Britain’s Design Renaissance

A recent article on Huffington Post commented that “Interior design is right up there with food, fashion and holidays when it comes to our favourite daydream fodder”. Certainly, Britain has become dramatically more style conscious during recent years, as demonstrated by the proliferation of glossy design magazines and television programmes covering everything from lighting to wallpaper and repro designer furniture.

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This revival isn’t limited to our own shores: the United Kingdom is exporting its home styling expertise to countries all over the globe and creative industries generate an astonishing £71 billion per year according to official statistics. What are the reasons for this boom?

Property is at a premium

Britain has a limited housing supply and property is generally costly in comparison to other countries. Having made an expensive purchase, home owners naturally want to show their acquisition off to its best advantage and are prepared to invest in high quality, attractive installations which will enhance not only the appearance and comfort of their home but also its value.

People are spending more time at home

While Britons love overseas holidays and eating out in great restaurants, we are spending increasing amounts of time at home. We are cooking meals and entertaining friends indoors. Sophisticated technology allows us to entertain ourselves without crossing our own front door. An inevitable consequence of this lifestyle change is that we are demanding more from the decor and furnishings in our houses.

Media attention

There is a huge – and expanding – range of magazines focusing on the home. There are also television shows covering the same sort of territory. These highlight not only the desirability of an attractively presented home but also the need to refresh decorations and furniture. They present endless excellent ideas to help us envisage ways in which we can tweak our home design.

Quality is becoming more affordable

Traditionally, interior design beyond the generic was largely limited to those with greater resources. During the past decade, however, home styling has been democratised and is within the reach of most of us. Companies such as Pash Living, whose website can be found at, create beautiful and practical solutions at remarkably competitive prices.

The great designer, William Morris, famously said, “Have nothing in your home which you don’t think to be beautiful or know to be useful”. This us becoming a realistic aspiration for us all.

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