Retronaut-inspired ethnic chic

Here’s a scheme inspired by a great picture from one of my new favourite things, How to be a Retronaut, a cavalcade of visual fabulousness dragged from the archives (I can’t really explain it better than that, have a look though, it’s brilliant if you love social history and totally addictive). Its ‘…in colour’ series is the first thing I click on, and features rare early colour photography of everything from New York in the 1940s to Egypt in the 1920s. Nothing transports you directly into the past than old colour photography and some of the colours and textures are so unexpected; I think my brain thought that everything was actually black and white in history. I can glean more design inspiration here than in any glossy magazine, and this pic of Russian girls, taken from a set shot in 1909-15 seems right for autumnal plummy colours. I love their sombre expressions and stiff deportment (I guess you had to hold pretty still then) especially compared to their exuberant clothes. I was going to cast my shopping net a bit wider here but Zara Home was my first port of call and it pretty much nailed it, so hurray for that.

Clockwise from top left: Flecos blanket, Melia bread plates, Filigree cushion, Cameo tableware, Wayne stool, Rombo jug, Gardenia tray, Velvet cushion, all Zara Home 

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