The decade that never really went away is back with a bang, says Kya deLongchamps.

Yeah baby, yeah!. That shift towards the sexy jazz-fusion look of the 1970s, is boogieing down through all the major trade shows from New York to Milan to a living room near you.

The disco finger points to some classic, lasting linesthat are ideal for personalised interiors. So, if you want a piece of distinctly uptown action, then hustle some subtle 1970s chic this year.

Seventies — but sophisticated

When we say 70s styling is being rediscovered, throw aside all thoughts of paisley print dresses, cast iron French cookware, clashing pattern and cinnamon brown walls.

Conjure instead Italian ‘maximalism’, Formula 1 low-slung leather furniture, hand-crafted artisan additions pared to a single outline, quality man-made surfacing, silken wood veneers and shots of sharp, kingfisher colour.

For an investment buy, look up Jonathan Adler and crack the credit card on a Willy Rizzo-inspired gleaming Goldfinger dining chair, €1060,

Dining table tastes runs to Gubi’s new 2.0, round number with a lick of gold to the edge in Cherry (€3,889, watch for sales events),

Fancy a polite psychedelic design in a rug? Style edits at major retailers takes the terror out of authentic with blocks of one colour velvet furniture across a short pile, including the Deco Multi, new to Caseys Furniture, €259-€759,

Funk in furnishings

Roche Bobois Rocket occasional tables are almost sculptural in their appeal and can ignite a room’s style with a range of colours,
Roche Bobois Rocket occasional tables are almost sculptural in their appeal and can ignite a room’s style with a range of colours,

Angular bent-bar chair frames and whiplashes of heavy chrome are all over the showroom floor, as a touch more modernism elbows aside those 50s inspired kick-out legs.

Look for a hide or velvet ‘mitten’ of a chair rather than those Lucite shells. The Orzo swivel from DFS is ideal, €899 on sale.

DFS also embraced tastefully marbled fabric on a safe white ground in its showing at Salone del Mobile in the spring. Try its large Trafalgar footstool, €499 on sale,

Nothing says 70s louche living like a sectional, and if you don’t mind your head-support being flipped up as needed, keep things low to the floor. The Isla four seater from Content by Conran, turns the corner into the Alder Peacock — oh behave, €2,099.

Signature 70s? Conran’s Counter collection of angular, ascending consoles and room-splitting shelving start from €899,

Try HomeSense for similar chunky wood shelf/room dividers at a quarter of the uptown spend.

Honed and Naturals

We knew houseplants were back, but not everyone is ready to polish the leaves of an oversized rubber plant looming over the Geo Ponti-style suite many of us dragged home last year.

Orla Kiely stays ahead of the pack with her refined, enamel pots and saucers — less hippie than macramé but ideal in Linear Apple Stem and her Oval Spot Flower, €22 each with many suppliers including Kilkenny.

Thick-as-boiled-sweets, coloured glass is all over the market from worthy studios and Chinese factories (sorry, but some excellent off-the-shelf buys at Debenham’s, people).

Try pieces from a shifting collection at Roche Bobois, €300-€400 or Jive by Sostrene Grene for mouth blown, post-modernist offerings.

For polished craftwork that would look good in a Manhattan penthouse or a modest Cork mansion, check out our own makers at

Wallpaper Stories & Orange Groove

The 70s celebrated the throwing together of genres and the staging of unexpected objects and colours. For an entertaining trip, try the new OneRoom Gallery in London where George Nelson tables and wallpaper and silks by Dedar set the 1970s room-set pulsing back to life.

Busy vinyl wallpaper in a deadly one-tone room, deemed the 70s most serious offender is being explored anew. The 18th century design Monroe in Night Flower is reimagined this winter by Little Greene and could be mistaken for a 50-year-old wall treatment, It shows just how beautiful and relevant, full immersive colour with a simple repeat can be. €104 a roll, stockists Hickey’s and at

Go large with the exploded hound’s-tooth prints of Emanuele Pangrazi’s Optical Pied for Wonderbold, €216 a roll,

Orange, the single signature colour that made the 70s, when applied to upholstery, sings with all shades of wood and ignites before pale neutral walls. Look for battered, vintage leathers and squishy, feather-filled cushions over a quality frame in deep gold leathers and corduroy velvets. Finline Furniture starts its bespoke collection of Holmes chairs and sofas at €675.

Gather burnished gold from Harvey Norman, chilling with polished pipe candleholders (€10) and our hit – the Karlsson Gold (LP) wall clock (€40).

IKEA is clearly not afraid of citrus chic — take the LS Lomsk swivel pod armchair in orange, €60, or try the juicy Habitat Fritz table lamp — a retro price of just €19.99 from Argos.

Can you dig it?


The so-sexy seventies look is back

Sheepskins and cowhides are an ideal way to introduce a chic, bohemian late mid-century vibe. Choose from simple skins in a variety of natural coat colours or a bold version like this Himitsuhana-designed digital print.

Meadows &Byrne have an extra large skin that offers a great spread on the floor or furniture, and we also love the deep bronze Skold sheepskin from IKEA, lovely thrown over a cool, leather chair or sofa-back, €45.

Check out the hides from the McCarthy family in Lisagry, Co Limerick, which start at just €145,



As Darina Allen marks 21 years of writing for The Irish Examiner, she talks to Ciara McDonnell about her amazing career.Darina Allen: you have to be aware of the impact you are making

More From The Irish Examiner