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How to get the 1970s decor look

From shag rugs to whimsical patterns, groovy 1970s decor is all the rage in 2021

By Sacha van Niekerk | October 4, 2021 | Trends

New York-based celebrity stylist, Samantha Brown, shared in an interview with Insider that the 1970s will be making yet another return to fashion this year and it’s really no surprise that the trend is encompassing decor now too.

From shag rugs to whimsical patterns covering every stitch of fabric, 1970s inspired decor is back in a big way with its warm and cheerful aesthetic that is bringing life back into our homes.

How to get the 1970s decor look:


Patterns form a huge part of this trend. From groovy 1970s florals to diamond check and bold, cartoonish illustrations, it’s definitely a look made to stand out. Some opt to allow one print to shine at a time, but the “power clashing” of contrasting prints is also popular.

Picture: Clashing patterns and prints give this 1970s inspired decor an eclectic feel, Instagram

To make the decor work together, balance out bolder, more graphic prints with one that is more subtle, or go all out with garish prints at once.

Picture: Groovy 1970s inspired patterns make this kitchen decor pop, Instagram

Use similar colour palettes to tie everything together. Flame Stitch. There's a definite retro appeal to flame stitch design — it was very popular in the 1970s.

The pattern is a closely spaced series of flame-like, jagged lines.

Unlike chevron, flame stitch’s zigs and zags are usually thin and can vary in height.

Macrame wall art

Picture: Macrame is the art of tying knots to create patterns and was a popular decor piece in the 1970s and in modern times too, Instagram

Macrame is the art of tying knots to create patterns and was a popular decor piece in the 1970s and in modern times too. Picture: Instgram.

Macramé, an elaborate form of textile, became “Vogue” in America and Europe during the 1960s and 1970s when the fashion magazine released a book about it, bringing it to the forefront of fashion.

The textile is produced through various intricate knotting techniques.

By repeating knots in a certain sequence, patterns are formed.

Whether the piece is hung from a wooden rod to compliment the earthy tones of the yarn used or made into a captivating dream catcher, the designs created make stunning statement pieces that add unique textures to your space.

70s inspired psychedelics

Picture: Bold patterns and colours often paired together for a dramatic look, Instagram

Who knew green and pink or orange and purple were a match made in heaven?

The modern 1970s-inspired decor movement is all about self-expression and breaking rules with seemingly bizarre colour palettes.

The results are bold and playful yet effortlessly chic.

The inspiration comes from the psychedelic era that began in the late 1960s as a statement of liberation from the more restrictive era of button-down shirts and stiff high-neck dresses.

Music and pop culture influenced a lot of the trends at the time as colour television sets were becoming increasingly popular among the general population.

As a result, in the late 1960s and 1970s, trends were enamoured with vibrant hues.

While these psychedelic colour combinations were mainly seen in fashion, in 2021, it’s tricked over to the decor side of things and can be seen in everything from statement floral centrepieces to whimsical wall art, gorgeously bold rugs and scatter cushions.

Materials inspired by nature

Picture: Warm earthy tones were popular during this era, Instagram

Brown, beige and earthy reads, when it came to furniture and decor the 1970s design style was all about the back-to-nature movement.

In modern expressions of this decor style, natural elements breathe life into the home by highlighting the beauty of natural materials and textures.

The grain of exposed wood, the intricate twists and turns of rattan, bamboo, seagrass and jute, and the speckled texture of real cork all add timeless qualities to decor that doesn’t go out of style.

Since natural materials are usually in neutral shades they seamlessly fit into most decor themes and will add warmth to homes with their welcoming hues.

And, the calmness of these hues only enhances the vibrant Technicolor and patterns seen in 1970s textiles.


Picture: Colourful shag mat, Instagram

Whether you love geometric patterns, retro flowers, exaggerated wavy lines or simply love the idea of a statement piece, mats complete any room, bringing different decor elements together.

From shag to fringe, soft plush mats in varying sizes, materials and patterns are all the rage right now.

The trend of layering smaller mats over the carpet or wooden flooring as well as over larger mats has been seen in the homes of celebs and influencers as well as splashed across design magazines recently.

With fringe trims and from the bedroom to the lounge or home office, a mat is a simple, non-permanent way to add some 1970s flair to the home.