Interiors: Your own little palace

A table in a welcoming eating space is lit by a pendant light, fitted with a homemade papier-mache shade. The plastic matting on the floor adds colour and zones the space. Left, a bright floral fabric stands out against the pastel green walls.

A table in a welcoming eating space is lit by a pendant light, fitted with a homemade papier-mache shade. The plastic matting on the floor adds colour and zones the space. Left, a bright floral fabric stands out against the pastel green walls.

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Prince Charles is a firm believer in making do and mending. Gabrielle Fagan finds out how you too can save money, and create a beautiful home through crafting and recycling.

Are you seeking a new style for your home that’s economical, charming and has the royal seal of approval? Look no further than homespun style.

Rooms brimming with home-made pieces and individual touches, from restored flea market finds to one-off treasures, as well as recycled fabrics, rich with colour and pattern, are rapidly finding favour in our cash-strapped times.

Even Prince Charles recently revealed that he’s a member of the ‘make do and mend’ generation and that he’s had his old bathroom curtains turned into cushions.

While he didn’t personally carry out the transformation, our future king insists it is the principle of recycling and re-using household items which would otherwise be thrown away that matters.

“I hate throwing things away. I’m always trying to find ways of re-using things,” he says.

The universal appeal of a homespun interior – for palaces or more modest mansions – doesn’t surprise Joanna Simmons who, with interiors stylist Selina Lake, has put together essential guide Homespun Style.

“This is a look for those who believe that homes should be an expression of our tastes, travels and experiences, and it’s welcoming, warm and unpretentious,” she says.

“Best of all, homespun style throws out the interiors rule book, and allows us to enjoy and experiment with colours, textiles and eye-catching displays.”

She believes its growing popularity is due in part to the current tough economic times.

“If you’ve bought an inexpensive junk store piece and turned it into something lovely with a pot of paint, you may wonder why you ever bought new flat-pack furniture at all,” she says.

Also, she points out, there’s probably something emotional behind our rediscovered love of craft, one of its key ingredients.

“Most of us watched our mothers or grandmothers knitting or sewing when we were little. We may have hand-made sweaters, or snuggled up under a blanket they had crocheted,” she says.

“People cared for their possessions in a time before the disposable throwaway culture we know today.

“It is this respect for our home and its ingredients that we are all reconnecting with now.

“The homespun look relies on home-made touches.

“So if you want to inject personality into your home, there’s no better way than with a piece that you’ve decorated, adapted or even made.

“Whether you’re sticking on a sequin or trimming a curtain, modern craft will make your home unique, bursting with colour, pattern and energy.”

Homespun Style by Selina Lake and Joanna Simmons with photography by Debi Treloar is published by Ryland Peters & Small, priced £19.99. Available now.