Post 3 – 1960’s Interior Design



The 1960’s Revolution

The 1960’s saw a major turning point in our cultural, artistic, scientific, and social evolution.

Influenced by significant political events,  scientific developments  and global tensions including:

  • The Cold War and the threat of nuclear war
  • The Vietnam War and conscription in the US and Australia
  • The Space Race, lunar landings and development of new space-age technologies
  • The development and proliferation of plastics and vinyl
  • Experimental drugs developed for use in psychiatry
  • Women’s Liberation!
  • The Civil Rights movement in the US and Australia

The revolution began  with the art and music of the day.  Experimentation, irreverence and rebellion were the new philosophies of an entire generation. Interior Design of the time did not escape the change.  Previous design rules were challenged on every level.


 Interior Style …


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  • Colours – colours were irreverent, vibrant and clashing
    • Hot pink
    • Purples
    • Lime greens
    • Acid yellow
    • Oranges and reds
    • stark black and white schemes
  • Wall papers -displayed bold psychedelic patterns
  • Flooring – carpets were textured – shag carpets were popular in bold colours
  • Light fittings were often space age – lava lamps, and brightly coloured glass, brightly
  • Coloured plastic shades were affordable
  • Furniture – advances in technology saw a proliferation of molded plastic furniture . Polypropylene colours could be match to any paint colour, adding to the colour explosion in interiors.
  • Pop Art – Posters became an affordable option for people to include art into their decor
  • Patterns were psychedelic, Op Art – influenced fabrics and wall paper design


The Hippy Aesthetic…

 Peace, Love,  drugs and music,  the hippies embraced the natural and organic.  Not concerned with mixing design styles from the past,   those short on cash looked to the junk shop for inspiration, but junk shop finds  were always transformed with bright paintwork, Indian or Moroccan throws, saris hung in windows.  Psychedelic music posters adorned the walls. Cushions and bean bags covered the floors.



 Space Age Inspirations


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Futuristic interiors inspired by the space race we also popular.  Magazines , ran articles showing readers how to “Get the Look” from popular movies of the time including Barbarella. Moulded plastic furniture was the rage.  Organic shapes  were popular with this look and multi-functional furniture.    Colours – white and black, metallic, translucent with splashes of vibrant colour .






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