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Spiffy Speak

From Piccadilly to your Homes: Packing a Punch of Paisley

It was the summer of 1967; John Lennon had his Rolls-Royce transformed into a hallucinatory gypsy caravan. 

Such was the impact of his psychedelic ‘Phantom V’ limousine that when it hit the roads of London’s posh and prominent Piccadilly, the world, especially the fashion and decor world, was brought to halt. Ornately decorated in an eclectic yellow, bedecked with colorful floral tendrils, zodiac signs on roof, and what not – Lennon’s joyride went on to cruise down the history for being one of a kind; ever was, ever will be.

While it did draw criticisms from the boomers of the times, who went on to call the limo ‘ugly, uncharming and pretentious bit of anti-taste’, not many cared. Because a few minutes of roadshow had given the retro world something to love for generations – The Paisley Pattern.

Initially, many saw the dominant paisley design on Lennon’s Rolls-Royce as some random swirl. It was after pundits took a closer look, the world started associating the retro design with paisley, or even the floral roman scrolls – however you see it! One thing is for sure, the paisley design was revolutionary, and as well evolutionary.

In the context of paisley, those random swirls heavily resonated with a curved feather, a twisted teardrop, or say a large comma; something very similar to the traditional form of paisley art. Lennon’s ride simply drove the design to another level by adding a psychedelic touch to it – a classic case of the traditional art seeing the contemporary. Result? Trip of a lifetime: Vertiginous acid-trip patterns and mind-melting colors give the decor world a sophisticated, arty bohemian theme. Very rightly, one can credit the modern-day resurgence of paisley to the summer of love!

Quite a journey, literally.

John Lennon’s ‘Phantom V’ Rolls Royce. Picture source: Rolls Royce

Paisley print design is even believed to have traveled the silk routes from East to West in the late 18th century. On the way, it got its modern name from the Scottish town of Paisley in Renfrewshire by the 19th century.

However, the story of the paisley pattern goes back much further, and its roots go much deeper. Although paisley’s origin has remained a debate for centuries, historians believe its roots lay in the humanist, life-affirming philosophy and religion of Zoroastrianism in ancient Persia, where it was known as ‘boteh’ or ‘buta’ back in 224 AD. Some beliefs note that the iconic design comes from the Cyprus tree, which the Zoroastrians symbolize with life and eternity. The eternity part perhaps rings true as this ever-beautiful, ever-popular, ever-intricate pattern has been and will always be – here to stay.

And we believe it’s time that you, too, pack a punch of paisley print at your homes; our stylists will show you just how.

  • Paisley patterns can be simple or complex, but regardless, you can’t go wrong with paisley if you want to make a strong impression. Your neutral decor will have a statement piece to flaunt in a set of vibrant paisley curtains,  if you are looking for a bold window treatment. If so, check out Spiffy Spools’ ‘LAquila’ window drapes, where geometry and floral elements come together to create a contemporary paisley pattern; magic all around! You can also make a stunning statement by introducing a vibrant paisley pattern as a bed piece. Picture a luscious paisley-patterned bed runner with different, yet coordinating colors for a bed skirt, sheets, and pillowcases; a guaranteed feast for your eyes! 
  • Our paisley window treatments are also a great fit if you are looking for an element to mix and match with other prominent patterns in your décor. The design pattern trinity of paisley, herringbone and stripes deserves a special mention as a classic favorite amongst our stylists and interior designers around the world. Here check out these charming ‘Chiaro’ roman shades from our paisley collection, featuring a smart Art Deco-inspired pattern in a white and grey color palette, all set and ready to blend with soulmate fabrics like the striped ‘Arrow Wood’ and herringbone-patterned ‘Bouloi’.  
  • ‘Hidden Harbor’ continues to be one of our most popular ‘all-over’ paisley fabrics, but we understand it is not for everyone. If ‘all-over’ paisley patterns are too busy for your aesthetic, consider ‘floating-motif’ led, block print style patterns on neutral backgrounds – such as beige and cream. Like our roman shades in a fabric-like ‘Ariano’, featuring a sophisticated color combination of burgundy, beige and teal on a soothing white backdrop to create an understated elegance. You may also consider throwing some pillows or a throw if you’re looking to incorporate just a little of the exotic paisley motif into your room.
  • Not an instantly intuitive pick, but paisley’s whimsy is a surprisingly elegant fit for a little girl’s bedroom or nursery. The ornate patterns featured in Spiffy Spools’ collection break the myth that paisleys are just suitable for formal or mature spaces. Our paisley curtains or paisley roman shades will instantly lift the spirits of your little one’s room, along with evoking a fresh, bright feeling. Check out Caserta’ – printed in hues of oceanic blues tinged with soft grays and highlighted with touches of emerald green on a white backdrop to remind your little one of summer breeze, blue skies and gentle seas; truly serene, totally soothing!
  • If you’re craving a bit of old-fashioned nostalgia, but feeling a bit commitment-phobic to go as far as curtains and roman shades, consider incorporating paisley into your kitchen or dining room in the form of our custom dining placemats in any of our paisley prints. Or if you want to make a stronger visual show of it, opt for a paisley table runner

The sentimental, nostalgic, and symbolic value of the iconic paisley motifs makes them suitable for literally any place where a symbol of life, intellect and peacefulness is a good fit. When it comes to choosing beauty or meaning, with paisley, you can simply have both. 

It’s just hard not to fall in love with paisley; Lennon did, so had his Rolls-Royce, and so did the world – and – so will you once you introduce it in your homes. As for everyone at Spiffy Spools, we literally believe in paisley prophecy! 

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