Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Give your home a groovy makeover with some of the greatest hits from the 1970s

Keen as mustard: Combine orange, mustard and bold patterns with charcoal grey for a contemporary take on 1970s style. Orla Kiely House sofa, £2,195, heals.co.uk
Keen as mustard: Combine orange, mustard and bold patterns with charcoal grey for a contemporary take on 1970s style. Orla Kiely House sofa, £2,195, heals.co.uk
Print condition: The oversize pattern and green and brown colours of this light shade clearly reference the 70s. Orla Kiely acorn print drum shade, from £50, blisshome.co.uk
Ring the changes: The 1970s were definitely pre-digital: go old school with this Rotary retro telephone. £50, debenhams.co.uk
Plump up the jam: Glam up with this Comb cushion. £12, habitat.co.uk
Pattern pending: Wallpaper is an easy way to reference the 1970s and we like this oversize paisley print in bright tangerine. Paisley Crescent wallpaper, £45/roll, minimoderns.com
It’s a mug’s game: Add a touch of psychedelia to your morning brew with this Darjeeling mug. £8, minimoderns.com
Lighten up, man: Shed some 1970s-style light on the matter with Habitat’s yellow metal Tommy desk lamp. £15, habitat.co.uk
If I could turn back time: Go back in time to keep track of time, with this Alessi Cronotime desk clock. £39, thelollipopshoppe.co.uk

The 1970s are known as the decade that style forgot but nothing could be further from the truth as two major new exhibitions are setting out to prove.

The 1970s are known as the decade that style forgot but nothing could be further from the truth as two major new exhibitions are setting out to prove. The V&A opens its David Bowie Is retrospective on 23 March, an acknowledgment of a stellar career that has its roots in the 1970s. And at the Tate Liverpool, Glam! The Performance of Style celebrates glam rock and the glittering 70s until 12 May.

The 1970s were a period of uncertainty in the UK but the decade was also a time of creativity. Despite the three-day week, power cuts and strikes, artists, musicians and designers of the period were exuberant and experimental. Bowie was just one of the boundary breakers: everyone from Biba to the Buzzcocks had an influence in this period of disco, punk, kipper ties and flares.

Interiors were all about vibrant colours, swirling patterns and psychedelic glam. Homes took inspiration from sources as diverse as the louche and glam, black and gold interiors of the Biba Big Shop, to television show The Good Life, where Tom and Barbara embraced suburban sustainability and eco-friendly vibes. There were plenty of Eastern influences too, as travel to countries like Morocco and India  became more mainstream.

If you want to reference the 1970s look at home today, start with colour, says Mini Moderns co-founder Mark Hampshire. “Orange and mustard were both popular in the 1970s, when they were typically teamed with chocolate brown. For a more contemporary feel, use orange and mustard as highlights and give them a sharp modern twist by adding charcoal grey as a base colour,” says Hampshire.

Clashing and mixing pattern is also a great way to get a 1970s look, but to keep things modern combine vividly patterned cushions and throws with minimalist furniture or mid-century design classics.

Wallpaper is another easy way to reference the 1970s. Forget feature walls and go maximalist with dense, all-over pattern: in the 1970s it wasn’t uncommon to wallpaper inside cupboards and drawers.

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