Design + DIY

Relaxed & Retro: A Note From Our Founder

As February can often be a dull and dreary month, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to feel good during this time of year. Short days and cold weather here on the East coast encourage me to slow down and spend more time at home. A sense of nostalgia emerges, and I’m inspired by treasures, both tangible and intangible, of past decades. 
By Amy Voloshin
February 2022
Relaxed & Retro: A Note From Our Founder
Relaxed & Retro: A Note From Our Founder

Inspiration from Past Decades 

I remember as a child, accompanying my parents on antiquing adventures in small towns, finding quirky treasures everywhere we went. It was these memories that inspired some of the new prints you’ll see this season; Good Dog and our Painted Stripe releases last month. I remember seeing the iconic antique figurines depicting King Charles Spaniel Staffordshire dogs everywhere - these comical canines would sit amongst pottery, beaded flowers and orchids, a warm reminder of our human need to add whimsy and warmth to our homes. The hearth spaniels add a cozy touch during the colder months, and were often placed on 19th-century mantels as a Victorian symbol of status. My hope is that the bright colors bring joy during the greyest of seasons, and allow you to find comfort in the pleasures of previous generations.

Relaxed & Retro: Camel's Courtyard - Avocado
Relaxed & Retro: Camel's Courtyard - Avocado

While I’m not one for trends, I do get very inspired by past decades. Here are a few other things inspiring my relaxed & retro mood this month:

1. I’ve been listening to a lot of 70’s music. I love the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the Velvet Underground.  

2. I love a good trifle. There is something so satisfying about seeing layers of whipped cream, cake, and fruit all stacked in a glass trifle dish. 

3. Cheese balls can actually be fun for entertaining at home in the colder months. The New York Times has a good recipe for elevating it. 

4. As far as retro goes, it doesn’t get better than classic cocktails. I love serving gin fizzes, gimlets, french 75s, dark and stormys, manhattan’s or whiskey sours. They’re all delicious and pretty easy to make!

5. Doing needlepoint is very satisfying, and at the basic level, doesn’t require much skill. As you grow more comfortable with it, there are plenty of complex stitches to learn.  I picked up a canvas at Erica Wilson when I was on Nantucket last summer, and I’ve been working my way through it.

Relaxed & Retro: Painted Stripe
Relaxed & Retro: Painted Stripe

6. The dress designs and eclectic-print-focused garments from Celia Birtwell and Thea Porter. 

7. Antiquing is always one of my favorite activities when I travel and at home. It never ceases to bring huge inspiration to my work (be sure to check out our post on finding great second-hand textiles!) 

8. Mid-century design. I love relaxing in our womb chair. If you’re unfamiliar, check out the interesting history of this iconic mid-century piece designed by Eero Saarinen. I also love the designs of Isamu Noguchi - his coffee table, produced by Herman Miller, is one of my favorite items in our home. 

9. February is embroidery month, and it’s an art form we feature prominently in our Printfresh designs!

10. New York City. Not exactly retro, but is there anything more inspiring than this iconic city and it’s rich fashion and design history? Be sure to check out our newest store launching there on February 12th!

Relaxed & Retro: Good Dog
Relaxed & Retro: Good Dog

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PF MAG is dedicated to thoughtful, not-so-simple living. Founded by Amy Voloshin as a stationery and sleepwear brand, Printfresh has grown into far more than that. Our articles provide discerning perspectives on all things lifestyle, including fashion, wellness, design, travel and home decor, as well as interviews with some of the people who inspire us most.

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