By Liana Jacob
MEET THE seventies chick who has transformed her apartment into a TIME CAPSULE accommodating all things 70s including a traditional box TV, a Vinyl collection and a landline telephone.
Journalist, Laura Hofenk (32), from Wageningen, the Netherlands, was first fascinated by the 1970s when her parents regularly took her to a museum as a child that displayed a typical 70s home.
Ever since then she has dreamed of owning her own themed-home decorated in a similar style. In April 2018, she moved into her own apartment and decided to live-out her 70s dream by shopping in charity shops, buying different pieces to decorate her new home.
She fell in love with the various plastic homeware in the colours of orange, brown and purple, and before she knew it, her house was brimming full of retro designs inspired by the decade.
Her admiration for the 1970s lifestyle encouraged her to live her own life the same way. She bought an old-fashioned landline phone, a box-shaped TV and even listens to bands from the time on vinyl.
“When I was young, my parents took me regularly to a museum where a home was decorated like it was in the 70s,” Laura said.
“I was always intrigued by it, because my parents decorated their house in the same way when they were young. But as a child, I could never have imagined that I would live in a home like this.
“It’s really sustainable to live this way as well; everything I have is second hand, no modern mass production or Ikea in my home.
“A year ago, I moved into an apartment by myself. I didn’t really have an idea about what the interior would look like, except that it should be unique and colourful.
“It was my dream for ages already to decorate my own home in my own style. Because I wanted my stuff second hand, I started shopping in thrift shops.
“I found many beautiful pieces from the sixties and seventies and I immediately fell in love with all the colourful plastic stuff in orange, brown and purple.
“At one point I had these two different styles of modern and 70s. This was the point where I decided to leave all modern stuff behind and go 70s – all the way.
“I love all the colours, flowers, prints and craziness. In terms of decoration, anything was possible; I love to combine all the different colours and materials from the 70s.
“For example, I have a Space Age coffee table, which is the craziest coffee table I’ve ever seen. In the middle there are holes for your drink bottles, and it’s all made from orange plastic.
“In the beginning of the decade, at least in the Netherlands, people were optimistic about their lives and the future.
“Young people went out into the street to demonstrate; the fashion was full of colours and there was a lot of work for everyone. The music was good too; disco was big and there was a kind of enthusiastic vibe all around.
“Also, there was no internet; no distraction from screens or social media, just real-life contact. I wish it was like that sometimes. I realise that not everything was just happiness in this period, but I try to enjoy the good parts of the decade.
“The stuff which was made then still works and that’s awesome; like lamps, coffee machines, my turntable, TV – things were made in those days to last for ages. That’s very different from how it is now.”
Laura has committed to a life free of some modern technology and has traded flat screen TVs and sleek phones with square shaped TVs and bulky landline phones.
Her fashion sense has also steered towards the 70s wearing all things floral and she even reads magazines and books from that decade.
“I try to be as close as possible to the 70s, without forgetting that it’s still 2019. That means that I have a Wi-Fi box, but it’s hidden and not visual. I wear skinny jeans and Converse All Stars, but I love to wear a floral 70s dress as well,” she said.
“When you enter my home, everything you see is 70s. For example, the magazines and books lying around are from 1970.
“I have a couple of magazines called ‘Margriet’, which is a Dutch women’s magazine, and I love to open this and lose myself in the decade. These magazines are such a reflection of time.
“I also have an orange phone, a ‘draaischijf telefoon’, which is very 70s. Sometimes my mum or friends call me on this phone.
“The sound is so loud, ‘TRRRING, TRRRING’ – I love it. I like to integrate the good pieces of the 70s in my daily life.
“I think that it was an easy and good period for a lot of people; there was no internet, so no distraction or internet bullying.
“On the other hand, if I grew up in this decade, then I never would have decorated my home like this. It would have been too close to childhood then.
“I really fell in love with the music of Janis Ian, an artist I didn’t know before I started collecting vinyl. I don’t really have icons I like, it’s more the whole picture of the decade including artists, design and daily life.
“I think the internet changed the way we connect with each other and even with ourselves. For myself, I’m often distracted by my phone.
“I think we attract less attention from the people around us, because the screen takes up so much of our attention.
“But the internet has brought good things as well; I really love to share my home with the world, connect easily with friends who live further away and read interesting articles online.
“Sometimes I think people were more optimistic about their future in the 70s, but when I see young people demonstrate for the environment in The Hague I think yes, that’s the 70s spirit as well.
“In some ways it does cost me energy to live this way. For example, when I want to watch TV, I need to do five things before I can actually start, just because my TV is an oldie.
“When I want to change volume, I need to stand up and walk to my TV. And when the TV is on, the quality is not very good and I can’t read subtitles, because there was no wide screen TV in the 70s, so you can imagine what my screen looks like.
“But that’s what I actually enjoy so much. It’s the experience that’s important, and not the quality. It’s unique to watch TV this way.
“It’s the same when listening to vinyl; first you have to choose your vinyl wisely, because it takes action to put on music. You have to search for the right album, get the vinyl out, put it on your turntable, put the turntable on.
“When the album is done, you need to stand up again to switch it to the other side. And sometimes the needle is broken, so the vinyl keeps hanging.
“I would love to have a 70s-themed floor, but that will be expensive and will take a lot of energy. So, for now that’s on the long-list.
“For the kitchen and bathroom, I can’t make really big plans, because I’m renting my apartment and unfortunately cannot do anything big to it. I would love to one day have an old-timer and 70s caravan; oh my, that would be so awesome.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/lauras70slife/