This is a practical, organised look, with ‘thrift’as its watchword, resulting in space-saving furniture, clever storage ideas. Where possible items recycled to squeeze that last ounce of use out of them. If you are alarmed by the ultra-sleek modernity of so much contemporary style, this is a good way to introduce a few second-hand pieces, creating a softer look that has retro charm without being overly ‘antique’.Utility style dates from a time when everything was rationed, not just space. Post-war utility furniture from the 1940s and 1950s in the UK was designed so that it used up the smallest amount of wood and involved the minimum amount of time and effort to make. Hence its small scale, unfussy shape. Everything has a function and nothing was designed purely to look good. And it is this that rescues the style from acquiring too much of a country-cottage prettiness.
Making it work
Don’t let the effect lapse into chintzy or country house. Keep the florals in order with plenty of hard surfaces and practical features. Such as clever storage solutions, fitted cabinets, will have space for where it’s really useful. As long as you don’t clutter up a small kitchen. With bespoke cabinets you will have better organised space, hence you can customize it to your needs. The entire look promotes ‘neatness’ as a way of thinking with the emphasis on tidiness rather than chic.
Style as a way of life
A clever storage solution will be creating fitted cupboards floor to ceiling, open shelves a row of wall pegs holding utensils.Much of it is to do with schoolroom simplicity: wooden bench seating to help you fit more people round the dining table. Old school chairs lined up against a wall to give a sense of no-nonsense practicality.
Remember that the simplest patterns can also be practical space-making solutions. Candy-striped wallpaper will make a low ceiling look higher and white tongue-and-groove paneling – the perfect background for brightly painted junk-shop chairs. Will create neat vertical lines for the same effect.