Woman turns her home into 1970s shrine by only buying second-hand furnishings

Caroline Allen
·Contributor
·3 mins read

Watch: Mum turns her home into 1970’s by only buying second-hand interiors

When it comes to interiors trends, the 1970s aesthetic will always divide opinion.

Some describe decor from the disco years as eclectic – filled with bright colours and mismatched accessories, but others find the linoleum floors and wood panelled walls a bit tacky.

One woman, though, has fully embraced the 1970s vibe and has transformed her entire home into a tribute to the era.

Estelle Bilson, 43, has spent the past five years collecting a mix of vintage pieces from auctions, charity shops and eBay.

The results are pretty impressive.

Estelle Bilson's home is a colourful mix of 1970s nostalgia. (SWNS)
Estelle Bilson's home is a colourful mix of 1970s nostalgia. (SWNS)

Bilson’s love of all things retro was taken to the next level when she moved into her Greater Manchester three-bed home five years ago.

The house, which needed some TLC when she arrived, quickly became a 1970s shrine.

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Each room is painted in orange and green hues and aside from a mattress and a hoover, Bilson is proud that she hasn’t bought anything else considered “modern”.

From disco ball light fixtures to old-school kitchen appliances, the mum-of-one has fully embraced retro living.

Bilson's home needed a bit of work when they moved in. (SWNS)
Bilson's home needed a bit of work when they moved in. (SWNS)
Bilson spent around £1,500 transforming her property. (SWNS)
Bilson spent around £1,500 transforming her property. (SWNS)

Bilson, who is an upholstery designer, estimates the revamp cost her £1,500 in total, after she found most of the pieces second-hand.

She picks homeware based on her clothing tastes, which are also a tribute to her favourite era.

“It's nostalgia for me,” she explained.

“I started collecting in 1990 when I was about 13, and it went from there. When I was at university you could pick up 1970s bits and bobs on the street when people were having a clear-out.

“A lot of my artwork at school and university was inspired by abstract impressionists like Jackson Pollock, Warhol and Rothko. I guess it's something I've always been interested in.

“I do love anything old, from art deco onwards, but there's something about the 70s that's so evocative to me.

“I absolutely love kitsch. I'm a bit like a kitsch magpie; anything really random, gold, shiny, multi coloured and the weirder the better. That's why I've got the tiger and flamingo sculptures.

“I have vintage appliances in the kitchen too. Things were built to last back then and to be repaired, not discarded.”

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Bilson spends her evenings scouring websites including eBay for 1970s pieces. She admits she often “stumbles across things” when she’s not even looking, including her space-age bed.

Bilson's bedrooms are kitted out with Mad Men vibes. (SWNS)
Bilson's bedrooms are kitted out with Mad Men vibes. (SWNS)
Bilson's bathroom is a throwback to the disco era. (SWNS)
Bilson's bathroom is a throwback to the disco era. (SWNS)

Despite enjoying the styling, there are certain aspects of her home that Bilson draws the retro line at.

“We have a modern TV - it's a necessity really with a child. We have smartphones and laptops too. We don't live in the 70s, we just like the styling.

“I rarely buy new because I know I can save money by buying pre-loved. Good design is good design. But I drew the line at mattresses. I wouldn't go second-hand there. A good night's sleep is essential.

“It's vintage style, not lifestyle in the home. We live a modern life just with vintage things around us. Like modern antiques.”

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