Boring Beige

I was at a lecture recently given by Babette Hayes, Australia’s first design stylist, who was comparing the interiors of the 1960’s and 1970’s with today’s interiors. She passed the comment that we’ve all become very “safe”. You can’t say that about the interior styles of the 60’s and 70’s. Not a beige anything to be seen anywhere.

1960's dining room

1960’s dining room

Child's Bedroom of the 1970's

Child’s Bedroom of the 1970’s

1970's lounge room

1970’s lounge room

Now I’m not advocating that we go crazy with colour but it certainly is uplifting to see a little of it and a combination of textures, patterns and shapes.

I love the first of Jonathan Adler’s ten commandments of Happy Chic – “Thou shalt embrace maximalism. Thou wilt find minimalism to be something of a bummer in thy abode. Thou wilt grow tired of an endless sea of beige and thou wilt long for a splash of color & a dollop of pattern!” Now there’s a man that’s not afraid of colour!

Barbie Dream House by Jonathan Adler

A limited palette of about three colours will prevent the space from looking overdone as it did in the 60’s and 70’s. Combining prints that feature a variety of shapes will add energy. It’s fine to have a neutral sofa but spice it up with a range of cushions in various sizes and colours. The trick is not to have too much pattern as the space will feel busy. The patterns and colours need to complement each other. Make sure there is a place to rest the eye, which is probably what they neglected to do in the swinging 60’s. It is important to leave a clear space between patterned objects.

A carnival of colour to liven up a space

I’m always impressed at the way Brisbane designer John Croft pulls off this mixing of pattern and colour.

Lively lounge room by John Croft Design

Lively lounge room by John Croft Design

Stripes and florals in all the colours of the rainbow by John Croft Design

Stripes and florals in all the colours of the rainbow by John Croft Design

So what colours are you going to inject into your home?

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  1. Great images Jennifer!! I love the 1960s Dining Room – I want that table and chairs for my office.

  2. Nice posting Jennifer – the blog looks great. Thanks for the side link !!

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