Designers predict a revival for this decade in style
The 1970s had a moment. From rattan furniture and patterned wallpaper to leather lounge chairs, it seems like everywhere you go you’re transported back to the iconic decade.
This retro interior trend has proven enduring, with elements of its design creeping into our homes in recent years. But now designers and forecasters are predicting that a ’70s-inspired style is set to be one of the biggest interior design trends of 2023.
For those obsessed with the avocado bathroom, we’re happy to say that the eclectic (and sometimes questionable) aesthetic of that era has translated into our modern interiors in a more understated and organized way. “The 70s was a decade that taste forgot,” says Martin Waller, founder of global design brand Andrew Martin. “But the lens of history allows us to see what an incredible decade it was – full of exuberant energy and innovation.”
This friendliness is exactly what the renewed appeal for 70s design attempts to replicate. It draws inspiration from earthy color palettes, funky patterns and textured furniture to create a cozy yet playful home full of personality and individuality. If you’re looking for a few ways to incorporate this nostalgic trend into your modern home, we’ve listed the easiest ways to rock this expert-recommended groovy style.
Lilith is an expert at keeping up with news and trends in the world of interior design. She regularly shares articles with her readers that detail simple ways to keep up to date with changing styles and the 1970s revival is no exception. For this piece, she spoke with top designers to learn more about the trends expected for the coming year and how to embrace a 70s-inspired style.
A year ago, flared velvet pants were all the rage. Now, that same soft, luxurious material has found its way into our interiors, bringing with it a funky yet sophisticated vibe.
According to Lance Thomas, director of Thomas Guy Interiors (opens in a new tab), it is a logical progression. “Home decor trends tend to follow fashion trends,” he says. “We saw ’70s retro make a comeback a few seasons ago, which is why I predict we’ll see it now at the forefront of home trends.”
To really embrace the velvet trend, you have to be colorful. From burnt oranges and deep purples to rich pistachio green, fabric always helps make a piece of furniture, like a sofa, stand out. Its unique texture also reflects light, giving it a color-changing quality.
Introduce velvet throw pillows or chairs into your living room for an authentic 70s aesthetic. If you want the same effect without buying new furniture, you can even upholster an old chair with the material using thumbtacks for a studded look.
Psychedelic geometric patterns or floral patterns are instantly recognizable elements of a 1970s style. There’s no other way to embrace this on-trend look than with lots of color, and that’s one way perfect for introducing a retro-themed color palette.
“Use creams, greens, pinks and oranges, but in a softer, more understated way than their brighter ’70s predecessors,” says Mary Patton, owner and designer of Mary Patton Design. (opens in a new tab). A good example of this muted approach is the chair photo above by Pierre Frey (opens in a new tab)part of their new Djo Bourgeois collection.
For a cleaner, more contemporary look, only use patterns on one quirky piece of furniture and use browns or neutrals throughout the rest of the room. You can also experiment with pattern dipping by incorporating patterned wallpaper, rugs and curtains for a bold 70s style.
The 1970s revival wouldn’t be complete without some animal prints. This kitschy decor dominated homes over the decade and, while still considered cheesy by some, contemporary designers have shown that the animal print decorating trend can bring a fun touch to our interiors.
Cushion covers, rugs and throws are easy ways to add a touch of this funky trend to your home without overdoing it. Choose velvet or silk to add a touch of elegance to an otherwise quirky design.
As Lance notes: ’70s accents like animal print sit snugly in the pocket of being both chic and quirky. The fact that it is not “modern” is what makes it modern. It is the tension he creates with other styles in the space that creates the intention.
When it comes to styling furniture in a 70s-inspired home, the more eclectic, the better. That’s not to say you shouldn’t think about conserving your space – quite the contrary. A layered mix of styles, textures and accent pieces means you need to pay close attention to what you pair.
For me, 70s pieces add a touch of retro whimsy to a space while still maintaining that much-needed touch of sophistication,” says Lance. He recommends introducing organic textures alongside bright colors and manufactured materials. “The burl wood finishes, for example, were exceptional in 70s design and add an exotic touch to any space.”
An eclectic style can also make a room cozy and comforting. Consider tactile materials such as rattan, fringe, and macrame for 70s-inspired texture. “Asymmetrical sofas, unique vintage chairs, and plush rugs are also making a comeback,” says Mary. “Combined together, they have the power to make a room feel softer and more relaxed.”