Hindsight is, woah, like 1000/1000

 

 

70s-better-homes-and-gardens-book

Dios mio. We are in for a treat, for I, Emily Henderson, came upon some self-righteous stylist gold today.  It was your average rainy day in LA, at the thrift stores, when I found not one but TWO 1960-1970′s home decorating books.  Let’s begin with the Better Homes and Garden book.  I had this book when I was a kid, I used to stare and stare and dream about my room and my future home.  I can’t believe I turned out so normal…or did I…

 

 

70s-dining-room-pops-of-colors

So let’s begin, shall we.  The first thing about these pictures is that the photography sucks. Now, now we shan’t blame our lifestyle photography forefathers, they were probably using -insert archaic camera name here.  But after seeing past the bad lighting, etc, we notice the extreme decorating, it’s the X-Games of home style, and the 70′s kicked our proverbial arses.  But, after we make fun of that (which could take a while, gosh we are so much more evolved aren’t we – cut to 20 years from now when tastemakers are laughing at how natural and loose we all are in the early 2000′s, and pish poshing our use of natural light), then we can get into what is awesome about the 60′s and 70′s, which is a lot.  First of all I was born in the 70′s – stop counting your fingers, it was ’79, but i’ve always felt like a 70′s girl.  I like brass (hello), floral patterns (don’t be a hater), beaded curtains, animal sculptures, peace signs, and, uh..running out of things, but REGARDLESS I like the 70′s.

 

 

70s-dining-room-red-striped-wallpaper

The first picture, this one:
is crazy, of course. I get a headache just looking at it.  But I like the pendant lamp, lacquer console, and brass lamp. I don’t hate the chairs (they could work for a shoot, but not my home, sista), the flokati rug is fine for some, and that zebra is, well we’ve all seen that zebra around lately.

Oh dear, look what I found. In case you think this is so passe, mira at this:

70s-dining-room-red-couchdining-room-zebra-billy-buttons
Both pictures above are courtesy (not really courtesy) of Jonathan Adler – CURRENT designer, bt-dubs.  Funny, right.  In fact, I think this might be a weekly column where I post pictures from the 1970′s and then show how Jonathan Adler and Kelly Wearstler stole borrowed from them.  Sure, we are all ‘influenced’ by past designers and styles but i’m not sure if this is loose reinterpreting.  Whatever.  I have my two new books to keep me happy.
And to get you excited about the second book, “Successful Entertaining”, I’ll give you a little excerpt:
“Successful entertaining is a highly creative exercise in pleasing other people. It is an art worth mastering, and it is fun. A hostess must choose her guest list as she’d choose pearls of great price. Her food must be perfectly prepared, whether it’s a snack or a banquet.  And the whole affair must be given an atmosphere of ‘stage setting’ that delights the guests’ senses and keeps conversation going.”
So that’s why our collective moms are on anti-depressants.  I particularly like the ‘and it is fun’ part.  Being perfect is such a blast; and that doesn’t exactly ‘delight my senses’, if you know what I mean.
Here are a couple photos of properly reinterpreting 70′s looks.  From Domino, sigh, tear, sob…dining-room-70s-inspired

 

  1. OK, first of all you are SO funny! I normally visit design blogs to scan the images and then move-on. Alas, your commentary is too entertaining to miss. I think your design aesthetic is right-on (I am a designer is Sun Valley, Idaho and, sadly, rarely get to put together this look except for myself and friends). Anyway, found your blog yesterday and am glad to have something to look forward to. Thanks!

    Alli
    Allison Paige Interior Design

  2. Thanks so much, Alli. Glad to know someone is reading. hopefully you are unaware of bad grammar, because, my my, mine can get bad.
    keep reading PLEASE! everyday I check my google analytics and even if I get just one more reader everyday I feel happy.
    Thanks!
    E

  3. Oops, I didn't mean to delete my comment. Doh. Your writing is hilarious and this is my new favourite blog. Cheers!

  4. Hi Emily! After reading this, you had me on the look out for old design books and magazines and today I found Vol. 1-6 of The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement from 1970. Thanks for the idea and best of luck to you on DS.

  5. Emily, I love you so much that if I wasn't already married I would marry you. We could make a great house together. In any case, I have decided to read your entire blog, all 184 pages of it in 5 days if I can manage. If only my kids would shut up and stop asking for food.
    You MUST get these two books: Interior Desecrations and The Gallery of Regrettable Food, both by James Lileks. Classic bad 70's decor being ripped apart by the author, much like your blog.
    The other book features vomit inducing askpic jellos and other nasty 50's and 60's food from magazines. Hillarious.