The 1970s were an interesting time in American interior design. A movement away from the sleek, clean lines and minimalism of the midcentury modern movement that preceded it, seventies decor was warmer and more embellished. Earth tones and natural materials, like wicker and wood, marked a divergence from previous styles, influenced by the “hippie” movement that had now become mainstream. The seventies style is often maligned, due to frequent overkill at the time, but incorporating a few key accessories and decorative items can add an interesting, earthy touch to your kitchen. You don’t need wood paneling, wall-to-wall shag carpet, and butcherboard countertops to infuse your kitchen with a 1970s vibe.
All you need are a few small accessories to evoke the fun, funky spirit of seventies decor. Here are some retro kitchen accessories and design elements that you can incorporate into a seventies-styled kitchen:
Warm earth tones. An earthy color palette is a hallmark of 1970s kitchen design. Popular colors of the time included orange, mustard yellows, golden yellows, avocado green, and brown.
Floral prints and motifs. 1970s retro kitchen accessories often incorporate floral prints and motifs, usually with large flower prints as opposed to smaller, more delicate floral designs.
Shag rugs. The shag rug is a 1970s staple, and incorporating one into your breakfast area, especially in a “70s” color like avocado green, can add that touch of seventies style.
Teak and pine furniture. The seventies marked a return to a more “natural” decor style, and part of this was a growing popularity of vaguely rustic, Scandinavian-style furniture made from teak or pine.
Wicker. From decorative baskets to furniture, 1970s decorators loved to incorporate wicker into interior design. The fascination with wicker, along with wood, was part of an overall aesthetic that emphasized natural materials, and was more rough-hewn and less sleek and minimal than midcentury modern decor.
Avocado green or harvest gold appliances. Mixers, coffee makers, toasters, and other small appliances in bold, earthy hues are great retro kitchen accessories to evoke the spirit of the 1970s.
Houseplants. Indoor gardens and ample foliage were popular during the seventies, especially spider plants. Hanging ferns, ficuses, and other low-maintenance indoor plants can lend your kitchen a distinctly seventies touch, especially when combined with other distinctive design elements like earth tones and wicker.
Vintage kitchen linens. Add some seventies flair to your kitchen with authentic vintage items. Seventies hand towels, potholders, cloth napkins, and tablecloths feature bold prints in bold earth tones, adding a splash of interesting color to your kitchen.
Vintage or retro-style serving dishes. Serving dishes are another kind of retro kitchen accessories where you can add a throwback to another era. Vintage seventies cookware and dinnerware tend to use the same distinctive color schemes. Along with authentic antiques, you can also find modern pieces designed to look retro.
Handcrafted decorations. Hand-crafted items like crocheted afghans, macrame pot holders, and embroidered wall hangings were part of the “down to earth” aesthetic of seventies decor. You can make things yourself, or buy handicrafts online from crafters, to add a personalized and very seventies touch.