In a modern world where beige and grey colour schemes are the norm in British homes, it might seem like a crime against interior design to go all out with shag carpets and a bright green kitchen – but that’s exactly what 1970s style calls for, and we’re here to tell you that 70s interior style is back in town and here to stay!
Explore why 70s interior design has made a big comeback in recent years, and why now is the best time to lean into it, as well as how it has taken its modern form, before diving into some of our top tips on how to achieve 70s inspired interior design, from your flooring to your final touches.
Design styles have a habit of being circular – they always come back into fashion after a time, mostly because influential designers and cultural figures introduce it to their audiences again. With 70s style, this has come back into popularity in a big, in both fashion and interior design, helped along by the likes of pop star Harry Styles, with his flared jeans and silky shirts, and popular films like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set in 1970s Hollywood. So how would we describe 70s interior design style?
70s home décor and styling was an evolution of the mid-century modern style that became popular in the 1950s and 60s, and took it a step further – there were more unusual fads, like carpeted bathrooms and sunken ‘conversation pits’ in living rooms and outdoor areas, as well as bolder colour choices, and fewer statement items, as everything was designed to make a statement.
The overarching theme was warmth and earthiness – the inspiration for many 70s style homes came from a feeling of free-spiritedness and relaxation, so there was an emphasis on natural materials, comfort, and calming colours like moss green, terracotta, and burnt orange. Low and dim lighting was key to adding to that relaxed atmosphere, and plants were seen in abundance. This was the time when houseplants really became a staple in homes, from large palms to small snake plants that fit on your bookshelf.
The 70s design style has kept a lot of the original key features – earthy colours, unique pieces and elevated comfort all sit at the heart of how 70s style has been adapted for modern homes. Some modern elements have also been incorporated, inspired by other trends that are currently trending, like maximalism and Japandi interior design.
Maximalism has inspired more statement pieces like the patterned wallpaper trend, bolder and clashing colours, and more metallic tones, while Japandi has brought in more neutral shades, as well as softer curves and that classic wood element (think elevated wooden panelling on your walls or ceilings).
Low line furniture is still a must, as well as natural materials like rattan, leather, and jute – however, you’re less likely to find linoleum or plastic countertops in modern 70s style! Instead, you’ll find superior modern materials like luxury vinyl or laminate used for flooring, and marble or granite for countertops and kitchen design. There are lots of ways you can incorporate the 70s design style into your own home and make it your own.
From the floors to your ceilings, here are some of the ways in which you can take the 70s interior design trend and use it to make your own home look modern, serene, and relaxing.
Gone are the days of peeling linoleum and patchy carpets – the 70s design trend is one for a modern home that is anything but ordinary, and that means having flooring that makes your space look even more special! Luxury vinyl tiles are a great way to give your flooring that elevated look, as they can give your desired look, whether its marble, stone, or solid wooden flooring, with all the added benefits of vinyl flooring. So not only will your flooring look chic, but it will stay protected from scratches and spills for much longer too.
Engineered wood flooring is also a great pick for 70s-inspired interior design, because it brings in a natural element to the base layer of your home, and gives you something you can add to, rather than being distracting. Layering several rugs on top can add a more casual feel to a formal living room, an art form you can find out how to master in our guide to layering rugs. And if you crave comfort as part of your relaxing environment, then carpet can be a great pick for you – brown carpet can look very versatile in various different shades, and will be soothing in spaces where you want to unwind.
Aside from the psychedelic patterned wallpaper, the colour palette most associated with the updated version of 70s décor is earthy – this includes various shades of greens and browns, as well as a selection of neutral shades like beige and cream. Off white is a great pick for these spaces, as it’s softer than pure white and can adapt depending on the natural lighting of the space. Golden tones like deep yellows, burnt oranges and light reds are also great for introducing a pop of colour – or for creating a colour palette that is made to stand out from the crowd! If you're wondering how to incorporate this, then have a read of our guide on easy ways to add colour to your home.
You can introduce plenty of different green colours with different easy to maintain houseplants, and you can use your flooring as one of your neutral shades if you want to build the strength of your colour palette over time. Cooler shades like blues and purples aren’t used as often, but that doesn’t mean you can use them! Soften them with darker rich shades, like burgundy or olive green to give them some contrast and warmth.
When it comes to 70s décor, the good news is that there are no hard and fast rules with this style! Unlike minimalism or Japandi styles, you can really go hard with your interior decorating if you want, and one of the decorations that can always be found in abundance in 70s style homes is houseplants! Big, small, bushy, or skinny, any and all houseplants are welcome and can make a great statement just on their own. They will stop your space from feeling too muddy brown or pale neutral and will also provide you with some much-needed fresh air.
Another great pick for 70s décor is plenty of comfortable seats and plush cosy additions to ensure that wherever you go, you’ll be relaxed and comfortable - perfect for creating a lounge to socialise in. This is where shaggy rugs typically enter the field, which do look great in a 70s inspired space – but if you want to keep your 70s inspiration a little lighter, perhaps instead opt for a fluffy blanket or pillowcases. Bold artwork is also common in 70s décor, and a classic gallery wall is always on the cards. This is a great way to play around with colour and texture, using a variety of artwork and frames to create your own statement wall without the need for jazzy wallpaper or bright paint.
If you’d like to explore more design trends that could work in your space, check out our Ideas Hub for flooring inspiration and colour lookbooks that could help you figure out what colour palette you want to try next. Alternatively, if you’re already ready and raring to go with a new makeover, why not pop into your local Tapi store to speak with one of our knowledgeable floorologists about the different flooring options you could try.