first fell  in love with this style a few years ago when I was a Textile Design student in Falmouth.

The Festival of Britain kickstarted this modernist style and was an attempt to give people a sense of hope and progress after the devastation of the war, Herbert Morrison described it as “A tonic for the nation”. In these tough economic times we are perhaps hankering after another tonic, we are getting more creative with our interior design, staying in and nesting is the new going out and we have a fresh love of nostalgia and quirkyness.

From this era I particularly love Lucienne Day, whose designs were beautifully modern and abstract whilst also managing to channel the fluidity of nature by combining  irregular spindly lines and bold organic shapes, her use of colour also combines the earthy tones of nature and the acid brights of modernism.

My personal favorites are:






 Pictures from the V&A


 If you want to inject some sharp 1950’s design into your home here are some ideas;

Sanderson’s have launched a collection of wallpaper designs inspired by the 1950’s.

Sanderson's 50's collection


Habitat has some lovely modernist inspired pieces;

Naoko chair

Felti footstool

Ida table


Liberty always has beautiful vintage designs, I love these things;

Liberty Building Tapestry Kit

Plum Dog C, Tana Lawn

You can’t beat the real thing though, these websites stock original vintage fabrics and homewears;





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