Flip through a design magazine from 25 or 15 or even five years ago, and chances are you'll see a lot of interiors that look more than a little bit dated. What's trendy in one era (shag carpeting, avocado appliances, supergraphics) can seem downright odd in another. But every once in a while, in the midst of a deep dive into interiors from times past, I'll see a space from a past era that seems strangely current. Here are five interiors from the 50s, 60s and 70s that wouldn't look out of place in a current magazine or design blog. There's lot to see here — and maybe a few lessons to be learned about the kind of design that stands the test of time.
The living room above is from House & Garden's Complete Guide to Interior Decoration, via Supreme Interiors. The book was published in 1970, but this space contains very little of the excess we associate with that era: the colors are fairly subdued, and the sofa and Poul Kjærholm chairs are appealingly minimal. All this restraint means that even the boldly patterned rug doesn't seem over the top. Bonus points for the plants. Plants are always in style.
Here's a midcentury interior seen on Canterlane with some very interesting architecture (witness the strip of windows right above the floor) and some really lovely, minimal furniture. I wouldn't be surprised to see something very similar in a modern design blog — proof that classic design never really goes out of style.
Speaking of which — here's a 70s living room, spotted on Supreme Interiors, jam-packed with classic pieces. This, combined with the neutral color scheme, helps to give the space a timeless feel.
But a space doesn't have to be devoid of color to stand the test of time. This 1957 living room from Mid Century Home Style works some unusual colors — like the purple walls and magenta Eames chair — but it works because the furniture has an elegant simplicity to it, and most of the colors (except the aforementioned magenta) are a little bit subdued.
Here's another interior from House & Garden's Complete Guide to Interior Decoration (via Supreme Interiors). I love the minimal furniture and bright splashes of color against a white background — although this image is nearly 50 years old, I wouldn't mind if my living room looked like this right now.