An Illustrated History Of Interior Design
The look and arrangement of the British home has changed dramatically throughout the decades.
Designers over at Harvey Water Softeners have created an illustrated guide to the evolution of interior design, covering everything from lava lamps in the ‘60s to the Memphis Group’s bold geometric shapes in the ‘80s to the Ikea flatpack takeover of the aughts.
Whether defined by the economy, culture or a reaction against the status quo, let’s take a look at how things have changed.
In the midst of the atomic age, Britain was experiencing the highs of the post war boom. Consumerism became rampant. People had money, families, and homes to fill with furniture. 50s interior design is typically characterised by modernism, open living spaces and appliances upon appliances for literally anything
The swinging 60s saw the free love movement flourish underneath the dark spectre of probable nuclear annihilation. Striking out against modernism, the 60s sought to radically combine elements of the past with the new, forming post modernism.
Despite recession and mass unemployment, the 70s did see living standards and homeownership in the UK rise. The house was the crucible for the family. With economics leading to DIY culture and ‘built to last’ furniture.
The decade of excess introduced a number of bold and startling approaches to design. In its extremes it is remembered for stark coloured geometrical nightmares but for most normal homes it meant beige and teal colourings along with the prevalence of carpets and wall to wall wallpaper.
The 90s provided sobriety after the heady excesses of the previous decade, introducing Britpop and New Labour. Interior design was toned back for a more minimalist look with natural colours and lots and lots of pine furniture.
With the arrival of the millennium, interior design re-embraced the theme of colour into the home, with spaces becoming more personalised. The popularity of flat pack Ikea furniture reached dizzying new heights, whilst the technological revolution saw devices getting smaller and taking a higher priority in room arrangement.
In an era coloured by always online individuals and social media, self expression has come to define the approach to interior design. Home owners like to wear their influences and inspirations on their sleeve for all too see. In terms of the uncertain future of the economy, homeowners are making use of smaller living spaces and furniture with built in storage.