12/11/13

The Vintage Home #17: Partridge Family Interiors


The Partridge Family didn't have near the interesting home as The Brady's, but then their dad wasn't an architect.  Plus, they didn't have the money like the Brady's either - no stay-at-home-mom or live-in-maid.  It was more of an average home, and perhaps that's what got me to take another look at the Partridge abode.

Because the house didn't have the size or flair of the Brady residence, the scenes nearly always took place in either the kitchen or the living room (in front of the stairs).  Sometimes, the camera would venture into the boys' crummy little upstairs room or Mom's elegant boudoir, but it wasn't common.

Of course, this is typical of any sitcom, whether it's Married with Children or All in the Family, there's just one or two main settings and that's it.  So, what makes the  Partridge residence of San Pueblo so interesting? The decor, of course.





When reading this post, I recommend you use the floor plan I created above.  It's not particularly accurate nor is it to scale; however, even I have my limits on how much time I'm going to spend on something like this. I just used a quickie online floor plan creator, but I think it captures the layout pretty well.

THE KITCHEN

Each episode would have the family giving a musical performance at a variety of locales - on top of their bus, in a hotel lounge, or in their garage.  The rest of the show was basically the kitchen or the living room.  We'll start with the kitchen.


Check the nice seventies palette. Lots of avocado and olive green mixed with brown.  I especially enjoy their table setting.


A wider shot. Note the dining room in the back - this led to the adjacent living room. Above Laurie's head are two red things that I thought were fire extinguishers, but are actually hanging oven mits. The mits are in front of the fridge.  Let's have a look behind Laurie and Keith...


A big ass school bell (a tad distracting for a TV show, don't you think?).


Another view of the inexplicable school bell.


A season earlier and not much is different.  There's one less oven mit and no phone on the wall. Plus we have a different actor for Chris Partridge.  According to Danny Bonaducci, the original Chris was a freaking nutcase and actually bit David Cassidy.  His mom was also an unprofessional bitch.... but I digress.


Seasons 1-3 all had the olive dishes.  Very little change from seasons 2-3.  If you look close, you'll see the phone is different, but otherwise it remains pretty constant.

But what's that wooden square in front of the oven?  Some sort of low cutting board island?


Pretty odd looking piece of furniture.


The final season (season 4) we see a new kitchen table and wicker chairs.  Plus new wallpaper.  You'll also note that the kitchen counter has been extended in a "U" shape with the stove top moved to the new extension.  Thus, ends the olive green stove top vent.  May it rest in piece.


A closer look at their new oven... try to ignore the new hair styles if you can.



THE LIVING ROOM


A look into the kitchen - a nice segue to the living area.


That shag stairway was a character unto itself.


If you can avert your eyes from the shagadelic staircase, please take note of the foliage to the left...


This is beyond just a nook with houseplants - this is a veritable jungle habitat.  Somewhere inside the flora is a native with a blowgun.


A look to the left, we see a fireplace and nice big window with stereo beneath.  Observation after watching all four seasons: Laurie sure spends a lot of time on the couch.


To try to increase ratings (and glom on to the Jackson 5 gravy train) the Partridges brought on little Ricky.  God he was horrible.  They also brought in a new sofa, which wasn't nearly as offensive.


If you were curious whether the Partridges kept a TV in their living room - here's your answer.

THE DINING ROOM


The Partridges + Jodie Foster settle down for dinner.


That's the front door and the jungle area mentioned earlier.

SHIRLEY'S ROOM


Mama Partridge has a nice little fake bedside vineyard.

KEITH, DANNY & CHRIS' ROOM


The boys' room is marked by a slanted ceiling, plus the generic "boy" decor around Chris' bed.



TRACY & LAURIE'S ROOM





On the one hand, it's more realistic, but on the other, it's not near as interesting as most TV bedrooms.  The Brady girls definitely have this one beat.

THE PSYCHEDELIC BUS


The Brady's might've had a cooler and bigger place of residence, but one thing they didn't have was a psychedelic bus.  Check mate Brady Bunch.

THE END

39 comments:

  1. From the kitchen shots you can see that the dining room had one hanging lamp, then none, then a chandelier.

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  2. Judge me if you want to but, my house looks a lot like this. Avocado and all. I wouldn't change it for anything. Well, at least until the appliances die. But even then I would only change the appliances.

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  3. That "low cutting board island" is known as a 'butchers block' I believe. Normal for it to be lower than table height.

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  4. Did you ever notice that most sitcom sofas, like this one, are almost always located in the interior space of a living room – sometimes right in the middle? In real living rooms they are most often pushed up against a wall.

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    1. I've seen them both ways. I think it depends on the traffic pattern of your living room.Mine has windows and doors everywhere so the only logical place is away from the walls.

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    2. I've seen them both ways. I think it depends on the traffic pattern of your living room.Mine has windows and doors everywhere so the only logical place is away from the walls.

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  5. The School Bell in the kitchen is actually a fight, or boxing, bell. Oh I can't believe I'm the first one to point that out...I feel so erudite, what ever that is. At first I was like, aww no miniskirts, no long gawks at SJ who aged so gracefully, then as soon as I saw the green dish ware, I was like, y'know, he has something here. Great Post Gill.

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    1. So glad you pointed out the bell! I was all like "school bell? No it isn't".

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  6. Other than bell bottoms and mini skirts, nothing quite says The 70s like Avacado appliances.

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  7. Oh yeah, I was going to mention the butcher's block. It's about a foot thick wood and weighs about 8000 pounds. It's too heavy for two people to move, but too small to get more than two people around it. But you can cut meat on it for a couple hundred years.

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  8. More than one Brady is "Bradys."

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  9. I was going to mention the bell looked like a boxing bell, but I just read the post.

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  10. I always liked the blue, green, and gold decanters/bottles above the stove. The colors just work well together. The mold green stoneware is pretty bitchen too.

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  11. This is a good example of how styles evolved in the 70s. All the avocado and burgundy and harvest gold that we tend to associate with that era was largely in the first half. By the mid-70s, everything was becoming lighter and more muted. Of course, most people couldn't afford to swap out their kitchens after only a few years, so the horrible color scheme haunted many a kitchen well into the 80s.

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  12. I'm embarrassed to admit that our kitchen still has the same cabinetry as the Partridge's, except the drawers don't have knobs. Even worse, the kitchen walls are paneled with fake wood. Worser still, our broken dishwasher & range hood are straight out of Maude's house. I just don't have the 30K needed to bring our kitchen into the 21st century. Or even the 1990's.

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  13. Yeah, Chris #1 was such a weirdo. He and Tracy both look retarded most of the time.

    Check out Laurie's nifty little red, white, & blue shoes!

    Oh god, that little Ricky dickwad had the stupidest hair on TV. Ever. Tons worse than Cousin Oliver.

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  14. good idea for Interior design.Vintage interiors is so good.

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  15. AWESOME! I'm a big fan of the Partridge interior - especially season 4, and it just doesn't get it's due …. until now! And yes, Laurie's and Shirley's rooms smacked of that that generic early '70's set feel (Odd Couple), that did the show no favors. Thanks for trying a layout, too - but no upstairs one?

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  16. I long felt the family lived on Shirley's share of what the music earned, and the rest was tucked away in trust for college/the future.

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  17. that "weird" table in the kitchen is called a butcher's block. people that have too much money have themin their kitchens

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  18. Can you please tell me who is the girl with the tartan skirt?

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  19. LOL, I live in this house. (Not exactly the real location, but an actual Seventies doppelganger for it.) You guys are invited to come out, take photos and interview me if you want to see what it's like to live like the Partridge Family for real!

    http://filminsidethat70shouse.blogspot.com/

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  20. forever I love to see the family partridge and especially keith, in love with x always the thing amooooo

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  21. It may be that form follows function, but I'd swear that living-room set reappeared on either Happy Days or Married with Children, or both. I _recognize_ those stairs, with that landing, and the dining area to stage right.. I dunno, maybe it's just standard. [I'm going to have to check, because I'm getting Third Rock from the Sun echoes also. Surely it can't be some kind of “legacy set” used in show after show…?]

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    1. I don't know about re-using interiors, but the exterior of the Partridge house was also used by Corky's family in "Life Goes On" and by Darren and Samantha Stephens' neighbors (The Kravitzes) in "Bewitched."

      That being said, the kitchen layout reminds me of the one used by Johnny Depp's family in "Donnie Brasco."

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  22. What's the deal with all the offensive pictures on the sidebar? That is TERRIBLE! Here I am looking for innocent Partridge Family photos, and I come across your site with all these neat pictures of their house, and then I see all these offensive pictures on the side! It makes me not want to come here at all!

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  23. In the final season the kitchen where the refrigerator is looks to be extened to have a closet and a refrigerator area.In the first three season only a refrigerator area.

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  24. Well, we my partner and I are about to build in the Australian country side and our house which is basically one floor/level of living area is for the most part based on the down stairs of the Partridge Family house the basic difference is facing the wall that ran beside their drive way in the corner beside the fire place we're putting in bi-fold doors windows to really open up the room. Other wise the kitchen with serving hatch , the half walls in the lounge and the jungle will all be retained! Our rooms will probably be bigger than those on the set but hey! we're not in the 70's anymore. I would've loved a double story with the Dutch barn roof but alas with bush fires etc. can't have everything! Besides was more interested in recreating the interior although we will go with the exterior colour theme!

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  25. That is a great recap of the Partridge Family and their set thanks!

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  26. As a kid in the 1970s I watched daily syndicated reruns of both the brady bunch and the partridge family. My parents had split up, mother got custody of us kids and she was a mentally ill, abusive, psychotic monster. As a result I turned towards watching a lot of tv for escape and comfort. Comedic family sitcoms were my preferred favorite.

    While I watched both shows, brady bunch had the edge over the partridges for me due to the fact that being raised by a single mother, the single mother angle of the Partridges was a turn off for me. Plus I couldnt have cared less about the music in each and every episode. I watched only for the comedy. The comedic situations.

    That said, I loved the homes of the bradys and the partridges. Many was the time that instead of paying attention to what the characters were doing and saying on screen, I'd be looking around them and past them, over their shoulders, so that I could admire their homes. Inside and out.

    My own personal home was a run down, old, cockroach infested apartment. With a landlord who froze us every winter. How I wished I could have a home like the bradys or the partridges! Our own private home, with a backyard. With wall to wall carpeting. Having an upstairs part of the house where our bedrooms could be. And a beautiful, big kitchen. Spacious enough to eat in.

    Instead, our apartment was one single level. No privacy for our bedroom area. No carpeting. Instead it was bare wooden floors or linoleum. Etc.

    How much I loved that shag carpeted staircase in the partridge home! How much I envied their beautiful kitchen! How much I loved the carpeted floors throughout the house. How much I loved that the bedrooms were one floor up. How much I loved how their whole house looked comfy, cozy, warm, and inviting!

    While the single mother angle of the show was a turn off for me, I at least admired that their mother was a kind, nice, normal, loving, patient, and completely sane person.

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  27. Does anyone know the brand of avocado/olive dinnerware on the kitchen table?

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  28. We used to have the same model oven as the light green one shown here, but I've never been able to identify the model except that it was a Magic Chef "Concept Series". We also had a stove with whatever you call that thing above it (it has a light, not sure if that's all it does) which were probably also from Magic Chef and may be the same models as those shown here. Our oven and stove came with our house which was built in 1968.

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  29. Hello Anonymous... If you have any thoughts about the stoneware dinner plates, sugar and creamer, as to who they were by... please mention it... Maybe they came from S&H Green Stamps? Or May Company? or some other source/ designer of table ware? Thanks!

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  30. Danny and Chris's bedroom was also Tony Nelson's upstairs study in I Dream of Jeannie.

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    1. And Keith Partridge had his own room (season one episode where Danny could steal Keith's song through the wall)

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  31. Surely JonesNovember 04, 2015

    I originally watched "The Partridge Family" as a child in the 1970s, and have seen most episodes in reruns as an adult. A few observations about Laurie and Tracy's bedroom:

    1.) Why are Laurie and Tracy sharing a room? The obvious answer may seem to be that in larger families with only two girls, that's the way it is regardless of what is probably an eight-year age difference.** However, I think this is also meant to show that despite Laurie's feminism and other political activism, she really does have a nurturing side, which comes to fruition when she later becomes involved in a serious relationship with a member of the clergy: yes, there's definitely a pipe organ in her future. . .
    **Think of the plot possibilities if Keith and Danny had been roommates!

    2.) As a child, I'm fairly certain I thought Laurie and Tracy's faux headboards in Seasons 1-3 were cool, but I must have been influenced by 1970s bad taste. When I see the Partridge girls' original bedroom decor now, the faux headboards and orange wall lamps make me think of a low-budget brothel! (I'm still perplexed by Laurie's strange dressing table, which seems to have been assembled from random elements found at a thrift store or garage sale.) These are oddly mixed with more standard 1970s "Sweet 16" girls' bedroom decor: ruffled window curtains and white wicker. The new yellow headboards in Season 4 are more appropriate for Tracy's age group than the faux headboards, but if I were the first set decorator, I would have painted the girls' main wall a bright 1970s color for contrast and given them white-wicker headboards with swirl designs to match their chair, as these seem appropriate for both children and teens.

    3.) Were Laurie and Tracy's bedspreads recycled from the Bates Motel? There may have been one episode (Mr. Lonely?) where they had flamingo-pink bedspreads, but in all other episodes their bedspreads are not only ugly, they do not match the rest of the color scheme and decor, in Season 4 especially. Once again, if I were the set decorator (using white-wicker headboards as previously mentioned), Laurie would have had a psychedelic coverlet and Tracy a calico patchwork quilt, both popular in the 1970s yet emphasizing their age difference.

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