From a highly modern cross-shaped home carved into a massive boulder in the Saudi Arabian desert to a glass box constructed on the edge of a Canadian cliff, these incredible…
It’s cool, it’s calming, and it’s, well, a little bit the 70s!
Robert McKinley of Studio Robert McKinley painted the kitchen floor an unexpected color: avocado green, for a recent job in Montauk. This may appear to be a side-shooting in an age of all-white restaurants and greige living rooms. McKinley’s kitchen, on the other hand, creates an earthy, Laurel Canyon meets Wes Anderson vibe, a delicate mix of earth tones with whimsical color that avoids kitsch.
1970s interior design styles are making a strong recovery among the avant-garde. “Earth tones and colorful multicolor concepts, as well as low-slung soft furniture, are recent trends,” McKinley says.
A similar feeling was echoed in February by a host of interior designers who were embracing the much-maligned color brown. “The 1970s are undeniably on trend in design,” explains Giampiero Tagliaferri, principal of Studio Tagliaferri and former creative director of Oliver Peoples. “At the time, the design was fun and sexy but also sophisticated – I think it connects well with current consumers.”
It may appear to be an unpleasant blast from the past at first. Plastic-covered furniture, traffic-cone orange palettes, and musty-dusty shag carpets were among the more dubious choices of the 70s. However, the 2020s interpretation is more restricted and selected, cherry-picking ’70s-inspired highlights while avoiding antiquated elements.
The texture is prioritized over form, so we see a lot of simpler shapes covered in softer, colored materials.
Top interior designers nowadays tend to adopt design aspects and motifs from the 1970s that fall within a precise set of constraints. “Textured textiles, geometric shapes and patterns, and multi-use/free-flowing areas like sunken living rooms, room separators, and upholstered chairs are becoming increasingly popular,” adds Corvette.
Hallmarks of 1970s design include bringing nature indoors, materials like velvet and rattan, and patterned wallpaper.
But why the seventies surge now?
Anthony Barzilay Freund, the editorial director of 1stDibs, believes Covid has something to do with it. Many people literally relocated to one location to work and live. The 70s, with their warm color schemes (brown, in particular, is recognized for its mentally grounding effect), wide-open spaces, and sit-and-sink-into furniture, were ideal for inspiration.
Another factor? Fashion. In the last decade, society as a whole has adopted a more relaxed dress code. The resurgence of 1970s design is compatible with more casual forms of dress: baggy, oversized, unstructured, soft and sloughy.
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