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Collecting Vintage Antique Furniture: 1970s

Updated on September 23, 2014
Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer with WriterAccess, webmaster, member of Pinterest Party on FB and the owner of Lake Erie Artist Gallery.

Do You Collect 70's furniture?

It's hard to believe that the era that I grew up in, the 1970s, is now called vintage, but it is true that furniture from the 70's is considered to be vintage.

The 70's had such a distinctive impact on society, and that included home décor, furniture and accessories. The psychedelic colors, patterns, and simple geometric and curving styles were reflected in their furniture choices for the entire house.

This article is just an introduction to one of my favorite stylistic periods in history, its furniture, and how you can find beautiful collectible 1970s furniture, lamps, and other 70's home décor items.

The Great Funk: Styles of the Shaggy, Sexy, Shameless 1970s

Collecting 70's Armchairs

The 1970s had some of the most comfortable furniture that I have ever sat on. The best piece of furniture from the 70's was the armchair. I don't know if it was the "let it all hang out" attitude or just coincidence, but furniture makers in the 70's made very comfortable body shaped arm chairs. The colors were true 70's colors, orange, green, pink, and psychedelic color mixes that haven't been matched since.

1970's Collectible Lamps Can Really Make a Room

Besides adding light, often lamps will set the mood of the room from their style, and diffused lighting. 1970s lamps were typical of the period, and many of the floor lamps were highly configurable and adjustable. Whether you want to collect a lot of 70's furniture, or just add a few 70's accents to your home décor, adding a few lamps will really highlight and accentuate your style, and give you the nostalgic quality that vintage collectibles bring.

Owning a 1970s Vintage Dining Room Table

One of my favorite things about 70's furniture is that so many interesting woods were used in making tables, chairs, and cabinets. One of the most used woods during the 70's was teak which has a very distinctive color and look.

Many teak dining room tables were sold in the 1970s, and were well made, so that they are still in excellent mint condition as long as the owner took good care of them. And wood only gets more beautiful with time. The color richens, and the texture becomes more evident.

The Use of Chrome in 1970s Furniture

Color during the 1970s was big and bold, crazy and psychedelic. One of the outcomes of this style was the use of chrome in large pieces of furniture, like cabinets, bars, tables, and desks. Chrome implies a fantastical, science fiction, robotic look to a room, so if you are a secret geek, or just like chrome furniture, 1970s era vintage furniture is a great place to start.

Geometric Shapes of the 1970s Furniture and Décor

While it is not the norm today, it was very common in the 1970s to find furniture made in geometric shapes, especially circular. This was the era of bean bag chairs, round ball lamps, and globe shaped chairs.

The other shape that was used a lot in the 1970s furniture design was the curve or wave shape. Many chairs were made out of one piece of metal, plastic, or wood that was bent or shaped in the curve of the body or an L or S shape.

Balls and globes often were the main shape or the legs or feet of another shape. Round was in, and it was evident everywhere in furniture design of the 70's.

Mod Modular Furniture of the 70's

In the 1970s, style was groovy and mod, and that included furniture although in a different way. Many modular pieces of furniture were made in the 70's, from a single molded shape or in sections. Sectional couches or sofas were popular, big sectional lounge chairs, and modular chairs. The modular look reflected the space age look that people were focused on during the 1970s era which successful walks on the moon, and the space cartoons that were popular in comic books, and animation during that time.

Furniture and Interiors of the 1970's

21st Century Furniture - From the 1970s

Top 10 Defining Moments of 1970s America

Top 10 Defining Moments of 1970s America

© 2010 Paula Atwell

Are you fond of 1970's vintage furniture?

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    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      I grew up in the 70s and was not really impressed with the styles of that time. Looking back on it from this point of my life, I now appreciate the huge impact these designs made on society (or maybe it was society that impacted the designs). Regardless of who influenced what, I actually like 70s style much more now than I did the first time around! Great lens!!

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 5 years ago

      Ah yes, I do love vintage furniture from the 1970s (as well as almost any era).

    • hysongdesigns profile image

      hysongdesigns 6 years ago

      that was my teenage era, but most of the stuff in our house was still from the '60s ;-) But the 70's was probably the last decade that the average piece of furniture was made mostly of real wood. Unlike today's press board garbage. I tell my kids to buy vintage and young antiques now because there will be none from their generation of throw aways.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love this walk down memory lane! I remember when I first started to see the 1970s furniture show up in the Vintage shops. At first I was upset and said to my husband...this stuff isn't OLD I decorated my first apartment with this stuff! He looked at me and said, "Baby...we BE old!" Blessed!