In a normal year — remember those? — if you found yourself getting excited about table linens and throw blankets, it might’ve been a sign you needed to get out more. But this isn’t a normal year, and, like it or not, we’re all nesters now. Our mass domestication has changed the way we shop.
2020 posed an existential crisis for our closets. With nowhere to go and nobody to impress, opportunities for fashion peacocking became sparse. Spare a thought for shoes and handbags in particular, which have had their purpose and their powers temporarily stymied. As a result, many of us have diverted our creative flair — and our dollars — into our homes. Rugs, mugs and vases have become It buys, chairs are Instagram catnip, and tablescaping is an all-out affair.
At MatchesFashion, sales of vases and blankets are up 300% and 280% respectively since last year. Senior Buyer Chelsea Power isn’t surprised, noting that savvy shoppers view their home as a natural extension of their personal style. And you don’t need a psychology degree to work out why joyful pieces are performing particularly well these days. “Customers have been gravitating toward bold colors and uplifting patterns to brighten their environment and their mood,” she says.
Investing in our homes isn’t indulgent; it’s essential. Lighting a Cire Trudon candle, eating off La Double J plates or even artfully arranging a bouquet of flowers is a momentary respite from the daily drudgery. These little luxuries are achievable gestures of optimism, just like putting on lipstick (if you can remember doing that). Put plainly: If you’re going to be stuck somewhere, you might as well enjoy it.
“The interiors fascination has been created by a perfect storm,” explain Colville cofounders Lucinda Chambers and Molly Molloy, whose graphic throws and mats appeal to the same artsy women who don their ready-to-wear apparel. “People are finding meaning in their lives and realizing that their homes represent something fundamental about themselves. They want to experiment and change things up.” Consider it domestic accessorizing.
That experimentation has been accelerated by our universal shift online. One of the ironies of the pandemic is that we’ve invited more people into our abodes than ever before, albeit through a screen. Thanks to video calls and social media, our private spaces are now public. Colleagues see our bedrooms and bookcases, and friends watch as we prepare dinner. Just as an Hermès Birkin bag signifies a sharp eye for style, so too does an Ettore Sottsass mirror or a Pierre Jeanneret chair. Great interiors may actually be more of a brag: Look how impeccable my taste is even behind closed doors! Status symbols haven’t disappeared; they’ve just shape shifted.
Unsurprisingly, fashion designers are tapping into this holistic approach to style and taking steps into the world of home. Victoria Beckham is designing cushions. Roksanda Ilincic sells limited-edition prints on Net-A-Porter. And JW Anderson included hand-knit artisan blankets in its fall/winter 2021 collection.
It’s a logical progression. “For us, fashion is more than just clothes and accessories,” explain Bernadette and Charlotte de Geyter, the mother/daughter duo behind the fashion label Bernadette, whose romantic offerings now include tableware. “It’s how you curate the aesthetics in your life. It’s your personality reflected through everything that surrounds you.”
5 It Home Decor Items
You’ve undoubtedly spotted jewelry designer Anissa Kermiche’s playful ceramics all over Instagram. Her tongue-in-cheek Love Handles vases have reached bona fide cult status.
“There’s an emotional element to a blanket,” says designer Erdem Moralioglu, whose collection now includes floral throws. “What could be more comforting than wrapping yourself up in something?”
“It’s all about design,” note Lucinda Chambers and Molly Molloy. “There seem to be no defined lines anymore, which is wonderful.” This graphic jute mat is an instant pick-me-up.
“We have such an extensive archive of prints, which we are now translating into homewares,” Charlotte de Geyter says, pointing to this cheery espresso cup. “The ceramics are just the start.”