Giving Your Home A Retro 1970s Makeover

1970s style room

Where are you sat right now?  At home, on the bus, at work?  Stop and take a look around.

I bet it won’t take long to spot something that’s inspired by an earlier decade.  Maybe you’ll notice a student wearing a cropped top, a choker, or leggings?  All popular in the 1990s and have made a recent comeback (albeit to varying degrees).

Put on the radio and you’ll hear a modern song with plenty of synth (something highly associated with 80s music).

What about the room you’re sitting in, perhaps there’s a nod to an earlier decade in its decor? After The Great Gatsby came out in 2013, the Art Deco style saw a small renaissance (it was very popular in the 1920s).

1970s style room

We’re always falling back in love with things enjoyed by previous generations.  Trends go full circle and this year is no different!  Decorators and designers across the globe have taken inspiration from the 1970s.  The retro trend is set to be huge in the later part of this year and into 2017.  Do you fancy giving it a try?

Planning to give your home a retro makeover?

Read through our guide below.   We’ll help you achieve the 1970s vibe in your home, but with a modern twist.  Use our tips to avoid creating a room that looks like it’s stuck in a time warp.

First, let’s reacquaint ourselves with 1970s style.

1970s interior decor: 1970s style interiors?

Colours:  Plenty of brights and punchy shades, namely yellows and oranges.  Often, you’d spot striking greens and turquoises too (often used as an accent colour).   Meanwhile, dark browns and black were used for contrast.  White could be found throughout the home, as it provided a simple base for those stronger colours.

Patterns: Large, bold geometric shapes and oversized graphic florals.   You’d find them printed on furnishings, wallpaper and rugs.


Materials:  Anything rich and luxe like velvet and corduroy.

Furniture:  Due to the recession, homeowners sought high quality ‘built-to-last’ pieces.  DIY furniture also prevailed.  Of course, we must mention the ubiquitous pod chair. Futuristic in style, reflecting the “space age” trend (after the Apollo moon landings in the late 60s).

Walls:  If not adorned with bright, patterned wallpaper (see above), you’d find wooden panelling and exposed brickwork.  Both still popular today (just head to any trendy London bar to see for yourself!)

Dos & Don’ts of retro style for 2016/17:

DON’T create a shrine to the decade by copying colours, patterns and textures verbatim.   But DO look back in time for inspiration and work from there.  Copy one colour or detail that you fall in love with.

For example, a contemporary piece of furniture decorated in a retro-inspired print (see Orla Kiely for inspiration).

DON’T be afraid of large geometric prints.  However, DO keep things modern by substituting 1970s bold, brash colours for on-trend colours like cobalt blue and pastel pink.

DO decorate a room using classic colours from the 70s (mustard yellow, teal green, deep blue and tan brown).  But, DO keep things modern by mixing in light and neutral shades too.  This will ensure the room does not feel small, dark and overpowered.

Finally, DO pair with metallics for a touch of modern glam.

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