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Explore Iconic Retro 70s Bar Trends: Design Ideas and Inspirations


If you’re on a quest to infuse your living space with a touch of vintage charm, why not embark on the exciting journey of creating your very own retro 70s bar? The 1970s era was a time of bold colors, funky patterns, and innovative design features that continue to enthuse us even today.

Whether you’re yearning to bring back the groovy ambiance of a disco party, the warm and inviting atmosphere of a wood-paneled pub, or the avant-garde style of a space age lounge, there’s a retro 70s bar waiting to be realized by you.

In this guide, we’ll delve into some of the iconic trends and elements of 70s bar design, offering you valuable tips and inspiration on how to piece together your very own retro 70s bar at home. You’ll get acquainted with the various types of bars, learn about the materials and colors that were all the rage, and uncover the accessories and details that lent them their distinctiveness.

You will also stumble upon some of the finest vintage products and vendors on Etsy, providing you with a treasure trove of authentic and affordable items for your retro 70s bar project.

The Quintessential Elements of 70s Bar Design

Now that you have decided to create your own retro 70s bar, understanding the essential elements that define this style is crucial. The 70s bar design was a vivid reflection of the era’s cultural and artistic movements, including disco, pop art, psychedelia, and sci-fi. To help you capture the essence of that period, here’s a breakdown of the key aspects to consider for your retro 70s bar design.

Color Schemes and Patterns

The 70s was a decade celebrated for its explosion of colors, prominently featured in bar designs. Bright and vibrant hues like orange, yellow, green, pink, and purple dominated the scene. These colors often appeared in geometric or floral patterns, providing a stark contrast against the dark wood or metal surfaces they adorned.

Popular patterns included stripes, circles, squares, and paisley. Incorporating these colors and patterns within your walls, furniture selection, or accessories can immediately transport your bar back to the 70s.

Materials and Textures

The diversity in materials and textures used in the 70s bar design contributed to its rich and eclectic aesthetic. Favoured materials included wood, metal, glass, plastic, and leather. Wood often gave warmth and coziness to bar counters, cabinets, and shelves. Metal accents, such as legs, rails, or lamps, added a touch of elegance and shine. Glass elements brought a sense of transparency and lightness to tables, mirrors, or bottles.

Plastic, with its fun and funky vibe, was a popular choice for chairs, trays, or accessories; while leather added comfort and a hint of luxury to sofas, stools, or cushions. Mixing and matching these materials and textures can help you achieve a uniquely captivating retro 70s bar.

Lighting and Ambiance

In the 70s, bar designs gave significant attention to lighting and ambiance, crucial for setting the mood and atmosphere. The lighting typically embraced a dim and soft glow, fostering a romantic and intimate setting. The disco ball, an iconic element of the era, cast colorful reflections, creating a mesmerizing effect.

Other distinctive lighting features included neon signs, lava lamps, Tiffany lamps, and candles. To enhance the ambiance, consider incorporating music, posters, plants, and ferns. These elements collectively contribute to establishing the desired tone and theme for your retro 70s bar.

Innovative Design Features of the 70s

The 70s were not only a colorful and expressive decade, but also a creative and innovative one. The 70s bar design showcased some of the most original and daring features that challenged the conventional norms and experimented with new forms and functions. Here are some of the innovative design features of the 70s that you can incorporate in your retro 70s bar.

Open Plan Layouts and Bar Shapes

One of the most distinctive features of the 70s bar design was the open plan layout, which created a sense of spaciousness and fluidity. The 70s bar design was influenced by various cultural and artistic movements, such as disco, pop art, psychedelia, and sci-fi.

The bar was often the center of attention, and it could take different shapes and sizes, such as circular, rectangular, or curved. The bar could also be integrated with other elements, such as the fireplace, the sofa, or the wall. The open plan layout and the bar shapes allowed for more interaction and flexibility among the guests and the hosts.

Iconic Furniture and Decor Pieces

The 70s bar design also featured some of the most iconic furniture and decor pieces that reflected the style and personality of the era. Some of the most popular furniture pieces were the modular sofa, the bean bag chair, the egg chair, and the peacock chair.

These furniture pieces were comfortable, cozy, and adaptable, and they often came in bright colors and patterns. Some of the most memorable decor pieces were the disco ball, the neon sign, the lava lamp, and the macrame. These decor pieces added a touch of fun, glamour, and whimsy to the bar, and they created a striking contrast with the natural materials and textures.

Integrating Modern Technology with Retro Aesthetics

The 70s bar design also integrated modern technology with retro aesthetics, creating a futuristic and eclectic look. The 70s were a time of technological advancement and innovation, with items like the “longato ‘game’ by marcello siard” offering a playful touch to the eclectic mix, and the bar design incorporated some of the latest gadgets and devices, such as the stereo system, the television, the video game console, and the telephone.

These devices were often disguised or blended with the retro elements, such as the wood paneling, the metal railing, or the glass table. The integration of modern technology and retro aesthetics created a unique and dynamic atmosphere for the bar, and it also reflected the cultural and social changes of the time.

Creating Your Retro 70s Bar: Tips and Inspirations

Delving into the quintessential elements and innovative features of 70s bar design has prepared you to embark on a creative journey—designing your very own retro 70s bar at home. The question arises, though: where should one start?

How to pinpoint the perfect theme, select a vibrant color palette, choose decor, and art that encapsulates the essence of your bar? Wondering about weaving in music and entertainment to infuse your space with energy and excitement? Fear not, your guide is here.

This guide will provide practical tips and rich inspirations for effortlessly crafting your retro 70s bar, brimming with style and character.

Choosing Your Theme and Color Palette

The journey to your dream retro 70s bar begins with selecting a theme and color palette that resonate with your taste and personality. The 70s era, known for its diversity and eclecticism, offers a plethora of themes to match your vibe. Whether you’re drawn to a disco theme, inspired by pop art, intrigued by the psychedelic, or fascinated by the space age, there’s something for every retro enthusiast.

Each theme carries its signature color schemes and patterns to guide your decorating journey. For instance, a disco theme shines with bright, eye-catching colors such as orange, yellow, pink, and purple, accompanied by geometric or floral patterns. Pop art themes emphasize bold and contrasting hues like red, blue, yellow, and black, adorned with comic and pop culture motifs. Meanwhile, psychedelic themes dazzle with rainbow and neon colors, alongside swirls or tie-dye patterns. Space age themes favor metallic and futuristic tones—silver, gold, white, and blue—with sleek, curved designs. Feel free to blend different themes and colors to craft a retro 70s bar that’s uniquely yours.

Curating Decor and Art

Progressing to decor and art, your goal is to curate pieces that not only stand out but also echo your chosen theme and color palette. A diverse selection of materials and textures—wood, metal, glass, plastic, leather—can create a rich, eclectic atmosphere. Embrace the era’s iconic furniture and decor items: the modular sofa, bean bag chair, egg chair, peacock chair, disco ball, neon signs, lava lamps, and macrame. These items, attainable through online shopping, vintage shops, or DIY efforts, breathe life into your retro vision. Augment this with retro posters, paintings, or sculptures featuring 70s music bands, movie stars, or pop culture icons, enhancing your bar’s authenticity and appeal.

Don’t overlook Etsy for vintage products and sellers; it’s a treasure trove for genuine, affordable items perfect for your retro 70s bar project. You can find authentic gems such as the “space age bar card by marc held,” a testament to the era’s forward-thinking designs. Imagine complementing it with a “chrome round 70s bar cart” to serve your guests their favorite cocktails, or add an Italian flair with the sophisticated “fain cart by livia castelli,” bringing together functionality and elegance.

Incorporating Music and Entertainment

To fully capture the 70s spirit, infusing your bar with music and entertainment is essential. Create a playlist that celebrates the era’s classic hits across disco, funk, soul, rock, and pop. Equip your bar with a stereo system, record player, or jukebox, and consider adding speakers and headphones for a surround sound experience.

Alongside music, introduce entertainment options popular in the 70s: televisions, video game consoles, pinball machines, board games, and even a karaoke machine or dance floor to engage your guests. Integrating 70s design features like open plan layouts, dynamic bar shapes, and a blend of modern technology with retro aesthetics will elevate the atmosphere, making your bar a lively and entertaining space for everyone.


You’ve now reached the conclusion of our guide on crafting your own retro 70s bar at home. It’s been our pleasure to walk you through the essential elements, innovative features, and valuable tips and inspirations for achieving that quintessential 70s bar aesthetic. Armed with this knowledge and toolkit, you’re fully equipped to transform your space into a groovy and stylish bar that mirrors your unique taste and personality.

Whether your aim is to host a vibrant disco party, an engaging pop art exhibition, a mind-bending psychedelic trip, or an out-of-this-world space age adventure, your retro 70s bar is the perfect venue to bring those themes to life. So, why wait?

Embark on your retro 70s bar project today and set the stage for unforgettable fun!

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