The Insider: How to do 1970s chic (minus the lava lamp)

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The Independent Online

I fell for the 1970s when I moved into a 1968-built house. Now, accidentally, I'm fashionable – the look is everywhere. But it's a fine line between a well-edited revival and the garish, suburban set of Abigail's Party... So what to choose?

Ditch clichés

"The era is often associated with synthetics and the space age – think Eero Arnio's Bubble Chair," says Dominic Lutyens, co-author of 70s Style & Design (£24.95, Thames & Hudson). "But today the angle is romantic and mellow – reviving William Morris and Laura Ashley." On that tip, check out Aubrey Beardsley's sensual Art Nouveau, rediscovered in the 1970s, at

Factory setting

"Another 1970s look is 'High-Tech'," says Lutyens' co-writer, Kirsty Hislop. "Industrial components – scaffolding, trestle tables, factory lamps, filing cabinets... The architect Michael Hopkins' house is a great example." (Find it under projects/residential at Hislop also plunders vintage Habitat catalogues bought on eBay for ideas.

Let's go outside

Nature – in stone, wood and earthy hues – reflected the hippie rejection of consumerism. Consider a stacked stone fireplace or, in an airy space, pine-panelled ceilings.

Avocado dream

Dare you try

Log on

The US pair behind inspiring blog live 1970s chic – patterned fabrics stretched over walls, orange Le Creuset, wicker chairs and exposed bricks.

Call me sells Trimphones, priced £40.

Move on up

Fancy buying a 1970s pad? Visit agents Or just window-shop – it's amazing. Kate Burt

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at