When did we first start our love affair with pattern? Thousands of years ago, certainly – the Ancient Egyptians lavished patterns on their furnishings in gold and precious stones, but they were far from the first.

Our last real passion for pattern gripped us in the seventies when geometrics were all the rage, taking tips from the stylish days of Art Deco.

Then pattern hit a bit of a slow patch – but we were never going to abandon it for long, and now it’s back stronger than ever.

Much of that is thanks to the efforts of some remarkable designers who have revolutionised our ideas about filling our lives with loveliness.

One of the most famous is Emma Bridgewater, the British artist whose charming patterns started off on ceramics and have now spread out into many other areas.

For instance, Emma has brought out a new range of delightful bedding carrying her keynote polka dot pattern – we love her bolster cushion, which teams spots on the front and Emma’s colourful stripes on the back.

We’re also mad on Emma’s beautiful birds range of bedding, which is patterned with swooping swallows and striped in blue on the back.

Patterned bedding and cushions look great with plain walls that pick out one of the colours in the pattern. You can also get away with mixing patterns, as long as the colours in them co-ordinate – for instance, stripes sit well with checks and even stars if the palette matches.

And if you want further accessories to make it even harder to get up in the morning, chuck on our Rainbow throw in cuddly Merino lambswool.  Sourced by our experienced new home accessories buying manager, Caroline Hodgson, it’s British designed and made and is so snuggly we can’t wait for winter to come!

Patterned walls can also make a real feature in your room, but it can be advisable to keep them to one eye-catching area, such as a chimney breast or the wall where your bed head rests.

Again, pick out a colour or two from the pattern for the rest of the room, including the accessories – and don’t be afraid to mix and match your accessories (if everything has the same pattern, you risk getting a bit of an eighties vibe in your décor).

Patterned accessories are a great way to freshen up your room without too much expense or disruption. For instance, our star quilted cushion comes in navy or red and a couple would add a new focal point to your existing sofa.

If you have more to play with check out the Simply Chic Jessica/Harrogate chair, softly upholstered in loose fabric with buttery stripes and guaranteed to add an extra element of comfort to your room.

We’re also very impressed with the Duresta Manolo sofa, which makes a statement with its beautiful, curvy classic English shape, and also with its scrumptious truffle-coloured patterning – see how well its apparently traditional shapes go with striped and plain cushions.

So go on – dare to have a play with pattern. We can’t all be Emma Bridgewater, but we can have some real fun by pinching some tips from her.

All of the products are from Barker and Stonehouse (www.barkerandstonehouse.co.uk). You can follow us at www.facebook.com/barkerandstonehouse.