They say your school days are the best days of your life, but you’d be forgiven for not seeing your former school as a style inspiration.

We tend to remember our schools as being far more functional than beautiful – after all hazy memories of plastic chairs; faded curtains and wipe clean floors do not scream ‘interior chic’.

However, there is an undeniable charm to the old fashioned school room and as the wave of nostalgia continues it has created a new trend for ‘old school’ style’. Think 1950s, with rustic wooden furniture, glass milk bottles and a palette of navy, cranberry and bottle green. 

Ideal Home dedicated a seven page spread to school chic, featuring simple wooden furniture, primary colours, cloakroom pegs and blackboards.

A blackboard is a fantastic edition to any home – have one in your hallway to keep track of diary dates and appointments and one in the kitchen for shopping lists and memos. You can even make your own blackboards in different shapes using blackboard paint.

Simple wooden furniture, such as the Kimberley wooden chairs strike the right note while the Ercol Originals barstools add a splash of colour to a kitchen work top.

It’s all about making elements of the school room work within your home.

A meter stick stuck vertically to the wall is a fun way for children to chart their growth but would also make a great quirky dado rail; and there is an undeniable practicality to having cloakroom pegs in a hallway or utility room, particularly if you have children. Barker and Stonehouse has the Geneva three hook hanger which can be installed at a height low enough for your children to reach, a second set place higher will keep adult coats, umbrellas and bags out of the way.


Inspirational messages and quotations are another trend which work well with the old school theme, and the Olympic Creed Letterpress from Barker and Stonehouse kills two birds with one stone, imploring the reader to realise that it’s the taking part, not the winning which is most important, not only at the Olympics but also in day-to-day life.

Arts and crafts were another big part of the school day, particularly in our formative years, and the freedom to be creative can be very liberating. The Yeovil console table works equally well as a display table, against a wall to provide a focal point, or as an extra workspace such as a craft table, where you can created sophisticated craftwork, or make PVA macaroni pictures to your heart’s content! 

Taking home clay pots that you had created with your own fair hands (usually for Mother’s Day or some other auspicious occasion) and fired up in the school kiln was always a memorable highlight of the school term. And while we don’t suggest you install a kiln in your home, unless you really want to of course, you can display an eclectic mixture of decorative objects and ceramics on Barker and Stonehouse’s Tegan kiln rack.

So do your homework and swot up on your style tips to be sure you’re head of the class this summer.

All of the products are from Barker and Stonehouse ( and you can follow us at