Use the color and panache of 1960s interior design to inspire your own home!
Succeeding the Fifties was an era wherein decor was so flamboyant and bold it seemed to laugh at it’s very definition. Colorful, lively, and maybe just a tiny bit over the top, the goal of this style was impact. Rather than an emphasis on cost or class, the impression made was on lack of inhibition. It was as if the now adult baby boomers were leading a rebellion against serious minded Modernism.
The Sixties are known for exorbitance, but did you know that there were a handful of different styles that contributed to the overall look of this era? As they are today, aspects of styles were mixed and matched to suit personal tastes. Additionally, the focus of decor weighed much more heavily on it’s visual impact rather than a sense of aesthetic.
We all know about the impact that Pop Art had on the culture during this time, but it encouraged change inside the home just as it did in the world of art. Posters started to become a popular and affordable way to incorporate art into decor. Op Art, created by artists like Bridget Riley, explored the use of patterns and colors to create illusions of movement. Psychedelic patterns could be found throughout the home in wallpaper, art, curtains, and upholstery.
Thought unfavorable in the Forties and Fifties, Art Deco could be found in small ways.Touches of Art Nouveau, which had beginnings in the 19th Century Arts and Crafts movement also had a comeback in this era. The style incorporated organic shapes and forms that were inspired by nature. Glass art and sculptures embodied this style with free flowing curves and shapes.
The Space Race and Science Fiction had it’s own influences on design. Movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey and the designs of Olivier Mourgue inspired futuristic interiors. Chairs and tables featured biomorphic shapes made of molded plastics, or upholstered frames. Furniture ranged from patterned to colorful to white, and even translucent.
The overall goal of Sixties decor was to warp elements. Space, form, and color were moldable and used in new ways. While white walls could be found in many home, vibrant colors were far more common. Clashing colors and unusual combinations were used with frequency. Other popular palettes for this time included monochrome colors and metallic tones. Both carpeting and smooth no-wax vinyl were the top choices for flooring in this decade. Yes, when I say “carpeting” I’m talking about that famous shag carpet. Even in rooms covered in vinyl (or rooms still rocking linoleum), shag wiggled its way in as area rugs. Light fixtures were decorative and varied, drawing inspiration from both Deco and Space age.
Generally the first things to come to mind when pictures a Sixties home are kitsch items like lava lamps and plastic bead curtains. While these elements were definitely fixtures in the Sixties home, they are certainly not the only way to create the look of the decade.
This nod to the 60s modern bedroom is both eye catching with hues of orange and pink and various patterns. The style isn’t overwhelming, and the room still feels relaxed and inviting.
This room puts a modern spin on Sixties style. White walls and a grey rug and couch are contrasted by bold, colorful accents throughout the room. The sculptures, and various patterns create a feeling of movement.
Furniture designs of the Sixties speak for themselves, and if you’re willing to invest some money they are a foolproof way to create the look in your home. It may take a little time, but pieces by (and inspired by) designers like David Colwell and Pierre Paulin are out there and looking for loving homes.
Now you have all the information you need to create a psychedelic room of your own!
Written by TGH Domestic Design Expert: Adrienne Breedlove. You can also find Adrienne on her blog.