Outrageous patterns, garish colour combinations and flared jeans may not make the 1970s an obvious decade for style inspiration. However, 70s-inspired decor is actually seeing a 21st century revival. Many contemporary designers have been inspired by the era's curved lines, exposed wood and vibrant patterns. Here are some innovative design ideas that can help you to infuse your home with the best of the decade.
1970s design rebelled against straight lines. Gone was the Mies van de Rohe-like rigidity of 50s and 60s furniture, banished in favour of smooth lines and soft curves. The iconic design of the Arco lamp, first produced in 1962, ushered in a host of imitators in the 1970s and is still produced today by designers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. The Eames lounge chair was another staple of the decade and is available from Herman Miller, complete with ottoman. Introducing a select few statement furniture pieces like these can instantly give your living space a quintessentially 70s look.
Mastering the 70s colour palette
The 1970s were nothing if not a decade of contrasts. While it's true that they were characterised by an excess of outrageous patterns, simple monochrome was also popular. Both of these styles can be attractively combined in the modern home, although it's best to use the more outrageous patterns sparingly. Think about paring back the colours in your living area to bare monochrome and using splashes of geometric patterns and bold colours to punctuate the room. A touch of patterning on your upholstery or on a feature wall is a clever way to inject some colour into the room without committing to a full-blown 70s palette.
In 1975, 60% of new family homes were built in the single-story “ranch” style. Inside, this meant pared-back walls with simple wooden furnishings. Exposed ceiling beams, in particular, were a popular feature of 70s A-frame homes. Today, this style is well and truly alive, helped in part by the knowledge that exposed beams are a great way to keep your home warm in winter, while maintaining a light and airy feel. The straight lines formed by stripped-back wooden beams also create an arresting contrast with the curvature of 1970s furniture.
Passion for patterns
Bold 1970s wallpaper is also enjoying a contemporary revival, with eye-catching shapes and vivid colours that can revamp any room. Perhaps surprisingly, 70s paper is making a comeback in bathrooms in particular. Take a look at the range of patterns available in Wall & Deco’s patent-pending Wet System™ wallpaper for designs that not only make a bold decorative statement, but that will last the distance in a damp environment.
If you're looking for a new home to decorate get in touch with Engel & Völkers today. Our team of expert advisers on four continents can help you find a space that's full of design potential.