An Illustrated History Of Interior Design

From shag carpeting to shabby chick to IKEA, this interactive infographic visualises a history of interior design.


1950s interior design was characterized by modernism and influenced by the Danish design movement, with crisp, sweeping lines and vivid coloring.


During the free love movement of the 1960s, interior designers reacted to the wholesome, traditional family values of the ‘50s with post-modernist riffs on elements of the past (Victorian and Georgian-inspired furniture) and the imagined future (groovy lava lamps).


The 1970s saw the birth of DIY culture, Space Age-influenced styles (like that pod chair), and the hippie movement’s preference for rustic, “natural” furniture of teak and pine.


The 1980s saw the birth of “shabby chic” and the avant garde Memphis Group in Milan, with furniture in bold geometric shapes and colors. The decade of excess also brought plenty of chintzy, ostentatious interiors.


1990s interior design reigned in the excess of the '80s, opting for more minimalism and lots and lots of pine furniture.


The 2000s saw the Ikea flatpack furniture takeover and a bigger integration of tech into interior design, with flatscreen TVs channeling home cinema.


In the 2010s, self-expression has come to define the approach to interior design. So has economizing–the recession has led to smaller furniture with built-in storage.

Inspired by FastCoDesign; Images from Harvey Water Softeners

7 Decorating Ideas for your Bookshelf

Bookshelves not only store all your favorite books, but they also give you a place to display decorative accessories. 

It gives you a chance to bring in color, texture and personality to a room. And that can be accomplished even when the shelves are only holding books. Here are seven decorator ideas to help you create beautifully arranged bookshelves.

Decorating Bookshelves

1. Use bookshelves to carry on your color scheme. Unify the look by adding accessories that repeat the main colors of the room.


House to Home

2. When lining up multiple bookshelves with adjustable shelving, vary the heights of the shelves in each unit. This will add movement and visual interest.


Sharon Portnoy Design

3. To give bookshelves a sleeker more polished look, add glass doors. The doors will also help cut down on your dusting.



4. Create a stylish and unexpected display by hanging artwork and other decorative items from the front of bookshelves.



5. Make your built-in bookcases standout by painting them in a contrasting color from the walls.



6. If you have lots of colorful books and accessories, bring in some black-and-white artwork to break up all the color.



7. Don’t overload bookshelves with lots of accessories. Keep things simple and it won’t look cluttered. Take time to step back and view your display to see if it’s balanced and visually pleasing.


Better Homes and Gardens


Hop on to the Couchelo iPhone App to see our many unique, vintage and contemporary decor items to decorate your bookshelves with. 

5 Timeless Design Elements from Mad Men: Home Edition

This is part two of the post featuring the stylish furnishings of our favourite period drama, Mad Men. As we dive into the homes of our favourite TV style icons, we recognise most of the items chosen are associated with Betty, but to be fair nobody has a better grasp of suburban 1960’s life and style than the former Mrs Draper. 

Here’s 5 Timeless designs and elements that you can incorporate into your space today:

1. Betty and Don’s bed


If only Betty and Don’s relationship was as perfect as this frosty blue velvet, button tufted bed head. The material is certainly fitting for this era and the fact that it provides a comfortable resting spot for Betty’s weary head, that’s just a bonus.

2. The muted coral walls in Joan’s apartment


This dusk pink, coral wall suits Joan to the core. The teal, coral and cream colour mash up in Joan’s living room perfectly portrays her precise, non-frivolous personality. The choice of furniture is more traditional and the arrangement clean and simple. It is not a playful setup, but none the less Joan is not a playful character outside of work. I certainly would not want to be caught making a mess at her place.

3. Megan and Don’s manhattan apartment


Megan and Don’s manhattan apartment are a perfect portrayal of their relationship. Although we feel for Betty and her perfect housewife despair, we can’t help but feel the attraction of the lifestyle that being with Megan offers. Don’s a curious, ambitious and flirtatious man, we can’t help but agree that this is a home that suits Draper. 

4. Betty’s suburban kitchen


Notice the green and pink hues again with Betty’s suburban kitchen. I dare say the greens and oranges were a popular colour scheme in the 60s. There is a homely charm to the kitchen, though in today’s day and age, a spray of high gloss white with original wooden bench tops would give the kitchen a brighter lift away from the melancholic watermelon scheme that represents that suppressed depression enveloping Betty Draper.

5. Black Barcelona leather daybed


Technically, this doesn’t count as home furnishings but we couldn’t resist finishing off with this delightful Mies Van der Rohe Barcelona daybed. The piece looks just as good at Betty’s Psychiatrist’s office as it would any home or office in this day and age. We’ve seen few settings of this daybed under elegant ceiling down window sills. Absolutely classic.

Stupid Cupid: a roundup of some fabulous anti-Valentine’s Day decor

Anti Valentine by KitschyHippo

Now don’t get us wrong, the Couchelo peeps are suckers for love, but maybe not the red and pink heart themed, Hallmark-sponsored, overpriced circus kind of love that you find on Valentine’s Day.

We think that love should be celebrated all year round, and in the little things too: a cup of tea from your partner when you don’t want to leave the couch because Masterchef is on or a homemade cupcake from your BFF just because it’s Wednesday or the offer from Dad to drive you home from the airport after a 30 hour flight.

So this Valentine’s Day, we’re boycotting fancy restaurants, chocolates in a heart shaped boxes, red roses and just for giggles, we’ve rounded up our favourite décor to throw the perfect, unconventional anti-Valentine’s Day parties for you and your loved ones:

1. Love Stinks banner

love stinks banner

This expresses our sentiment towards all things Valentine’s Day perfectly, it’s a banner which is perfect for any celebratory occasions.

2. Tainted Love candles

tainted love candle

Set the scene with this this cheek-in-tongue candle which promise to mend your broken heart with a mixture of orange & grapefruit, cherry blossom, hydrangea, apple and peach.

3. No Valentine’s Day Heart Piñata

anti Valentines Day pinata

Who can forget Jennifer Garner’s character in the movie Valentine’s Day beating the crap out of this hilarious piñata that probably costs a whole lot less than therapy sessions.

4. A bouquet of black roses

black flower arrangement

Nothing says “Screw Valentine’s Day” more than a bouquet of black roses, we’re pretty sure we want to have these in our house all year round.

5. ‘I Love You’ plates

I love you plates

Featuring a image of a knife, a bloody heart, and a horseshoe, what could be more fitting to serve your guests at your anti-Valentine’s party than on these Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari designed plates?

Text by Jessica Li. Images sourced from: Etsy, shoppingblog, Remodelista and artnews.

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5 Timeless Design Elements from Mad Men: Office Edition

Mad Men

Season 7 of Mad Men premieres on April 13 and the Couchelo team are waiting impatiently for the return of Don Draper’s antics, gorgeous 1960s fashion and most of all, the retro-chic home and office furnishings. The use of bold colours, crazy textures and clean lines makes Mad Men our favourite source of décor eye candy on TV.

So let’s take a look through the past seasons for 5 timeless designs elements that you can incorporate into your office space today:

1. The burnt orange sofa with clean lines 

Burnt orange sofa with clean lines

Technically, there are two elements typical of mid-century design we love here (three, if you count Don’s trilby): the burn orange palette is something we’ve come to expect from the era and the clean lines and button-tufted sofa adds a simple pop of colour to the monochrome space.

2.  The “tulip” table and “mushroom” lamp in Roger’s Office

“Tulip” table and “Mushroom” lamp

Roger Sterling’s office is a light and bright minimalist space where he spends most of his days drinking and contemplating the future of his on-again-off-again love affair with vixen Joan. Styled by his ex-wife Jane, we particularly love the mod-signature pieces such as the white Saarinen Tulip table and the Artemid Nesso desk lamp featured above.

3. The conference chairs in the creative’s lounge

Conference chairs

The makeshift copywriter’s conference room reflects the young and progressive crowd who occupy it. The Saarinen Executive Conference Chairs provide an appropriately professional touch to an otherwise eclectic mix of furnishings.

4. The gold chinoiserie folding screen

“Chinoiserie folding screen in goldFolding screens were all the rage in the 1960s and this oriental design was no doubt the influence of eccentric partner Bert Cooper’s obsession with the Far East. We like how the folding screen’s bold print provides a welcome distraction from the heavy use of solid colours in the space.

5. The wooden bar cart in Don’s office

“Wooden bar cart

And what post about Mad Men would be complete without an ode to the excessive drinking that Don Draper and Co. take part in at the office. Situated conveniently next to his desk, the wooden bar cart is simple and functional, with everything Don needs to make his Old Fashioneds.

Text by Jessica Li. Images sourced from: GQ; Elle Decor; Modern Digs; The Office Stylist; Be Colorful and The Good Men Project.