We were saddened at the demise last year of the chain of Habitat shops; a veteran of so many of the UK’s high streets & shopping centres. The good news is that three of its stores – including the flagship on Tottenham Court Road – and its website are still up & running.
There are seven of these vintage metal containers. We think they’ve been repainted at some point – a long time ago and rather expertly it has to be said. The cream & dove grey colour combination is lovely.
Next we have this drinks flask produced by Thermos. So famous are this company for producing vacuum drinks flasks that most people actually call them thermos flasks – in the same way people call vacuum cleaners ‘hoovers’. This is a lovely example dating from the 1960s with a bold, graphic pattern in red & cream.
The clock dates from the same period. It was produced by another famous maker – this time Metamec. They produced this type of clock in many different colourways. They’re also well known for their sculptural starburst clocks.
This stainless steel tea strainer was made in Denmark. It’s neat & well designed – ideal if you’re a regular leaf tea drinker.
The Hornsea mug is one of a set celebrating the twelve months of the year. Each one features a couple occupied in typical activities for the month in question e.g. celebrating bonfire night in November, building snowmen in January, dodging rain showers in April and so on. This one’s for March and they’re being blown about in the wind.
The ashtray‘s also by Hornsea – but a much simpler, geometric repeating pattern this time.
We have little & large of the desk lamp world. Well, the larger lamp isn’t that big, it’s just that the smaller one is very dinky indeed. They both have a really good mid century modern look. The larger of the two was produced by Anglepoise, the smaller by Tensor.
This wooden shelf system is so 1950s…
…not only the shape with its interlocking squares, but also the packaging – and its name of course – the “Gaybox”… wonderful!
This corner unit also dates from the 50s – it would sit very nicely with blonde Ercol furniture. The bright yellow floor lamp is a much more recent product. It’s called the ‘Bobby’ lamp and is sold through Habitat. We bought a pair in a recent house clearance auction. We like the colour, styling and functionality – in fact, Adelle’s been using it all week as her task light of choice for sewing.
Finally, we have these salad servers in teak & stainless steel. These examples date from the 1960s, but are boxed & pristine. Great styling & quality materials – just a lovely piece of classic Danish design for everyday use.
All the items shown will be heading towards the website or antiques centre soon, but feel free to enquire about anything that particularly takes your fancy.
In terms of style & design, the 1970s is sometimes dismissed as being a bit naff or as the decade that taste forgot.
This is very wide of the mark – its influence being both wide ranging and long-lasting.
This book, 70s Style & Design, by Dominic Lutyens & Kirsty Hislop clearly demonstrates this.
The decade was remarkable for its diversity – its range of cultures & counter cultures. It began with hippies & flower power and ended with punks & new wave!
There was a ‘loosened up spirit of fashion & design’ during this period. A strong sense of doing your own thing, experimentation, freedom and fun.
There were trends & fashions of course, but it never descended into a bland homogenisation.
It was a very eclectic decade in terms of style & design. Psychedelia & flower power spilled over from the 1960s; then there was the strong influence of Art Deco and Art Nouveau, nostalgic Victoriana, the folksy/back to nature style – and later on a harder edged industrial look.
It has been referred to as a decade of ‘the self’. Whether that be individuals looking towards & analysing their inner self – or an outward expression through personal appearance or living & work spaces. This resulted in a real blossoming of creativity.
The book highlights the influence of various music scenes, movements such as gay rights & women’s lib, the importance of an increasing awareness of the environment, the political & economic factors prevalent at the time, the increasing & diverse student population, the new DIY ethos in fashion & interiors, a craft renaissance – and the impact of shops such as Habitat, Mr Freedom, Biba and Granny Takes a Trip.
Divided into four chapters, From Pop to Postmodernism, Belle Epoque, Supernature and Avant Garde, the book tackles these subjects in great detail and does a remarkable job in drawing all these strands together.
The text is informative, articulate & well researched – the accompanying photographs capturing all the spirit of this fabulous decade.
The 70s isn’t a particularly well documented era in terms of style & design – this book helps redress the balance.
As well as having their own dedicated website, the authors write the Flashin’ on the 70s blog which features even more 70s (and 70s inspired) gorgeousness!
As usual, the book is available both direct from the publisher, Hive, and through our H is for Home UK & US Amazon aStores