The ‘70s are back, baby. Well, at least they are in home design.
If this news evokes an image of a disco ball hanging from your living room ceiling, know that this iteration of the disco era boogies down to a different beat.
“The ‘70s have definitely made a resurgence in today’s design world,” says Laura Barber, associate kitchen and bath designer at Normandy Design Build Remodeling in Hinsdale and Evanston, Illinois. “Many people when first hearing this think of cringe-worthy memories of plastic-covered sofas, musty shag carpeting and heavy wood elements accented by bright orange and avocado colors. But today’s take on the ‘70s style incorporates elements of that era along with today’s modern aesthetic.”
You don’t have to swap out your stainless steel fridge for one in avocado green, although those earthy colors from the “Saturday Night Fever” era are indeed strutting their stuff once again.
“If you choose to embrace the ’70s vibe in your home, there is no need to go full-on ‘Brady Bunch’ style,” says Barber. “By incorporating decorative elements you love into a more neutral palette, you can achieve this look while still keeping your home of now.”
Here are some ways you can turn your home into a far-out pad:
Get Down With a Lounge Vibe
If you weren’t around for the disco lounge era, now’s your chance to incorporate some of that cool style in your own pad.
“Sunken lounges, low furniture, and warm wood tones all mix in with the ‘70s trend of lounging,” says Leigh Keiran, lead interior designer at Archie Bolden in Atlanta. It’s all about creating a space at home where you can feel relaxed and be social at home, she says, noting that a sunken room design offers both vertical and horizontal depth to a space.
Dig Those Earth Tones
Avocado green and harvest gold were iconic colors of the ’70s, especially for kitchen appliances. This pair of earthy tones have indeed made a comeback, along with beige, rust and brown. Keiran advises that you balance out these neutrals with playful pops of color to achieve the retro trend in your home.
Accessorize With Funky Textures and Patterns
Barber’s favorite way of bringing that ‘70s vibe into your own home is by combining texture with warm earth tones. “The use of textural fabrics, geometric patterns in warm, earthy colors and organic shapes in both furniture and accent pieces will give the nod to ‘70s style while bringing a sense of nature indoors,” she says. “These spaces evoke a relaxed environment and warm, comfortable feel which works for today’s more casual lifestyle.”
Keiran loves that soft, rich textures like velvet and boucle are back in style. “Velvet drapery in earthy tones, bold patterned rugs and wood furniture items are easy ways to incorporate the ‘70s design trend into your space,” she says.
And yes, it’s true: Shag carpets are “very much in,” according to interior designer and lifestyle expert Chantelle Hartman Malarkey. You might be thankful to know today’s shags are area rugs as opposed to the wall-to-wall carpeting of the “Me” Decade. Rugs with tassels at the edges are trendy, she says.
Hang Some Far-Out Wall Art
Wall art is another easy way to bring a ‘70s mood to your home. Malarkey is a huge fan of hanging different pieces to create a cluster wall. “Add a bold wall color and get a collage going,” she says. “Have fun with the wall and mix and match different frames. Don’t be afraid to add the most random art, even if it’s handmade. You’d be surprised how much character that adds to the space.”
Malarkey notes that tapestries – even macrame – are finding their way back onto the walls of modern-day homes. But more importantly, it’s all about adding color, especially dark yellows, browns, greens and burgundies.
Keiran agrees. “I’ve recently been incorporating more checkered tile mosaics, earthy and muted color palettes and patterned wallpaper into our residential and commercial designs,” she says.
Mix Up Your Design Aesthetic
Even if your style leans more contemporary, it’s not too freaky deaky to mix different decades of decor in one setting.
“I love mixing in modern, retro and organic natural materials,” Malarkey says. In particular, she likes the combo of midcentury modern with modern, calling it “very vibey and fun while still feeling warm and somewhat homey.” She shares this sentiment especially with reupholstering antique furniture. “Revamping (pieces) with retro fabrics make them feel fresh and eclectic,” she says. If you’re not ready to reupholster your couch in royal blue velvet, add a wicker or rattan accent piece as an homage to the ‘70s.
Can You Dig It?
Home trends have a way of disappearing and then reemerging decades later. Even if you can’t get down with this remix, many interior designers believe there is a place for a ‘70s sensibility in today’s homes.
“The ‘70s trend is a way to be fun and playful but sophisticated, which I think resonates with what people want in design today,” says Keiran. “People have been spending lots of time at home these past few years, so the return of lounging and enjoying the space you’re in is no surprise.”