livingExclusive Inspiration: Old Kent Road

o. 35 – July, 2012

Old Kent Road

With the London Olympics just around the corner, we take a little inspiration from the London that was. We look back to the industrial, wartime 40’s, an important decade that fostered a host of different styles, décors and techniques of design.

This unique style of décor is about contrasting an austere, industrial look - think recycled wood, metal furniture and rough canvas fabrics - with that quintessentially British ‘homely’ feel, think grandma’s fine china, antique cutlery… the familiar and the cosy.

The result is a timeworn yet timeless décor with a deep sense of pride and history. As a style it is incredibly accessible, and its versatile elements allow it to be integrated into a variety of interior spaces. Scroll the gallery for some inspiring tips on incorporating a little ‘Old Kent Road’ into your home, or shop our curated range of homewares inspired by this meaningful era.

written by Camilla Wagstaff

    british-0-industrial-wartime-kitchen-wooden-enamel-china © Heart Home Magazine

    British wartime décor inspires a contrast between the austere and functional and the vintage and homely, creating eclectic spaces brimming with a timeworn elegance.


    In this dining space, mismatched chairs crafted from recycled woods and metals compliment the rough timber floors. The look in finished off with charming accessories and a vase of yellow blossoms.

    british-2-industrial-wartime-workspace © Heart Home Magazine

    This style embraces the vintage and the homemade, as is reflected by this gorgeous sewing nook framed by exposed timber beams.


    You want to avoid matching too many elements in the room – furniture and accessories should look as if they have been collected through generations.

    british-4-industrial-wartime-living-room © Heart Home Magazine

    Don’t be afraid to feature the unexpected, like an old trophy cup filled with English roses or an antique clock propped up against the wall.


    It often comes down to those small finishing touches to truly capture the essence of this style; think brass cutlery, dainty teapots and vintage style milk jugs.

    british-6-industrial-wartime-decorative-shelves © Heart Home Magazine

    Set that raw industrial look against something far more delicate to create fantastic contrasts. A start wall area has been brought to life by this antique shelf painted a wonderful robin’s egg blue.


    In this bathroom, a vintage style sink and tap set become a stunning feature when set against the lightly stripped cream wood panels.

    british-8-industrial-wartime-wallpapered-bathroom-vintage-feel © Heart Home Magazine

    If you’re looking to add just a touch of ‘Old Kent Road’ to your interior space, simply opt for this beautiful shade of British blue in a paint, a printed wallpaper or an accent fabric.

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