Time warping back to the 1970s, designers are embracing laid-back proportions, rich textures and groovy colours to develop furniture that brings a welcome hit of coziness to modern design. Here are five recent launches that show how interiors are making everything old new again.
What happens when you cross the mid-century modern visual language of Ray and Charles Eames with the ultra-cool design sensibility of Mette and Rolf Hay? You get the new Herman Miller x Hay capsule collection, which sees two of the brands in the MillerKnoll family team up to introduce slightly remixed versions of classic designs like the Eames Hang-It-All.
The collaboration’s distinctive colour palette — which includes shades like Toffee, Iron Red and Powder Yellow — offers ’70s lovers plenty to swoon over. For a new version of the Eames Sofa Compact, the Hays even convinced Maharam to reissue a discontinued — and delightfully retro — variation of Alexander Girard’s Jacob’s Coat textile. Adding to the piece’s playful personality, they then splashed its steel frame in a vivid eggplant purple.
Contrasting a Transformer action figure’s proportions with a Malibu Barbie’s colour scheme, Seoul designer Kwangho Lee’s armchair for Hem is the latest demonstration that, when it comes to seating, bulky forms and bright cerulean hues are definitely back.
Available with or without its oversized armrests, the geometric lounger features bouclé upholstery that would feel right at home in a textural 1970s living room. Along with Icicle (shown), it is also available in Chocolate (dark brown) or Swan (ivory). Hem launched the piece alongside Lee’s Glyph series of coffee tables, which feature curved geometric forms inspired by hieroglyphs.
First presented in 1970, Ettore Sottsass’s sculptural Ultrafragola mirror has become a bona fide social media sensation five decades later. But those looking for a high-impact spot to shoot their selfies also have some great new contemporary alternatives to choose from. Take, for instance, the recently unveiled Wander series of wall mirrors designed by Parisian duo AC/AL Studio for French manufacturer Petite Friture.
The playfully graphic compositions arrange shapely mirrored glass forms in front of two-toned glass panels. A special mounting system forms a two-centimetre gap between the back panel and the wall behind it, creating dramatic shadows that add to the piece’s vibe-y appeal. If you’re looking to keep one eye in the mirror as you watch yourself gavotte, look no further.
No ’70s roundup is complete without a hit of avocado green. Sebastian Herkner modelled his latest collection of side tables for Coedition after jewelry. Each one rests a bead-like ceramic tabletop on a rounded metal base, offered in patinated brass or bronze finishes.
The made-in-Italy collection includes three different sizes: a high and low coffee table, as well as a side table. Along with the aforementioned green, the tables are also available in Cream and Terracotta.
Shag carpeting may not be making a comeback just yet, but soft flooring is definitely picking up colours and patterns from 1970s furniture design trends. Milan design firm Studio Pepe recently unveiled a new collection of rugs for Muuto that is inspired by both aerial views of nature and by the conceptual art of Daniel Buren.
The geometric collection is created by cutting hand-tufted New Zealand wool at different heights. Rugs are offered in two sizes — 170 x 240 and 200 x 300 centimetres — and four colours: Sage Green, Off White, Dark Green and Burnt Orange.
Fab and funky new residential designs revive the trend towards earth-toned, texture-rich interiors.