DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE
HOW THE QUEEN'S REIGN
SAW INTERIOR DESIGN CHANGE
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain has lost its iconic and much loved figurehead: a symbol of certainty through changing times. The Queen's reign covered a remarkable eight decades, starting in the post-war period. Much changed in the world during that time - particularly the way people lived and their expectations of their homes. In the hundred years before the Second World War, interior design style tended to change slowly, especially for the wider population without wealth. But growing middle classes and increasingly general wealth meant that every decade of the Queen's reign had a distinctive interior design style.
We'll explore the interior design style from each of the eight decades of the Queen's reign - and give you tips on how to recreate it using wallpaper from the Feathr collections.
Image credits (L): Unsplash/Annie Spratt (R) Shutterstock/Jafara
In the 1950s, interior design was all about creating a comfortable and stylish home. Money was still tight after the second world war, but designers were starting to introduce modern design products affordable to the general population. The most popular styles were traditional and neoclassical, with an emphasis on symmetry and order. Furniture was often heavy and ornate, and fabrics tended to be plush and luxurious. Wallpaper was a must have in almost all homes - you can recreate the 1950s look using the charming Beauty floral wallpaper.
The Queen in the 1950s: her Coronation takes place on the
2nd June 1953
Beauty wallpaper in Cream
Image credits (R): Shutterstock/Khorzhevska (L) Shutterstock/Jafara
The 1960s saw a shift towards more modern styles, driven both by style and material: plastics became an acceptable material to use for high-end design furniture resulting in many iconic designs such as the classic Eames chair. Furniture became lighter and more streamlined, and colors were bolder and brighter. Patterns were also popular, often in geometric shapes. Wallpaper remained a popular choice in many homes, a style you can recreate with a design like the Crystal Trompe L'Oeil wallpaper, shown here in its Pistachio colourway.
The Queen in the 1960s: anoints her son Charles as Prince of Wales
Crystal Trompe L'Oeil wallpaper
Image credits (L): Shutterstock/elRoce (R) Shutterstock/Alex Roz
The 1970s was a decade of change, both in interior design and in the world at large. The hippie movement influenced many aspects of life, including fashion and home decor. The popularity of earth tones and natural materials led to a more organic style of design. Big, bold patterns became popular in the 1970s, with warm orange and brown palettes often dominating interior design schemes. You can recreate the look with this geometric wallpaper by Atelier Bingo, called Supreme Bungalow.
The Queen in the 1970s: opens the Royal Opera House in Sydney, Australia
Supreme Bungalow wallpaper
Image credits (R): Shutterstock/Dariusz Jarzabek (L) Shutterstock/Berg Dmitry
The 1980s was a decade of excess, and that was reflected in the trends of the time. Interior design became more glamorous, with shiny surfaces and lots of glittery details. Furniture was often oversized and overstuffed, and colors were bright and primary. Black and white colour palettes were often used alongside metallic finishes, and bright dashes of paint recalled the trend for graffiti and the style of popular artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat. Recreate the 1980s look with this funky wallpaper by artist Tim Muddiman.
The Queen in the 1980s: becomes the first British monarch to travel to the Vatican
Another Level wallpaper in Ocean.
Image credits (L): Shutterstock/Dariusz Jarzabek (R) Shutterstock/Alex Roz
The 1990s was a decade of simplicity, in contrast to the excesses of the previous decade. Minimalism became popular, and furniture was often made of natural materials like wood and stone. Colors were subdued, and there was an emphasis on clean lines and uncluttered spaces. This was the decade of taupe and white - people reveled in its freshness which signaled a change from the pattern heavy styles of the previous decades. The minimalist white room was the classic look of the 1990s and wallpaper fell out of fashion: but you can recreate the 1990s look with this subtle white wallpaper featuring birds on a wire.
The Queen in the 1990s: opens Buckingham Palace to the public for the first time
Cloudy Day Wallpaper in White.
Image credits (R): Shutterstock/L_Interiros
(L) Stocksy/Aleksandar Novoselski
The 2000s saw a boom in the redevelopment of old industrial areas of major cities - and along with that came a demand for industrial style interiors and loft living. The raw, unfinished look of exposed brick and concrete became popular, as did metal details and vintage furniture. Urban industrial areas such as London's Shoreditch and New York's Meatpacking District - which had long been considered poor places to live - suddenly became vibrant create hubs. Capture some of that Noughties spirit with the industrial loft look of this retro distressed wall mural.
The Queen in the 2000s: celebrates 60 years of marriage to Prince Philip
Americana wall mural
Image credits (L): Shutterstock/L_Interiros
The 2010s were a decade of experimentation in interior design. Many different styles have become popular, including vintage, industrial, and bohemian. Furniture is often mix-and-match, and colors are bold and unique. In the post-2008 financial crisis era, austerity affected many countries and style categories: people became willing to mix thrift store and high-end design items, creating funky personal design schemes. Patterns made a big comeback after the minimalism of the 1990s and 2000s: this fun design style can be recreated using the Flamingo Conga wallpaper.
The Queen in the 2010s: meets James Bond to open the London 2012 Olympics
Flamingo Conga wallpaper in Pink
Image credits: Shutterstock/FollowTheFlow
The 2020s are still in their early days, but we are already seeing some trends emerge. There is a growing interest in vintage and antique furniture, with interior design schemes often featuring rich textured velvet fabrics and quirky accessories. People are experimenting with darker colour schemes than previous decades, creating luxurious, comfortable and relaxing spaces. Metallics have also been back in a big way, with gold and bronze detailing featuring in many interior design schemes. The resurgence of patterns continues, with tropical themes being among the most popular wallpaper styles. You can get this look with the Birds Birds wallpaper.
The Queen in the 2020s: celebrates 70 years of service with the Platinum Jubilee
Featured design: Birds Birds wallpaper in Deep Green
Thanks for reading this dive into eight decades of interior style from the Queen's reign! We hope this has given you some inspiration on how to recreate the different interior design styles from her reign, along with great memories of this towering figure of British history.
Nordic interiors start-up Feathr is The Home of Artisan Wallpaper. Feathr provides a marketplace for artists to monetise their artworks as wallpapers, wall murals and fabrics, with a growing collection of 1,300 artworks ready to use. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland since 2015, Feathr has been a constant innovator in the interiors sector: pioneering digital printing, just-in-time production, artificial intelligence services and metaverse experiences. Feathr wallpapers and fabrics are sold worldwide and printed on demand in France, the UK and the Netherlands.