Posted on Wed, 22 Aug 2007 by midcenturyjo

Ready for your weekly dose of retrolicious rooms? These fabulous images are scanned from my favourite source The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement, Vol 13, Greystone Press, New York, 1971.

kim. says:

Great choices Jo – I love all these photos. (This is another chair porn post).

marm says:

Ohmygod, those polka dot chairs. Unbelievable!

Isn’t that table in the top pic available at West Elm?

I wonder if the thing that’s so different about these retro entries (presumably scanned from old books?), is that and quality of printing back then must have been so limited compared with what’s available today. I feel like if the exact same rooms were photographed today, the result would be completely different.

Anonymous says:

I don’t think so….You see, I can spot many things in these pictures that proclaim their roots in ’50s aesthetic, and 60’s aesthetic. Certain subtle stylings that did not carry through the 80’s and 90’s. You have to remember, current ‘retro’ is still filtered through the sensibilities of the last two decades. There are color combinations and pattern usage and furniture styles that have not be embraced by the current retro aesthetic going on here. Also, the kind of identity attached to certain retro-colors now is a decidedly younger, urban one – and some of the furniture pictured still carries associations of traditional, conservative identities that current retro fans may feel conflicted about.

Bill says:

I just picked up Volume 2 of this book for $1 at a church flea market & I’m completely in love w/it – these provide such great inspiration!

Bill i would also like to buy out the book, almost every design is killer and right on top of world

moodboard says:

The last image is great, I’ve always loved shades of violet with bright pink.

Anonymous I think you’re right. There are subtle differences. I have a perfect example for my Thursday post.

shopping says:

I’m not so sure if I agree with anonymous above. I mean, that these can easily be spotted as from an older time as opposed to today. I agree that current ‘retro’ might be very different, but I do think that many houses may still look like these. The first picture, though, reminds me of “Biggie Best” which was an early 90’s type of style. I see that Biggie Best has at least moved on now, but there’s still flavours of it’s old 90’s vibe.

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