Scanning Around With Gene: The Shagadelic Seventies
I have a love hate relationship with the Seventies. Since I turned 14 in 1970, it’s my “coming of age” decade, which is always a bit of a mixed bag. It was a decade that began with the United States still firmly entrenched in the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon in the White House. We had various energy crises, we waited in line for gas, watched the Watergate hearings on TV, celebrated Earth Day, grooved out on our Lava Lamps, listened to soft rock, then pop rock then progressive rock and finally to rock opera. We watched the Brady Bunch and Mary Tyler Moore, played Pong, were scared by the movie Jaws, thrilled by Star Wars and danced to the beat of disco. It was a wild time.
Two things really stick out in my mind about the Seventies – the typefaces and the design, especially interior design. So today I thought we’d take a look at some intriguing interior landscapes from several special issues of the magazine Better Homes and Gardens, dated 1970 to 1973. Next week we’ll check in on some of the type trends. Click on any image for a larger version.
The main thing you need to know about Seventies interior design is that it seemed to be the decade of the carpet. Brightly colored carpeting was everywhere, and shag carpeting topped the list.
And carpeting wasn’t limited to the floors. Here carpeting adorns the cabinet fronts, splash panels and, it appears, even the ceiling! The whole concept of carpeting in the bathroom kind of makes me sick, actually, and I’m glad that trend is over.
Colors in the Seventies were very bright and bold, and the term “graphic” was thrown around a lot. Racing stripes and large abstract designs were common.
Chrome, glass and glossy white furniture were popular as were mirrors, which seemed to be everywhere, and the chairs were unique if not very functional.
In my house we weren’t very hip or modern, so we didn’t have much in the way of Seventies style, though we did take possession of a large white naugahyde sofa, which became somewhat of a centerpiece of the home.
And kids starting out with their first apartments were thrilled that black was in as a room color, and that you could get away with almost any color combination as long as it was bold and stark.
Sofas were big and “conversation pits” were common. This was the era of swinging parties, after all, though I certainly didn’t get invited to any of them.
Some of my best and worst memories are of the Seventies, so it will always hold an important place in my heart. But I don’t miss the colors, textures, surfaces and certainly not the carpeting.