“Everything old is new again” or “a whole lot of inappropriate”

Posted on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 by midcenturyjo

Vintage jars as lights? I’ve seen that lately in several eco chic shops. Grain sacks and feed bags? Nothing new obviously… except that they must now be European linen or burlap. Large fiddle leaf figs in the corner of a designer room feature regularly in a well known American shelter mag. Definite déjà vu. Personal wish list includes that loft with those Italian leather chairs but no need for the jumpsuit or the platforms (or her guest). As for our gentleman friend perched on his bed, I’m still chuckling over the inappropriateness of several props. The 70s obviously had no problems with an overflowing ashtray and cigarette packet. So much so that there is a torn open carton of cigarettes in the corner shelf. Don’t get me started on the series of “bottoms” crawling across a bachelor pad bedroom wall and his skyscraper phallic t-shirt or maybe I’m reading too much into it 😛 I will however take ownership of his typewriter. Once again scans from The Apartment Book, by the editors of Apartment Life magazine, Meredith Corporation, 1980.

the zhush says:

Great observations! To me, those spider plants scream 70s!

The shag rug in first photo is scaring me…and the plants are all so dated.But liking the plant in a crockery bowl idea! Thanks for the memories…….

whyioughtta says:

The fabric covering that bed he’s sitting on looks unfathomably itchy. Also, I wonder if the white sewage tubing around the headboard is functional or just for show…

Thanks for the laughs!


Noel says:

Sweet! Photos from before political correctness made us all have to suffer design ideas and human subjects that we can’t relate to! The average bachelor house in the real world probably still looks like that guy’s – naked ladies, cigarettes, mess – than the "bachelor pads" you see in design magazine, with the floating fireplaces and stone features.

JHG says:

Great to see old stuff again, which are actually still very fresh. Probably the 90’s and the 2000’s were old fashion actually? 🙂

Amalia says:

Where’s the macrame? I’m obsessed with all things ’70’s – fashion and design as well as ’80’s art deco inspired prints and knick knacks – that’s right, the whisper of a pastel pink and black combo! So, contrary to the collective cringe and opposition I am often faced with, the stuff you’ve posted here is rather appealling to me, right down to the indoor plants. More 80’s interiors would be great (see Less than Zero, Desperately Seeking Susan)

msd says:

The Olivetti Valentine is the only thing coming out of this post with its dignity firmly in tact…. although I kind of like the Brett Whiteley-esque big bottoms!

These retros posts always make me wonder what we’ll be cringing at in the not-too-distant future… I’m already sick to death of pithy little quotes on walls, twee decals, cardboard deer heads and Keep Calm posters.

AMR says:

Well, thank YOU Jo. I’m now thinking of all the delicious things I can make with Knox gelatine and Sunmaid raisins. Not.
And that photo of the man and woman? Do you think he’s trying to talk her into getting a perm too?
: )

Yeye says:

Love mason jar lights… I had no idea they were a dated 70s thing. Does it mostly depend on the context? I always thought it originated out of the rustic "country kitchen" look.

I love the giant sauerkraut crock as a side table. My mother had one or two growing up but no lid. I can’t remember what she used them for. The vase of wheat stalks must have been a big thing in that time too? My mother’s wedding bouquet was wheat stalks and orange silk lilies which were on display for most of my childhood, and probably are there still 😛

As for the plants…. though it’s fun to laugh I really do enjoy analyzing it. There was something special going on in this time in indoor plant culture it seems. I recently bought an old book on apartment plants and apartment flowering plants from the 70s, and it’s full of these mismatch plant combo assaults. Any of these plants on their own are perfectly fine. Is it the pots? is it the combination of too many kinds/colours/sizes/leaf shapes? Is it simply the photographers didn’t have a stylist or an expensive enough lens?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are indicated by *