There's a new look taking the interiors world by storm: folksy. Step aside cottagecore.
It's a beautiful trend that's perfect for this moment in time. Defined as ‘having the characteristics of traditional culture and customs’ and ‘informal and unpretentious’, a folksy home is one that brings together the decorative arts and crafts of different cultures to create playful, unique and homely spaces.
Here’s why we and so many names in interior design love the look.
See: Interior design trends – top looks for the year ahead
What is folksy style?
At its heart is a deep appreciation for the handmade explains fabric designer Vanessa Arbuthnott. 'Folksy style is a celebration of handcrafted pieces within the home that have a naive charm as well as a celebration of pattern and color.'
Prints, papers, fabrics and furnishings handcrafted in traditional methods take the lead, often resulting in rooms with a riot of color and pattern. To describe the look as a trend is itself a contradiction. Championing traditional folk art traditions, naivety, simplicity and imperfection the look is homely and timeless.
1. Folksy means freedom to mix and match styles
The great thing about the folksy home is that anything goes and you can mix and match different fabrics, wallpapers and styles to your heart's content. Taking inspiration from the traditional interiors and decorative arts from across the world, from Romany caravans to traditional American farmhouses, the folksy look is a celebration of different cultures.
Speaking about the renovation of her vintage shepherds hut (above), interior designer Kit Kemp reveals that, ‘breaking the rules and stretching the imagination with color and pattern is always fun. Mixing styles in surprising ways creates spaces that are memorable and makes them feel alive.’
See: At home with Kit Kemp – be inspired by her inimitable creativity
2. Folksy celebrates handcrafted pieces
Incorporating handcrafted pieces can make your home feel folksy and unique as fabric designer Vanessa Arbuthnott explains.
'In this world of mass production a handcrafted addition to an interior really stands out. These handcrafted pieces also provide a celebration of pattern and color, which in my view are always needed within a home,' she says. 'Beautiful handwoven woollen rugs and blankets give a naïve Shaker-like charm and add warmth as well as being decorative. Simple functional creative objects such as a handmade peg bag, tea cosy, tea towel or even upcycling as old office chair, can add a unique home spun charm to a house.'
3. Folksy spaces are colorful and happy
Taking inspiration from the traditional interiors and decorative arts from across the world, from Indian block-printed fabrics to Moroccan Berber rugs, the folksy look is often vibrant, colourful. Don't be afraid to to team handpainted walls and furniture with traditional woven rugs and handmade patchwork quilts in myriad colours.
See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens
4. Folksy style supports independent artisans
When it comes to creating a folksy look, there are lots of interiors brands, such as Wicklewood, that specialize in scouring the globe for beautiful handcrafted pieces made using traditional techniques to decorate with from hand-thrown ceramics to hand-crafted quilts, our collection is eclectic and yet elegant.
Folk style is not just a look but a way of living and at Wicklewood we champion the handmade,' says Rosie Axford, Founding Partner at Wickelwood. 'We support artisans globally, using age-old and local textile techniques, combined with vibrant color and unique pattern, to create beautiful colorful pieces that transform your home.'
5. Folksy gives your home a personal touch
Decorating in a folksy style is not about creating a coherent look, but combining pieces you love to create a personal space, as Molly Mahon, block printer and fabric designer explains.
'To me, a folksy look is made up of lovely hand crafted pieces imbued with charm and stories... adding elements of this in to an interior can help add meaning and interest to a room.
'Decorate in the moment; if you find something you love, make a place for it.'
Lover of all things vintage, floral and country, Pippa has been working in interiors media for 10 years. A graduate of Art History, and Style Editor for Period Living magazine, she is a nostalgic soul who is passionate about historic architecture and traditional craftsmanship. When she's writing about homes and gardens you'll find her pottering on her gloucestershire allotment, Pippa's Plot, where she grows flowers for styling her own home and interiors shoots.
Kit Kemp reveals the 3 colors that will make you happiest – and a psychologist agrees
These hues will elevate your scheme & promote joy around your home – and they have been approved by science
By Megan Slack •
Color trends 2022 – the 15 latest key colors to use this year
From earthy yellow to dusky pink, these latest color trends will set the tone for the rest of your scheme in 2022
By Jennifer Ebert •
Traditional fireplace ideas – classic looks for hearths and mantelpieces
We've rounded up the must-have traditional fireplace ideas, from elegant cast-iron pieces to choosing the right surround, ahead of the cooler weather
By Holly Reaney •
This art-filled, Georgian home takes its cue from Bloomsbury style – and its garden is pretty as a picture
Julia Pidgeon’s keen eye for design and color, as well as her remarkable gardening skills, have rejuvenated a Georgian home with an intriguing history
By Kathryn Reilly •
Cottage staircase ideas – style inspiration for a warm and homely look
Be inspired by these ideas for cottage staircases – decorating, furnishing and style advice
By Karen Darlow •
Traditional living room ideas – classic decor looks for walls, floors and furniture
Inspiration for creating traditional living rooms with timeless charm, using ideas from archive prints to the sofas that blend comfort with elegance
By Pippa Blenkinsop •
Cottage hallway ideas – style inspiration to create a welcoming space
Be inspired by these ideas for cottage hallways – decorating, furnishing and style advice
By Karen Darlow •
12 cottage ideas for a living room – cottage lounge inspiration
These cottage ideas for a living room, from comfortable seating to color schemes, will inspire you to create the perfect homely, relaxing space
By Pippa Blenkinsop •
Introducing the Period Living bed collection at Wrought Iron & Brass Bed Co
In a new collaboration, Period Living has put its name to a range of beautiful beds by the Wrought Iron & Brass Bed Co – see the designs and find out how to save £250
By Melanie Griffiths •
Chinoiserie is back – and here's why today's designers and interiors experts love it
A fusion of Eastern and Western design, Chinoiserie has been bringing exoticism and luxury to interiors for centuries – here's why it continues to captivate designers today
By Pippa Blenkinsop •