Trending Now: 1970s Decor

Hanging planters, rattan accents, drip-glaze ceramics, shag pile rugs, rich earth tones…if the most sought-after homewares of the moment are pointing us in any direction, it’s surely back to the ‘70s.

Up until a few years ago, the 1970s aesthetic was perhaps the most unfavoured decade for design. Compared to the rise of minimalism, with its sleek, simple lines and neutral palette, the ‘70s was seen as too loud, too gauche, too brown. Fast forward, and the hallmark interiors of the decade can be found in homes everywhere, from rattan accents to drip-glaze ceramics and hanging planters.

The interior style of the ‘70s was formed in anthesis to its functional, buttoned-up precursor. Baby boomers rejected the modernity of their parents’ homes, all matching colours, new television sets and suburban shininess.

The anti-establishment hippies of the 1960s sought an expansion of the mind, leading them to travel the world in pursuit of different cultures and ways of living. They returned home with handcrafted pieces collected along the way, from macrame wall hangings to Berber rugs and artisan embroidered throws.

By the time the ‘70s were in full swing, a generational desire to return to nature saw house plants introduced indoors, and the colour palette of walls, floors and tiles inspired directly by the natural world. The tones of terracottas, avocados and marigolds were seen in playful and psychedelic repeat prints across ceramics and textiles, too.

The pendulum of popularity swings from one extreme to another, and the technologically-advanced attitudes of the ‘80s saw the folksy and tactile aesthetics of the ‘70s soon fall out of favour. Now, though, the same sentiments that originally formed the movement are resonating once more.

Cramped city living with little access to green space, plus a rise in awareness around preserving good mental health, has seen a boom in house plants. The homogenous design and cheap production of flat-pack furniture has people yearning for small batch, handcrafted homeware pieces that feel unique to their homes, while the staid, sober simplicity of minimalism has seen fun-seekers looking to the ‘70s bold use of colour and print.

Read on for 4 ways to fill your home with ‘70s-inspired decor.

Getting Glazed

Statement ceramics were one of the easiest ways to show off your flair for bold design in the early ‘70s. Hornsea Pottery created sought-after ceramic tableware with repeat patterns in rich caramel tones. Tea sets and serving platters came in stand-out mustard tones, while the popularity of West German ceramics gave lamp bases and vases a psychedelic touch thanks to the movement’s signature use of multiple glazes creating a lava-like effect.

Alongside sourcing vintage treasures, we love Dutch brand HKliving’s ‘70s Ceramic series, a contemporary take on the decade’s signature look. Bringing that molten glaze look in a burst of bright colours, its series of cake stands, tumblers, plates and mugs serve up retro-inspired offbeat design to every corner of your kitchen.

Act Natural

A rejection of manmade practices and a reconnection with nature was central to the ethos of the ‘70s. Their love for the planet trickled into their home decor choices via natural materials like woven wool rugs and stoneware ceramics. We love Danish brand Madam Stoltz for its rattan furniture and brass accents, bringing a softer element to even the most contemporary home.

Check Mate

Looking for an instant injection of bright and bold ‘70s decor? Enter: checkerboard. The punchy pattern was a favourite on floors and walls during the decade, and has made a comeback across both fashion and homewares thanks to its Insta-friendly graphic squares. “The interior trends of the 1970s weren’t shy on colour or pattern - I love that,” says Lucy, founder of south London label Goods of May. “I think people can be a little scared of colour, but they definitely weren’t back then.” We love Goods of May’s playful and sustainable checkerboard knit cushions, handmade using 100% British lambswool.

Who Said Brown Was Boring?

Another extension of the ‘70s affiliation with the natural world, earth tones were everywhere thanks to a return to natural materials after the high-shine space age fabrics of the swinging ‘60s. The antithesis of the saccharine pastel pop of the decade before it, colours like mustard, chocolate, terracotta, and cappuccino came to represent a decade returning to the homegrown and handmade. Look to sustainable brands like Nkuku, that celebrate natural materials and folksy colour palettes, and Kinto, which gives '70s smoked glass a contemporary update.

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