70s show stoppers
Wood panelling, bold floral prints, mustard, olive greens. The hallmarks of 1970s interiors don't always inspire confidence in those who experienced the decade first time round. And yet, the seventies revival continues. Tracy Elliot, creative director at Kevin Kelly Interiors, sees the trend as taking a more muted approach than its first incarnation.
"The use of bold, clearly defined patterned wallpaper - a must-have in the mid-seventies - has become a one-room statement in many homes," Tracy explains. "We've also seen sofas and chair shapes being influenced by furniture design of that era, with wooden arms on sofas and vintage-styled chairs."
For inspiration, Tracy recommends watching re-runs of television shows such as The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angels, all quintessential shows of the time. "Each highlights hero pieces from the era, often within an eclectic mix of hardcore styling, sometimes making them hard to spot. The American idea could be in every home with orange wallpapers and panelling, but it's the key patterns and quality pieces of furniture we can draw inspiration from in today's interior world."
To introduce the look without overwhelming a space, use furniture and colour.
"There is no need for the orange shagpile carpet or brown and orange flower curtains," Tracy insists. "I would suggest adding in some circular pleated cushions or a nice chair with wooden arms upholstered in a teal velvet for a more subtle seventies feel."
Contemporary designers are reworking elements of the era in their own ways. "Pure unchanged prints from the seventies are rarely used. Instead, a hint of seventies is evident in bohemian styles that use colour and textures in limited amounts." For example, "the latest Mulberry Home wallpaper collection features printed velvets, rich-coloured paisley prints in a sophisticated interpretation," Tracy adds.
There are several key pieces from the era. "Two types of flooring scream seventies - linoleum in the kitchen, with a living room fully fitted with shagpile carpet. A key piece of furniture would be a teak dining table with matching chairs with a wooden back and upholstered seat."
Not all seventies items are created equal. "It is known as 'the decade that taste forgot' for a reason," Tracy says.
So if a full-on formica kitchen with a linoleum floor doesn't do it for you, try easy additions of record players, drinks cabinets and trolleys for a more subdued seventies vibe.
Amanda Kavanagh is editor of Image Interiors & Living magazine
Hippie prints were the welcome hangover from the swinging sixties. These bright bowls will liven up any table; articledublin.com
Made from 100pc wool, the Isobars rug from Wexford-based Ceadogán is available in different sizes and colourways; ceadogan.ie
Another gem from the Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic collection, this cushion is seventies chic, sans commitment; dunnesstores.com
Launched in 1967 by the general post office, this mustard telephone was a home staple in the seventies; harveynorman.ie
The undisputed queen of seventies prints, this Orla Kiely pan would cheer up even the blandest porridge; amara.com