There are design trends that come and go at the blink of an eye, and then there’s the love affair with 70s decor. No matter how much our lifestyles change and our design sensibilities evolve, there’s just no turning away from the lure of the vibrant, welcoming, unabashedly unique vibe of the 70s. In many ways, this decade established what we currently refer to as retro. Flowing forms, luxe textures and colorful walls and accents are just some of the many elements from the 70s that have made a reappearance in 2022. Let’s discover how to use them to style our homes!
10 easy ways to give your home decor a 70s twist
Set a sepia palette
70s decor will often feature intense tones like burnt orange and mustard, typically in peel and stick wallpaper and large pieces of furniture. A simple way to get this vibe without making your decor appear gaudy or dated is by muting these colors to nothing but a warm sepia glow. Think along the lines of peach, blush and soft brown tones. Such a palette will instantly set a nostalgic mood, and gel perfectly with contemporary pieces as well. The sepia palette is great for showcasing wooden furniture, richly textured accents, and small but noticeable doses of cool colors like muted green and turquoise.
2. Swirl away!
Free flowing forms were a big hit in the 70s, appearing in home decor through furniture with rounded edges, wallpaper and artwork featuring shells and swirls, and other details such as scalloped edges in cushions and pillowcases. This is one of our favorite ways to rekindle the retro vibe while also retaining contemporary freshness. Nautical themed prints featuring swirling waveforms, for instance, will open up your decor to a great many possibilities.
3. Play with reflective surfaces
For someone looking to get started with 70s decor in a modern home, focusing on accessories is always an effective approach. Reflective elements like circular mirrors, metallics and glassware will instantly add retro glam to your ambiance. In the 70s, these elements were typically showcased against luxe velvet upholstery and lavish floral prints. In your contemporary home, strike a balance between vintage and modern by pairing them with subtle textures in neutral colors.
4. Wicker wizardry
70s decor is not just about luscious velvets and gilded glam. There’s a simpler side to this well-loved aesthetic, and it features generous doses of rattan, wicker and basic weaves. Unleash the irresistible charm of wicker furniture, rattan planters or table accessories, and macrame wall hangings. When introduced to a simply laid out, neutral toned room, and in the company of a few statement accents (like a vibrant area rug), these endearing elements can have a great impact.
5. Rediscover geometry
Geometric patterns are great at evoking 70s vibes in your decor. Showcase these on large, prominent surfaces like walls to immediately set the mood. The choice of pattern will depend on the room you’re working with. Art Deco inspired lattices in warm colors are superb at giving a living room a nostalgic feel without making it unapproachable. We’ve already spoken about swirls and shell forms - these would give your bathroom walls a welcome change from boring tiles. You can also experiment with simple stripes or plaids for your 70s inspired kitchen.
6. Bring home the flowers
Floral wallpaper was a great hit in the 70s, and continues to be a crowd favorite today. A flamboyant floral print with large blossoms and a simple rendering style could be just what your dull room needs. To keep the aesthetic rooted in the 70s, consider muted pastel colors or warm earth tones.
Large open plan living areas with terrazzo flooring immediately bring in a retro feel. It’s something to do with their tactile quality, and the fact that they introduce depth without relying on too many color or scale variations. If you’re not willing to go all out and change your flooring, there are other simple and clever ways to add a touch of terrazzo to your decor. It could be in the form of an accent table, a feature wall, or simply a vase or planter placed in a prominent location. Faux terrazzo textures are great at helping you create the look without going through installation hassles.
8. Woodsy coziness
For that wholesome 70s home feel, try bringing more wooden elements into your decor. Retro furniture is great, but it’s even better if you can try wooden paneling or slats as a wall treatment. Again, this doesn’t need to be the real thing - a variety of faux wood textures are available that can create the look perfectly on a simple printed surface. Take care not to go for something glossy here, as it may compromise the woodsy richness you’re trying to achieve.
9. Houseplants galore
Indoor greenery makes a welcome addition to a 70s-themed home, and more often than not, can actually help set the theme. Ferns in tall planters filling dull corners, cacti and other succulents covering shelves and table tops, and vines trailing over edges that need articulation - the choices are far from limited here. In your color scheme for such settings, stay on the warmer side of the spectrum, through earth tones, light orange or blush tones, or simply through warm white or neutral elements.
10. Technicolor celebrations
70s decor is fairly forgiving when it comes to color choices - so much so that it has a special place for bright neon or technicolor elements as well. If muted colors and earth tones are not your cup of tea, feel free to go all - out retro with vibrant technicolor wall art, fabrics and drapery. These could feature pop culture references and graffiti that immediately take you back to the 70s. Take care not to go overboard with this approach. A feature wall or an accent chair is typically enough to establish the dynamic technicolor vibe.
Ready to have fun with some 70s themed decor? Let us know how you went about creating your retro space, and feel free to use our effortlessly stylish, PVC-free peel and stick wallpapers to get things started.