The Dreamers #87 - Embracing Bold 70's Design With Estelle Bilson From 70s House, Manchester
70s House Manchester was conceived by Estelle Bilson, a renowned best-selling author, designer, and TV presenter specialising in mid-century interior design. Estelle joins us as our latest Dreamer as we chat about all things retro.
WELCOME TO THE DREAMERS.
The social media started as a bit of a joke. My friends said people would be interested, and I laughed. Turned out they were right. People seem to love a bit of orange and brown. During lockdown here in the UK, I was bored out of my mind. I was a technical designer and product developer before I had our child, so I ended up bringing a collection of retro-inspired homewares out, which was fun but hard work as it was entirely self-funded and managed. I hope to bring more designs out in the near future.
From this, I was approached by a television production company to try out for a TV show, which I wasn’t sure of at the time. However, my husband encouraged me, telling me I knew more than I thought I did and to see where it ended up. I have filmed five series now and the show is hosted by national treasure, Nigel Havers.
My biggest moment came in late 2021 when I was approached via email by a publishing house to see if I was interested in writing a book. I had to pitch my idea, and luckily, they loved it. It was an enormous amount of work and something that I still struggle to believe I have done. It was a real ‘pinch me’ moment that I am so proud of. I hope to write more books in the future!
Yes! It was published in Australia in July 2023, and I’ve received a lot of love from people over there. A lot of you really dig the retro look. Two homes that I featured in the book are homes in Australia, one of which belongs to Dann, who owns Retrospectum shop and who is also a stockist and has always been a huge champion of my work.
As a fellow vintage lover, what tips do you have for people looking to spark some nostalgia in their homes?
I think colour is a brilliant way of injecting retro styling into space, along with the use of patterns. Some patterns instinctively scream the 60s/70s. I am also all for supergraphics, which you can paint on the wall with tester pots. It’s a great statement to make, and it can be done on a budget. If you get bored, you can paint over it and do something new. If you are looking for furniture and accessories, then Facebook Marketplace is always a go-to. I’ve found some great pieces on there!
Any favourite Banabae pieces?
I love your Retrograde and Petal Puff quilt covers and pillow slips. It reminds me of one my parents had in the ’70s! It would be really easy to style up a great retro bedroom with this. I love the cord and printed cushions, blankets and rugs, as they are a great way to inject some retro styling into your home without going full-on if you are unsure if you’re going to love it. It’s also great for renters.
Estelle Bilson - 70s House
A bold homage to the most daring decade in design.
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