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A DESIGN JOURNAL

BACK TO THE PAST: 60’S DESIGN REVIVAL MAKES A COLOURFUL COMEBACK

Updated: Apr 2


In the world of interior design, what goes around comes around. As we find ourselves navigating through a new decade, it's clear that the vibrant, daring, and distinctly unique aesthetics of the 60's design style are making a colourful comeback as seen in Sarah Sherman Samuel's Woodland suite renovation pictured here. This resurgence is not just a nod to nostalgia but an embrace of the era's fearless use of colour, pattern, and innovative materials.



The 60's design revolutionized the way we perceive space and colour in our homes, breaking free from the conservative styles that preceded it. Today, we're witnessing a revival of this dynamic era, as contemporary interior designs increasingly incorporate elements from the 60's, proving that great design is indeed timeless.


Hall mark of the 60’s design


The 1960s stand out as a vibrant chapter in the history of interior design, marked by a bold departure from the muted palettes and reserved forms of earlier decades. This era was characterized by its embrace of vivid, often psychedelic patterns that danced across wallpapers, textiles, and artwork, infusing homes with a sense of dynamism and joy. Colour was wielded with unprecedented confidence, with interiors showcasing a spectrum from neon brights to deep, rich hues, reflecting a society in the midst of transformation and exploration. Below is our kitchen/living room design for our upcoming 60's revivial project in Pemberton. The wall paper is going to be the star of the show, with the muted green kitchen and the textured bench, Merrigold yellow linen curtains and walnut accents to tie the two spaces all together. Check our Youtube chanel to stay up to date with this project.


Innovative use of materials played a pivotal role in the era's furniture design, with plastic emerging as a favorite for its versatility and futuristic appeal. Iconic pieces from this time, such as the mod egg chair and the bubble chair that seemed to float in the air, combined form, function, and fun in ways that were revolutionary. These pieces not only challenged traditional notions of what furniture could be but also how it could interact with the spaces it inhabited.


Geometric shapes and the influence of pop art brought a playful, yet edgy energy to interiors, adding layers of complexity to the design language of the time. This was a period that dared to mix and match, not just in terms of colour but also texture and form. Shag carpets and wood paneling added warmth and a tactile dimension that contrasted with the sleek, reflective surfaces of space-age designs.

The 1960s design ethos was, at its heart, about breaking free from convention and exploring new possibilities. It championed creativity, innovation, and a bit of rebellion, setting the stage for the eclectic, personalized approaches to interior design that continue to resonate today.

 

WHY THE 60’S IN MAKING A COME BACK


The revival of the 60's design style in contemporary interior decorating reflects a collective desire for spaces that exude optimism, individuality, and a daring approach to aesthetics. As modern design often leans towards minimalism and neutral palettes, the reintroduction of the 60's vibrant colours, playful patterns, and unique textures offers a welcome contrast. This period in design history was marked by a willingness to experiment and defy traditional norms, characteristics that resonate with today's decorators seeking to personalize their spaces.


Moreover, the return of the 60's style aligns with current values of sustainability and conscious living. The era's penchant for natural materials, handmade items, and durable furnishings parallels today's push for eco-friendly and ethically sourced decor. The concept of open plan living, which gained popularity during the 60's, mirrors the modern preference for versatile, fluid living environments that accommodate a range of activities and interactions within a single space.


This resurgence also speaks to a broader cultural appreciation for periods that have shaped contemporary society and design philosophies. As people explore ways to infuse their homes with character and warmth, the 60's style—with its rich colour schemes, dynamic forms, and inventive use of materials—provides ample inspiration. It's not merely about recreating the past but about borrowing elements that offer comfort, joy, and a touch of whimsy in today's fast-paced world. In embracing the 60's design revival, homeowners and designers alike celebrate an era that championed creativity, forward-thinking, and the art of living boldly.

 

 

INCORPORATING 60’S DESIGN IN YOUR HOME

 

Integrating the vibrant ethos of the 60's design into contemporary settings can be both fun and transformative, offering a fresh perspective on modern living spaces. Rather than committing to a full-scale retro renovation, introducing elements emblematic of the 60's can infuse your home with a playful yet sophisticated vibe. Begin by exploring colour as an expressive tool; opt for bold accent pieces such as a brightly coloured armchair or a series of pop art-inspired prints to add visual interest and a dash of nostalgia. Furniture selections are key to achieving an authentic 60's feel—consider iconic designs like the sleek lines of a Saarinen tulip table or the organic curves of a molded Eero Aarnio ball chair to make a statement.


Textiles and patterns offer another avenue to channel the 60's spirit into modern homes. Look for geometric or abstract prints in curtains, rugs, or throw pillows that can serve as conversation starters. Lighting fixtures, too, play an integral role in setting the right mood; space-age lamps with unusual shapes or materials can become focal points in a room. Don’t overlook the power of accessories and smaller details, such as vintage glass vases or minimalist sculptures, to subtly tie the look together.


By selectively integrating these elements, it's possible to craft spaces that pay homage to the 60's design movement while maintaining a contemporary edge. The goal is to blend the past and present in a way that feels cohesive, inviting, and unmistakably personal, reflecting a balance between retro allure and modern practicality. This approach allows for a creative exploration of colour, form, and texture that enlivens the home environment without overshadowing the comforts and requirements of today's living.

 

 


THE roll of colour in 60’s design revival


The resurgence of 60's design within contemporary interiors has rekindled a daring approach to colour that stands in vibrant opposition to the subdued tones often seen in recent years. This revival is characterized by an enthusiastic embrace of a wide color spectrum, where the audacious use of neon hues, rich deep colors, and everything in between challenges the status quo and brings an invigorating energy into modern homes. The choice of colours in this design renaissance is not arbitrary; it is a deliberate nod to the experimental and optimistic spirit of the 60s era, which sought to explore the boundaries of creativity and self-expression through the medium of interior design.

In modern contexts, these colours are not just applied to walls or big-ticket items but are also found in accent pieces, textiles, and art, allowing for flexibility and subtlety in their incorporation. The strategic use of colour can transform a space from mundane to extraordinary, proving that a touch of 60's flair can coexist harmoniously with contemporary aesthetics. This approach to colour is more than a stylistic choice—it is a statement. It speaks to a desire to infuse spaces with personality and vibrancy, mirroring the dynamic shifts in society and culture that the 60s epitomized.

Embracing the eclectic colour palettes of the 60's design revival offers an opportunity to break free from the confines of minimalist color schemes, inviting homeowners and designers to experiment with combinations that reflect their unique tastes and visions. It is this fearless exploration of color that not only defines the 60's design revival but also enriches the tapestry of modern interior design, proving once again that the boldest expressions of creativity often come from looking back to move forward.

 

 

THE impact today on 60’s interior design trends


The 60's design era is leaving a profound mark on contemporary interior design, shaping trends that favor bold self-expression, innovative use of space, and a harmonious blend of different textures and materials. This period's influence encourages homeowners to create living spaces that not only stand out aesthetically but also cater to the multifaceted demands of modern life. The fusion of the 60's emphasis on vibrant colours, multifunctional furniture, and open-plan living with today's technologies and sustainable materials results in interiors that are both visually striking and environmentally conscious. This blending of eras fosters an eclectic yet cohesive style, allowing for personal taste to dictate design choices more freely than ever before.


The 60's design's legacy is evident in the increasing preference for spaces that reflect a sense of individuality and creativity, moving away from cookie-cutter designs. It has introduced a fresh perspective on how interiors can be structured - not just for aesthetic pleasure but as a reflection of one's personality and values. The era's hallmark mix-and-match approach offers a blueprint for combining vintage and modern elements, creating unique environments that are comfortable, stylish, and functional.

As we delve deeper into this century, the enduring appeal of the 60's design continues to guide the evolution of interior trends. It champions a dynamic approach to decorating that prioritizes innovation, freedom, and a playful yet thoughtful use of color and form. This ongoing dialogue between the past and present in design ensures that our living spaces remain a testament to our collective journey towards more expressive, adaptable, and inclusive homes.


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