Retro Decorating at its finest!

encyclopedia of homemaking cover

The Complete Encyclopedia of Homemaking Ideas

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.


purple interior living room

interior decorating with a print pattern

bedroom decor

purple bedroom

red living room

red bedroom and gold sitting room

blue bedroom with gold chair


  1. What was it with color photographs back then? The food photography of that era was the same…just something weird about the colors that makes everything unappetizing. Instagram needs a filter that replicates it, I think! Not sure these colors are even found in nature.

    1. Maybe they were shot on Kodachrome. The colors on that film were super saturated.

    2. Being “not found in nature” was kind of the point. When I was in Jr. High School in 1968, part of our Home Ec. course included home decor, and it was all about how to treat your home as a stage for the drama of your life. The idea that anything was to be natural, or comfortable, or even cozy, was totally out of the picture, as you might say.

  2. When I was house hunting I came across one that was built in 1968 and had only had one set of owners. Those owners had kept it meticulously and it was like going back in time. It had been on the market for over a year probably for that reason but I absolutely loved it despite the fact that it was quite a bit older than me. The only thing that stopped me from bidding on it was the possibility of lead paint because I had an infant at the time. That house was this book come to life.

  3. That bathroom vanity is identical to the one I replaced three years ago! Do miss the gold flecked counter on top of it! Ah, French Provincial!

  4. This book is right up there with “Interior Desecrations” by Jim Lileks. Did we really buy into that crap in the 60s and 70s?

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