The aesthetic industry, from fashion to interior design, often reveals itself to be cyclical. In fact, this phenomenon of popular aesthetics from a long lost decade of yesteryear coming back to the forefront happens so often that we’ve even seen recurring trends in popular colors throughout the decades.
What we’re all coming to realize is that interior design trends from the 1970s are coming back in a big way! Not so much the orange shag carpets and bean bag chairs, but many 21st-century households are implementing design elements from the seventies in a chic, modern way.
Whether you’re looking for interior design advice or you’re curious to see what 70s decor elements you already have in your home, you’ve come to the right place!
Terrazzo is a durable composite material made of chips of granite, quartz, and even glass cast in a cement-like binder. The effect is a surface that has the feel of marble with a fun, flecked appearance.
In some of the more extravagant 70s households, you may have seen entire walls or floors made of terrazzo. Now a more practical way to use this gorgeous, functional stone is on your kitchen countertop, in the bathroom, or surrounding your fireplace. Terrazzo tends to be light in color and will dazzle in natural lighting.
Wood paneling isn’t exactly a direct relic of the 1970s, but rather of the thirty years after World War II. In those decades, an increased focus on single-family homes led to the use of prefabrication techniques in architectural design. Basically, wood paneling was cheap to use and allowed for a quick and easy build-time.
Despite its existence before the seventies, we associate it with 1970s home decor in part because wood was emphasized in a major way in interior design in that decade and in part because it fell out of fashion shortly thereafter–until now.
Wood paneling is back, baby, so tear down that wallpaper and scrape the paint off your walls! Let your wood paneling shine! (Alternatively, give it a coat of white or off-white paint to brighten up the room without losing the paneling effect).
Macrame is a form of textile art commonly produced with knotted yarn or wool. While a lot of funky shapes can be created through macrame, the most 70s-inspired variety is designed in the form of a tapestry designed to hang proudly on the walls in your home.
You can certainly get colorful with your macrame tapestry, but it’s more typical to find macrame in light, natural tones. The dangling yarn or wool adds texture and organic geometry to any gallery wall. You can even use macrame to hang your plants, a perfect solution for homeowners with rowdy pets or kids!
Small, Chic Shag Rugs
Now, we know we said that shag carpeting wasn’t coming back, but we didn’t say anything about small, shaggy statement rugs!
In fact, these fluffy rugs have cropped up not just in 70s revivalist design but in modern Scandinavian design, too. If you’re leaning towards the Scandi route, consider a more natural material like sheepskin or faux fur.
As silly as shag may seem, a tasteful shag rug in your living space can really boost your feeling of comfort. Quality interior design always places a focus on textures that create calmness and coziness, and a soft, squishy rug underfoot will definitely make you feel relaxed!
In the 70s, cantilevered chairs were everywhere. In the dining room, in the office, in the living room, you name it!
These chairs pair well with a modern look because they’ve got a sleek, geometrical design. Rather than four legs that plunk on the ground, cantilevered chairs have a single bar that attaches at the front corners. That single bar extends to the floor and bends to create a square-shaped base that screams “groovy chic”.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the combination of natural or semi-natural textures, like wood and wool, with funky statements pieces, like the speckled terrazzo and midcentury modern cantilevered chair. All of these elements create the perfect setting for graphic prints that are bold and eye-catching!
In the seventies it was considered “normal” to cover an entire wall with a zany, graphic wallpaper, even in the kitchen or the bathroom (think stripes, geometric flowers, and even paisley.)
You may want to implement bold graphic elements but fear that you’ll potentially overwhelm the eye with an entire statement wall. If that’s the case, pare down your boldness with prints that pop! Popular color schemes in 70s graphic prints included lots of oranges and yellows but feel free to pick color combinations that match your existing decor.
Rattan is a type of wood that comes from vine-type plants found in tropical regions. It is very malleable, making it ideal for creating furniture or baskets that have a curved shape. It is essentially weatherproof and is used for both indoor living rooms and outdoor furniture.
Rattan was an extremely popular style of 70s furniture and it’s easy to see why it’s making a comeback! It’s light in color, which helps to enhance the natural light in any space, it’s easy to handle, and it tends to be made into some very fun furniture.
Nothing livens up a sunroom, a living room or even an entire house like a rattan peacock chair surrounded by ferns and vining plants, 1970s furniture is where it’s at!
Embrace 70s Interior Design
We may never understand why aesthetics are cyclical, but we’re glad they are! Pairing 70s interior design with more modern elements can create a dreamy effect that is equal parts nostalgic and chic.
Are there any 70s interior design elements in your home that you’re dying to share? Is there a style of interior design that you want us to cover? Leave your comments below and let’s talk about the seventies!