Nestled on the tip of the Great Dividing Range, Toowoomba is placed far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the capital cities to be peaceful, enmeshed in our own local eco-system. It can seem strange for us to therefore reflect on how we can be impacted by a global event like the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this virus has had unexpected and far-reaching impact within our industry, effecting both our building processes and design.

In Australia, we were a society that seemed to find ourselves doing more, but achieving less. Caught in a cycle of continuous busyness, fuelled by caffeine… and then the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown hit. For many of us, this was an unexpected braking under pressure. We spun sideways into this new life at home with the rubber burning as our wheels still spun, trying to manage the vehicle without flipping, with no idea how to slow this life down! Suddenly, we had time. A LOT of time. Time around the edges of our lives that we had previously filled with sport, social activities, work functions, even commuting – all gone.

As our life pace altered, we began to consider the lives of those who spent far more time at home than us – our grandparents. The shift in design and homewares also began to spread to a slower more content and cosy home. “Granny Chic” was born! From a desire to be spendthrift in uncertain economic times, coupled with a need to be more eco-friendly by reusing and repurposing items from op-shops and thrift stores, this design style offers a nostalgic nod to a slower pace. Granny Chic represents a return to yesteryear, a longing for vintage cosy that reminds us of Sunday dinners at Nan’s place. We have begun to see shifts in design and homewares to the style of yesteryear, including bed linen in busy floral fabrics, bone handled crockery, gilt framed mirrors and fresh table linen and napery.

Designers are encouraging us to embrace the heart of this style, being the appreciation of the artisanal quality of a hand-made, unique item. Granny Chic aims to value the wisdom and skill that comes with time spent on something of quality, rather than mass-produced. Perhaps an op-shop visit is on the cards for you this weekend?!

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