Monday, 7 June 2010

Lifestyle illustration
of the 1960s

Some house porn for fans of 1960s interiors and illustration... 


I hope you enjoy this selection of wonderful images taken from a new book, Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s edited by Rian Hughes (Fiell) as much as I have. It is the first collection ever to be published of the these lovely stylised representations of the era, all taken from the pages of women's magazines of the decade.

The art deco revival: this image, from a 1965 issue of 'Woman's Journal,' shows a red-painted, bentwood bistro chair, not a Sixties design at all. Dating from 1859, it was adopted by the Modernists for its simplicity.


The Conran Shop does bentwood bistro chairs in a bright green or red finish, for £99, See Conranshop.co.ukThe table, with its turned legs, is probably hand-medown pine and Victorian - an era about to become fashionable again thanks, among other things, to an art deco revival. If you can't pick one up at an antique market or on Ebay, the 'Bern Breakfast Table' from Franceshunt.co.uk, £135, mimics the style well. 


From the firmly geometric to the free-form of the 1960s Prominent pattern was already big in the 1950s, thanks to textile designers such as Lucienne Day, but the look, then, was firmly geometric. As the 1960s rolled in, free-form shapes and bold florals began to gain ground. This image is from a 1960 edition of Woman's Own, anticipated the burgeoning trend. Find original 1960s wallpaper at Retrowallpaper.co.uk, which has over 100,000 rolls of the stuff.


Add a contrasting cushion – Eclectic-chair.com has a stylish rather than garish selection covered in vintage fabric, from £25.


The sexiest images always seem to be enhanced with a stiff drink - and here, our 1969 sitter slinks seductively in a rattan peacock chair (not to be confused with the far more sedate Hans Wenger seating of the same name).


Rattan peacock chairs are frustratingly elusive, and your best bet is Ebay, Gumtree et al for an original (or try Shopadilly.co.uk, too, it's excellent). Or else, Thewickerchair.co.uk. I have recently seen one for sale at Drink, Shop, Do too – though you'd need to call as they don't sell online.


The original 1951paper lampshade by Isamu Noguchi, inspired a raft of 1960s imitations. Ikea's range of 'Vate' table lamps create the right look, (Ikea.com) from £7.99.







Psychodelia and swinging silhouettes: The style of the colourful late-Sixties illustrations finds an echo in the Scandinavian-inspired work of the modern artist, Jane Foster. Janefoster.co.uk, for Sixties prints. Printpattern.blogspot.com, dedicated to the topic, is well worth a browse.


Read about the background of these illustrations in my piece in the Independent Portrait of a Decade: A new book of historic illustrations offers decorators authentic Sixties inspiration

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