You don’t take their word for it? Here are some statistics for you. In a 2022 survey of 600 decorators by 1stDibs, 26% of respondents said they had witnessed a resurgence of distinctive decade decorating features. The luxury antiques site also saw a massive increase in sales of iconic designs from the era, including Mario Bellini’s 1970 “Camaleonda” sofa (yes, that bulbous sofa you’ve seen all over Instagram), Michel Ducaroy’s ‘Togo’ sofa and Vico Magistretti’s ‘Maralunga’ sofa from 1973, and Tobia & Afra Scarpa’s ‘Artona’ dining series. Meanwhile, demand for Giancarlo Piretti pieces has increased by 125%. And here comes the smoking gun: on the cover of his new album, Harry Styles – an aesthetic arbiter if ever there was one – stands in a very Seventies bedroom with a low lounge chair that resembles the work of Italian manufacturer Giandomenico Belott.
At first, it may seem like an unwanted blast from the past. The 1970s have long been derided for their more questionable choices, like plastic-covered furniture, traffic-cone-shaped orange pallets, and dusty shag carpets. But the 2020s take is more understated, more curated, plucking 70s-inspired highlights while ditching dated aspects.
Mischa Couvrette, chief designer at Hollis and Morris, assures us that “the orange hue as well as the overuse of plastic decor” remains in the past, while BoND’s Daniel Rauchwerger argues that the decade, at least in terms of design, is often misunderstood in the first place. “I think today it’s easy to confuse 1970s design with general nostalgia,” he says. “The 1970s were, in a way, quite restrained in the palette and use of materials, compared to the decades that preceded and followed them. Lots of warm browns and tones, natural and raw materials like wood and exposed concrete, combined with bold geometry and patterns. (Think less of the Austin Powers bachelor pad, and more of Yves Saint Laurent’s Parisian library, Calvin Klein’s Fire Island Pines house, or any room by famed interior designer David Hicks or Tony Duquette. ) Clive Lonstein is also a champion of the era: “There is a stripped down, brutalist sense presented through the simplicity of the materials and more geometric shapes,” he explains. “Texture takes precedence over form, so we’re seeing a lot of simpler shapes overlaid with softer, colorful materials.”