Seventies Decor: What To Blame?

Seventies decor is unique. Clearly. And what astrological influence can we blame for the explosion of large prints, the garish colors and daring combos?

Granted, I am not a decor historian, so maybe there is some massive sociocultural or even economic reason for Seventies design. Did plastic manufacturing get real cheap then?  Paisley was successfully mass produced?  Some wallpapery revolution?

I don’t know but what I AM sure about is that Seventies decor (and yes I know there were some awesome things designed then) was not down to Uranus or Pluto in Libra. If in doubt, Libra understates.

But Neptune was in Sagittarius for most of that decade. And we all know that Sagittarians love kitsch, gaudy color schemes, gerberas and the ironic statement or ten.  Do they not? Or do i have this wrong?


Share this:

47 thoughts on “Seventies Decor: What To Blame?

  1. Wallpaper on the sides of the tub? Did people ever do this?

    I am really into patterns of all sorts, in fact that’s what my upcoming arts project is about, sort of, printing patterns. So I saw at that wallpaper and started thinking, “hmm.. I wonder how that was printed, maybe flexography or serigraphy.” And then I looked a little closer and thought, “oh hell, however they printed that, I don’t want to know.”

  2. remember, “gaudy” is a relative term – having lived through the seventies, these colours may also have been described as “lush” and “vibrant”…..historicity?

    • My sentiments exactly a couple of weeks ago when I was scraping 70s wallpaper off the living room in the house I’ve just bought – dang that stuff was the work of the devil in more ways than one.

        • Yup I remembered that while dealing with the freakin’ wall paper – in the end the builder was told to replace the wall panels – I had the last laugh :)

  3. No, i think you’re right, Mystic. As a Sagittarian myself, this (and 60s decor) is my ultimate favourite decorating look. Love kitsch, gaudy, totally uncomplementary colour schemes. Brown and orange, orange and green, purple and orange… more brown… along with some out there patterns – ideal!

    • ooh…! Personally I loathe all of the above – out there patterns (on anything – wallpaper, clothes etc), browns, orange, kitsch, gaudy, uncomplimentary colour schemes, loud, whatever. 70’s? Ick.

      But then, given other comments from sagg’s re this post maybe I should not defend my fellow saggo’s at all on this count, and simply thank god that there is at least one thing my venus-neptune on scorp asc and heavy chart accent on virgo/pisces squaring sagg merc and sun is good for – good taste!!

      • Ha ha ha – that’s hilarious! I do have a passionate interest in 1960s/70s culture so perhaps it’s more tied up with that?! Huge fan of most kinds of psychedelic design. Not sure why…! Maybe this post kind of explains it :)

  4. hehe. are they? I know some very stylish saggi women but it’s always a foreign influence that rules the style, or loud clash done well.

    but I’m with Year of the Fox re aesthetic decore

  5. When I first looked at this pic I was so hoping you would link it to Sag! I’m a Sag and I love 70s decor, 70s music, anything kitsch – except in fashion, where oddly I’m more of an 80s/early 90s type. I guess that must be the the ironic statement or 10 part.

  6. Definitely feel like Saggi anything could be to blame! No offence to the darling Saggi’s out there, but co-owning a hotel with a Saggi taught me to be watchful and wary of a Sagg with a paintbrush.

    Within seconds acommunity of like-minded care-free, unable-to-see-2-mins-into-the-future, but-it’s-FUN! types would have turned the burnt umber walls into a glo light paint, cruder than cave-painting festival of crap.

    Now I am not there, I cringe when I see the tacky pics on Facebook. Oh well, at least the place looked classy for a several years while I was there. Now it looks like a backpackers full of toddlers with spraycans have been through the place..

  7. I dont kno about this one….. maybe if the colored the sink black than it would be what, a, Scorpio or Sagittarius but they didn’t… it seem like some shit Aquarius would do.

  8. Ha! Just a few posts ago I mentioned how I always associated the color orange with Sagittarius. I think it’s a powerful color, definitely a bold statement maker and attention getter. I was born in ’78 so I only experienced the tail end of the decade, but I remember my mom dressing me in orange corduroy pants with paisley turtlenecks! *shudder* The first house we lived in had some trippy blue and gold paisley wallpaper too. My parents still laugh when they look at old pictures and always point out the wallpaper as being “tacky” and “gaudy” 😉 Some of the patterns have origins in Art Noveau and the bold colors could have been influenced by growing interest in the culture of India. Think The Beatles in the 70s, transcendental meditation, yoga and the sitar. I was too young to appreciate The Beatles at that time, but I do have a strong memory of first hearing international music on kid’s shows, like Sesame Street. :mrgreen: I love that I can find vintage Sesame Street on youtube.

    Mystic Twenty (1971)

  9. Oh can we talk? I was raised in the most awesome 70’s house. Giant flokoti carpets, suede couches, purple arm chairs and a pin ball machine in the den…

    I remember my mother dressed in in plaid and paisley flairs! We had a bar stocked with mini drinks I think stolen from airplanes with tacky Venetian blown martini glasses with a ring of gold. There was the kidney shaped table that had a hole cut out for an ashtray. And did I mention the swimming pool that was shallow at both ends and deep in the middle for volleyball?

    Soooo L.A. darling? Sigh…what I would do to live there again!

    • Yeah, I remember raking our green shag carpets. My sister is a bit of a paisley collector, she goes through thrift shops and looks for vintage clothes to resell. She gave me a few amazing paisley shirts, I am particularly fond of the ~1963 JC Penney’s pink paisley men’s long sleeve shirt. It is extra long and she wanted it for a shirtdress but it was too big, so she gave it to me.

      • ok Saggibee, when I get the house again I will invite you over We will have a party I will wear my paisley maxi dress and you can come in courderoy chaps with little suede patches sewn on the elbows of your matching jacket. I’ll make onion dip and put it in a carved out round sour dough loaf. You in?

  10. it is the pendulum swinging back to ornament in reaction to high modernism, stark abstract furnishings (bauhaus, adolf loos et al).

    it references Victorian era, Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau. all very historical.

  11. Nah, it’s the drugs. So I point my gnarly finger at some kind of Neptune thing happening that led to all the psychedelic drugs from the late 1960’s. I only had direct experience of this last year when I went to Peru and had some healings from a Shaman. They give you a vile brew called ayahuasca and then you see the whole world turn into swimming garish fluoro paisley for about 4 hours. Repeated fractal designs, it’s amazing, instructional and healing. Then you come back to reality and all the psychedelic art makes sense for the first time.

    • Oh wow, you’ve had ayahuasca.
      That is meant to be really amazing stuff. Love to hear more…

    • I agree the Victorian movement revival due to the trippy psychedelic drugs.

    • Drugs are Neptune.

      I blame Saggitarians on drugs.

      SeventiesDecor- Centaurs on Acid.

      • I blame an old sagg Bf for every bad habit I ever developed as a 17yr old.

  12. considering that the wallpaper above is almost a direct copy of a william morris print I am sticking to historical revival.

    Of course trippy colours etc are present but really it is one of the ongoing romantic vs classical trends of western culture.

  13. My poor mother got more grief form me in the ’70s for her style?!?!?
    She had sag asc. and moon neptune in virgo in the 9th–enough said.
    I am now steward of this lovely property and my eclectic style has her friends jaw drop in delight everytime one of them comes to visit.Hope she is also enjoying the journey…

  14. Is that a William Morris print? Could be a 70s interpretation of the Arts and Crafts movement. So they add the bright yellow tub to be ironic.

    I feel claustrophobic just looking at it, though.

    • It looks like a William Morris to me too.
      However, I like the original movement better not the 70’s fnk take on the Arts and Crafts movement. It’s too busy to be relaxing.

      • There was a big revival of Victorian and Edwardian/art deco style elements in the 70’s … wonder if this could be explained astrologically? Does any planet return at approximately the 80-90 year mark?

        • Ah … Uranus, 84 years. But Mystic is right, it was in Libra both periods & this doesn’t seem remotely Libran. Unless understood as Revolution Rules Aesthetics?

  15. I didnt study the sky’s of that era, but from the wordly point of view we had the respective situation :

    – first, the decade before was the point in time when the 20-something generation ‘came out’ en masse as a relevant social demographic and the market started to look after them respectively

    – in the 60’s again began the revival of the secession and art deco movements and the graphic/paisley trends of the 70’s came as the natural unfolding of that trend

    – a decade later, the 70’s i.e. this same demographic was in their 30-something, the most proliferous -en masse again (very important from the makret logic point of view)- target of the market space, so production was directional of their kind of tastes and likes respectively

    – as you pointed, plastic and (wall)paper were the cheapest imaginable mediums for taking hazardous chances to experiment and invent with a new kind of design and aesthetics, so the production had a significant amount of consistence, and, as much as that approach was welcomed within the consumeristic community, that much it was beneficial for the creative emantipation of the market itself

    Back to the start, yeah, IT WAS all about the psychedelic drug scene and the impact they had on the mass conscious i that respective point of time. Reading about it in memoars of this one astrologer and musician that lived it’s youth on that ‘revolutionary’ edge, Michael Erlewine, i’ve found the big O pointed out very clearly regarding the hush hush LSD&hallucinogen mathers, and look what he said about :

    THE LOSS OF SUBSTANCE, page 16./17.

    “First, a few words about the advent of LSD back in the early 1960s.

    Before any of us ever tried LSD, we had heard about it. Like all new highs and drugs, coming events cast their shadows, and the shadow of LSD was formidable and scary. Everyone agreed that it was not simply another “high” but, as science has documented, it was a “mind-altering” drug. That alone gave us pause, because we had no idea of what “mind-altering” meant in this context.

    We thought pot and any old other drugs were already mind-altering, so this brought us up short… but only for a while. We didn’t really know what the mind itself was, much less what it would be if you altered it. You get the idea.

    And sure enough, LSD was mind-altering, and for many of us not just for a day or part of a day, but for all time and for a reason. And here I am pointing out a very important concept, so please, those of you interested, take note. LSD WAS NOT POWERFUL JUST BECAUSE IT WAS A CHEMICAL CONCOCTION THAT SOMEHOW ALTERED THE MIND, WHICH IT DID APPEAR TO, BUT MOSTLY BECAUSE NONE OF US BACK THEN KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT THE MIND WAS IN THE FIRST PLACE, AND THIS FACT IS THE KEY.

    . . .

    What LSD did back then was to remove the separation of subject and object in my mind, at least temporarily. It let me clearly see that what I saw out there in the world is a direct reflection of my biases and prejudices in here within my own psychology and mind and that, as I change my mind, what I see out there in the ‘real’ world changes accordingly. That is the good or wonderful part of LSD, and that is a huge lesson.

    The bad part or downside of LSD is that the experience can be so disruptive and unsettling that it can take years to reestablish any kind of mental stability, not because you become crazy, but because the concept of a “Self” you once had is so shattered by the LSD experience (and rightly so) that it takes that long to reassemble itself again. Let me very briefly clarify, if I can, and this is not simple.

    As the Buddhists point out, what we call our “Self” has (according to them) no true or permanent existence. This is not to say there is no self or that you ever can somehow lose your self. That is a pure misunderstanding of the teachings. The self will always be there, if only as a narrator and the organizer of our lives, the little voice that tells “you have a dentist appointment tomorrow.”

    What is not so understood IMO is that the self is not a permanent thing, but rather a composite, a collection of things we have gathered around us over time (like a warm blanket) to make us feel like we really are someone — another habit. Actually, what we call our self changes yearly, monthly, and daily as we forget about this thing or other and identify with some new thing.

    The idea of a permanent self is a convenient illusion, a comfort blanket that seemingly promises continuity and (by inference) some sort of personal immortality, as in: the immortality of our particular persona. Even a cursory look at our history will show how much the idea of our self changes over time.”

    In sum,

    here we would have an atempt to discipline the hippie generation into propper, consumerist oriented citizens by offering them ‘dreams’ would like to buy,

    while the psychological notoins and mind-altering efects of the design ITSELF that were keept until then under the mass conscious radar indeed (the brilliant homage to the market-propaganda-renaissance-50’s Mad Man is all about) came to surface on the large populistic scale to be expirienced, played with and integrated finally IN FULL CONSCIOUSNESS.

    Hope it helped somewhat,


  16. Me like seventies decor. I was a little girl feeling the girl power before what the effing g got in the way.

    Feelin’ the girl power once again.

    Avocado green kitchens rule !

  17. Libra Sun, Aries Moon.
    I grew up in the 70s and loathed the aesthetics of just about everything then – even nostalgia for my childhood doesn’t soften the blow. My aesthetic eras are any time before 1930.

    I have a profound dislike for mid-century modern as well. Aesthetically, I was definitely born in the wrong century (although I do like modern medical care and the progress of rights & justice movements.)

  18. Having suffered through Design’s Darkest Hour as a child, I wonder if the fault lies not in the stars of the 70s, but in the stars of those doing the designing.

  19. Liked it then. Not so much now. But if I checked into a B&B and this was my bathroom, I’d want to lie in the tub drinking Jim Beam while listening to early Stones.

  20. it probably has got something to do with saggitarius. . . airfares became cheaper. people could travel. . . and travel they did. . . they went off looking for drugs . . . oh I mean ‘spiritual enlightenment’ . . . and plastic was THE in thing. . . there was a lot of interest in technology and polymers. . . and plastic was so easy to produce. . . to colour. . . and they brought back the colours and bold prints they saw in their travels and mixed them up. It was a time of enlightenment – both through education and through drugs. It was a time to break the boundaries. It was a revolution. . . a total rebellion against the stilted confined subdued culture.

    . . . so Neptune in Saggitarius it is. . . travel and drugs.

  21. Absolutely the Neptune in Sadge. There is no such thing as ‘over the top’! Neptune = no boundaries, Sadge = go wild with whatever fits the mood/no time like the present.