Back with a twist! Classic 1970s decor is having a modern revival
Often sidelined for its association with drab brown tones and deep pile carpeting, the 1970s are seen as the decade that time forgot when it comes to interiors.
But some of the era’s more memorable trends, from rattan and bamboo to velvet and mushroom lamps, are once again celebrated – with a 2023 twist.
Five key elements are here to stay…
Glam: French Connection Zinc Armchair in Mustard Yellow, £539, dfs.co.uk. Many classic design themes from the 1970s are celebrated new – with a 2023 twist
“Earth brown, terracotta, and orange — they’re all having a revival along with avocado green,” says Benjamin Moore’s Helen Green.
These shades are perfect for a living room used for both socializing and relaxing.
‘Combine them with natural materials such as rattan and macrame, or with fresh white woodwork or sleek furniture,’ says Helen.
Try Benjamin Moore’s Cinnamon 2174-20, from £22.50 per 0.94 litre, as a warming painted background.
‘The 1970s were an experimental decade in which designers became increasingly daring in their choices.
Basket case: Pooky’s Cornet lamp, £108, pooky.com
Thick-pile rugs, smooth leather and velvet couches contrast well with silver metals, stained woods and smooth vinyl surfaces, bringing together the retro look we love,” says Swyft’s head of creative, Kelly Collins.
Seating is key – think low-slung, boxy sofas upholstered in moss green, grape and burnt orange, like Swyft’s Model 1 Velvet three-seater sofa in Vine, £1,195.
Sofa.com’s Slim Tiffany corner sofa in Cosmopolitan Smart Velvet, £3,000, also captures the mood.
Pair with Garden Trading’s PE Bamboo Hampstead chairs, £400 for two.
To evoke the era, think bouclé, deep pile, velvet, rattan and bamboo, combined with polished finishes such as metal and lacquer. Try incorporating rattan panels into wardrobe doors, or add a Newgate bamboo wall clock, from £75.
“This was the era when we started to embrace a less formal lifestyle,” says Tara Bernerd, whose interior at London’s The Hari hotel nods to the decade.
“From open plan living to modular sofas, it’s the comfort of that decade that resonates with us now.”
Sofology’s Cricket four seater sofa in Velvet Green, £1,299, captures the rigorous lines of the era.
In the kitchen, go for simple, streamlined cabinets in mustard yellow, green or orange.
“The decade had a relaxed feel to home design; there was a focus on colored wooden cabinetry,” says Elizabeth Sherwin of Naked Kitchen, whose ocher Pelham kitchen with fingerhole design, from £15,000, reflects the era.
Contrast clean lines with rounded shapes. Try a Murano glass mushroom lamp, from £153 (Vinterior).
Inject a sense of fun into pieces you show. Addison Ross’s large round lacquered scallop tray in orange, £230, is a bold colorful addition.
The brand’s co-founder, Sarah Ross, adds, “Mock clean lines and Scandinavian-inspired interiors and style with 1970s accessories.”
Go for cork tableware, such as Glassette’s Cork Fleur Objet coasters, £20 each. Add oversized hanging floor lamps to create tranquil spaces.