Thursday, May 30, 2013

Guest post- The Swinging Sixties!

The swinging sixties - if you can't remember them, you were not there. There is always been something special about the decade. Many of the icons of the period remain household names today, such as Audrey Hepburn and John Lennon.

Sixties homes were colorful and fun. In keeping with the overall party spirit, there were places to chill out with friends and family. The sixties was a time when houses started to shrink and open plan living was adopted to make the most of these smaller spaces. 

Wood was taken off the floors and on to the walls and ceiling. Floors were the place for thick, shag pile carpets, which were warm and comfortable to lounge on. They were also the place for bean bags and scatter cushions, which were ideal for lounging or as extra seating for unexpected guests. 

In terms of furniture, plastic was the material of the decade. Vernon Panton's iconic S chair was a sensation when it was released in 1960 as was the Eames Lounge chair in 1961. They were followed by the egg chair and its close relative the hanging pod chair. While these chairs were popular for general seating, dining chairs tended to be more compact and usually had one central leg on top of a wide base for support. This was also a common feature of dining tables. Other types of furniture were influenced by the new “flat-pack” trend. 

Many a sixties husband found himself assembling another piece of 1960s culture (which remains popular), the hostess trolley. After his efforts, he might well have felt himself in need of a rest on his water bed. Although the sixties is often remembered as an ultra-modern period, it actually took a lot of inspiration from the past, in particular art nouveau. 

The key to sixties style was the playful way these influences became reinterpreted. Hence the stylized forms of art nouveau met with the rebelliousness of Dadaism to become the pop art of Warhol and Hockney. At the same time the scientific progress made in the area of optics in the 1950s and 1960s along with the sixties' fashion for Psychedelia combined to form the pop art of Riley. 

There are plenty of paintings to buy online for those who would like a piece of sixties style at a more affordable price. Some of them are also good investments for the future. Buying a piece of art can either enhance an overall sixties look or else provide a sixties reference to another interior scheme.

Jerry Seguin: ©Jerry Seguin

Lighting is another way to channel the sixties look. The mesmerizing lava lamp is a sixties icon which has managed to stand the test of time. As well as still being made, there are plenty of good quality restored lamps available. 

Neon fiber optic lamps which change color are another sixties classic. An alternative approach is to look for lights and light fittings which reference the exotic destinations of the period, particularly India and Morocco. 

There is plenty of inspiration online for those looking for ways to create a sixties look and the period is often effectively portrayed in films and on TV, for example on the current hit program Mad Men.


1 comment:

  1. Oh how I love this era; great post! This made me smile. :)

    ReplyDelete

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