Escapism: home decor inspiration or a modern-age coping mechanism?

Photo credit: photography by Rebecca Newman, styling by Ray The Tall One, for Nathan + Jac 2022

In the midst of a global pandemic, with domestic and global tensions at an all time high, the looming prospect of WWIII, and one ‘unprecedented’ catastrophic climate disaster after another, it’s safe to say that perhaps the best place for most of us to escape to is our very own home!

It’s hard to talk about something that seems as superficial as “interior home decor ideas” when there is so much going on in the world right now, so many people fighting for their lives and livelihoods. But hear us out…

While we strongly believe it’s important we take action, to care, to fight for change, help those that need our help, to have a meaningful impact, be inclusive and kind, all while carrying on with the daily grind ourselves.. It’s a lot! The weight of guilt, of not feeling like you’re doing enough, can be a heavy burden to carry when there is so much vying for our attention, every second of the day, on every device we turn to.

It’s equally important right now, to be kind to ourselves. To embrace a sense of escapism; creating space in our lives for retreat, to recoup, self-soothe, to tap out when we need to. As a design trend “escapism” is nothing new, but it's taken on a slightly greater significance as it sweeps through our present interiors landscape with a vengeance.

Creating a sense of harmony and reverie in our immediate surroundings has a profound impact on our wellbeing, on our ability to feel a sense of joy amid the darkness, and our ability to offer impactful help to others in the long run.

Nodding while reading this? Here, we’ll show you how to find that sense of escape within your own home…


Photo credit: 'Flow' collection, photography by Rebecca Newman, styling by Ray The Tall One, for Nathan + Jac 2022

Travel inspired home decor, sans the jet lag and airport security queues

One way to get that well-traveled feeling at home is to delve back into past holiday memories from our pre-pandemic lives. Exhibiting special pieces we’ve collected on past journeys, or places we wish to visit, can re-energise our sense of wanderlust. It acts as a gentle reminder of that personal connection we hold outside of this ‘new normal’ life.

With our latest collection FLOW we really wanted to channel this transportive feeling of quintessential Mediterranean travels. Taking inspiration from the ancient marble ruins of Greece, the sparkling waters of the Aegean Sea, and the terracotta sunsets over Tuscany. We wanted to bring those European holiday home designs right to your doorstep.

In our ZURI collection (coming early April) we’ve escaped the indoors to the exterior! Bringing a wild, punchy dose of bold zebra and deep jungle green inside. We’ve also seen a surge in people restyling their actual outdoors with gardens, patios and balconies bedecked with outdoor cushions and beanbags, layered rugs and potted plants.

Photo credit: 'Zuri' collection, photography by Rebecca Newman, styling by Ray The Tall One, for Nathan + Jac 2022

Going global by mixing modern and vintage home decor

Also described as ‘retro futurism’, we’re seeing a major trend towards splicing nostalgic references (70s inspired interiors, mid-century designs, vintage and upcycling) with futurism (space age, hyper realism and the whimsy) to create a sense of escape. 

This mixing of modern and vintage home decor creates a unique sense of personality and sparks a tonne of joy! Pioneers in this sphere are the likes of long time reigning queen of interiors Kelly Wearstler, maximalist-enthusiast Tik Tok stars Josh & Matt, quirky New Jersey homeowner Planktons Loft, and the run-away success of Curated Spaces (who led the charge in selling vintage on Instagram).

What you’ll notice about this style with enthusiasts is the ever-present notion of ‘impermanence’; regularly rearranging furniture and room orientations to shift energy and breathe new life and inspiration into a space is as much a part of this trend as That Ettore Sottsass Ultrafragola wave mirror! We love this idea of constant change, especially for those channeling holiday home designs.

Our PRISM collection (coming April) speaks to this sense of retro futurism, with a chameleon-like ability to inject a modern pulse to a space whilst simultaneously blending with age-old classics with ease.

Photo credit: 'Prism' collection, photography by Rebecca Newman, styling by Ray The Tall One, for Nathan + Jac 2022

This nook is on airplane mode

The other thing we’ve noticed coming out of this trend is a need to create designated spaces within our homes that provide an escape from modern life. Devoid of technology and any trace of WFH, whether it be our bedroom or a special reading nook, it’s important to have zones that allow you to switch off. 

Photo credit: 'Boucle' collection, photography by Rebecca Newman, styling by Ray The Tall One, for Nathan + Jac 2022

Rounded shapes, soft lighting, potted plants and plush, cozy materials, like our Boucle or Linen cushions, provide a sense of calm and escape that signifies a “no work zone”. We have some incredibly delicious Silk Velvet Throws dropping soon, which will offer super luxe home decor inspiration, perfect for trans-seasonal styling as the months start to cool off.

Because a lot of us are still working from home and/or have kids being home-schooled, we’re seeing unique home designs that maximise otherwise unused spaces; window seats in sunny aspects, work nooks inside spare closets, alfresco ‘happy hour’ spots for that ‘after work escape’.

Photo credit: 'Flow' collection, photography by Rebecca Newman, styling by Ray The Tall One, for Nathan + Jac 2022

Whatever your design M.O. we hope you embrace a sense of escapism in your homes. Give yourself a break. You deserve one. 

Much love,

Team NJ x

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