1.30.2010

Good (yes good) 1970's Design

Although most of the 1970's design that I remember from my childhood was dark and uninviting (fake walnut paneling and brownish orange shag carpet tend to give a room a dungeon-like quality), there was a lot of good design from this era that was sadly overshadowed in our memories by the bad. I may have mentioned before how fond I was of the kelly green velvet loveseat that my parents had, and how heartbroken I was when they gave it away in the 80's. I was 12 at the time, but already had dreams of designing a fabulous pad of my own around it. My parents also had a pair of high-backed wicker peacock chairs, one of which stayed with me until about 5 years ago when it had finally started to fall apart. A friend of mine used to call it the Mr. Roarke chair, a tribute to Fantasy Island. And if you're too young to have lived through these times, may I introduce you to some tasty 70's design?
Not my parents loveseat pictured above, but even this one is even better! My Mom loved this color so much that she carpeted an entire house in kelly green in 1980. It was pretty fantastic, but I'm still not sure how she talked my dad into such a bold color. The room below is almost timeless, don't you think? This photo was taken in the early 70's.
Nice walnut Eames stool (used here as a side table) to accompany the Eames lounge chair . Has anyone ever actually seen an Eames stool in a real home that hasn't been staged for a book or magazine? They're beautiful, and ridiculously expensive.
Imagine that when those plantation shades are open, this dining room looks out onto a courtyard full of tropical plants and maybe even a swimming pool. That would be kind of perfect.
Not a look that appeals to me for everyday, but this room manages to be elegant and playful at the same time.
Has IKEA tried to reproduce this room yet? If not, I'm surprised.
The room below is classic, perhaps with the exception of that dangerous-looking coffee table. And why aren't more companies making attractive couches anymore? They all seem to be these overstuffed puffy things. Can someone please make a comfortable modern sofa that doesn't cost $3,000? Please?
My first truly modern wicker sighting.
All images are from: Good Housekeeping's Complete Book of Decorating (1971) and How to Make Your Windows Beautiful (1974).

11 comments:

MoonDoggie said...

aaaaawwww yeah!

S and O said...

I wasn't born anywhere near the 70s but I still think the designs are rocking!

Xoxo
Sarah

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Each & every example of 70's design is incredibly timeless. I'm crazy for them all. My folks too had a adoration for green. They mixed it up with turquoise. We had the turquoise sofa and the bright green dining room set. Like you, I wish I had possession of them today! Loved this post Marsi, really great. xx

the spectator said...

Sorry but the 70s do nothing for me - not interiors, fashion or music.

Sam said...

Yes these are fine examples of "Good" 70s interior design. Especially that one second from the top in white. I like the way you described the fake wood panelling and orange shag pile - so true!

Natalie said...

This collection of photos is AWESOME. The 70s were pretty rad.

Little Lotus said...

Wow what awesome pictures, that top green one is fab. Good find :)

Violet

Jacob said...

Some of this furniture reminds me more of the 60s...well, and into the 70s. I think we had some of it! My folks sure did. I really like that all-green room - in a magazine.

Jacob said...

Me again! Cedar Key would be a great place to be married! And a picture of the "icon" is a wonderful remembrance.

I knew the history of the place once; a famous writer built it and lived there for a time...(I can't remember all of the rest - you probably know more than I do) but over the years hurricanes have taken their toll. I keep thinking it will be gone with the next big wind, but it remains, beaten but unbowed!

drollgirl said...

oh 70's decor. let's just say that my parent's house would never have been featured in this mag! lots of avocado green and mustard yellow. bleh!!!

and i was looking in your shop the other day hoping that fab lamp you had was still available. sadly it is gone. WAH! i finally have a spot for it and a little extra cash to spare, and it is gone. wah. that is what i get for waiting too long!

Clorivak said...

I love that room that you said Ikea should of re-did it...those green lime tables are killer. Cool stuff...I adore looking at vintage decor.