We are overjoyed to be celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Feast Watson with you. It all started back in 1922, when we set up shop as an Australian-owned and family-run business with a vision to create the highest quality timber care products for our fellow Australians. The decades we have spent perfecting our products are a testament to their aesthetic and practical excellence. Still, we aim to be ever-evolving. Our goal is to help you keep up with the trends by providing products that have endured the test of time.
Celebrating our 100th anniversary has given us pause to think about the past century of timber furniture, interior design, and our place in it. Walk with us through the trends of the past 100 years and uncover a little inspiration, old or new.
1920s: Art Deco Elegance
The Golden Twenties were a time of opulence and glamour in interior design. 1920s interiors were characterised by anti-traditional elegance, with sleek and embellished designs. Classic dark wood furniture that had lasted for generations was replaced by mass production and a more modern feel. The 1920s were also marked by an admiration for the modernity of the machine. This meant that symmetry and repetitious geometric designs became a hallmark of the Art Deco period.
Get the Art Deco look: Give an old side table or chest of draws a little 1920s flair with Feast Watson’s Stain and Varnish in Black Japan. This rich, black stain and varnish imparts all of the sleek glamour of the roaring twenties, along with the modern elegance of the Art Deco style.
1930s: Streamline Moderne
With the dawn of the 1930s, came the Great Depression. As the elaborate ornamentation of the 1920s disappeared, conservation of resources and practicality became the new focus. As the name suggests, the Streamline Moderne style was characterised by clean lines and industrial materials, with form following function. The style was inspired by the aerodynamic designs of planes and ships at the time, and the simplicity of long, horizontal lines was king
Get the Streamline Moderne look: Return to simplicity and clean lines with Feast Watson’s Clear Varnish. Available in gloss, satin and matt finishes, our clear varnish keeps it simple, protecting your interior furniture and preserving the stunning natural timber grain.
1940s: Return to Traditional
The post-war years of the 1940s were a renaissance of tradition in interior design. As steel and other materials were hard to come by, wood was back in fashion in a major way. Dark wood furniture gained popularity, as it brought us back to the comfort of a more traditional style. Pastel wallpaper and greater use of colour became symbols of the world’s emergence out of the darkness of the WWII period.
Get the Traditional Revival look: A gorgeous antique dark wood piece would fit right in with the Traditional Revival aesthetic of the late 1940s. If your antique timber furniture is missing a bit of lustre, Feast Watson Timber Floor Oil is perfect for restoring its glow.
1950s: Mid-Century Modern
Mid-century Modern interior design took a no-frills approach, instead focussing on functionality and an absence of clutter. Mid-century Modern furniture incorporated modern and organic elements, using combinations of man-made and natural materials.
Rooted in minimalism, the Mid-century Modern style allowed small pops of colour and textural differences to shine. The style has had a resurgence in the 21st century, with its simplicity and effortlessness seen by many as timeless.
Get the Mid-century Modern look: The Mid-century Modern period favoured teak furniture for its warmth and simplicity. Protect your teak interior furniture with Feast Watson Timber Floor Oil, preserving its rich, natural beauty.
1960s: Counterculture & Space Age
The 1960s saw the rise of counterculture, hippies and an attempt to defy the oppression of mainstream society. Counterculture saw the rejection of traditional neutrals, replacing them with rebellious colours and graphic patterns. Tie-dye, paisley and psychedelic patterns were popular, along with vibrant colour combinations. The space race and the moon landing were also reflected in 1960s interiors. Pod chairs, lava lamps and bean bags came to prominence through Space Age style, as well as ergonomic furniture designs.
Get the Counterculture look: Get the groovy Counterculture look by reupholstering a chair or stool with your favourite colourful, 1960s-inspired fabric. If your chair or stool has timber elements which are already coated, use Feast Watson’s Furniture Polish to diminish any scratches and put the finishing touches on your project!
1970s: The Natural Look & DIY
The 1970s embraced a natural aesthetic, with earthy tones and organic materials taking centre stage. Stone fireplaces and wood panelling were common natural elements, and avocado green was widely used. The popularity of flat-pack furniture also grew in the 1970s. Ikea, one of the most influential ready-to-assemble furniture companies, arrived in Australia in 1974, furthering the DIY trend. Handmade items were also popular furnishings, with knit rugs and other woven materials providing a cosy feel to the home.
Get the DIY look: While flat-pack furniture can be convenient, it doesn’t always have the unique look you desire. Follow our Project Guide to transform an Ikea laptop stand to suit your aesthetic needs.
The 1980s were a time of bold colour, daring shapes and excess. In a word: Maximalism. Striking patterns, splashes of turquoise, mauve and faux plants formed the basis of the 1980s Maximalist ‘more is more’ philosophy. The style of the Memphis
Group, an Italian design and architecture firm was highly influential in this period. Their unique use of solid colours and shapes, like that of the original MTV logo, became characteristic of 1980s Maximalism.
Get the Maximalist look: Our guide to DIYing some extra timber shelves can help to achieve the Maximalist look, which embraces clutter and the ‘more is more’ philosophy. Fill those shelves with all manner of kitsch!
1990s: Minimalism & Shabby Chic
Out of the Maximalism of the 1980s, came the Minimalism of the 1990s, where less is finally more again. Greys and beiges were back in, with bare pine cabinetry and exposed wood beams taking us back to basics. The Shabby Chic aesthetic also became popular. This meant using thrifted, unique and eclectic furniture to create a cosy, lived-in feel. The Shabby Chic look is exemplified by Monica’s apartment in the hit 90s sitcom Friends, with its mis-matched textures and patterns, culminating to create a playful and inviting living-space.
Get the Shabby Chic look: Get the cosy, mis-matched feel of the shabby chic look by thrifting a unique range of second-hand or antique furniture pieces. If you want to add a modern touch to thrifted timber pieces, apply Feast Watson Prooftint to instantly transform the colour of your piece.
2000s and 2010s: Welcome Modernity
The 2000s and 2010s marked a true introduction to modernity, with the proliferation of technology as the centrepiece of the home. Suddenly, flatscreen TVs dominated our living rooms and we could ask Alexa or Siri about the latest interior design trends. A plethora of modern iterations of traditional styles came into fashion - think modern farmhouse and modern coastal! Houseplants also made a comeback in the later part of the 2010s, providing a little natural radiance in a newly tech-focused world.
Get the Modern look: A staple of the modern farmhouse and modern coastal look are light, airy interiors. Our Liming White Stain and Varnish imparts a gorgeous white-washed look, to provide your interior timber furniture with the brightness and freshness of modernity.
2020s: Upcycling & Maximalism Returns
While we are only a few years into the 2020s, they have already left their mark as a unique period for interior design. In 2020 and 2021, Maximalism was back in, as people had more time and incentive to curate the design of their space. A newer trend eco-conscious interior design has led to the rise of thrifting and upcycling furniture. By transforming existing pieces, avid DIYers are able to achieve their desired aesthetic, while avoiding mass-produced “fast furniture”.
Get the Upcycled look: For fantastic upcycling inspiration for your interior timber furniture, explore our Get the Look blogs.
We hope that this walk through the interior design trends of the past century has sparked some nostalgia, and maybe even provided some inspiration for your next project. Looking back on the past has only made us more excited about continuing to help you achieve your interior design and woodcare aspirations for many years to come.