Decorating a 1970s Vintage Chalet – Reader’s Homes

Decorating a 1970s Vintage Chalet Photo

Welcome to my new regular blog feature where I showcase my customer’s vintage homes! I love it when you show me your vintage finds from my website in situ, so have decided to feature the best homes on my blog monthly. This month’s vintage home is from Tracy Kimmance, 58, who is decorating a 1970s vintage chalet in Norfolk with a brown and orange nostalgic decor scheme.

Decorating a 1970s Vintage Chalet

The chalet in Norfolk has been in the family since the 1990s. It is located at Beach Road Chalet Park, Scratby and is a stone’s throw away from the beach. Tracy recently took over ownership in April 2024 and was quick to fill it with her collection of 1970s kitchen items and knick knacks, collected over the years. One of the first pieces she knew she wanted to place in there was her mum’s Poole pottery orange Delphis vase (shown below). Tracy’s mum, Heather, sadly passed away last summer, so the flat is also a bit of a homage to her and a reminder of a happy 1970s childhood.

Tracy currently lives on a permanently moored canal boat near Tring, where it is difficult to express herself in terms of home style due to the obvious lack of space. Decorating a 1970s vintage chalet is a chance to do this and to spread out a bit in comfort with nostalgia thrown in. Work started straight away on the painting and decorating, with a standout feature wall in the lounge using 1970s style wallpaper, reprinted from an original design. She says, “it was fairly costly at £50 a roll but we only needed 2 rolls, and was worth it for the statement it makes”.

Decorating a 1970s Vintage Chalet - 1970s wallpaper!

Modern orange velvet sofas complement the wallpaper, really making everything pop, along with a classic sunburst clock in the centre. Other items to complete the look are a round shaggy rug, a teak coffee table and mirror, a large pottery lamp, plus a bar trolley with classic retro games on (and yes I did ask, Frustration is Tracy’s favourite!)

Next on Tracy’s list in decorating a 1970s vintage chalet is filling the empty buttermilk walls with Snoopy mirrors and framed family photos from the 1970s. She has also found a couple of whatnot shelves for this wall to display kitsch knick knacks. Some of Tracy’s other favourite finds for the lounge are her collection of kitsch Siamese cats and large glass Murano fish. These were all found on Facebook marketplace. Her favourite item in this room however has to be a wonderfully kitsch cat and mouse oversized brandy glass, an icon of the times and owned by most people back then.

Decorating a 1970s vintage chalet - the lounge

Tracy also planned to have a classic 1970s teak cabinet or sideboard, but this may have to be rethought, as she recently found a retro boat shaped bar in a vintage shop locally. It may be hard to fit both into the space. Accessories such as colourful mid century glasses, cocktail shakers, ice bucket etc are ready to go, to enjoy a Pina Colada with friends!

The 1970s theme continues to the kitchen, and the wallpaper from the lounge appears here too. The original orange cabinets are still in place, and Tracy recently found a replacement glass fronted top unit from Facebook marketplace, the original sadly long gone. The cupboards are filled with original kitchenware from the era such as Hornsea storage containers and teapot, Royal Alma plates and bowls, flower power mugs, orange Vintage Tupperware etc. Also included is an original M&S melamine tray and orange plastic cutlery organiser from Rachel’s Vintage & Retro which fit in perfectly. Tracy has the matching table mats and was thrilled to find the vintage tray on my website.

Decorating a 1970s vintage chalet - the kitchen

As for the rest of the chalet, there will be a break with the 1970s theme. The bedrooms will be decorated with a modern style and there are plans for a Victorian style reading room in one of them. The bathroom will have a nautical theme as the chalet is by the sea, such as pirates or sea monsters. There is a garden area and this will be filled with 1950s Tiki style accessories and retro sun loungers.

Tracy’s love of vintage started in the 1980s when she would regularly visit charity shops and car boots for vintage clothing. In the 1990s she created a 1950s diner kitchen in her first flat. She says this was influenced by watching 1950s themed TV shows and films when she was growing up in the 1970s such as Happy Days and Grease. She says, “in those days everyone wanted a shaker style kitchen, whereas I wanted something more fun. I managed to find a red kitchen in B&Q and we also created banquette seating. People were shocked when they came in as it was so different to anything else of the time, but I loved it”

Vintage vehicles have also featured regularly in Tracy’s life. Outside the canal boat mooring is a bright orange Volkswagen Beetle called Dennis with the classic Space Hopper face applied to the the front bonnet. This was made by a local vehicle sign maker, who copied the design and enlarged it to the size needed. Dennis is Tracy’s 5th Beetle and she has owned him for 10 years.

I asked Tracey what her top tips were for sourcing items for a vintage style home, she says, “the internet has changed things so much, making it a lot easier to find a wider range of vintage items. When I created my 1950s kitchen I asked local tradespeople to make things for me, as it just wasn’t available to buy so readily. I would say, have an idea of what you want and then it will be easier to spot things in that style”. She goes on to say, “look locally on Facebook marketplace as well as local vintage shops, car boot sales etc. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box as to where you source things too. We have a wonderful little vintage shop locally in Norfolk, its run by an old lady who does house clearances and is only open a few mornings a week. But if you can catch it, there are some great items to find!”

So, there you have it! What do you think of Tracy’s chalet transformation? Let me know in the comments.

This blog post is written by Rachel Toy, owner of Rachel’s Vintage & Retro. I am a vintage enthusiast writing about 20th Century Antiques and Collectables. I also sell a wide variety of vintage items such as Vintage Toys and Games, Vintage Tupperware, Vintage Pyrex, Vintage Kitsch and Vintage Plastics from my Vintage Website and Social Media.

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