Blending new & old in interiors: Newstalgia is here to stay

Newstalgia is a thoughtful approach to design that seeks to strike a balance between the charm of bygone eras and the conveniences of modern living. It’s a trend that first blew up in 2022 but almost two years later, remains popular.

Newstalgia insp via Kelsey Leigh Design Co

Kate McGlone, group design manager at Winnings, shares why she thinks newstalgia is still a dominant home aesthetic and how you can incorporate it in your home with ease.

What is Newstalgia?

Newstalgia is a home trend and design movement that merges elements of nostalgia with contemporary aesthetics. It embraces a curated blend of vintage influences, drawing inspiration from past decades such as the mid-20th century, while incorporating modern functionality. 

This trend is characterised by a more subdued palette, incorporating classic patterns and antique furniture into contemporary living spaces. It aims to create a sense of familiarity and comfort by infusing elements from the past into the present, appealing to individuals who appreciate a timeless and sophisticated ambience in their homes. 

Why is it still on everyone’s radar?

I believe we’re in an era where, although there are new inventions and aesthetics popping up, we’re increasingly revisiting the styles and stories of decades past. We’ve seen it at the cinema with reimaginings of Barbie and reinventions of Wonka, but we’re also seeing this sense of nostalgia reverberate throughout our lives.

Newstalgia is enduringly popular because of its timeless appeal and the emotional connection it fosters within contemporary living spaces. Unlike fleeting design fads, Newstalgia taps into a universal yearning for nostalgia, offering a sense of comfort and familiarity in an ever-changing world. 

Its ability to seamlessly blend vintage aesthetics with modern functionality resonates with a wide audience, creating homes that feel both stylish and authentic. The Newstalgia trend also provides a sustainable alternative, as repurposing and incorporating vintage pieces align with eco-conscious design principles. In an era marked by constant innovation, the Newstalgia trend offers a reassuring anchor to the past, creating homes that feel like personal time capsules, making it a lasting and beloved choice for those who seek a harmonious balance between old and new.

What are the top ways to get the look?

If you’re looking for something new that fits the Newstalgia aesthetic, there are a few easy ways to incorporate a sense of nostalgia in your home, from your appliances to your furniture, to textiles and lighting. 

It’s important to remember that you can very easily lean into the trend and be more traditional, however small additions of vintage or vintage-inspired accents are an easy way to blend nostalgic design elements, while still retaining the modernity of your home.

Wooden furniture

Wooden furniture makes for a perfect accompaniment to a Newstalgic home. It will look great in brand new condition but it will also look beautiful and natural when wearing the signs of age. Warm browns are the most timeless tones for wooden furniture and continue to stand the test of time. Portuguese handmade wood furniture brand, De La Espada, is an example of a brand making timeless investment pieces that will move through the generations and provide a sense of nostalgia while still retaining the simplicity of modern design. The beauty of wooden furniture is also its versatility; it effortlessly blends with both vintage and modern elements, making it a perfect fit for a Newstalgic look. 

Retro appliances

An easy way to add a sense of old without changing the entirety of your home is to fuse retro-style appliances like SMEG’s 50s retro range throughout your kitchen. This range has become popular in recent years for its ability to evoke nostalgia, while at the same time being an easy way to add something seemingly ‘old’ or vintage to any style of home. In terms of what colour to opt for, white and black will blend effortlessly into your existing space, while pops of pastels or green will lean more heavily into tradition and feelings of nostalgia.

Lighting Accents

Lighting is a powerful tool to set the mood of a room and is vital in a home that leverages the Newstalgic trend. Going for a natural-fibered light such as Pinch Anders Wall Light, casts a soft, atmospheric flow that adds an element of drama and nostalgia to a space. Lighting can also accentuate the room’s design elements, highlighting textures and colours that hark back to earlier times while maintaining a contemporary look. This blend is evident in fixtures like the CTO Lighting Cloudesley Pendant Light, which combines the grandeur of traditional chandeliers with a modern, softer look, making it a perfect example of nostalgic design reinterpreted for today’s interiors.

Materiality and layering

A final easy way to add the Newstalgic trend to your home is through layering of accessories and creative use of materiality. The interplay of old and new materials, textures and objects creates a rich, layered aesthetic that is both contemporary and evocative of the past. 

The use of natural materials like timber and brass forms a versatile canvas for layering different textiles and accessories. These natural materials have a timeless quality that ties the room together, providing a warm, earthy backdrop that complements both modern and traditional aesthetics. The patina of aged brass, for example, adds character and depth, and will continue to do so over its life.

As group design manager at the Winnings, Kate is responsible for the design of its retail experiences. Kate led the redesign of the new Winnings Flagship Redfern Showroom, Winning Appliances’ Chadstone Showroom and Flagship Richmond Showroom, the latter of which was recognised as a World Retail Award Finalist and was awarded Best Store Design in Australia at Inside Retail’s Retailer Awards. She is responsible for leading the design teams across all brands at Winnings, including Winning Appliances, Spence and Lyda and Rogerseller, and is an expert on all things design, home trends and product.

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