365 shortcuts to decorating

365 Shortcuts to Decorating

365 Shortcuts to Decorating
Draper
1968

Looking for some decorating tips? Here is your book! The author sure did love prints. I got a headache just looking through the overwhelming of matching….everything. It is also amusing to take a look at study areas and realize there is no room for any kind of computer, printer, etc. The matching look was quite the trend back in the day. I think most of this resembles homes I remember from when I was a kid. 

I was just reading an article (I can’t remember where/what) but it talked about how the pandemic has changed what people are now wanting in home design. Dedicated office space and larger spaces were at the top of the wish lists for new homes. Can you imagine spending the pandemic working from small desks and then trying to relax in that awful bedroom?

creative interior design

1990s Living

Creative Interior Design
A Complete Guide to designing and decorating your home
Ward Lock Limited
1994

Here is another book on home decorating. This one is from the 1990s and has a pastel country look. The overly pink softness feels odd – almost like you were living in an Orange Julius shop. I guess I don’t think of a pink/orange palette as particularly appealing. But I digress…

This isn’t as bad as some decorating books we have featured on our site. (See examples here, here, and here.) The point is that these materials are subject to fashion trends. These books need to be regularly weeded and updated.

new young ideas in decorating cover

Groovy Teen Decor

New Young Ideas in Decorating
Walton
1970

Groovy teens everywhere will want to get their own rooms in shape…just like Grandma. All the decorating fads of the late 1960s and the early 1970s are here. Street signs? Check. Beaded curtains? Check. Gauzy drapes? Check. Peace sign? Double check. In 1970 this would have been nice choice for the young adult collection. The entire book reminded me of Rhoda’s Minneapolis apartment from the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Feminine Fix-it Handbook title page

Ladies with Tools

The Feminine Fix-it Handbooks
Ward
1972

I’m actually kind of a fan of this book. Aside from the dated advice, it is actually a pretty good book. It’s written without any cutesy condescending language. I am also a big fan of the vocabulary/definition appendix in this book. Jargon is often an extra layer of complication when someone is learning a new skill. My nerd librarian self loves good footnotes, indexes, etc. The author/publishers recognize that the use and organization of the information is also critical. Regardless of gender, this is a pretty decent book.

curtains and window treatments

Curtains for the 1980s

Curtains and Window Treatments
Fishburn
1982

This book was just dirty. And not in a good way. Seriously, just take a nice wipe to the cover. Since COVID, I am overly concerned about visible crud on books.

This reminds me of “Laura Ashley meets shabby chic” for the 1980s. Having attempted budget decorating in the 1980s, this really was reflective of the latest in home fashion, and would have been a decent choice for a home decorating collection. Those balloon type shades in the third picture below seemed to be in every house back in the day. I tried to copy some homemade versions and ended throwing in the proverbial towel since it just didn’t look straight. I blame cheap fabric and my less than stellar sewing skills.

life after housework

A Housework Revolution

Is there life after housework?
A revolutionary approach that will free you from the drudgery of housework
Aslett
1981

I don’t think one can “improve” housework to the extent it can make the drudgery disappear. Taking a task and making it more efficient is a good idea and I am onboard with the concept. As a house cleaning slacker, I am usually disorganized and easily distracted. I just don’t think I can go through the house and get everything done. I think this book assumes you can get organized and not be distracted by other stuff or people.

superwoman cover

Be a SUPERWOMAN!

Superwoman
Conran
1979

This is a lighthearted housekeeping manual that has advice about saving money, fixing things around the house, and other household tips. There really isn’t any discussion on division of labor. It’s more about doing the same chores more efficiently. Evidently, all that extra time saved will allow you to pick up YET MORE WORK as an entrepreneur. My feeling is the author is the very definition of the superwoman.

Mary

greenhouse gardening book

Get yourself a greenhouse

Sunset
Greenhouse Gardening
Sunset
1987

Quite a few Sunset books have made an appearance here on ALB. (Pop Sunset into the search box for our site and see for yourself.) These books have been around forever. They are usually home and garden topics. The cookbooks from the 60s and 70s are something to behold.

For a library collection, I think these books have a place. They are recognizable and the titles are extremely helpful in describing the book. The actual quality varies from book to book. I think they are geared to the DIY crowd.

The first half of the book is about building a greenhouse. I actually liked some of the options. The second half is more gardening advice. Hydroponics and specialty plants like orchids, African violets, succulents, and cacti are discussed within the context of a greenhouse. Not bad.