Heritage Hues

Heritage Hues

2 Oct • Joanna Steel • Interior Design

“Heritage hues” refers to colours & interior schemes associated with British traditional or historical design styles and prints. Driven by Joanna's visit to William Morris's Kelmscott Manor whose home was full of his nature inspired prints and long-established colour palettes. The collection has been inspired by these elements.
The colours often evoke a sense of nostalgia and usually include muted tones like deep reds, earthy greens, rich browns, classic blues, purples and mustard yellows.

British heritage colours are often associated with classic and timeless design elements, reflecting the historical and cultural aspects of the United Kingdom. Some popular British heritage colours include:

  1. British Racing Green: A deep, dark green commonly used in sports cars and associated with British racing traditions.
  2. Oxford Blue: A rich, deep blue often seen in academic and formal settings.
  3. Tudor Red: A warm and earthy red, reminiscent of traditional Tudor architecture.
  4. Royal Navy: A dark, sophisticated navy blue associated with the British Royal Navy.
  5. Regency Cream: A soft, creamy off-white colour seen in Regency-era interiors and architecture.
  6. Scottish Plaid Tartans: Various tartan patterns with rich and bold combinations of colours, representing different Scottish clans and regions. These colours are often used in interior design, fashion, and even branding to evoke a sense of British heritage and tradition.

William Morris's Kelmscott Manor

Kelmscott Manor, located in Oxfordshire, England, was the country home of the famous British textile designer and artist William Morris. It is known for its association with the Arts and Crafts movement and its well-preserved interior, which reflects Morris's distinctive design philosophy and heritage.


L.Ercolani Stack Chair, Ochre

Oasis Wallpaper in Crimson Red


L.Ercolani Butterfly Chair

Coat Paint, The Establishment


Mustard Yellow

Mustard Yellow is often considered a heritage or vintage colour because it harks back to styles and design aesthetics of the past. Here are a few reasons why mustard yellow is associated with heritage:
1. Retro Fashion: Mustard yellow was a popular colour in clothing and fashion during the 1970s, making it a symbol of that era's style. Its warm, earthy tone was frequently seen in clothing, particularly in items like bell-bottom pants and knit sweaters.
2. Mid-Century Modern Design: Mustard yellow was also a prevalent colour in mid-century modern interior design, which was prominent in the mid-20th century. It's often found in furniture upholstery, decor, and even kitchen appliances from that era.
3. Vintage Advertising: Mustard yellow was used in vintage advertising and packaging designs, contributing to its heritage feel. Old advertisements and product labels frequently featured this colour.
4. Nostalgia: For many people, the sight of mustard yellow may evoke feelings of nostalgia for times gone by, whether it's memories of their parents' or grandparents' homes, fashion choices, or even childhood toys. Overall, mustard yellow's heritage association is rooted in its historical use in various aspects of design, fashion, and culture, particularly during the mid-20th century. It's a colour that continues to be used today in both modern and retro-inspired designs, maintaining its connection to the past while remaining relevant in contemporary aesthetics.


L.Ercolani Stack Chairs in Vintage Red and Ochre. Photos by Hook Digi & Location Buckingham Flower Farm

Lowri Night Garden Linen Fabric Lavender 

Olenka Blackberry Wallpaper in Honey

Olenka Blackberry Wallpaper in Honey


Autumn moodboard by The Design Yard

Coat Paints, Trinket


Purple has been associated with various cultural and historical significances, making it a colour with heritage connotations in different contexts. Here are a few examples:

  1. Royal and Noble Heritage: Purple, particularly a deep and rich shade known as "royal purple" or "Tyrian purple," was historically associated with royalty and nobility. In ancient civilisations like Rome, purple dye was expensive and rare, making it a symbol of prestige and power. This heritage association with nobility continues in various cultures.
  2. Religious Symbolism: In some religious traditions, purple is a colour of great significance. In Christianity, it is often associated with Lent and penance. Purple vestments are worn by clergy during this period. Similarly, in Buddhism, purple is considered a sacred colour, representing spirituality and meditation.
  3. Cultural and Historical Significance: Purple has been used in traditional clothing and textiles in different cultures worldwide. For example, it has been used in traditional Korean clothing known as "hanbok" and is often seen in Indian textiles. These cultural associations contribute to its heritage significance.
  4. Suffragette Movement: In the early 20th century, purple, along with white and green, was adopted as one of the colours of the women's suffrage movement, particularly in the United Kingdom. These colours represented loyalty, purity, and hope. So, indeed, purple can be considered a colour with a rich heritage, often symbolising power, spirituality, cultural identity, and historical movements. Its significance may vary depending on the specific cultural or historical context.

shop the look

Heritage Hues Curated Collection

The Design Yard have pulled together a collection of British heritage prints and colours, inspired by the British textile designer William Morris mixed with classic hues that stand the test of time. Shop the look. Included are British textile and furniture designers and makers for a luxury timeless interior.

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