The ’70s are known as the decade that style forgot, but a handful of retro touches can add a touch of bohemian flair to any modern home. While wood paneling and psychedelic wallpapers are certainly classics, the design trends that truly stand out in this era were often more subtle. Incorporating shag rugs, macrame wall hangings and rattan furniture can easily add an updated 70’s-inspired look to any contemporary home.
If you’re trying to incorporate a modern 70s style house, the first step is selecting a color palette. This is where it pays to be a little more experimental than you might be used to, since this era was all about exploring new combinations of colors and textures. For example, consider pairing a mod-inspired curtain with a rich orange sofa for a punchy combination of color and texture. You might also want to try a yellow-and-orange accent wall for a striking, eye-catching effect.
Natural materials were big in the ’70s, so if you want to bring a bit of this era into your home, look for wooden furnishings and earth-toned flooring. Designer Olive Cooke of That 70s House chose to go for a more muted aesthetic in her Lennox Head home, incorporating dark timber walls and natural rattan furniture. The result is a beautiful mix of modern minimalism and 70’s style.
Another way to bring a touch of the ’70s into your home is with patterned wallpaper. This era saw a proliferation of floral patterns, from simple geometric prints to full-blown florals. Whether you opt for a single accent wall or a room clad in a bold print, the key is to balance the pattern with plenty of neutrals to prevent your space from feeling too busy.
Lastly, don’t forget to update your lighting fixtures. Replacing standard bulbs with retro-inspired ones can be an easy way to instantly spruce up any room. Just make sure to pick fixtures with glossy finishes so they’ll look more modern rather than old-school.
One thing you shouldn’t update is your kitchen. In the ’70s, homeowners embraced a variety of styles, from linoleum to textured tile and pastel appliances. If you’re ready to give your kitchen a makeover, consider bringing in a few vintage-inspired elements, like a green rattan fridge or a teal oven. Or, you could try a more subtle approach, such as adding a striped marble backsplash or a tin ceiling.
The last thing you want to do in your modern 70s style house is replace your doors and millwork with dark wood options. While this might be a necessity in some cases, such as in older homes with dark wood trim or paneling, opting for paint-grade door and window frames keeps your home looking light and bright. Also, don’t bother with the popcorn ceilings — save that stuff for the movie theater! These outdated textures are unflattering on any ceiling, and they’re a real pain to keep clean. A smooth drywall finish is much easier to maintain, and it won’t date your home as quickly.