Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Interior Design – A Journey Through the Eras

Written by Guest Writer • September 19th, 2014
Interior Design – A Journey Through the Eras

Interior design is an ever evolving industry. What we know today isn’t the way things have always been. Throughout the years our ideas of home decoration have developed and progressed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a little inspiration in trends from years gone by.

Much like fashion, interior trends always come back around and right now we’re taking on vintage styles to give our homes a fresh, inviting look. When we use the umbrella term ‘vintage’ it’s hard to determine where these styles actually originate. Let us take you through the years for an in-depth journey through interior design of the past.

The 1940s

Post-war interior design in the 40s was very sentimental, think pastels and gentle florals. It was easy on the eye and an enthusiastic change to the basic interior design that was previously in place. However, these were only featured in communal areas. Whilst relished in living spaces, bathrooms and kitchens were often void of colour.

In a time obsessed with cleanliness, kitchens and bathrooms were almost completely white. The clinical look was enforced to draw attention to hygiene. Whilst we may associate Gingham print with the British mods of the 60s, it was actually a common compromise found in many kitchens in the 40s.

The 1950s

Big bold patterns were a staple of the 50s and with the revival of geometric prints, you’ll easily find a wallpaper to embrace this era. Starved of colour, the 50s brought bright shades to the masses and this is really when homes began to immerse themselves into interior design.

Wooden cabinets, panelling and flooring could be found in many homes during the 50’s and gave rooms a polished finish.

The 1960s

When you think of the 60s from a creative perspective, there really is no other time of such artistic liberation. A staple of the 60s was the Arts & Craft Movement and one notable name in the interior world – William Morris.
Hand carving wooden printing blocks to create the most lavish and detailed wallpapers, these intricate designs flow through current trends and have an omnipresent influence on designers to this day. Many inspired by the Great British wilderness, birds and branches entwined across the walls of homes in the 60s, repeating across every wall.

To bring this style into the modern era, choose a lush natural pattern, but only on one wall. Feature walls allow us dip our toes in the water with wallpapers that are a little too intense for all four walls of your room. Eye catching, but not too distracting from the overall look of the room, pick one colour from your chosen wallpaper and co-ordinate your soft furnishings to match the design and pull together your interior style.

The 1970s

Nothing says 70s like a sunken-in sofa and a mash up of orange and brown tones. For a gentle hint of 70s, pick a modern pattern, but stick to the colour palette. Geometric print, blocked stripes and if you’re feeling adventurous – velvet cushions.

It’s very easy to become an ‘Austin Powers’ parody with 70s design, so experiment with caution and make sure you bring the overall look together with matching soft furnishings and artwork. It’s hard to tone down the 70s style, but once tamed, this trend can create a fun and friendly living space, particularly in communal areas.

Written by: Graham & Brown

Above: Post-war interior design in the 40s was very sentimental, think pastels and gentle florals.

Above: Big bold patterns were a staple of the 50s and with the revival of geometric prints.

Above: When you think of the 60s from a creative perspective, there really is no other time of such artistic liberation.

Above: Nothing says 70s like a sunken-in sofa and a mash up of orange and brown tones.

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