Friday, October 26, 2012

So Bad, it's Good!

I'm thinking of starting a new series here on Lucy Violet, to showcase some of the incredible interiors in my collection of vintage home decorating books. As you can see, I'm calling it 'So Bad, it's Good!' Although once you've had a perve at some of these interiors you might think a more appropriate name would be 'So Bad, it's Bl***y Awesome!'

Have a look at today's installment and please let me know if you'd like me to continue it.

(some of you may think I should call it 'So Bad, it's Bl***y Awful!'and that's okay too...)

First up for your viewing pleasure (or otherwise!) is this "delightful family retreat" 

There's alot I like about this room and not much I don't. Good stuff first - I love the copper fireplace and flu, and the 'bench' it's resting on (although I would definetely reduce the 'clutter' on it - a few nice pieces of pottery, maybe a plant would be fab, but not much more. Truth be told I'd probably keep it rather bare - I think a fireplace like this one deserves all the attention, don't you?)
I also like the triangular windows, sunburst floor rug (well, I love that!), the wicker lampshade base, and the checked fabric covering the couches.

I'm not so keen on that boxy looking couch against the wall (it looks like it would be really uncomfortable to sit on) or the maroon-ish wall colour.

What's your verdict, good, bad, or ugly?

You might prefer this room...

I reckon Ure Smith's (the author) description is perfection:

"Here modern goes all the way to Mod in a room which has been planned as a dazzling composition of shapes and colours. White lacquered frames support fascinating cocktail table and club chairs, covered in Caprolan stretch knit."

(sounds like a commentary from a fashion show)

This room is very disco, very glam (dur!) I like aspects of it - the b&w painting, purple foot stool, maybe one of those chairs...In isolation those pieces are lovely, but crammed into a small room like this? I'm not really feeling alot of love. You???

This bathroom however, is another matter, entirely.

I'm head-over-heels for it, BIG TIME!

(I know getting out of that bath could prove tricky, but seriously, tell someone who cares!)

Note: those wall tiles are stainless steel!

Next up?

A dining room

(who said blue and green should never be seen?)

to die for? You tell me.

(looks like someone's been shopping at Franco Cozzo!)

The blurb about this one is all about privacy, or rather the illusion of privacy, that can be accomplished by hanging a beaded room divider like this one. Hmmmmmm? that might be drawing a long bow...

I'll end with a couple of rooms for the kiddos

This bedroom was designed for teen-aged sisters. The wall paper is described as sizzling(!)

It's all "hardy and rugged" in the boy's room...

which was achieved by hanging wallpaper that "most successfully fakes the grain of outdoor shingles"

Is that a woolf head above the bed? That wouldn't go down too well these days, just read the response to Lucy's latest Home Tour on The Design Files. I myself am not adverse to the odd bit of taxidermy.

Note: I said odd bit, I wouldn't fill my house with it!
Shingled wallpaper on the other hand...

Thanks for reading and don't forget to let me know if you're "clamouring for more"!

All images form Practical Decorating. Fawcett Publications. First published in USA in 1969, my copy published in Australia in 1973.


  1. More fun stuff from your world Kylie.

    The family retreat has got potential and nice light but less clutter for me too! The coffee table in the second photo looks dangerously sharp and that textured wall reminds me of an 80's motel!? The bathroom is 'wow' that a sunken bath? The teen-aged sisters room is giving me a headache, actually so is the boy's room! Love your flashbacks and yes, I am clamouring for more :)

  2. Yes! Keep doing this. That bathroom is RAD.

  3. Yes please. I'm definitely clamouring for more. Like you, I like similar bits of the first room. Don't like the glam room at all - too many straight edges - I like the chairs though. I like the bathroom a lot and I really like the teenaged girls room (it doesn't give me a headache at all). Not keen on the boy's room - the wallpaper looks as if belongs in a bathroom to me.

  4. please! don't stop. it's almost like walking through a dated department store, and i don't even have to budge. i love this, we must call it retro, right? well, it is called retro over here, although there's people terribly serious about this come-back style. it really doesn't bother me and from each and every image i can take an item or two that will happily live on in our place, here.
    the wolf's head.. my dear, you know what i'm gonna say, no? popped over to design files and did enjoy the other taxidermic follies. ..
    so. do go on. yes.

  5. I know I couldn't sleep with that wolf head hanging over the bed. Three little pigs tonight, anybody?
    My personal favorites ... The lights in the bathroom and dining room and the hat stand in the whacky chic room! Encore!!!

  6. Totally vile. Yes, yes, more please!

  7. Wow, there's a heck of a lot going on in those photos, isn't there!

  8. Gosh - wouldn't like to go into that bathroom if I was feeling a bit rough!!!!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  9. Hi, just popping in to say hello. Wow what a lot to comment on ;-) I love seeing all the old designs of rooms. I really like the first picture that fireplace is gorgeous and such a great feature so to is that circle rug and coffe table. The only thing i would change is to get a softer looking more rounder sofa and get rid of the box one and also replace the tarten i think after having an ex hubby who was Scottish has put me off tarten for life ;-) That bathroom is gorgeous though i adore the red and and blue together and just the amount of space in there is lovely. Hope you and your little family are all well, dee x

  10. Wow - so much to comment on, I'll pick the first one. The room has great bones, needs a new wall color, love the fireplace and I agree the lamp and the table it's on is a keeper. All the furniture would have to go, accessories too - sorry that includes the rug. :>)

    This is fun - next time show one or two rooms since there is so much to pick apart!

  11. Blimus limus but the 60's and 70's have a lot to answer for!

    Having said that, there are elements in each of those rooms that could look fab in something more current and minimal. (For a start, I'd take that fabulous floral wallpaper from the teen sisters bedroom and use that in a a modern room with not much else in it.)

    The only room there I could actually sit in without slowly tipping over the edge into cuckoo land is the green and blue dining room. :)

    Absolutely keep this running as a series - it's unbelievable to look at those decor trends - mind-boggling !!

  12. That copper fireplace is fantastic, and if everything were cleared off the table, bench and walls, I might actually like the room. The hanging lights in the bathroom are to die for, and the dining room reminded me of how into decorating with blues and greens I was in 1969. I had forgotten that my bedroom was done in exactly those colors.

    I'm definitely begging for more. I got married in 1967, so these photos harken back to the very years when I was setting up house and learning to decorate.

  13. Hi Kylie....speechless!!....pffft who am I kidding!. That bathroom is sooo FAB!!. Only thing I'd ditch is the bathroom scales. I don't believe in torture!. My mum still has her iron dining room table, very similar to this one, now painted white of course...the sizzling sister bedroom is very I dream of Jeannie! love that wallpaper and fabric. The boys room looks like a war time French cafe out of allo allo!. that black and white check bed covers and the red shutters....the wolf head?...oh dear....wonder if it was the family pet.....maybe dad did taxidermy on the side? know a course at community college!
    You have to give us more!!
    Allison x
    Ps I love the starburst rug too!

  14. Oh yes, more please. How adventurous there were. It's all so full on. I maybe able to cope with the dining room but the rest may make me go a little whacky.

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  16. I love every single room you have pictured! Would def love to see more on a regular segment basis! Particularly love the fireplace in the first shot and the dining room with that glorious hanging pendant light. xx

  17. I LOVE THEM ALL! I'm not only clamouring, I'm gushing!! I love these kind of photos. Interiors today are so unadventurous and safe; and you see one room on one blog and before you know it you see another blog doing exactly the same thing.

    That hat stand in the boys' room just screams 'impaled eyeballs' to me.

  18. Yes, love it! Especially the blue and green dining room and the boy's bedroom but the 'head' would have to go!

  19. Most definitely - I've love to see more! (Is is sad or good that I can remember rooms that looked like these so well!) I think today we also forget how revolutionary some of these interiors were at the time - glass topped tables for example had a tremendous wow factor we've forgotten all about today. I do think the two children's bedrooms are hideous though - my capacity for nostalgia has its limits!

  20. Oh yes, definitely more pics! I'm off to revamp the boys' rooms now. Just need the perfect skeleton tree and terrifying wolf head!

  21. Okay my jaw dropped at the round floor rug in the first pic.
    There is a ton of things I love in these pics. Thanks for sharing.
    That teenage girls room is totally funky.
    And I would want to LIVE in that bathroom.
    I think my Mr. would love the look of the boys room (Although I would nix the wolf head) HEADS of animals that used to be living give me the heebie jeebies..... and also make me sad. *lol*