23 interior design things that seemed to be inside every house in the 1970s

Wood, fur and shag was everywhere.

Images: Wish Book Web | Madonovan / Flicker

The Seventies had a distinctive design style. Earth tones ruled. Carpet grew its fibers out as long as men's hair, and it only seemed to come in "olive" and "sunset" varieties. Wood was everywhere, from the walls of our dens to the panels of our station wagons. People loved to hang random things on their wall. Everything in general just seemed to be fuzzier and browner.

There are some specific items that turned up in every catalog and neighborhood home. Okay, sure, you might not have had ALL of these things, but you undoubtedly had some.

Let's take a step back and dig through some catalogs, you dig?

1. Bean bag chairs


Amorphous furniture was all the rage. They were comfortable — until you tried to get up. Even couches aspired to be bean bags, with swollen cushions that gushed over the sides.

Image: Wish Book Web

2. Wooden Televisions


Few things probably boggle the mind of kids today like the notion that you could use your TV for firewood in case of emergency.

Image: Wish Book Web

3. TV on rolling carts


Televisions were either massive and immobile — or they slid all over the place on rolling TV carts.

Image: Wish Book Web

4. Secret stereos


"My, what a lovely credenza!" "No, actually, that's what I need to play my Steely Dan 8-tracks."

Image: Wish Book Web

5. Retro colonial furniture


The Bicentennial gave everyone Colonial fever. There were ornamental spinning wheels and apple buckets for storing your macramé yarn. Note the magazine rack with attached ashtrays. Why were all the pajamas back then "flame resistant"? Perhaps because we were ashing stogies over old issues of TV Guide.

Image: Wish Book Web

6. Old Timey Beer Lights


You wanna go where everybody knows your name? It's called "home"! Still, people turned their basements into man caves that looked like the opening credits of Cheers.

Image: Wish Book Web

7. Big wooden utensils on the wall


There was all sorts of fun stuff to hang on your (avocado) walls. Take these giant forks and spoons, for example. Or how about a lovely brass sunburst?

Image: Wish Book Web

8. Weird clocks


You could tell time with an oversized watch, a tennis racket or, confusingly, a bathroom scale?

Image: Wish Book Web

9. Bed Warmer Planters


You'd be surprised at the number of antique "bed warmers" used as planters in catalogs back then. They were everywhere!

Image: Wish Book Web

10. Plant stands


Ferns, ferns, ferns! The more you had, the merrier. There were also more people named "Fern" back then, too.

Image: Wish Book Web

11. This wooden weather station thing


These decorative barometer-thermometer contraptions were hanging in every kitchen. It was like having your very own Weather Channel, shaping into something they might have used in the 19th-century whaling industry.

Image: Wish Book Web

12. Ornate standing ashtrays


Brass and glass for your ash.

Image: Wish Book Web

13. Cane lamps


"The natural look of cane" was everywhere. People were nostalgic then, too, but for the 1920s. The goal was to make your house a fine balance of The Great Gatsby and Little House on the Prairie.

Image: Wish Book Web

14. Lava lamps


Of course. You can't forget about these.

Image: Wish Book Web

15. Patriotic linens


Again, the Spirit of '76 was evident everywhere. 

Image: Wish Book Web

16. Fur bedding


It certainly was a hairy decade.

Image: Wish Book Web

17. Fur chairs


Take a good look at that lavender fur lounger. It looks like Grimace's sister.

Image: Wish Book Web

18. Fur sofas, fur on everything


The more fur, the merrier. Cleaning stains and spills was not so fun in the 1970s.

Image: Wish Book Web

19. Furniture with words


The dresser has drawers marked with each day of the week. Now that's organization (that we doubt anyone stuck with). We also dig this "Goodnight" nightstand.

Image: Drexel Furnishings / Gold Country Girls

20. Beds under beds


Families we big — and kids shared rooms. Like the Brady Bunch or the Drummonds on Diff'rent Strokes. That's why bedding had to accommodate more than one. Trundles put us closer to our siblings.

Image: Retro Renovation

21. Shag carpeting


You watch HGTV today, and "house hunters" have an allergic reaction to all carpeting. Not back in the '70s, baby. People wanted it everywhere, and deep.

Image: Madonovan / Flickr

22. Shag stairs


They wanted it spilling down the stairs…

Image: James Vaughan / Flickr

23. Shag bathrooms


… they even wanted it on — and all around — the toilet. Carpet cleaning was a good business to get into that decade.

Image: Pop-Circus



Who can forget these funky styles? READ MORE

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CosmosJames 31 months ago
11. This wooden weather station thing is/was known as a "Banjo Barometer"; they are present in almost every television show set from the '60s & '70s (keep your eyes on the walls of the sets).
MattThompson 31 months ago
# 17 isn't a lounger, it is a bathroom set!
RobChapman 53 months ago
#7 is basically my kitchen in the 70's. Avocado walls? Check. Giant wooden fork & spoon? Check. Giant round brass thing on the wall? Check.

And, we had the big console TV, the "hidden" stereo (ours had a turntable, AM radio and a reel-to-reel tape deck), we had plant stands in every corner, and a weather station in the kitchen and living rooms.
idkwut2use 53 months ago
I love it all and wish to decorate my own home this way...x-3 Miss my bean bag. At least we still have a lava lamp. And my rug is shag, but to have it elsewhere...certainly wouldn't work with the kinds of dogs the family has! I dig all the furriness though. And the trundle bed. The 19th photo is an ideal bedroom for me. :3
Mockschnel 66 months ago
I truly hope whomever collected and captioned this idiotic collection of obscure flotsam never has the opportunity to breed . . the world is stupid enough as it is.
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