Designer Desire: Wolf Karnagel

Mosaic of Wolf Karnagel designs | H is for Home

The most well-known designs by Wolf Karnagel (b. 1940) are ones he produced for German companies, Lufthansa and Rosenthal.

In the 1980s, he designed around 120 food service items for the airline. From cutlery, cups & saucers, tea & coffee services, drinking glasses, condiment sachets and napkins to the trays it was all served upon.

Latterly, he has produced award-winning designs for KPM Berlin and Kahla. Functional and tactile, his designs are influenced by Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus movement.

His work is regularly available on Etsy and eBay.

Wolf Karnagelcredit

What’s your era?

'What's your era?' blog post banner

Eclectic sitting roomcredit

Just as it is with music and fashion, there’s no abrupt beginning and end to style in interiors at the start of a new decade. There’s always an overlapping and evolution in design and décor through the decade. The seventies is the perfect example – nature, flowers & flares in the first half of the decade, punk rock and hard-edged technology in the latter years. People don’t just throw out their furniture, pull up the carpets, paint over the wallpaper… it’s a gradual, almost imperceptible, change. Decades drift into one another other. Saying that, we’ve tried to give an essence of what each decade – the 1950s to the present day – looks like. Do you love the groovy 60s… the Scandi-inspired 90s? What’s your era?


Original 1950s sitting roomcredit

The 1950s was an exciting and creative decade with a new wave of optimism after the harsh war years. Designers could express themselves once more after rationing and glut of utilitarian products. The Mid Century Modern look was born with atomic & Sputnik styling drawing on influences from the new scientific discoveries flourishing around this era and mankind’s first ventures into space. The Festival of Britain in 1952 was a major landmark event for interiors – furniture, textiles, wallpaper and lighting all took an exciting new direction. Clean lines, bold shapes, bright colours and exciting new patterns captured the mood. Materials such as teak appeared for mass market products. Striking shades of red, yellow and blue also came to the fore.


original 1960s sitting roomcredit

The 1960s was a decade of flower power, psychedelia, peace and love. There was sexual freedom and explosion of youth culture. It was also a time of protest marches and rebellion at the established order. Space age styling really came to its peak with the space race and moon landings being a great influence. Interior designers were fascinated with the use of new processes and materials to produce exciting new versions of familiar objects – moulded plastic and inflatable chairs being perfect examples. Colour restrictions seemed to completely vanish.


original 1970s sitting roomcredit

The disco decade saw spage age influences fall away and a return to nature & self sufficiency – lots of florals, browns, beige, mossy greens and avocado – who can forget the classic coloured bathroom suites from the era! Flashes of brighter orange & yellow were used to lift these neutral schemes. There was extensive use of wood panelling, shag pile carpets, cork and hessian. Bohemian lifestyle, Biba, op art, pop art, glam rock were major influences in the first half of the decade. Later years saw the influence of punk styling and new technology – digital watches and early computer graphics, for example.


1980s study roomcredit

New wave styling continued into the 1980s. The previous decade had seen economic troubles and hardship – and these certainly continued for manufacturing industry… but the eighties is remembered as a time for new money, the city and consumerism. Home computers and mobile phones began to appear. Interiors were influenced by this rise of new technology and the fashion for power dressing perhaps. Memphis design was very influential – lots of hard edges, strong lines, zig-zags, hatching and bold colours. Stencilling, rag rolling, horizontal decorative wallpaper borders were other notable trends – and black ash furniture was everywhere! Dominant decorating shades were black, grey, pink, pastel & primary colours.


1990s IKEA interiorcredit

IKEA opened its first outlet in the UK in the late 1980s but it was in the 90s that it really began to proliferate. It’s largely responsible for this country’s ongoing love affair with Scandi cool. Its affordable flatpack furniture was a huge success – blond wood, cream & white were all the rage. It was also the era of programmes such as Changing Rooms and Home Front which really got the UK population dedicating time, money and energy to their homes… and really going DIY mad!


Vintage industrial factory conversioncredit

The clean lines and unfussy styling of the late nineties continued into this decade. The industrial styling of warehouse conversions seeped into general home décor. White and pale neutrals were the predominant colour scheme with flashes of bolder colour or pattern on feature walls.


Bedroom with black painted walls and brass accessoriescredit

For what will this decade be remembered? We may be biased, but we think it will be eclectic vintage – a style we love. There’s a mix of eras within one space – contemporary pieces are freely mixed with antiques. There are still strong industrial influences on home, shop and restaurant décor still, but the look has been softened somewhat. There’s a desire to make interiors individual with foraged objects, personalised homewares from indie makers and unique market finds. Dramatic dark greys are the most notable current colour scheme.


Bookmarks: Style your Modern Vintage Home: A guide to buying, restoring and styling from the 1920s to 1990s

"Bookmarks" blog post banner

'Modern Vintage Home' book cover


Today’s Bookmarks review post has a slight twist – and quite exciting to be honest. Well,  it’s not everyday that your own home stares back at you as you turn the pages!

Sarah's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

We’re one of a few houses to be featured in  Style your Modern Vintage Home: A guide to buying, restoring and styling from the 1920s to 1990s.

Our home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

It was written by fellow vintage dealer & blogger, Kate Beavis of Your Vintage Life – and of course we’re very flattered.

Our home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

We’d been looking forward to our copy arriving for weeks and not just because we’re in it. We were also very keen to see how other people style their homes using vintage finds.

Paloma Faith into page in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Kate managed to bag the chic & stylish Paloma Faith to write the intro – and following it is 150 pages of interior eye candy!

mosaic of vintage homewares in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

It’s packed full of wonderfully decorated homes with vintage pieces from the 1930s all the way through to contemporary retro designs.

Annie's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Kate features seven different homes across the UK and interviews each of the owners…

Carla's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

…including little snippets on how we achieved our ‘looks’ (ooooh listen to us!! 🙂 ).

Heather Linnitt's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Another of our online vintage chums, Heather from Eclectic Chair, is one of the others featured. We’ve long admired the bold & individual decor of her home.

Heather Linnitt's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

We shouldn’t really single one house out though, as they all look great.

60s and 70s chapter

The chapters are broken up into decades with a short introduction about the social history of the time.

vintage kitchenware

Then further sub-divided by room covering topics such as ‘cooking utensils’, ‘furniture’, ‘lighting’ and ‘storage’.

50s tableware

The distinctive looks, shapes & materials of each decade are described & classic pieces from the various eras are highlighted.

50s kitchen

 There are also useful styling tips, cleaning & restoration advice and cautionary notes on avoiding pitfalls.

Heather Linnitt's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Some of the houses completely recreate the atmosphere of a certain decade…

Anna's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

…others use vintage pieces from various eras for an eclectic look.

Annie's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Being vintage lovers, it goes without saying that even Kate & Adam’s kids’ rooms are given the treatment!

child's play room with shelves of vintage toys and games

The vintage exterior isn’t ignored either – how to furnish, use and improve gardens and outdoor areas is also covered.

Our garden

At the back of the book you’ll find a directory of places to go to buy vintage homewares in the UK, US and online – and books, magazines and websites to read up on vintage. Great for both old hands or if  you’re just setting out on your vintage journey.

Get Kate’s book on Amazon or Hive