Here is our latest installment in the series of Get The Looks: all published for Vintage Life magazine. This month it’s the 1960s home.
Get the Look: The 1960’s home
from Your Vintage Life
The 1960s was full of optimism. Rationing was long gone, industry was booming, the space race was under way and with the increased popularity of foreign travel, it meant families were braver than ever with their home design. Here are our “must have” items to recreate and enjoy this look.
The girls from the 1940s had grown up, with their own homes and families. With money in their pockets and credit being introduced, they upgraded their home-made or utility furniture for glossy teak. Often sold though large department stores, companies like G Plan made furniture for every room in the house. Adverts sprung up in magazines with aspirational images of glamorous ladies sitting at their Nathan bedroom suite or having drinks by their Mcintosh sideboard. Well made, quality pieces have stood the test of time and still look great today.
All things cosmic
During the 1960s the space race between America and Russia greatly impacted interior design
From furniture to lighting, everything became cosmic inspired. A must have was the lava lamp. Designed in 1963, it became popular later in the decade when the hippy generation fell in love with its free flowing, psychedelic colours. Another popular item was an atomic, planet like structure table display. Who knows what these were originally called but they totally sum up the fun, exciting times of the late 60s.
Love your habitat
Habitat influenced our homes during the 60s, providing affordable, fashionable pieces that contrasted with all this teak. The baby boomers rejected their parents look, choosing the sometimes revolutionary stock displayed in room-sets. Pasta jars were bought after foreign holidays and paper moon shades hung from every young persons ceiling (Habitat was the first retailer to sell both). Their must have item was the chicken brick designed in 1964: a terracotta mini oven which allowed meat to steam in it’s own moisture.
Bolder nick nacks
Funky glassware first started appearing in the 1950s but became mainstream in the 1960s. Italian Murano glass, Maltese M’dina and British Whitefriars led the way with bright colours, bubble forms (think lava lamp!) and free form shapes.
A favourite is the Whitefriars “Drunken Bricklayer” designed in 1967 by Geoffrey Baxter. 3 glass bricks sit badly on top of each other highlighting a humour within contemporary design which was a million miles away from the kitsch glass fish of the previous decade. Clusters of different shapes and styles will recreate this look but be careful..collecting glass is highly addictive!
The modern telephone
The BT 700 series was the must have item sitting in your hall. Not only a great way to chat to your friends but also bright and “modern” (as they were described in their adverts). They came in 7 colours with the possibility of swapping your phone to match your wallpaper. But as this costed money, most people stayed safe choosing black or cream. With the rotary dial slowing down our pace, they take us back to another time long before anyone dreamt of mobile phones and social networking.
Wall art really took off in the 1960s with artists making prints for high street stores such as Boots and Woolworths. JH Lynch was one of the most popular, with his iconic Tina. He painted beautiful,semi clad ladies emerging from lakes and woods looking over us with sultry eyes. No one knows much about the artist or who the girl is but this didn’t stop thousands of homes having this must have item. Display next to a starburst clock to complete the look.
J&G Meakin led the way in the 1960s with their range of sleek and contemporary ceramics. Studio pottery was designed in 1964 by Tom Arnold and influenced most other pottery companies. Where styles were more rounded in the 50s, shapes became long and slender with geometric patterns on. Classic designs often involved funky flowers, enabling people who hadn’t yet embraced the hippy vibe to dip into the fashion whilst drinking their tea!
Photo coutesy of Catwalk Creative Vintage
future is orange
The 50s saw a love of bright colours but the 1960s embraced more subtle tones. However orange, often mixed with blues and browns lasted through to the early 70s. Sofas, glassware, lights and even Tupperware were in this bright hue. From the iconic rocket lamp in orange spun fibreglass to whole kitchens in orange laminate this is without doubt the colour to choose for your 60s home.
These are just a few key pieces which still look great today. Mix them into a modern home or embrace fully this retro look…whichever way, one things for sure: you will have a lot of fun doing it!