Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Era - Gone

Ok, I need a distraction.  School board has been so stressful lately.  How about I pull out my 1956 Better Homes and Garden Decorating book and share a few pictures.
Let's talk about interior design.  I do like late 50s/early 60s design.  Some call it "Atomic."  Some call it "Eames Era."  It's all the same.  "Atomic" refers to post war and post atom bomb.  "Eames" is the name of an iconic designer of that time period.  Charles Eames pioneered moulded plastic chairs, wire mesh furniture and moulded plywood.
All classics - all Eames.  All worth thousands.
We actually studied these chairs in college.

This was an era of scientific progress and it not only showed in the innovative technology put to use in making furniture, but also in the amoebic design motifs employed.  This was a time of optimism which was manifested in the bright colors used in interior design.  This was a time when Americans were very interested in the space race.  Many pieces of furniture reflected the long spindly legs of the Sputnik satellite and the starburst shapes of outer space.  
You recognize it when you see it.
Let's look at a few pictures.
Furniture of this era was often supported by spindly legs and had sleek upholstery without gathers or tucks.  Note the organic, amoebic shape of the coffee table up on tapered legs, of course.  Check out the bright touches of primary colors.  I love the lamps.  They seem to be built right into the end tables.
Here's another coffee table with an organic shape.  Bold fabric prints were also the order of the day.  And of course, we have Fifi the family guard dog standing sentinel.
That light fixture has sputnik written all over it.  Note the Danish Modern chairs and table - also hot during this era.
Here we have Ricky Gervais returning home after a hard day of work with his wife patiently waiting in her day dress and earrings.  Plastic fruit was big.  Note the wire candle display on the wall.  Wire was "in."  See the wire mesh chair in the foreground?
More bright colors in this living area.  There always seemed to be a little black in each room to set off the bold colors.  Note the wire in the picture frame, the lamp and the coffee table legs.  I absolutely LOVE that lamp.
Check out the olive and turquoise color scheme accompanied by touches of orangey rust from the other side of the color wheel.  What I don't understand is why there is a woman peeping in the window.
I like two things in this picture:  the wire and moulded plastic chair and the Coke everywhere.  I guess product placement is nothing new!

OK, distraction accomplished!  Now back to answering emails and reading school board information.


  1. Why do I suddenly hear the theme song from "The Jetson's" ringing in my ears???

  2. Isn't this a wonderful book? I think all of us who have a vintage blog has done at least one post about it. I love looking through that same book over and over. I have it on my living room table.

    Some of the interior designs of the 1950's were terrible! Colonial Revival was popular back then, and not a lot of real "atomic" items. The sputnik lamps and occasional starburst clocks were the closest thing to "atomic" it got.


Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet-
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

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