Rugs Through Time (1960-1970) – Minimalism and Psychedelia

In our previous discussion of ‘Rugs Through Time’, the 40s and 50s were feeling the effects of post-war austerity on creativity and design. Rug styles in these decades were defined by conservativeness and a popular fixation on monochromatic and polychromatic colours.

With the 40s being remembered for a rather plain and unremarkable aesthetic, the 50s provided glimpses of brighter and bolder experimentation. This set the stage for an explosion of innovation in the following decade.

Pop-Art & Minimalism


Household rug trends of the 1960s took influence from the various artistic movements of that decade, which were diverse and challenging to previous conservative ideologies.

These exciting artistic movements were governed partly by the emergence of youth subcultures, consumerist values and a general feeling of revolution in the air.

One movement synonymous with the 60s was Pop Art which took common household items, advertisements and mass-media imagery, and steered them into a high-order artistic direction.

Conversely, the minimalist movement was also hugely precedent in rug design in the 1960s; remaining so today. Artists of this type were interested in the use of geometry and exposing space with simplicity.

The geometric shapes present in our Hidden Diamond and Fret Magenta rugs are reminiscent of how 60’s minimalist artists were less interested in the loud colour experimentation of Pop-Art, and more concerned with a shape’s relationship to its surrounding space.

Psychedelia and Hippie Subculture

Candy-Petal-240x170-300x240-250x353The 1960s was a decade where teenagers truly found their voice and were able to express themselves as individuals. Artistic trends emerged from this at either end of the spectrum.

The world’s first discotheques began to open and the clean, metallic disco room look quickly made its way into home and office interiors.

Again, in opposition yet slightly more prevalent, was the flowers-in-your-hair hippie mantra. This style made use of bright psychedelic colours and floral imagery in both fashion and design.

The floral pattern in our Candy Petal designer rug combines bright pinks and buttercup yellows against a neutral background in order to accentuate the flowers’ definition.

The hippie subculture also took heavy ethnic influences from India and Morocco, using Indian cotton fabrics and contrasting colour tie-dyes. ‘Peace and Love’ was a phrase echoed throughout that era, and the message was converted into tranquil carpet designs which could add to a room’s calming ambiance.

The 1960s gave artists from many diverse backgrounds a platform to create and challenge the conforming ideas of the past. With resources becoming more accessible, art’s new found relationship with popular culture firmly established and its relationship with minimalism firmly re-established, the next decade would take such influences to newer deeper levels.

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