The sixties are back – and here’s how to achieve the look

Colour your home happy with a throwback to the décor trends of the 1960s

Sixties John Lewis
Think bright, bold and beautiful. Credit│John Lewis & Partners X Orla Kiely

Events this year have seen many of us yearn for the comfort of times gone by. Which is why homeware trends from the ‘60s are increasingly in vogue, with mid-century (read our three steps to the MC design movement) inspired furniture pieces becoming common design choices.

Going for this look means rebelling against keeping it simple and, instead, being bold – think ditsy florals and funky prints. The overall look is playful, and when juxtaposed with modern finishings it’s a quirky way to make a statement. 

Interior designer Anna Bier of AB Design explains how to bring the Good Vibrations into your 21st century home. 

Use bright colours

Sixties wall paper and vases
Don’t be afraid of using bright colour. Credit│John Lewis & Partners X Orla Kiely

“At the start of the decade, the colours in most ‘60s homes were inspired by nature, with avocado green, orange and yellow being very popular,” explains Anna. “But as the appetite for rebellion increased, there was a surge in the use of vibrant hues. When bringing these tones into a modern space, I suggest you opt for earthy colours as your base – magnolia is particularly trendy – and ramp up the atmosphere with vibrant accessories.”

“One of my favourite ways to work this look is by incorporating pop art and posters from the era of social progress. Lively prints add an extra charm to any room and can be easily sourced from Amazon.”

Flower power 

Floral bedspread by John Lewis & Partners X Orla Kiely
Bright bedsheets bring a lively pop to a room without too much commitment. Credit│John Lewis & Partners X Orla Kiely

The hippie movement meant that, “Floral motifs became the pattern of the time, flourishing on everything from upholstery to drapes.” If you’re looking for a way to bring some fun into your home, “Don’t be afraid to go brave with geometric patterns, paisley and florals prints on your upholstery.”

Use natural wood

Funky pillows on a grey chair
Opt for peg legs in natural wood. Credit│John Lewis & Partners X Orla Kiely

“When going retro, natural wood is the leading material. Showcasing it in its original state is key, so you’ll want to invest in pieces that show off the raw beauty of grains,” says Anna. “Most furniture of the time was positioned low to the ground for comfort, so an easy way to bring a hint of the era into your home is by investing in a comfy sofa with wooden peg legs.”

Get a shag rug

Colourful shag rug in bathroom
The bathroom is the perfect place for colourful shag rug. Credit│Via Instagram @thecurioushouse.co.uk

A defining accessory of the time was the shag rug. “The high pile rug was usually seen atop some original parquet flooring, but here they work just as well on top of tiles as a subtle nod to the trend. Go simple with a solid colour or choose a well-balanced geometric pattern for a boosted look.”

Play with accessories

A peg leg console table
A console table is the perfect base to accessorize. Credit│John Lewis & Partners X Orla Kiely

Incorporating this trend into a modern home is all about the styling. “A statement teak console or bookshelf with a lavish floral display placed on top, and a poster featuring abstract art hanging on the wall, hits the nail on the head,” says Anna. “Those wanting to go subtle can do so by adding a decorative glass vase or some colourful artisan pottery. West Elm is my favourite place to shop for these final stylish touches.”

Not sure if you’re ready to go this bold? Why not try the bohemian trend or bring a subtle hint of pink into your space.

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