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70s interior design
oh_meow wrote in saucydwellings

Here are some scans from a 1970s interior design book- House by Terrance Conran, posted as inspiration/cautionary tales depending on your tastes. Some of the stuff in it is really really 70s looking, and some is very clean and timeless-looking. The pictures I've scanned are a mix of the two categories. I just scanned the pictures that appealed to me, as it's a massive book. Some of them are a little grainy due to the printing technique.I scanned another 70s interior book I have here.


The book starts with the exterior, and then works its way through room by room, with building and architectural advice as well as decor tips. The exterior section recommends doing some horrific things to fine Victorian brickwork with brown paint. There was a time in the middle of the 20th Century when no-one seemed to want Victorian terraces. My nan was happy when her two-up two-down in Battersea was knocked down and she was given a modern flat instead because it had proper plumbing and heating (nothing that couldn't have been fitted to the old house). Now people pay a small fortune for the identical houses on the next street, and people think the 60s flats are ugly. My dad also remembers helping friends nail sheets of plywood onto the panelled doors in their houses in the 50s and 60s to get the modern flat door look.
My dad spent his whole life as a building surveyor. He wanted to be an architect really, but it took long enough to finish the night school classes to be a surveyor. He had/has a sideline in designing extensions and rennovations for people and doing the planning applications, though, but I don't think he's ever designed a whole building from scratch, and he's a bit old to start now. You go anywhere with him, and you get an impromptu architecture quiz/lecture about the buildings along the way. If anyone ever threatens to shoot me unless I answer whether those semis are Edwardian or inter-war, I'm sorted. Apart from that, it's a useless skill.

Anyway, I do like these blinds.

(Late Victorian, I'd say- bay windows and elaborate porch, but sash windows on the side. Useful, huh?)

Pretty much my ideal kitchen. Glancing at the sideboard makes me see a laptop with my modern eyes.


I like this enormous room too, although watching the tv on that bookshelf looks a bit awkward. The room looks like it could do with a piano I think though, for the full effect.

The flooring section has these really pretty watercolour floorplans.

A living room for intergalactic voyaging.

Various ultra-70s door treatments. The one on the bottom left isn't glass, it's silver foil.


Guaranteed to smell of patchouli.


The complete opposite. It really looks like a double bed edition of UK university accommodation.

This is my favourite thing in the book, a studio flat belonging to an artist.

And to finish, some elaborate topiary of terriers.

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i second this!

Thank you for posting this! It's awesome!


I am really into old design books too. Some of my scans are here: http://decori.st/2011/08/the-70s-were-a-different-time-part-2/

Thanks for the link, great pics. I think that's more the type of thing people actually had in their houses, than the Conran book.

The beatnik bedroom gave me a seizure.

I feel like if you were in there and the door was shut you might have trouble finding it again and getting out.

So awesome!! Thanks for scanning and sharing :)

I seriously want door number 4

The text underneath says it's just patchwork print wrapping paper glued on, rather than being actual textiles.

OMG, I need a field of boxwood terriers!

Do you think it would really confuse real dogs walking past?

No, but it would certainly make the neighbors do a double take.

I do like the kitchen. There IS a laptop on that counter, how can that be?

I think it might be the typewriter case? Or time travel lol.

These were so fun to look at! Thanks for sharing!

Great photos! Thanks for posting them.

What a nice little treat. Thank you for taking the time to scan these. Quite interesting.

I love the picture of the bright living room with all the wicker stuff, that looks like everything came from Pier I Imports. :) (Was that place even around in the 70s?)

Topiary: The one in the upper right corner looks more feline than terrier.

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