Get your groove on – Seventies chic is back! But this time around orange pine and avocado bathrooms are banned, in favour of good-looking furnishings, bold patterns and cool accessories.
The Seventies revival in interiors has been brewing for a while, building up to an unmistakeable trend that has even started to reach the high street. Peacock chairs, shag-pile rugs and old-fashioned record players are just some of the ingredients that Pinterest tells us are high on people’s online search lists. The Seventies are back! Bring it on…
This style is all about attitude. Bright and bold, it’s easy to introduce and often quite affordable. The furnishings are so striking, so you don’t need many of them to make an impact. In fact, this is a look where less is definitely more. A handful of well-chosen pieces can be carefully integrated into a modern scheme, adding an on-trend edge without becoming overpowering. In other words, you might like a macramé wall hanging, but you probably won’t want to cover all your walls with swirly wallpaper or re-clad your fireplace with crazy stonework.
Keep the colours cool
So, where does one start? The colour palette of the Seventies was highly distinctive-the less said about avocado bathrooms the better. In general, though, colours were quite earthy and muddy, from mustard and ochre to camel, olive and chocolate. Like the typical patterns of the time – geometrics such as circles within squares, paisleys and simple florals – these strong shades are best employed in small doses, mitigated by pale or neutral backgrounds. In other words, use them to add interest, but avoid straying into kitsch. Think small touches such as a cushion or two, a drum lampshade, some glassware for example. Ceramics (Orla Kiely is particularly good) and a framed poster on your wall are also a great place to start.
DIY is the way to go
The 1970’s began with the optimism of flower power and the Swinging Sixties and ended with recession, skyrocketing inflation and the Winter of Discontent . Typical of this decade is an element of comforting homespun, home-made style. Hence the handicrafts such as patchwork, weaving and macramé that were so prevalent back in the day. Why not take a course, or teach yourself from books or online videos, and make your own, personalised pieces to complement your home and cherish forever? Failing that, Etsy, Folksy and other online marketplaces are full to the brim with beautiful craft pieces that are often very affordable.
Include some wooden and, especially, rattan furnishings (the go-to material to help you get the look). Rattan furnishings range from blocky furniture made of pine or covered in velvet or corduroy, to cane elements such as headboards, mirror frames and baskets. You may even be lucky and pick up something suitable from a car boot sale, auction or charity shop. Keep your eyes peeled for better quality items, however, as too many cheap pieces will definitely not create the right impression. A cream-coloured shagpile rug, oh-so comfortable underfoot (if a nuisance to keep clean) is another option. Very typical of the decade, it can be subtly updated with a Berber-style criss-cross pattern that still goes with anything.
A nod to nature
Houseplants are another important accessory. The bigger the better, reaching to the ceiling, dangling to the floor – botanicals are hugely fashionable right now. They give an instant nod to the Seventies, when no home was complete without a Swiss cheese plant and a spider plant in a handmade hanger. Complete the mix with some rustic kitchenware, a touch of vintage Laura Ashley, and perhaps even a beanbag or Moroccan pouffe and bingo! You’re good to go-go.
By Katherine Sorrell