Back in February I posted photos of 1950s kitchens from an old Better Homes & Gardens Decorating book I had just bought.
Today I thought it would be fun to look at some 1950s living rooms. Some look more contemporary (as in something you might see in a magazine today) than you’d expect. Others look seriously dated. Either way, it’s fun to see what passed for fab fashion 50 years ago.
“Sparkling color defines a gay, informal spirit.” There was a lot of “gay” decorating going on in 1956, and a lot of colored carpeting to go with it. What I find interesting in the room below is that the walls look fresh and contemporary, but the carpet and sofa are. . .not.
“Do You Like Yesterday Combined with Tomorrow?” Check out the room below with the mod artwork hung next to a gold eagle. Would any professional decorator hang those two things together–and space them like that–on a wall behind a sofa today? Note the red chair in the corner, though, which still looks current.
“Are you a busy clubwoman–with an active family? Then you’ll want to decorate your home for a minimum of housework,” according to the page below. I just might start describing myself this way in conversation. “Ah, yes, I’m a busy clubwoman with an active family. . .” Apparently it’s okay for busy clubwomen to decorate their family rooms with big orange fish cut-outs above the windows. Who knew?
“Matching Prints Solve Decorating Problems” according to the following page. “A gay hobby pattern sets the theme for a family room. If you have a too-small room and still want lots of color and pattern . . . or if your room has many architectural faults you want to hide . . or if you just can’t decide on curtains or draperies, consider using a patterned wall covering and fabric to match.”
I think it’s safe to say you’d be hard-pressed to find any “architectural faults” in the room below, which are cleverly hidden in a pattern of pirate ships, feathers, and compasses: