Your Guide to 1960s Furniture | Retro and Vintage |
Your Guide to 1960s Furniture Design

Your Guide to 1960s Furniture Design

From flower power to hanging fireplaces - it's the swinging sixties

Written by – Team
on March 19th 2018
Our team creates original content, from home tours to DIYs each piece is created especially for readers.

What makes design from the past so exciting? The mid-century modern furniture that dominated design in the 1950s was swept to the side in the 60s to welcome the space age and a polypropylene-plastic forward-looking future.


Here’s a quick guide to furniture design from the 1960s.

The Space Race

The Space Age is that bit in time where the Space Race, and space exploration spurred a surge in futurism and fascination with space. Science fiction such as Star Trek, Dr Who and The Time Tunnel were beamed into living rooms. This made an impact on 1960s interior design too. Pods and capsule-shaped furniture items became prevalent, mimicking the shapes of spaceships and rockets. Some examples of this are the retro-looking free-standing cone fireplaces, and lighting styles too such as the lava lamp.

Jack Viks 1960s Home Round Capsule Shapes and Central Hanging Fireplace |
image source | 1960s Home, USA
Colombian home 1960s, architect H Vargas Rubiano |
image source
Indoor hanging fireplace in beach house, Australia |
image source | Hanging fireplace, Australia

Flower Power and Psychedelia

The late 60s kicked off the flower power movement in opposition to the Vietnam War. 1960s furniture design incorporated lots of textiles and wallpaper that embraced these wacky designs.

Flowery wallpaper |
Flower power 1967 furniture design |
image source


Polypropylene is a type of plastic, first polymerized in the 50s. A decade on, the use of polypropene surged. It became a cheap, strong material favored by manufacturers for furniture. In the United Kingdom, an instantly familiar design is Robin Day’s Polyprop chair, which has been used in schools, village halls and factories since it began production in the early 60s.

Polyprop chair, Robin Day |

Danish Furniture, Panton and Iconic Chairs

Another stackable creation is the Panton Chair, first produced in 1965. Made from polyester and strengthened with fibreglass, it was the first all plastic chair designed in one piece. Over the years they tested other materials, making the chair more durable and resilient.


As for statement chairs, in 1960 Eero Saarinen was granted a patent for his Tulip Chair. Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair craze took hold, and Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chair and Bubble Chairs were a huge hit. These chairs help set the scene for the 60s.

Panton Chair from Vitra |
image source

From space race to flower power, the swinging sixties moved swiftly through trends and design ideas. If you’re looking for more 60s style inspiration, check out this Sacramento Home Tour that evokes the era, or read more about the Brutalist Architecture that shaped our cities.


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