6/19/12

The Vintage Home #15: 1965 Interiors


Herein are scans from the book Interior Decoration A to Z (1965).  I could chat on endlessly about how amazing these are, but I'll let the images speak for themselves.  Suffice it to say, my eyeballs hurt from the bursts of color and each picture reminds me of a groovier version of my grandparents' house.

Of course, if this were my grandparents' house it would be covered in plastic.  I don't know if grandparents still do this, but once upon a time you could count on senior citizens covering every sofa and chair in the "nice" living room with plastic! I'm cool with protecting your stuff with home insurance, but I draw the line with that sweaty sticky Saran Wrap.

But I digress.  On with the scans!










22 comments:

  1. The stairs around the fireplace… now that's cool.

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  2. To get that classic Sixties look...just let a bunch of Swedish concept designers loose in your house.

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    1. Photographer Lynne Rostochil (granddaughter of a major architect) specializes in this era. She found one amazing time-capsule house that was miraculously maintained in perfect 1961 condition until the owners died:

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/25726169@N03/4603432887/in/set-72157605750865758/

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  3. AnonymousJune 20, 2012

    I wonder how many times people have fallen OFF that staircase in the fireplace? Not for the drunk. No railing! I'd be crawling up at the best of times.

    - Vanessa

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  4. AnonymousJune 20, 2012

    This is almost as horrifying as the seventies.

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  5. Pic #5, the green room, looks like a Las Vegas high-rollers suite from the early 70's. There's a pic somewhere online of a room that looks almost exactly like that, but it was harvest gold instead of green. It was from the old MGM Grand in 1973 or '74.

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    1. My 80-year-old sister-in-law has almost the exact same room, and it is indeed decorated in harvest gold. She practically keeps it roped off and the only time I have been allowed to set foot in there was on Christmas Eve.

      What I do not see in the photo (but it's probably there anyway) is the de rigueur wall (or semi-wall) of mirrored tiles. My SIL's mirror wall was on the left. I've seen such walls with either regular or smoked-finish mirrors.

      I know two other people who have also had similar rooms and they actually DID rope them off, with a bit of velvet stretching across the doorjamb. One of the rooms was also decorated in harvest gold and the other (O God) was pink.

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  6. These are cool. Some I like a lot, some make me gag (the green living room is too much!). I did a series where I scanned a bunch of books too. http://www.retrohound.com/tag/interiors/

    I had a friend in high school who's parents had a fireplace like that one with the stair-shelves (I'm sure they are shelves, not actual stairs). That room looks very much like their living room, complete with a door to the hallway around the back side.

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  7. Have you ever been to Graceland? Very similar.

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  8. pic #3= those colors don't just clash, they're at each other's throats! AM I RITE?!?!

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  9. Other than the room with the bright green carpet and curtains, I'm totally digging these, especially pictures #2 and 4. I have seen the placement of two modern chairs together in numerous home and decorating magazines of today.

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  10. All of these are amazing, but that floating staircase just blew me away!

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  11. I was 14 years old in 1965 and none of my friends lived in homes that looked remotely like these. You saw stuff like this on TV, maybe Scotty and Kelly were on assignment somewhere and having drinks with the suspected bad guys, but regular people didn't decorate their houses this way.

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  12. AnonymousJune 20, 2012

    My folks owned a furniture store very near this period; yes, people did have these furnishings - either upscale suburbanites or empty-nesters. My grandmother used to have #5, and my parents friends had a rumpus room like #7, minus the stairs. Want to see Uggh! See 1970s French Provincial (that we could never sit on); my mom simply had to buy the $200 or so continental (!?) telephone to complete the look. s-a-h-d

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    1. Yes, people DID have these furnishings. And even worse things, I can assure you. (For example, the 1970s French Provincial just mentioned. "Uggh!" indeed. It was cringeworthy.)

      I really suspect that (at least in the case of #5) all the plastic coverings were stripped from furniture AND LAMPS in order to have the picture taken, and afterwards ... back it went, along with a plastic runner to protect the carpet from human feet. And in many houses, even with the plastic, people -- children in particular -- were never allowed to sit on the furniture. Not that we wanted to.

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  13. I grew up in the middle class suburbs during the 1960s and some of these photos do genuinely reflect the décor of our home as well as some of our neighbors at that time. I'm very fond of the eclectic style of interior design that dominated the 1960s. Decorators often tastefully blended French or Italian Provincal with some modern pieces and the look was both well thought as well as individualistic. The 1960s came to be with a new young President, John F. Kennedy and his glamorous young wife Jackie. It was a new age that JFK called Camelot and not only did people's attitudes brighten from the lackluster Eisenhower years of the 1950s but colors brightened as well. Color TV was finally coming into it's own by the mid 1960s and the sets of living rooms we saw in sitcoms and dramas were often decorated in bright greens and blues and oranges and yellows which color TV screens happily bounced into our view in our own living rooms and bedrooms. In turn, this inspired people to dare to use color and pattern as never before. It was a wonderful decade for color and design. The quality of the fabrics and furniture were far superior than the cheap fabric and furniture today mostly made in China. And in the 1960s Americans manufactured fabrics, furniture and so much more right here in the USA by generations of talented American craftsmen. It's all gone now. Now Americans buy everything made by China and the quality is often cheap and gone are the great American furniture companies that once dominated parts of North Carolina and Michigan. A few remain such as Herman Miller and Knoll but dozens were put out of business by China.

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  14. AnonymousJune 21, 2012

    Agreed. It was actually dinner small-talk in our house about fabric quality; we had stacks and stacks of pattern and cloth sample books (some seemingly as heavy as carpet) and examples of framing of extremely high quality products. My Dad took his yearly trek to the factories to place orders (and party). I still insist French Provincial was tacky even if artistic and craft worthy, and especially so in our ranch home - haha.

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  15. With the exception of the green room, I dig all of these rooms. I can totally see myself chillin' in the room in the first picture. Notice how the red chair in said picture is reclinable with the adjustment of side brackets. And who doesn't want a tribal drum in their room? I know I do.

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  16. Picked up the entire set in mint condition at a library book sale for $18. They were unmarked, donations from a local.

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  17. I am in love with the coffee table in picture #1, with the lamps in picture #2, and the over-all style but not the color of picture #5. (I would have the same basic style but in varying shades of purple.) Oh, and the bookshelves in picture #6 makes me drool.

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  18. Love love!! #2,4,6,7,8 are inspiring to see how they lived in the day. Now we're excited to find a few of these choice vintage pieces to work into our space. Thanks for the retrospective.

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  19. My family lived in South America in 1965 where there were plenty of houses with cool extreme architecture - a friend lived in a round house with a sunken living room in the center that circulated around a round fireplace that had a staircase running up it much like the one seen here. We lived in a place with a round dining room with a glass roof and a living room with a glass wall looking into an indoor pool - and the party room (with adjoining bar) below had a window looking into the pool's deep end! I really regret not having interior photos of these places.

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