As the fall lineup on most network TV stations debuts this week, it’s clear that the popularity of Mad Men has not gone unnoticed. Shows like Pan Am and The Playboy Club are bringing even more of the 1960s-era interior design, fashion, and culture to the small screen this year.
Each new series showcases fashion and interiors from the 1960s, treating viewers to an array of bold colors, geometric shapes, and spaces as open as the era’s style of thinking. Interior decoration and elements make a radical departure from the formality and conformity of the 1950s.
The colors of the 1960s made bigger, bolder statements than the palettes of prior generations. Although the wall colors themselves could be subtle, dashing tapestries and prints added character to the rooms. Similarly, the next generation of rugs and carpets wasn’t satisfied to merely cover the floor. As demonstrated by this picture, area rugs became conversation pieces, expressions of the dweller’s individual tastes and preferences:
Furniture for the Masses
The furniture of the 1960s began to take on more color and artistic shape – and started showing up for the party dressed in … plastic? Traditional pieces were being manufactured out of new, easily mass-produced materials. Chairs, end tables, and decorative pieces made from plastic and glass are notable icons of the era.
Travel back to the cafeteria days of yesteryear with this modern glass fiber chair by Kay Korbing:
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year is this Panton Classic chair. Verner Panton’s most famous mass-produced design, the “S” chair was the world’s first single-form, injection-molded plastic chair.
The art and culture of the 1960s was part reaction against the conformity within the post-war 1950s and part anticipation of the cultural excess to come, hence the polished metal accent pieces, plastic ornamentals, and elaborate glass serving pieces.
This organically shaped vase by Tapio Wirkkala is one example from his ’60s-inspired glassware collection. Producing this piece took thousands of hours, and the design actually changed throughout the process as the hot glass would burn through the wood molds:
This iconic floral serving tray was created by Maija Isola, the head designer at the Finnish company Marimekko. The bold pattern and vibrant design is iconic of the 1960s – making it the perfect tray for balancing those cosmopolitans:
This fall, why not embrace your inner free-thinker with 1960s-era color, furniture, and home accents that are almost guaranteed to start a conversation? Sample the ‘60s with bold, colorful pieces that add life to your living spaces.