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In-Vogue Interiors: How Much Has Changed?

You might not think much of shedding stripes from your walls or replacing wooden coffee tables for a cooler, shinier pedestal, but you may have inadvertently plunged your décor into another decade.

No, really. Interior design is an evolving art, beloved for its cultural and contextual nuances – a lot of which becomes very much “of its time”.

For a whistle-stop trip down memory lane, flip through the most iconic interior designs of the last 60 years – and enjoy a sneak peek of the living room of the future, below.

1960s

The height of the hippy movement proved a turning point for 1960s interior design. Straight lines were cast aside for swirling psychedelic prints that reflected the radical timbre of the time.

In any other era, kaleidoscopic colour schemes could have painted a chaotic picture. In the 60s, however, it was a breath of fresh air; a rainbow of righteousness. Coupled with iconic whimsical designs, like the Egg Chair and lava lamp, imaginative interiors finally became the norm – and muscled out 50s formality.

Top 60s picks:

  • Wall art: Andy Warhol/Woodstock
  • Chair: Egg chair (des: Arne Jacobsen)
  • Table: Tulip table (des: Eero Saarinen), Lava lamp (des: Edward Craven Walker)

1970s

70s style

An equally easy-going era, the 70s put its own spin on the swirls of the 60s, opting for a more pared-back colour palette.

Deep layers of browns, oranges and reds were positively decadent in their display, while natural elements, like wood and brick walls, emphasised the era’s russet aesthetic. 

To counter-balance the heavy colour scheme, functional furniture came to the fore. Designs like the Arco Floor Lamp and Zenon Baczyk chair spoke to both the masses and the interior masters. The limitless freedom of flower power was finally being refined.

Top 70s picks:

  • Wall art: Men in the Cities (des: Robert Longo)
  • Chair: Zenon Baczyk chair (des: Zenon Baczyk)
  • Lamp: Arco Floor Lamp (des: Achille Castiglioni)

1980s

80s style (1)

Self-expression and the joy of contrast (partly aided by Art Pop’s irreverence) defined the decade. Naturally, 80s interiors soon joined the party with their playful, and persistent, design paradoxes.

For instance, reds and browns demanded attention but, then again, so did naturals and neutrals. This newly-appointed conservative colour scheme was the perfect complement to fluttering colour televisions (of which had suddenly made living spaces a busy place to be).

By the end of the decade, both a TV and an undemanding décor were non-negotiables. You could say this was the beginning of the end for flamboyant living décor.

Top 80s picks:

  • Chair: Knoll Lounge chair (des: Florence Knoll)
  • Lamp: Grasshopper lamp (des: Greta Grossman)

1990s

90s style

From the small matter of the World Wide Web to the very first SMS text message, the early 90s were abuzz with exciting technological advancements.

For décor, this meant that “old fashioned” extras, like myriad ornaments, were banished to attics to make space for home cinemas and family computers.

When the dust had settled, homeowners turned their attention not to interior designer checklists, but to TV shows. In particular, our time spent watching Ross and Rachel’s blossoming romance on Friends ushered interiors into newer, cooler NYC territory. Overnight, an orderly style of shabby chic took over; a forerunning look for the growing hipster homestead.

Top 90s picks:

  • Wall art: Jouet photo/Purple photo frame (Friends TV show)
  • Chair: Lay-Z Boy Recliner
  • Lamp: 1227 Floor Lamp (des: George Carwardine)

2000s

00s style

The new millennium was a time for reflection - and also progression. For interiors, this meant a patchwork of old favourites (like the Barcelona chair) and new beginnings (VHS bookcases) began to negotiate the living space.

It was also the first decade to appreciate the power of the natural world; where heavily patterned wallpaper and dramatic wall art was once at the top of the style pyramid, the Noughties opened homeowners’ eyes to natural light and indoor succulents. Plain had quietly become powerful, and patterns – while not neglected – were much simpler and subtler than ever before.

Top 00s picks:

  • Chair: Barcelona chair (des: Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich)
  • Lamp: Serge Mouille style three-arm floor lamp (des: Serge Mouille)

2010s

10s style

If the Noughties noted an increase in natural elements, the 2010s was a montage of Mother Nature’s “best bits”.

Along with indoor plants and an earthy colour scheme, there was an influx of simple, boxy accents, like the Florence Knoll armchair and ladder bookcase. Sharp lines similarly spiked, with chevrons and geometric prints a chic antidote to cluttered décor.

Of course, no matter how minimalist the décor may have been, it was by no means boring. Big-ticket investment items, like the Adesso Spotlight, snapped interiors back into an elevated place of sapience. 

Top 10s picks:

  • Chair: Florence Knoll chair (des: Florence Knoll)
  • Lamp: Adesso Spotlight (des: Lee Schaak and Peggy Traub)

Future

Future style

The future living room throws back to previous eras – but confidently strips out their novelties.

For instance, you might expect to see art deco’s clean silhouette in feature furniture (more than a century after they were popularised), minus their fancy fan or shell motifs.

A heavy emphasis on clever engineering will drive the trend for simple-looking, shape-shifting furniture. Similarly, technology will help to clean up living space, pushing televisions out of sight and into the walls. Even lamps will seem like an unnecessary embellishment in a few years’ time – although simple accents, like the Lubois lamp, will always hold a special place in interior designers’ hearts.

Top future-inspired picks:

  • Chair: Cubista Ottoman (des: Bon Bon)
  • Lamp: Lubois lamp (des: Michel Cinier)

Are you thinking of styling your home for the next up-and-coming décor trend? You’re in luck. You can find the latest fabrics for your sofas, armchairs and footstools when you browse the Plumbs range today.

Sophie Page
Sophie Page

Sophie is a great granddaughter of the founders of the business - so fabrics and furniture are almost part of her DNA! Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is The Repair Shop. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.

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