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.

1001 decorating

1,001 Decorating Ideas

1,001 Decorating Ideas
Carter, Editor
1972

Yet another book of decorating ideas circa 1972. It’s still got a groovy vibe but its early enough that avocado green and harvest gold haven’t made their mark yet. The decor features a room by room plan for updating your home. My favorite is the carpet of what looks like Astro Turf in the kitchen. Bright colors dominate and the wall accessories are overdone (this is my way of saying ugly).

creative decorating book

Color Me 1970s

Creative Decorating
on a budget
Better Homes and Gardens
1970

I really love the decorating books we have on our site. I think just about everyone I knew as a teen was either decorating in that awful avocado green or the harvest gold yellow for their color scheme. This book at least features some more eye catching color, but the effect is over the top. I don’t think I could relax in any of the rooms presented. Too much matching colors or print between walls, furniture, and window treatments is just too much.

family room

Retro Design Help

Family Rooms, Dens, and Studios
Sunset Books
1979

Are you a retro hipster writer looking for that special space to create the next great American novel? This book has lots of ideas for converting that corner, basement, or garage into your studio. Most of the ideas are for small offices. I counted no less than 10 pictures of typewriters artfully placed on neat desks. I am convinced no one really does actual work in these spaces; they just look too tidy and are created to make people like me feel bad for not staying better organized. But I digress.

While decorating is a matter of style, there is a function to specialty rooms that need to consider changes in technology. While the concept might be okay, modern offices – even home offices – have a completely different set up for modern technology. Where do we put the printer/fax? How about all the electrical requirements for modern tech? I don’t think an extension cord is the answer.

interior decorating

Furniture Freak Out

The Personal Touch in Interior Decorating
Pepis
1964

I love the retro decorating books. Today’s choice is a bit different. Nearly the first third of the book is establishing your personal taste. I thought this was a pretty clever idea, especially for someone like me that has zero artistic talent.

So, among the advice and discussion, our author takes us through a quiz, to find out our style. Most of it is okay, but there are several that just seem weird. For example, there are some drawing of table legs and you have to identify your favorite. I kept thinking about what each leg meant. It felt like some bizarre Rorschach test. I also couldn’t pick a “favorite”. Now I am looking a table legs everywhere.

Power Look at home cover

Manly Home Decor

The Power Look at Home
Decorating for Men
F├╝rstenberg and Fisher
1980

These are quite the looks for that man wishing to make a statement about his home. We have a few choices such as: the statue in the kitchen, the bed that looks like a cage, and some weird looking art. Don’t miss the giant TV relic (complete with some awesome rabbit ears!) Not really sure, but I am not getting the power vibe given these designs. I think Prince Egon should have taken some advice from first wife Diane.