The iconic Indian-heritage paisley pattern is swirling, twirling and curling its way back into our homes, bringing with it its rich history and taking on a fresh new twist.
The distinctive swirling paisley pattern, often interoperated as outdated or overtly hippy-ish, has this season found new style currency and is making a comeback. With a long and varied history, the pattern originated from Persia in India, although the name is actually associated with Paisley – the town in Scotland. It was here wool or cashmere shawls were manufactured as the popularity for the pattern grew in Europe during the 17th Century. The pattern then saw a big resurgence in the 1960’s, as it was adopted by the hippy culture, probably as the pattern reflected the psychedelic tendencies of the time!
But don’t just take my word for it – it was Valentino at Paris Fashion Week, and Etro at Milan Fashion week that showed us paisley has made a much-welcomed return, this time associated with a romantic 70’s bohemian trend. At the Valentino Spring Summer 2015 show there was an explosion of graphic psychedelic floral and paisley motifs on floating full-length dresses, as well as scarves.
So how do you introduce this intricate pattern of curved feather shapes into your own home? Well, it’s actually a lot simpler than you may think! The pattern can be used as a classical inspired style or as a modern take with subtle contemporary shades, creating a fresh new twist on a classic design. Thanks to the fluid, curling and swirling organic forms, paisley can be used in a wide variety of spaces in your home, and will work equally well in both large and small rooms.
To give you some inspiration however, here are my picks of the high street. For a subtle take on this trend, Marks and Spencer offer a minimalist paisley patterned bedspread in white and pale pink. Or take this a step further with their slightly bolder, and more traditional paisley adorned cushion, and matching fleece throw in neutral shades. Then for the braver few, Marks and Spencer also offer a vibrant bohemian paisley printed tea towel, complete with yellow tassels for a nod to the Indian heritage.
Alternatively for a more permanent investment into the paisley trend, Laura Ashley has a couple of stunning contemporary designed paisley prints for curtains, blinds and wallpapers in a soft dove grey, and a luxurious gold. And if it’s wallpaper that takes your fancy, also check out Farrow & Ball’s new paisley printed wallpaper in deep ocean blues.
Finally another option to make a statement with paisley is to have a paisley printed sofa or armchair. Recent years have seen a growing trend to having fabric-covered sofas again, a welcome change to the leather-covered sofas that have seen high demand for the past couple of decades. Try John Lewis who have a vast range of sofa and armchair styles, as well as fabrics. Otherwise if you adore this pattern a good place to shop is Liberty London. They have an extensive library of paisley prints with twenty-six designs in a wide selection of colours.
So there you have it, give your home an instant update with a touch of paisley, to create an elegant statement reflective of the 17th Century cashmere shawls, and the true vintage paisleys based on the beautiful, curling jewel-embellished floral motifs of its Eastern origin.
Main Image: Laura Ashley