Grandma Style

Interior Decorating coverThe Doubleday Book of Interior Decorating and Encyclopedia of Styles

The examples in this book look even older than 1965. The more contemporary designs are from the 60s, but they feature several that look much older.

There is a whole section on how to panel a room, as well as a bathroom with a pink tub-sink-toilet trifecta. In fact many of the images below seem to have a pink tint to them and I can’t tell if the pages are faded with age or if everything was just sort of rosy back then.

I interlibrary loaned this book from a public library in Michigan, and when I opened the cover it absolutely wreaked of 1965. Dusty and stale, like grandma’s basement. I hope that library weeded it upon its return.


Sitting rooms


how to panel a room

living rooms


  1. 1960s decorating styles tended to be rather odd.

    The centennial of the American Civil War was underway and Mid-Victorian ‘elegance’ was much in fashion. It was also the period when Mid-Century modern worked for those who believed that less was more. Besides, they already had the furniture in their homes. It was easy to add a few ‘Mod’ touches and update what they already had.

  2. What has happened to me? I’m embarrassed to say that I actually like a few of these photos. But I won’t make it worse by saying which ones. I have always found the 1960s styles much more palatable that what followed in the seventies and early eighties.

  3. Perhaps it was originally published under a different title, credited to a different author? WorldCat won’t admit to anything earlier–but the Spanish translation, Decoracion de interiores y enciclopedia de los estilos, has ten separate listings ranging from 1969 to 1979. Since they were all published in Barcelona, I’m left with a mental picture of fashionable Catalans snickering at the outdated styles favored by Castilians.

  4. I like how the mural of Venice makes it look like the toilet empties directly into a canal. Now that’s class!

  5. And again with the wallpaper in the same pattern as the furniture’s upholstery. I admit, I covet that fainting-couch, but seriously, all-over zig-zags?

    Also, when did it become immoral or illegal (or something to have easy chairs without ottomans or extended bases? I seem to have missed the memo…

  6. As a writer who does a lot of historical fantasy set in the 1950s, 1960s, etc., books like this are wonderful for describing the setting. But not when they’re musty.

  7. We bought a Victorian beauty that had been remodeled in the 70s. One bathroom had the pink trifecta. Thank goodness the toilet wasn’t efficient! We upgraded and chose “almond.” Then we replaced the vanity with a similar off-white. All that’s left is the pink tub for the next owners to deal with!

  8. Why do some of the rooms look like they’re from the early 20th century and some look very 1960’s? The rooms don’t even match with each other.

  9. I think it’d be a hoot to have the pink tub, etc. One could do a lot of fun decor with a set like that. But not the way they have it with that toilet being like a literal throne framed by its surroundings. Otherwise, in general, I wonder what was up with color back in the day. Was it the way they shot things? Because all the colors just look sort of garishly…weird…just like the food photography of that time.

  10. Hey, I’d argue that this book shouldn’t be weeded, but mostly for architecture/decor history reasons. It’s hard to get an idea of what vernacular architecture was like back in the day because people remodel. They take out stuff that they think is ugly and dated, and then a hundred or two hundred years down the line, it’s hard to figure out how people used to decorate. Books like this can be immensely helpful for historians.

    I’ll agree it should probably be in the stacks and not on the shelves, though.

    1. Umm…aren’t the shelves part of the stacks? They certainly are in a public library. This book is a candidate for retention in an academic library art/design collection.

      1. I juuuuuust binge-read the rest of the site and, well, consider my plate loaded up with corvid. It does belong at a research library (though not in such a faded and musty condition!) and not at a public library.

  11. That first pic — Louis Quatorze — reminds me of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Guess that look was bouncing around the universe around then.

Comments are closed.