Re­live the Sev­en­ties as clash makes a come­back

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

the pent­house at the Nova Build­ing in London’s Vic­to­ria, they seized on some of the ar­chi­tec­ture’s late­mod­ernist de­sign in­flu­ences and am­pli­fied them.

The re­sult: ribbed tim­ber wall pan­elling in rich rose­wood, glossy wal­nut fur­ni­ture, bright colours and low, loungey, fully up­hol­stered so­fas. It’s a stark con­trast from the blonde wood, matt fin­ishes and tim­ber-heavy seat­ing you see in con­tem­po­rary in­te­ri­ors – a style that’s been “done to death re­cently”, ac­cord­ing to Bowler James Brind­ley’s Lucy Southall. “There was a sort of lib­erty” to the early Sev­en­ties, she says. “It was less con­strained. Things could clash; it was about ac­cept­ing that things don’t have to go to­gether, and ac­tu­ally, they can be more ex- cit­ing when they don’t. That’s def­i­nitely trending in in­te­ri­ors at the mo­ment.”

With its drum kit in the vast lobby, black and white pho­tog­ra­phy and brass bar, the apart­ment is in­tended to be youth­ful, sexy and provoca­tive. Rather than us­ing vin­tage items, Bowler James Brind­ley has favoured cur­rent de­signs that toy with Sev­en­ties style, such as Lee Broom’s Hang­ing Hoop chair and Sé’s Olympia dress­ing ta­ble, which helps to keep the scheme an­chored in the present rather than cre­at­ing a pas­tiche.

Orig­i­nal pieces from the decade are in­creas­ing in de­sir­abil­ity, how­ever, ac­cord­ing to Dean Robin­son of an­tique dealer Guin­e­vere. “Our clients recog­nise the cut­ting-edge, di­rec­tional en­ergy of the Sev­en­ties. There’s a fresh­ness and sim­plic­ity to the pieces we sell that don’t have the du­bi­ous con­no­ta­tions of the more ob­vi­ous stuff on the mar­ket,” he says. The King’s Road show­room is known for its vi­gnettes that put to­gether an­cient and mod­ern (and ev­ery­thing in be­tween): “Our ethos is to mix dif­fer­ent styles and pe­ri­ods, so a Sev­en­ties ta­ble could be dis­played with a 19th-cen­tury Vene­tian mir­ror and a pair of Louis XIV chairs. The colour palette or the mood is what uni­fies them.”

Robin­son says that clients will of­ten in­tro­duce a sin­gle Sev­en­ties piece in an oth­er­wise clas­sic room: “It can be just the thing needed to give a bit of an edge – an el­e­ment of the un­pre­dictable gives char­ac­ter.” Pop­u­lar pieces in­clude Mu­rano glass light­ing, leather seat­ing from brands such as de Sede, and Amer­i­can de­signer Paul Evans’s blocky Cityscape range in brass and wood, which re­flects the shiny mono­lithic of­fice build­ings be­ing built at the time.

In­te­rior de­signer Jo Ber­ry­man says that the fact that Sev­en­ties in­te­ri­ors are seen as so un­fash­ion­able is part of the ap­peal: “We’re all about un­likely jux­ta­po­si­tions and con­scious dishar­mony. Ad­mit­tedly I won’t be cham­pi­oning the av­o­cado bath­room or cork til­ing any time soon, though.” She cov­ets de Sede’s DS-600 cater­pil­lar sofa, with its curvy spine-like shape, and Ligne Roset’s low, arm­less Togo seat­ing – both de­sign clas­sics that are still in pro­duc­tion. “I also love Sev­en­ties op­ti­cal thread art,” she says. “So easy to pick up, and sen­sa­tional when dis­played en masse.”

If you want a dip in the Sev­en­ties with­out re­do­ing your whole home, you can wal­low in nos­tal­gia by vis­it­ing a hol­i­day home. Built in 1969, Dim­met in Devon is a clas­sic sea­side bun­ga­low that has been given a pe­riod makeover by owner Emma War­ren and de­signer Ma­rina Mor­ris. Orig­i­nal Coloroll wall­pa­per, a leather suite and Cam­par­i­s­tocked drinks trol­ley set the tone, but the at­ten­tion to de­tail is im­pres­sive, right down to the Mar­guerite Patten cook­ery books in the kitchen.

There’s a place for this kitsch, homely side of the Sev­en­ties along­side the sleek reap­praisal of the decade that’s be­ing played out in high-end in­te­ri­ors, says Ber­ry­man – “as long it’s done au­then­ti­cally. I ad­vo­cate all out or not at all. Sev­en­ties kitsch is a hard look to pull off half-heart­edly.”

A drum kit on a fluffy rug, rose­wood walls and black and white pho­tog­ra­phy set the Sev­en­ties tone at the Nova pent­house, main; vin­tage wall­pa­per at Dim­met, be­low

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