Thomas Robinson

70s Interior Design Trends That Scream ‘Boomer Chic’

The ’70s were a time when fashion and interior design boldly went where no era had gone before. But let’s face it, not all of these trends were winners. As we reminisce about the era of disco and bell-bottoms, let’s look at 22 interior design choices from the ’70s that are better left in our memory albums. 

Avocado Green Everything

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In the ’70s, avocado green was not just for guacamole. It dominated kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms. This peculiar shade of green covered appliances, carpets, and even bathroom fixtures. While it might have seemed like a refreshing choice back then, today, it’s more likely to remind you of that one fruit you forgot at the back of your fridge. 

Psychedelic Wallpaper

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The ’70s definitely loved a good trip! Psychedelic wallpaper with swirling patterns and eye-popping colors could turn any room into a groovy optical illusion. However, in today’s more minimalist age, these dizzying designs might just give you a headache. Let’s keep our trips to vacations, shall we?

Shag Carpets

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Shag carpets used to be all the rage in the ‘70s, and several articles have been written about their popularity. Thick, fluffy, and often in some questionable colors, these carpets were a toe’s dream and a vacuum’s nightmare. While cozy, they were also magnets for dust and crumbs. Modern cleaning sensibilities thank us for leaving these in the past.

Faux Wood Paneling

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The ’70s were the golden age of faux wood paneling, a time when walls everywhere were getting the artificial timber treatment. This trend turned living rooms into something resembling a wood cabin’s less attractive cousin. Not only did it darken rooms, but it also had a knack for making spaces feel dated faster than you can say “log cabin.” 

Plastic Furniture Covers

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Plastic furniture covers meant protecting your furniture at the cost of never actually enjoying it. These shiny, crinkly guardians of upholstery were a staple in homes where the furniture was apparently too good for human contact. It was like living in a furniture museum – look, don’t touch!

Harvest Gold Appliances

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Harvest Gold managed to make even the newest kitchen appliances look instantly outdated. This bold choice seemed to say, “I want my kitchen to look like a mustard factory.” Beyond the color, these appliances were often bulky, energy-inefficient, and as hard to match with modern decor. They stood out in kitchens like sore, yellow thumbs.

Inflatable Furniture

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Inflatable furniture was the ultimate expression of commitment issues in home decor. Easy to inflate but easier to puncture, this furniture brought a sense of camping adventure indoors – without the need for a tent. The constant fear of a sudden ‘pop’ kept owners on edge. Plus, you’d get a workout just trying to sit down or stand up without bouncing off into oblivion.

Matchy-Matchy Furniture Sets

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Matchy-matchy furniture sets from the ’70s made sure your room looked like it was bought in one swoop from a catalog. This trend took the guesswork out of decorating by ensuring that everything from your sofa to your end table was a carbon copy of the next. The result? Rooms that had the personality of a hotel lobby and the charm of a furniture warehouse. 

Mirrored Walls

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Mirrored walls were the ultimate solution for those who couldn’t decide between a room or a dance studio. These reflective surfaces turned everyday living into a hall of mirrors experience, where you could watch yourself from every angle – whether you wanted to or not. But this also meant that any clutter was multiplied, so your one pile of laundry suddenly became a hundred.

Popcorn Ceilings

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Popcorn ceilings were the ’70s way of adding “texture” to a room, and by texture, we mean a surface that resembles a lunar landscape. Not only were these ceilings dust and spiderweb magnets, but they also had a knack for raining down little bits of ceiling snow. Oh, the joy of scraping these off during a renovation!

Macramé Everything

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Macramé was like social media today – everywhere and inescapable. This knotted craft turned any space into a bohemian rhapsody, whether you wanted it or not. Macramé plant hangers, wall hangings, and even furniture insisted on giving your home a laid-back, hippie vibe. But too much had the opposite effect, making rooms look like an overeager spider’s web.

Lava Lamps

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Lava lamps were the mood rings of lighting in the ’70s. Their slow-moving blobs promised a zen-like ambiance but often ended up as glorified distractions. They were the perfect metaphor for the decade – fun, a little weird, and not particularly practical. Sure, they set the mood, but if the mood you were going for was “dimly lit with a side of psychedelic,” then you were spot on.

Bean Bag Chairs

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Bean bag chairs were the ultimate chill-out furniture – until you tried to actually get up. These blobs of comfort were like quicksand. The more you struggled, the deeper you sank! They were perfect for slouchy teenagers but disastrous for anyone with a bad back or a sense of dignity. Sitting on them was a struggle for freedom that was anything but relaxing.

Floral Chintz Fabric

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The floral chintz fabric didn’t just feature flowers – it unleashed them. The bold, often gaudy patterns turned rooms into a garden party where the plants had taken over. While theoretically charming, in practice, it felt like living inside a giant bouquet. The effect was less “English countryside” and more “floral invasion.”

Tile Countertops

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Tile countertops brought the joy of puzzles into the kitchen – except the pieces were permanently glued down, and the puzzle was cleaning the grout. These counters added a dash of color and a heap of maintenance. Every crumb and spill found a home in the grout lines, turning cleaning into a hobby you never wanted.

Terrazzo Flooring

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Terrazzo flooring was the ’70s way of saying, “I can’t decide on one color, so let’s have them all.” Made of chips of marble, quartz, glass, and more, it was like a permanent confetti party on your floor. Installing it was a commitment like getting a tattoo – it’s there for the long haul, and you better be sure about it. 

Bold Geometric Patterns

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The ’70s had a love affair with bold geometric patterns, turning homes into live-in abstract art exhibits. These patterns screamed their statements from the rooftops. But the problem with living in an art exhibit is that it’s exhausting. Too much time in a room with bold geometric patterns, and you might start feeling you’re trapped inside a Sudoku puzzle.

Rattan Furniture

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Rattan furniture was the go-to for anyone wanting to bring a slice of the beach into their home. This furniture gave a relaxed vacation vibe, but it usually made your home look like a tiki hut. While it’s great for sipping piña coladas, it’s less great when you’re just trying to find a comfortable spot to read. But according to Love Property, 2019 was the year when rattan furniture returned!

Tiffany Lamps

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Tiffany lamps were like the peacocks of home lighting – beautiful, ornate, and a little bit show-offy. They cast colorful shadows that could turn any room into a stained-glass cathedral. But their elaborate designs and heavy leaded glass made them less practical and more a museum piece. According to Incollect, they’re starting to make a comeback!

Huge Stereo Consoles

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In the ’70s, stereo consoles were enormous! These beasts were more than music players –  they were a furniture statement. But in a world where music can be played from a device that fits in your pocket, dedicating half your living room to a stereo seems as outdated as sending a telegram.

Velvet Wallpaper

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Velvet wallpaper was all about bringing the luxury of a Victorian mansion into the suburban home. It was like your walls got dressed up for a fancy gala every day. But this didn’t just collect dust collector – it was also a fading nightmare. Sunlight was its arch-nemesis, turning once-vibrant colors into a bleached memory. And cleaning it? You’d need more than a lint roller.

Waterbeds

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Waterbeds were the ultimate sleep gamble – equal parts bed and aquarium. They promised a wave-like, soothing sleep but often felt more like trying to nap on a gently rocking boat. Not to mention the fear of punctures, turning your peaceful sleep into a remake of “Titanic.” They were a bold attempt at futuristic sleeping, but let’s keep them in the past.

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