Monday, March 7, 2011

Color Recall: The 1970's

Installment number three in my mother's 'color recall' series, in which she remembers the colors of her decades and I then share how to incorporate the colors in modern decor....


There were two colors hard to avoid in the 1970’s:  orange and yellow...

They spread their citrusy cheeriness in home décor and clothing and just about everywhere.   Perhaps people were sick of the dull gold, avocado, and rust of the previous decade and chose these two colors to represent a new outlook on life.  

Vintage 70's Dress via Etsy

I always liked orange, but apparently it didn’t like me.  I proudly wore an orange pure silk blouse with beige lace trim on an excursion with a single friend of mine.  She kept asking if I was feeling well and my eldest daughter said I looked yellow.  In later years when I had my colors done in the “are you a summer, spring, winter or autumn?” era, I found out that orange, along with camel, were my absolute no-no’s and I haven’t worn either color since.  

Orange as a home accent is forever etched in my mind  because of the home of an acquaintance.  She lived in an elegant, but rustic A-frame home in a heavily wooded development in southern Virginia.   One evening, my husband and I were invited to a party at her house.  She answered the door looking terribly sophisticated in an orange silk halter top and skimpy white shorts (I was jealous!)-- large orange and turquoise beads circled her neck.


She led us into her open living-dining room area where the color orange literally coruscated from silk pillows, dinnerware, glasses, and fruit bowls.  A wonderful mobile with shiny orange objects dangled gracefully from the high ceiling.  It was impossible to be in a bad mood in that room, mostly because of her graciousness and the warmth emanating from the color orange. 

via flikr

Returning to my earlier mention of the other 70s color, yellow-- I have to say it was not my favorite, but there were, of course, yellow objects in my home at that time.  I had to keep up with the trend.    

-Sandy Tuberson 

Thanks again mom for another fun post! I think I know which decade I like the best...bring on the orange, yellow and chrome. Below are some modern interpretations of 70's use of bright color...

If too much orange is overwhelming, why not add just a splash on the ceiling...

Lynn Amon

Or maybe you want to spice up your dining area...

unknown (please leave a comment if you know the source)

via Elle Decor

Did you know Farrow & Ball, a wonderful eco-friendly paint source, came out with a new color this year???? It's called Charlotte's Locks and it is possibly the most gorgeous shade of orange...

image via Farrow & Ball

And lastly I can't forget yellow! My first home was painted bright yellow through out and it always looked cheerful. 

A bright yellow living room looks more current than ever, as evidenced in Rebecca Robertson's living room featured on Martha Stewart...

image via Martha Stewart

I don't think you could ever be down coming home to this...

I could go on and on, but I shall stop here as I plan on revisiting color in future posts. I have always loved color and will be sharing pictures of my first home with you all, as soon as I digitize them. My family referred to it as the citrus house, as yellow, touches of orange and bright lime permeated throughout my home with turquoise and navy accents. Needless to say it was a cheerful home!!! 

Hope you all have a wonderfully warm and colorful week!! xx Danielle


  1. Excellent post! I am adding touches of yellow and orange through my works of art, pillows etc!
    The image with the orange ceiling and the yellow doors wonderful!

    Art by Karena

  2. I love orange rooms. My home office is painted bright orange. It lifts my mood everytime I walk in.

  3. So true how we often relate these colors to the 70's oh and avocado green! I do like orange and am trying to find yellow attractive again. I do like the sofers sides such as butter and rust!

  4. The orange on the ceiling is awesome! Never thought of using it there! I'm a fan of the brighter orange we are using now....the 1970's orange was all over my house! My Mom loved it!
    Great post!

  5. wow these colors take my back to my nana and grampa's house, where they had rusty orange shag, yes shag, carpeting, and a mustardy yellow sofa. the entire home reflected that color combo, and the house itself was even mustard yellow. what a refrehsing take on those colors, danielle! i love these fun and colorful and happy rooms!

  6. Oh I just love these mom-daughter posts of yours! So sweet.

    And once again we are on the exact same page, Danielle. This weekend I put together a post highlighting the lemon lime and orange tones I'm currently crazy about in clothes, decor and art. I'll have to link to your story here for "more reading" when I post it later this week. :)

  7. Oh I loved this post! Really brought back memories. It was such fun reading.

  8. I grew up in the 70's, so it's always fun to see those retro photos. Thanks and have a super week!

  9. Love these pops of color. Brings on such happy and light feelings. The 70´s was all about color, no limits there:)!
    Yellow, I have realised is a color that really speaks to me. I have painted my house in a light, soft yellow color and I love it. The roof is a red metal roof- quite colorful. Inside it is less colors to be found. Black and white mostly, but have decided to paint my livind-dining room area in a blue-greyish color. I would like to put in some mustard-yellow accents with this color.
    You have opened up my eyes for colors, thank you!

  10. I am a fan of the orange on the ceiling and little orange touches here and there...thanks for the inspiration-- and your mother/daughter posts are so nice!! Take care, Caroline

  11. Hi Danielle, can you email me regarding the photo from my site? Thank you!

  12. Thanks everyone for the lovely nice to hear all of your stories!!
    Pam @ you can see i took your image out and would love to put it back in. I'll wait to hear from you and apologize for any inconvenience it was just such a lovely picture!
    To other readers I'm always open to advice from all!!
    xx Danielle