The decade that tasteful forgot
Interiors inspiration from the 1970s
There’s a cliche about 1970s decor – it involves purple shagpile, garish patterns, avocado-coloured bathroom suites and lots and lots of plastic. Unfair, we say. The 70s are the newest period for interiors inspiration. Why didn’t we look at them before?
Looking for inspiration? Sky Atlantic’s new show, Vinyl, created by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, features a lush range of hip, moneyed interiors from the decade. We’re also highly enamoured of the Instagram account @Daughterofthe70s. The owner has a keen eye for a good retro interior shot and shares her vintage picture finds regularly.
There are fashions in house plants like everything else (we’ve fallen for succulents like every other 2010-er), but the 1970s love for potted greenery was quite pronounced. New plants are an easy way in to a new look. Go for foliage, rather than flowers, and bold shapes. Classics of the era include the Swiss cheese plant (£19.99, Waitrose), ferns (£12.75, Bakker Spalding) and the school-staff-room favourite, the spider plant (£6.95, Gardens4You).
Move on down
The Togo sofa from French furniture company Ligne Roset was launched in the early 1970s and was the world’s first all-foam sofa, made more for lounging about rather than formally entertaining visitors. You can still buy the Togo; prices vary depending on fabric and set up but you’ll be looking at a starting point of around £2,000. Determined hunters can scout for originals online. Cheaper, but true to the low-slung retro vibe, is Blue Suntree’s Modus range, kicking off at £750.
Yes, kitsch, colourful plastic was very much in evidence, and there was a lot of chrome on everything from table legs to TV stands. But natural materials and handmade textures were a defining feature of 70s design. Look for wicker or macramé accessories, search sites like Folksy for handmade blankets (such as this striped one, £34) or go no further than Ikea for a classic sheepskin (£30).