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Two takes on retro rugs


From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

Just like the fashion industry, colour and home decorating trends tend to be cyclical.

Colours that were popular in decades past — especially ones that can be specifically attributed to a particular ‘vintage’— always come back around. However, when they resurface, decorators usually find their own unique and fresh way of using them in their homes.

Seventies inspired rug and artwork

Seventies inspired mood board

Seventies mood board

Seventies inspired painted rug and artwork

Mood board: Background in Resene Mondo (dark grey), Resene Dusty Road (light taupe) Resene Brown Sugar (warm brown), Resene Brown Pod (dark brown) and Resene Lichen (green) with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Mondo, Resene Half Akaroa and Resene Dusty Road and vases in (clockwise from top) Resene Mondo, Resene Quarter Akaroa and Resene Brown Sugar. Plate and mug from Briscoes, tea towel from H&M Home.

Over the past decade, there has been a resurgence in popularity of colours and styles that were big in the 1980s and 1990s. More recently, the 1930s were back in vogue – particularly shapes, hues and finishes that related to the Art Deco era. But over the course of the last year and a half, we’ve seen the 1970s begin to take over as the preferred decade to gather inspiration from.

Most notably heralded by the revival of trending colours like avocado green, harvest gold, rusty orange and chocolate brown – hues that have become synonymous with the 70s – there has also been a strong return to decorating with creamier over colder whites. Neutrals like Resene Half Villa White, Resene Half Spanish White and Resene Half Akaroa are once again having a heyday and are a popular choice for walls and furniture to act as backdrops to offset some of the decade’s brighter colours. That means you don't have to paint an entire room one of these colours to get in on the trend. Instead, you can infuse 70s revival colours through artwork, accents and nostalgic pops of colour layered over warm neutrals and earthy hues.

Scandinavian furniture and rug

Bauhaus influences side table

Seventies rug and table

Paint and accessories: Wall in Resene Half Akaroa, floor in Resene Mondo with round painted rug in Resene Brown Pod, Resene Lichen, Resene Brown Sugar and Resene Dusty Road, DIY artwork in Resene Quarter Akaroa with shapes in Resene Mondo, Resene Brown Sugar, Resene Half Akaroa, Resene Half Nomad, Resene Lichen, Resene Dusty Road and Resene Brown Pod, vases in Resene Quarter Akaroa with shapes in Resene Mondo, Resene Brown Sugar, Resene Half Akaroa, Resene Half Nomad, Resene Lichen, Resene Dusty Road and Resene Brown Pod, chair in Resene Brown Pod and hall table in Resene Dusty Road. Table from Nood, chairs from Mood Store, rug from Freedom Furniture, plates, mugs and cutlery from Briscoes.

Furniture designs of the era ranged from stark, Scandinavian and Bauhaus influences through to organic-shaped plastic, vinyl and fabric chairs. Popular materials included acrylic, glass, vinyl, leather, metal, chrome and timber. Homeowners looked to chrome and glass when they wanted to create a clean, ‘space age’ look while warm wood tones, wicker and rattan furniture were all the rage among those going for a more hippie, bohemian vibe. The greyed-off dustiness of today’s take on 70s-inspired colours blends well within the popular contemporary ideals of a ‘boho’ look, particularly when paired with these sorts of understated furnishings, natural textures and simplified shapes.

Building a colour palette on grounding hues like Resene Dusty Road, Resene Lichen, Resene Half Nomad, Resene Brown Sugar and Resene Brown Pod will bring a sense of warmth and comfort to your space while at the same time being playful and energising. Backed by a neutral wall and floor in Resene Half Akaroa and Resene Mondo respectively, this dining room brings in those 70s-inspired accents with deliberation and restraint so as not to overwhelm the senses. And yet, by using them on an array of interestingly shaped vases and vessels whose shapes have been reflected in the DIY artwork, the colours also add character to spare.

When people think back to the 70s, another memory they often recall is the high-pile shag carpets and rugs. While today’s popular rugs don’t make the same type of statement, they can still be a very useful decorative accessory for defining spaces. If you’re having a big party – especially one where there might be a number of little ones running around the house – there is the potential for your rug to become a tripping hazard. If pulling it out before the party will leave your space a little lacking on the style front, try painting a ‘rug’ underneath to carry on your colour scheme while removing the risk. This strategy can also be helpful if your rug is too chunky or cosy for warmer weather but is a necessity for keeping toes toasty in during the colder months.

For other 70s inspired hues that work well in today’s context, look to Resene Avocado, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Gold Coast, Resene Moroccan Spice and Resene Clover.

Styling by Laura Lynn Johnston. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2021


Colour inspiration - latest looks gallery

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.