The style of the seventies to eighties of the 20th century is bright and saturated, sometimes rebellious and bold. It contains elegance and sensuality, bright kitsch, and delicate charm. Due to the complexity and color congestion, this design quickly went out of fashion. In such an environment it is difficult for a person to relax and stay calm. When making housing in a retro style, the main thing is to avoid is vulgarity and place accents correctly.
- Designer furniture and interesting inventions of the 70s-80s
- Focus on color
- Furniture and appliances
- Materials and finishes
- Design of the 70s-80s in a modern home
Nowadays, designers are turning to the 80s style again, because it gives the house authenticity and a unique flavor. Similar trends can be traced in architecture and fashionable clothes. The interior of retro in modern apartments is not mindless copying but rethought harmonious compositions. It is not screaming but more relaxed, while easily recognizable.
Designers use the latest techniques from past decades in a new reading. The modern interior of the retro style is an eclectic mix of old and new elements. As a result, the space looks dull and original. Many ideas originally from the 1980s successfully migrated to our days and on their basis, designers create original designs.
In this article, we will introduce you to the distinctive features of the style of the 80s, famous design objects of that era. You may also want to design a house in this category and take advantage of some design tips.
The amazing and rich era of 70s-80s a source of inspiration for designers and decorators. The reasons for the popularity of retro trends are similar attitudes in society, the return of pop culture, and the cyclical nature of fashion.
Designers of the Italian association Memphis Design Group became legislators of the 1980s fashion furniture. The main idea was the rejection of restrained lines and the creation of fundamentally new objects. An eccentric look of brand items perfectly demonstrates the “I-decade”.
Innovative devices touched not only the furniture industry.
In 1971, the first compact calculators of the Bomwar company appeared. They could be placed in a pocket. At the same time, engineering and programmable calculators are on sale. In 1985, Casio released a calculator with a graphic display.
In 1983, Motorola launches the first DynaTAC 8000X mobile phone. This device weighed about a kilogram, it took 10 hours to charge, and the device worked for 35 minutes in talk mode.
In 1985, the Italian brand Alessi introduced the whistling kettle, which makes a musical sound instead of an unpleasant whistle. Attractive Art deco and Pop art design made this teapot a real bestseller.
During this period, the famous mechanical puzzle the Rubik’s cube appeared. It came up with a teacher of architecture Erno Rubik in 1974 to train spatial thinking and a visual demonstration of the mathematical theory of groups. The Rubik’s Cube has become the best-selling toy, and competitions are held to build a puzzle on speed.
In retro style, there are no restrictions on the choice of color. The main palette consists of olive, orange, blue, yellow, brown, green shades. The color of orange and mandarin in popularity overtook even the classic red and black. This juicy tint immediately enlivens and transforms space. Orange color can be used for finishing one wall or upholstered furniture for the modern version of the style.
Colors become more muted compared to the 60s and are borrowed from nature. Warm natural tones of wood and earth, the color of pumpkin, avocado, golden ears, shades with the names “tiger lily”, “sunflower”, “Swiss chocolate”, “sky blue” are common.
Bohemian shades borrowed from the fashion industry are becoming popular: purple, red, turquoise. Neutral white was used to balance the bright colors. Popular color combinations: black and white, blue and bright green, white and yellow, purple and pink, yellow with orange or green, pink and light green.
A recognizable symbol of the 70s was the rainbow colors. It can be found in the form of prints on curtains, posters, and walls.
Color is introduced into the interior through the upholstery of furniture, curtains, home textiles, carpets, as well as with the help of details: ceiling lamps, flower pots, retro accessories.
The striking figure of this time is the British designer and decorator David Hicks, who introduced the fashion for geometric designs, “explosive” color combinations, and eclecticism. Hicks’s authoring style can be seen in the interiors depicted in “A Clockwork Orange” film by Stanley Kubrick.
In modern apartments, it is not necessary to arrange the walls and furniture in flashy shades. Designers recommend using unusual color combinations and bright details. “Acid” shades look spectacular against a gray-blue, black-and-white-gray scale, calm brown, milky backdrop. A versatile way to add decor to vibrant colors is wall decor. It can be graphic posters, paintings, panels, photographs, paintings, stained glass.
The younger generation sought freedom and self-expression through exclusive design. Therefore, there are many innovations in the interiors of this decade.
For the era of the 70s collapsible designs, symmetry, compactness, mobility, streamlined shapes of furniture are typical. Designs of plastic and polypropylene, which began to appear in the 1960s are becoming popular. These materials are easy to form and turn into original furniture of irregular shape. Kitchen tables and bar-style chairs are in vogue: on one support with a round plastic or metal base.
In typical American living rooms of the time, one can find modular sofas, ottomans, wicker hanging chairs, and hammocks. Sofas and armchairs are characterized by smooth rounded shapes that define the dynamics of space. Large sofas angular, semicircular, wavy shape is met very often. The interior was complemented by coffee tables of a drop-shaped company with glass tops.
Pillows for upholstered furniture were covered with fabrics with geometric checkered patterns, or with a strip, circles. Such furniture effectively stood out against the background of decoration and attracted the eye.
Cabinet furniture was made of simple forms. Mandatory attributes were high conical legs of metal or wood, located at an angle. Later, more dimensional polished walls with glass and mirror inserts on the doors appear. In the 80s, there was a sideboard for storing services almost in every house. Some models were equipped with a small bar and shelves for storing various trifles.
In the modern version, you can fill the sideboard or the showcase with both a china set and a new, original dish. In the latter case, an interesting eclectic effect is created: the classical habitual form is combined with modern content.
Another typical piece of furniture of the eighties is the pier-glass, which was placed in the bedroom or hallway. This function is performed now by the dressing table.
The traditional setting for the bedroom was a double bed, a chest of drawers, bedside tables, a dressing table, and a wardrobe for clothes.
Thanks to the development of new technologies in kitchens, modern household appliances are emerging, which are no longer considered a luxury. Plates are often replaced by built-in hobs with an oven or double oven.
The typology of living space is also changing. The interiors of new apartments and public spaces were stretched horizontally. Pop culture with its fun parties influenced the organization of space. Bar cabinets, coffee tables, sideboards, ottomans, and poufs for guests appear in the living rooms. For lounge areas and living rooms, furniture in the close-to-the-floor style is particularly popular as well as floor cushions for seating.
The main materials of the 70s: wood, plywood, chipboard, metal, polymers, glass, mirror, nickel-plated profiles, vinyl, leather. The upholstery of sofas, armchairs, and the head of the bed is characterized by soft materials with a pleasant texture: velvet, plush, velour, chenille, leatherette.
The result of the popularization of the hippie movement was the use of natural materials: wood trim, wicker furniture for the internal space of the house, terraces; a large number of indoor plants and trees in pots.
Natural wallpaper, foil wallpaper is used for the walls. Wooden floors or covered with linoleum. The flooring can be made of light laminate imitating the wood structure. In the 80s, the walls were decorated with airbrushing containing drawings of space themes or extraordinary graphics.
A recognizable feature of 1970s furniture is glossy and polished surfaces. Dressers, tables, cabinets, racks, chairs, sideboards were made in such a style. Lacquered surfaces were brilliant and constantly maintained in a presentable form.
The combination of new and old elements looks spectacular in modern interiors of retro style. Artificially aged textures of wood, ceramics, metal, leather are relevant. Vintage furnishings add special color and charm to space.
The decade of the 1980s is characterized by an abundance of textiles: curtains, bedspreads, cushions, textile panels on the wall. Each living room surely accommodated a soft carpet. And the carpets were placed not only on the floor but also on the walls. Artificial fur, plush, velvet, artificial leather was used for upholstered furniture.
For modern interiors in retro style, the floor carpet will be an interesting addition to the bedroom, living room, or kitchen. It can be small or large rugs, plain or pastel shades with a pattern of ethnic themes. Mats made from natural materials: jute fibers, sisal, hemp are still relevant.
Also, the situation could be successfully complemented by the thick curtains, drapes, tapestries, bedspreads.
The most common materials for the manufacture of lamps are chrome-plated metal and plastic. Lava lamps, arc-shaped floor lamps in the reading area are very popular. Almost every living room had a lamp on a massive metal stand with a voluminous shade.
Do not be afraid to combine lamps of different styles and shapes. It can be chandeliers, floor lamps, sconces, lampshades with hanging fringe, cords, and tassels. Such devices gently diffuse the light, add warmth and comfort to the interior.
Of course, it was precisely in the 70s that metal lamps, wall lamps, and floor lamps with hinges and flexible pipes, which are undoubtedly relevant again, were widely spread.
You can convey the mood of the era with the help of stylish trifles. A recognizable feature of retro style is geometric prints on wallpaper, upholstery, interior textiles. In this case, the pattern is often repeated on different elements of the situation. Flower patterns, floral motifs, and paisley patterns are also common. Paintings, posters, sculptures were used for the decoration of houses.
In kitchens, it was often possible to find ceramic dishes, textiles, small household appliances with the image of mushrooms, fruits, and vegetables.
Another characteristic attribute of the seventies – accessories in the form of an owl: watches, soft toys, throw pillows, figurines, piggy banks.
Because of the downturn in the economy, DIY accessories began to appear in style. Hand-made things add an original character and color to the interior. These can be panels, pillows on the sofa, hand-painted tables, or dressers. Wall decorations, pots made in the technique of macramé are not less popular.
Old receivers, music players, ring telephones, sewing machines, china, or crystal ware will create a nostalgic mood.
During the 80s, the main decorative elements are mirrors and sandblasted glass. The walls were often decorated with black and white photographs on a wide mat: family portraits, landscapes, photographs of industrial subjects.
Makeup mirrors have become popular, creating an inviting atmosphere behind the scenes.
When embodying the controversial style of the seventies in the interior, it is difficult to maintain a balance between eclecticism and bad taste. In order to create a harmonious environment, it is enough not to overload the space with furniture structures and accessories, but to use several characteristic features of the style and typical objects.
The design of the 70s is chosen by those who admire the furniture of the time or want to add color and originality to the interior. Some houses still have samples of retro furniture and they are fairly easy to get at flea and antique markets. Found items can be restored or go the other way: decorate the new furniture as antique. Original furniture designs bestow cheerful mood and pleasant nostalgic atmosphere to the interior.
To the delight of connoisseurs of retro design, Italian and European factories produce entire collections and individual product lines in the spirit of the 70s.
Modern furniture in retro style is made from environmentally friendly sound materials: solid wood, veneer, high-quality textiles. The series includes objects of strict direct forms with glossy facades, varnished on both sides.
Due to the abundance of furniture collections and accessories in online and offline stores today, we have no restrictions on choice, as it was decades ago. This makes it possible to embody original ideas in retro design, get away from platitudes, and add novelty. By following the general principles of stylistics you can create a unique interior and a cozy atmosphere in the house.
The list of factories which models of modern furniture in the style of the 70s-80s were used in our article:
- Alf group:
- Stosa Cucina;
- Domingo Salotti;
- Altamoda Italia;