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20 Years of Living Rooms: 1961 to 1981

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Take your shoes off, have a seat, and grab a drink and a smoke, we’re taking a look at living rooms from the 1961 to 1981 – from Mad Men to the pre-Miami Vice era decor.  Enjoy.

1961a

1961 – Well, Harold looks mighty relaxed; however, Mabel looks anything but “carefree”.

In the early sixties, things still looked very “fifties”, if that makes sense. The relatively drab, plain and conservative designs of mid-century didn’t start to yield to a more “hip” look until the economic boom during the Mad Men era of the mid-sixties.

1960s

A shag carpet would have been verboten just a few years earlier, but was a welcome addition to a mid-sixties bachelor pad.

061_Groovy Pad

Now this is a pretty happening living space complete with record theme, leopard print upholstery and a bar stocked with beer and donuts!

152_Decoration U.S.A (1965)

1965 – I absolutely adore how they’ve neatly arranged the cigarettes into a coffee table centerpiece.

1967_0066

1967

1968_0039

1968- Animal print recliners, a coffee table with gold cherubs for legs, and a fireplace flanked by dog statues with massive vases with colored ornaments on their heads…. sort of a subtle charm, don’t you think?

psychedelic decor (32a)

199_1969

1969 – A couple years ago, I brought you some way-out living rooms from yesteryear (see Fab and Funky Living Rooms of the Seventies ), but those interiors were the exception not the rule. Most living spaces looked more like this

1969a

1969 – You know you’re living the dream when your wife’s wardrobe matches the living room.  Those are some groovy stockings!

Phoenix Magazine Oct 1970 (5)

1970 – Around this time and in the 60s, upscale interiors often looked more gaudy than elegant – like they were designed by Liberace.

vintage living room

Meanwhile, in Germany, things have gone full Clockwork Orange.

Phoenix Magazine Oct 1970 (1a)

1970 – This room is so “busy” I literally get a headache looking at it.

029_1971 Decor

1971 – No living room was complete without its electric organ.  Once upon a time in the 70s, every mall had its organ store obnoxiously playing their Yamaha’s for the shoppers.

021_1971 Decor a

Orange was big in the early seventies.  For more, check out  A Clockwork Carpet: When Floor Coverings Went Orange

Argos No.01 1973-74 (ab)

1973

November 1974-7_Page_1

1974 – Man, I would have loved to have this living area in the 1970s… truth bet told, I’d love to have this today!

27_form_057_002a

Check out that seating, that mini-TV, the records, the turtleneck… what a time to be alive.

1975

1975 – If you thought LSD inspired decor died with the 60s, think again.

70s decor (24a)

Yes, there’s a TV here, but you’ll note that almost all of these living rooms are designed for conversation, not for zombie-like TV hypnosis.

The Complete Basic Book of Home Decorating ab2017-03-19 19_11_13

1976

Apartment Life Magazine (May 1977)

1977 – I’ve said this before- they tended to carried away with the houseplants in the 1970s.  Rooms in the 70s often looked more like terrariums than living spaces.

Pages from Homeowners How To Vol 04 No 3 May-Jun 1979 {a}

1979 – Plants are still overtaking our living areas.

Pages from Homeowners How To Vol 04 No 6 Nov-Dec 1979 {a} (2)-2_Page_2

1979 – It’s hard to find a photograph of a 1950s-1980s living room without the omnipresent ashtray.

1981_Page_2a

1981 – This living room features a nice cubby for your records, reel-to-reel, TV, VCR… and firewood?  Still, it would be a damn fine spot to smoke a cigarette while listening to your new Air Supply LP.

 

[1981-03] {a}

1981 – You can opt for the colorful, vaulted ceiling, open floor plan… or the ’81 special – dark, wood-paneled depression.

vintage living area

I’ll take “G” – the nick-nack shelves, “H” – the coffee table for my bigass ashtray, and “C” the hot blonde in denim.

1986

And so, we’ll end here with a taste for what’s to come (from 1986) perfect for the cocaine dealer who’s just come into a lot of money.  To be continued.

  • njguy54

    Forgot about the whole organ phenomenon of the early ’70s. The last piano/organ dealer in our area recently closed. Meanwhile, we bought a nice electric piano as a Christmas present at Target for $50 last year.

    • Yeoman Lowbrow

      Nice. Play a verse or two of “Girl from Ipanema” in my honor would you? Cheers.

  • gvanderleun

    Yeoman, quit virtue signalling. We get that you have a cult-approved mind.

    ” I absolutely adore how they’ve neatly arranged the cigarettes into a coffee table centerpiece.”

    The “centerpiece” is the off-center bowl of gourds. And to “adore”something you don’t need to pump it up into a cliche with “absolutely.”

    You’re welcome.

    • BOB®

      Who pissed in your Wheaties?

    • Yeoman Lowbrow

      Huh? How exactly is praising a cigarette centerpiece “virtue signaling” and “cult approved”? Are you high right now?

    • Steve Mills

      This is someone who yells at Gilligan for ruining their chance to be rescued.

  • That one from 1970 with the super leather couch looks like a living room I would enjoy today!

  • Bosda, The Raccoon Philosopher

    I love the 60s stuff, & some of the 80s, but the 70s–scuze me, while I wipe the blood from my eyeballs.