A design classic turns 50

The lava lamp

The lava lamp

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THAT much-loved British design icon, the lava lamp, is as popular today as it was in the Sixties. Ahead of its 50th birthday, Sam Wylie-Harris sources some retro-inspired homewares to mark the occasion

From fashion and music to lifestyle and interiors, our enduring love affair with the Pop Art era continues to inspire a modern-day audience – and nothing sums up retro styling quite like the lava lamp.

September marks the 50-year anniversary of the design staple. Half a century may have passed, but the Mathmos lava lamp’s popularity has stood the test of time, and is very much part of the current resurgence and celebration of all things vintage and classically British.

Cressida Granger, owner and MD of Mathmos, says: “The lava lamp’s inventor, Edward Craven Walker, described it best when he said, ‘I think it will always be popular. It is like the cycle of life. It grows, breaks up, falls down and then starts all over again’.”

So see the (colourful) light and join the celebration by capturing some classic styling in your home. Here’s a selection of retro-inspired homewares that look as modern and fresh today as the original models.

1) Mathmos Heritage range, £65 each, available in three colourways - gold, matt black and electric blue, Mathmos. Visit www.mathmos.com (available from September 2)

2) Dr Who Teapot: Dalek, £45, Science Museum Shop. Visit www.sciencemuseumshop.co.uk

3) Orla Kiely House Stem Coffee Table, £800, Liberty. To order call 020 7734 1234

4) G Plan Vintage, The Fifty Five Armchair, Marl Green, £799, from John Lewis. Visit www.johnlewis.com

5)Ruark Audio R4i integrated music system, from £550, Ruark Audio. Visit www.ruarkaudio.com

6) Retro Vinyl Coasters, Pack of 6, £12, from John Lewis. For stockists visit www.johnlewis.com

7) Patchwork chair, £495, Plumo. Visit www.plumo.com

8) Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden 1969, £115, Sonic Editions. Visit www.soniceditions.com

9) Hang It All By Vitra, £198, Skandium. Visit www.skandium.com

10) Noguchi Coffee Table by Vitra, from £1,223, Skandium. Visit www.skandium.com

11) London Clock, Black Retro Alarm, £25, House of Fraser. Visit www.houseoffraser.co.uk

12) Retro tumblers, £4.50 each, Divertimenti. Visit www.divertimenti.co.uk

13) Kompotti Plate by Marimekko, £20, Skandium. Visit www.skandium.com