On the 20th July 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, leading to Armstrong’s infamous saying, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The moon landing lead to a craze for anything space age, which has informed design to this day. Nell Darby looks at how you can add a space age touch to your home.

Appropriately, given the attention the space race received internationally throughout the Sixties, space age influences were found in the decade’s homes and furnishings. The space race between America and Russia was mimicked across the world as designers fought to create the most ultramodern furnishings.

Capsule or pod-shaped furniture has a space age feel, and in the Sixties, these shapes seemed futuristic, and echoed the feeling that the world was entering the realm of science fiction. White plastic was commonly used for space age design. Even televisions were encased in white plastic balls or cubes. So were radios.

TWA TerminalWhite plastic chairs took shapes that conjured up horizontal space rockets, suspended on thin chrome legs. Another popular design was the white plastic armless chair made out of a single piece of plastic; similar designs can be found in high street shops today, showing their timelessness and enduring appeal.

If you want to incorporate space age lighting into your home, the easiest way is to buy a classic white anglepoise light, bent at a right-angle. Fibre-optic lamps, which can still be found easily on the high street, also give a futuristic feel to your home. Even lava lamps can be found that are rocket-shaped, if you need a bit more colour than space age white.

Alexander_Begge_Casalino_Chair_kbjDining tables again use a futuristic yet simple shape, with matching chairs. In the aftermath of the moon landing, many designers sought a futuristic shape and design, including Alexander Begge, who created stackable chairs in 1971 that looked as though they belonged in a Martian’s home.  The Casalino chair was a triumph, but proved to be Begge’s only furniture design! You may be lucky and find one on eBay.

For an extra touch of space age retro, look for touches of silver or chrome, but keep it simple. Clutter is definitely not suitable for that spacecraft feel!