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homemaking

Household Help for Ladies

art of homemaking cover

Art of Homemaking
Everything you need to know to run your home with ease and style
Habeeb
1973

Prior to the magic of the Internet,  homemaking reference books were pretty standard in every household. I even got one along with my basic Betty Crocker cookbook when I got married back in the early 1980s. Even though there are a disproportionate number of pages devoted to laundry, I am going to give the author props for acknowledging that one can drop their standards on housekeeping perfection.

I also got a kick out of the inside flap that reminds the ladies that regardless of your “liberated” status, you will have to keep house on some level. It also recognizes that even MEN (gasp!) might have to do some housework. Not everyone will be able to afford a maid, so you might need these skills!

This book is a bit better than most by suggesting that women dial back the perfection goals and that shiny floors are not the end all be all. It still does spend a disproportionate amount of pages on ironing and laundry, but unlike similar books of the period, they include basic electrical and plumbing repairs and some other chores that aren’t often associated with “women’s work.”

Mary

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Retro Decorating at its finest!

encyclopedia of homemaking cover

The Complete Encyclopedia of Homemaking Ideas
Bradford
1968

Barbara Taylor Bradford is back with more decorating and homemaking guidance. (Yes, that Barbara Taylor Bradford.) Prior to her fiction career she had a string of home decorating books. Check the posts here and here.

This is actually a pretty comprehensive book, and absolutely a product of the time. I think almost everyone would get a kick out of this time warp of a book. Many of the rooms look like the Playboy Mansion of the late 1960s was the inspiration.

Mary

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Be a perfect wife through home decor

decorating to please him cover

Decorating to Please Him
Bradford
1970

We are back with another Barbara Taylor Bradford decorating book from the How to be a Perfect Wife series. Make sure you click here for another book in the series. Obviously, being a perfect wife take many books. Barbara has all the advice for you ladies trying to “please” your husband. Evidently, it is your job to make sure the decorating suits his needs. There is a ton of advice to make sure you have manly looking space for him and not overwhelm him with too much femininity in your decorating. He needs a “charming atmosphere that relaxes him”. I think Barbara needs to stick to fiction.

I would rather have a charming atmosphere that relaxes me. A good chair, a good book and a nice cocktail would be a great start.

Mary

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