Pages from history – 1985

It’s 1985. The Sinclair C5 launches (and un-launches after eight months), BT announces it’s phasing out red telephone boxes, Eastenders is aired for the first time and Live Aid is staged at Wembley. Back to the Future, The Breakfast Club and Out of Africa are in cinemas. The 1985/1986 Habitat catalogue is a two-sided tale of sleek, modern design and nostalgic country collections. There are products called Tech Tower and Computech – the era of home computers is here.

Is that Kate Bush on the phone in bed? Perhaps she’s ordering a Camilla sofa, ‘A recent addition to our Basics range. Camilla is a great-looking sofa that comes with a free Simplicity paper pattern for loose covers, meaning you can make your own in any fabric.’ What a great idea. Simplicity patterns also come with the Basics range Chameleon sofa, ‘If you’re moving into your first home, our Chameleon sofa is guaranteed not to give your bank manager heart failure.’

Portions were dainty in 1985, if this styled shot is anything to go by. At least it allows a good view of the product: ‘With an unquestionable quality of design and manufacture, the classic elegance of our City collection will not date, from the cutlery and china to the chairs and table.’

Is Habitat the only brand ever to sell a sofa with a graffiti spray kit included? ‘Silhouettes and slogans, squares or squiggles – spray your own work of art over your white Graffiti sofa. Decide on your design, put newspaper layers between the cover and the sofa, fill the spray gun with paint and spray! Iron the wrong side of the fabric to fix the colour. It’s as simple as that!’ We’d love to see some examples…

We said the 1985 catalogue was a tale of contrasts, so you have solid ash dining sets and cottage-style furniture next to the latest high-tech designs. The Computech desk was just the thing for your Atari ST.

For more pages from history, click below…


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