Wiggle It: Scallops, Frills and Ruffles In Interior Accessories

Well hello! It’s somehow the end of February 2022 and this is my first blog of the year. Happy New Year! (Is it too late? It’s too late. The moment has passed). I didn’t intend to take a blogging break, but the festive season was a bit knackering all round, and sometimes you just need to hibernate, returning to society when you have a little more vim and vigour about you. And here I am, recharged and ready to go! This week, I’m looking at the current trend for all things scallop-edged and frilled in interior accessories.

I’m not here to declare that this is the latest hot new thing to take the design world by storm. This is a trend which has been around for ages now. What I am saying is that its a detail which appears to be going nowhere, and it’s one I’m particularly fond of. While I was researching lovely, frilly things to show you on this blog, I came across an article on House & Garden online, which quoted one of their “rising stars” as saying:

“I would have considered scalloped edges quite unusual, but all of a sudden they’re everywhere, on lampshades, on cushions, on furniture – so in my opinion they’ve tipped over the edge and become a cliché”

Oh no! Shall I abandon this blog immediately, lest I be considered a terrible cliché? Shall I hang my head in shame for being so awfully banal? No. I shan’t. I mean, I see where these sort of viewpoints come from. I don’t want my house to look like everybody else’s house. But these things only really matter if you make your whole living by analysing the interiors zeitgeist. For the average person who simply likes nice things in their home, the only question which needs to be asked is, “Do I like scalloped edges?”. If no, my emphatic advice is not to buy any items with scalloped edges. If yes, this is excellent news, as their current popularity means there are loads of lovely accessories out there to get excited about. Let’s ride that scalloped wave!

Historical Frill-Seekers

Scallops, frills and ruffles have ebbed and flowed in popularity over the years. Scallops were big news in the Art Deco period, for example, and ruffles and frills were loved by the Victorians, and then had a huge revival in the decade that taste forgot, the 1980s. If you weren’t relaxing under your swags and pelmets whilst backcombing your perm into oblivion in the ’80s, you might as well not have been there.

L-R clockwise: Art Deco scallops, Victorian swag and intense 80s froufrou.

Those flashbacks to your childhood Laura Ashley bedroom are, however, a key lesson in how to incorporate the trend this time around. In moderation. We don’t want a ruffle on every edge. We don’t want frill overload. We aren’t going full Barbara Cartland. Frou-frou, no. Just a cheeky ruffle here and a scalloped edge there. Subtlety is the order of the day. As the classic* 1990 song by 2 In A Room advises – wiggle it, just a little bit.

*a subjective term.

I mean, this is majestic. This is the life I feel I should have been born into. Feet up, fancy frock, lapdog and a statement lip.

The Matilda Goad Effect

Matilda Goad brought her scalloped edge lampshade (below, left) to the interiors market back in 2016, and I think it’s fair to say that it has become a design classic in its own right, while also setting the wheels in motion for the current explosion of wavy edges we’re seeing on everything. I’ve always been drawn to “pretty”, whether in clothing or interiors, so scallops and frills are right up my street. I think they add a playful edge to an interior. A little bit of fun. And I think we all need that, at the moment.

I’d also like to pay particular tribute to Matilda Goad’s scalloped splashback in her own home (below, right). The prettiness of the scalloped shape against the simple plaster wall and Shaker cupboards is subtle and delicious.

36 Ruffletastic Buys

To quote the song that’s inexplicably popular on Instagram Reels… can we skip to the good part (aah-aaah-aaah-aaah)? Shopping! You can buy into the ruffly/frilly/wavy/scallopy trend in any number of ways – bedding, lighting, tableware, trays, vases, you name it, it can be made wiggly.

I’ve chosen my top 36 (always a slave to those grids of 9….) buys, below. I also want to draw your attention to this scallop trim on Amazon – this would be fabulous along the edge of a shelf, or the top of a console table. Quite a simple little addition that could transform a boring piece of furniture. It may well be much cheaper to pop to your local timber yard/DIY store and see if they can cut you a scalloped piece, but I’m going to guess that explaining to the man in the local timber yard that you would like your wood trim made frillier may be a tricky conversation. I don’t think it’s a request they’ll often get. Do let me know if you give it a go!

On to the goods…. some of the links are affiliate links.

Top row, L-R: Scalloped napkins from Matilda Goad (those colours look wonderful against the plain white tablecloth); Hedera frilled cushion from House of Hackney (I have a weakness for ivy-based prints at the moment); frilled table runner from Dunelm (very froufrou if paired with other ruffles, comes into its own against a plain table).

Middle row, L-R: Soleil candle from Maza at Glassette (shaped candles are huge news at the moment); scalloped edge plates from Eleanor Bowmer at John Lewis (scallops meet maximalist pattern); wavy edge terracotta lampshade by Straw London at Glassette (delightful in every respect).

Bottom row, L-R: Jute rug with scallop trim from Me & Smith (I have this and love its simplicity – they’re currently out of stock but I believe more are coming); scalloped dome frame from Graham & Green (the smallest nod to the trend); linen frill bathmat by Matilda Goad (love this, and am now noticing the lack of violet in my home!).

Top row, L-R: Addison Ross scalloped waste bin from Liberty (quite possibly too pretty to use); woven placemats from Matalan (£4 bargains, these are huge and very nice); scalloped edge placemats from FabricSG via Etsy (the good, good colours – also hilariously described as a possible Father’s Day gift. My dad would be confused if presented with these).

Middle row, L-R: Scallop trim bedding from The White Company; Society of Wanderers check ruffle pillowcase set from Liberty (all things by this brand make me happy); Irish linen tablecoth by Rebecca Udall at Glassette (I can feel the quality by just looking at the photo!).

Bottom row, L-R: Ruffle trim cushion by Amuse La Bouche at Glassette (gingham and ruffles are excellent bedfellows), 12 piece scalloped edge dinner set from Made.com (I think I need this), scalloped placemat set from Sunday & Story at Glassette.

Top row, L-R: Round ruffled cushion by Coco & Wolf at Liberty (is there a prettier cushion in existence?); ruffle trim napkin by Amuse La Bouche at Glassette (I covet); scallop trim doormat by Sunday & Story at Glassette.

Middle row, L-R: Scallop trim tray from Accessorize (these are an absolute bargain! Snap them up before they sell out!); Lena scalloped storage mirror from Anthropologie; wavy lampshade by A Considered Space x Munro & Kerr at Glassette (I WANT. IN CAPITALS).

Bottom row, L-R: Scalloped cake plates by Eleanor Bowmer at John Lewis (I just noticed I’ve included these once already – I’m far too tired and jaded to remove one set and make a new grid, so let’s pretend it never happened); scallop raffia lampshade from Sun & Day at Not On The High Street; wavy pink photo frame from &Klevering at Trouva.

Top row, L-R: Striped ruffle cushion by Amuse La Bouche at Glassette (delicious); Amelie scalloped teacup from Graham & Green (I have one, in truth, it’s not that easy to drink from, but it is very pretty, and that’s what counts); Lyra Ikat lampshade by Alice Palmer at Glassette.

Middle row, L-R: Scallop tray by CasaCarta at Glassette (scalloped pattern and scalloped edge – double bubble!); Society of Wanderers lilac gingham double flat sheet at Liberty; frilly plant pot and saucer by Paige Mitchell at Glassette.

Bottom row, L-R: Bebe candle by Maza at Glassette (more of that shaped wax loveliness); stackable ceramic measuring cups by Eleanor Bowmer at John Lewis; scalloped lightshade from Rockett St George (in the sale, reduced to £46! Bargain!).

Wishing you all a lovely week ahead, do let me know if you buy any of the frilly bits I’ve mentioned, or if you’ve found a winning scallop I’ve overlooked!

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