As mid-century modern matures to embrace the ’70s, there’s a universal thaw on snow-white interiors.

“You have to be retro to be modern right now.” —Karin Bohn, House of Bohn, Vancouver

The Look: A ’70s Update

Mid-century modern isn’t loosening its grip on the West just yet, but we find it maturing with a warmer palette and rich materials straight out of the ’70s. Luxe browns, caramels and burnt oranges interrupt once all-white colour schemes. Designers Stephanie Brown and Denise Ashmore forecast an influx of natural and matte textures: think weather-beaten nude leathers, glass forms, natural woods (stained dark, oiled or with orange undertones), honed quartz countertops and matte everything (from metal hardware to tiles and painted cabinets). Designer Karin Bohn notes that as the pendulum swings in the opposite direction of clean and minimal (RIP, white-on-white Scandinavian), there’s a conspicuous move to retro Italian-style interiors with bold geometric tiles, interesting furniture forms and—one of our favourites—coloured marble, which sees green, yellow, pink and black supplant predictable white. It’s not rustic, but sophisticated and refined. It’s not a fleeting trend, either—these are just the first stages of a global warming.

The Palette: Key Colours for This ’70s-Inspired Look

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“We’re noticing furniture that does an updated take on mid-century or ’70s-era pieces.”—Stephanie Brown, Stephanie Brown Inc., Vancouver

Inspiring Interior: Earthy and Retro

Interior designer Karin Bohn taps old-world Italy to inspire a Vancouver penthouse with a rich, earthy palette and distinct ’70s vibe.


Key Pieces to Get the Modern ’70s Look

iittala-scene7-4-cmyk1. The wave-inspired Alvar Aalto Collection vase ($210) is another iconic throwback (circa 1936) that will look right at home with your mod squad of furnishings.

ferm-living-elkeland-wall-hanging-cmyk2. On the art-house side of macramé, we find the Elkeland wall hanging ($225), a collaboration between artist Ida Elke and Danish powerhouse brand Ferm Living.


3. Get ready to see a lot more burnt orange and walnut—here the two pair up on Resource Furniture’s Danny chair (from $870).


4. The glass droplet design of the Kastehelmi collection (bowl, $41) brings the nostalgia, but you can also find it in a range of contemporary colours—from Easter blues and yellows to on-trend brown.

melt_gold_on-cmyk5. Tom Dixon’s Melt Gold glass pendant (from $1,375) is the colour of honey and the epitome of retro glamour., 

peacock-lounge-new-highres-cmyk6. Hip L.A. outfit Bend Goods revives the classic Warren Platner chair with its modern take, the Peacock Lounge (from $800).

oxd_big-o-blk-blk-cmyk7. Designers will be opting for coloured and black marble (like this Fullhouse Modern Big O marble coffee table, from $1,485) over traditional Carrara and Calacatta.


8. Forward the mid-century movement with modern Scandinavian furniture in rich tones, like this asymmetrical leather Lawndale daybed ($2,699).

For more hot 2017 trends, try the Tropical Interiors look or a Poppy ’80s vibe!