Bell Bottoms, Broncos & the Brady Bunch – a nostalgic trip into the past

No matter how tech-driven world our world becomes, our love for all things nostalgic continues to grow… and in a big way.

This is even more true now during the pandemic when most of us are unsure just exactly how that future will shape up. Feeling less anchored than usual, people are seeking a sense of comfort and a connection with simpler times. And, while we could choose any number of decades that bring back “the good old days,” we’re thought we’d take a moment to explore the 70s. In fact, one of the most popular trends at the moment is a return to the iconic looks of the 1970s. Bell-bottoms are making a(nother) comeback along with far out floral prints that evoke “flower power” and the Disco Decade.

Just take #TBT or “Throwback Thursday,” which has been one of the most widely used hashtags on social media since its creation in 2011. Typically used to share happy memories from the past, it serves as a great way for people to reminisce with their friends and family. We find comfort in being able to look back to bygone eras to draw inspiration and look for ideas that will help us to enjoy a better future.  

In mid-July, Ford Motor Company re-released its legendary Bronco, which will be available as early as June 2021 to the 3,500 consumers who were lucky enough to reserve the first vehicles off the assembly line. As Ford looks to further meet the growing demand for stylish, workhorse SUVs, the brand has equipped this throwback with the most advanced smart technology. Car enthusiasts can hardly wait to get their hands on the thoroughly updated version of a what has become a cult classic.

Image: S Alan
Image: OFL

Our blast from the past doesn’t end with cars and clothes. One cannot talk about the 70s without thinking about the television family that was synonymous with the era – The Brady Bunch. Thanks to HGTV, we got to see late last year how the fictional Brady home has fared over the years with a front row seat at the much anticipated Brady Bunch House Makeover

A spin-off show featuring “Jan Brady” (actress Eve Plumb) aired at the end of last year. Staying true to the decor of the period, the home featured a Northstar retro fridge and range in Buttercup Yellow – it was definitely like taking a step back in time. We think Marsha would be yellow with envy… “Jan, Jan, Jan!”.

But you don’t have to be a fan of the 70s to love colorful retro appliances. Our Northstar line brings vintage style, the perfect pop of color and a welcome touch of nostalgia to any kitchen. Buttercup Yellow not your thing? No worries at all – choose from seven other standard colors or opt for more than 1,200 custom colors.

Eve Plumb (“Jan Brady” of The Brady Bunch) standing next to her Northstar appliances

Pretty groovy, if we do say so ourselves!

Farmhouse Style Gets a Refresh

Drawing inspiration from the farm homes of early settlers, traditional farmhouse style mimics the look and feel of days gone by. It incorporates the simplified, minimalistic decor necessitated by the surroundings of farmhouse residents and their need for durable, practical furnishings.

Unlike past renditions, today’s farmhouse style is all grown up. It’s definitely not your grandmother’s farmhouse. Instead, the farmhouse looks trending at the moment balance an eclectic mix of old and new design elements.

Old vs. “New” Farmhouse Style

Classic farmhouse style includes trademark elements from farm homesteads of the past such as natural wood accents – think paneled wood walls, wide plank floors, shiplap and exposed wood beams – along with mainstays like porcelain apron sinks. Vintage furniture and accessories with weathered finishes are also common as is vintage-inspired lighting.

In contrast, modern farmhouse design starts with the comfortable, relaxed farmhouse style and incorporates more contemporary touches such as clean lines, glossy accents and neutral color palettes. This look is less rustic, more sophisticated and utilizes contemporary design elements such as granite countertops and sleek lighting. The overall aesthetic includes less clutter for a more streamlined look that still maintains the inviting feel of traditional farmhouse style.

How to Achieve Modern Farmhouse Style

Here are some key elements of modern farmhouse style.

Make it practical: Furnishings and accessories should be comfortable and purposeful and have a lived-in feel. They should welcome you into the space, and nothing should be too delicate to use regularly. The room should appear as if it evolved over time. To avoid a cluttered look, keep accessories to a minimum.

Stay neutral: A neutral palette comprised of cool or warm neutrals such as cream, beige, silver and light gray will make the room appear fresh, light and open while balancing natural elements. Pops of subtle color can be incorporated to add depth and help to break up the space, and the use of simple patterns and a mix of textures will bring dimensionality.

Mix and match: Mixing and matching furniture, including vintage and new pieces, stays true to farmhouse roots, while delivering added comfort and style. Pairing traditional natural elements such as wood with newer ones like concrete, stainless steel and other metals puts a new twist on farmhouse style.

Go natural: Natural materials are an important element of any farmhouse-inspired space. Introducing distressed or reclaimed wood in architectural features or furniture helps to anchor a room while  using natural fibers, such as cotton, sisal, rattan and wicker adds visual interest. Natural stone brings an organic, timeless quality that is at once classic and modern.

Add industrial touches: Modern, industrial elements will make farmhouse-inspired decor current. Incorporating retro style or vintage-inspired appliances along with industrial-style metal objects like modern lighting fixtures and mid-century modern style furniture can bring unexpected panache and a fresh, of-the-moment feel to a farmhouse space.

See examples of modern farmhouse style.