Groovy Nuances From the Modern ‘70s Home
Cake Making - A woman baking cakes in a fitted kitchen, circa 1975. (Photo by f8 Imaging/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
For many Americans owning a home is all part of the American Dream. Working hard to put a roof over their heads is something most people try to do. People work hard and need a place to crash at the end of a long, hard day. Having a roof over your head is pretty much considered to be a necessity; after all, shelter is just one of a person’s basic needs. What goes under the roof is an entirely different story!
Ever hear the saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?” The same is true of a house!
Back in the groovy era homes were typically cookie cutter houses; meaning that they were one of only a few styles. Cape cods, ranchers, split levels and colonials were the four most popular house models. Developers bought up acres and acres of land and turned them into neighborhoods. House styles were repeated every third or fourth house for a very uniform look to the street.
Have you ever been in a house just like yours only the floor plan is flipped? It’s similar to being in the Twilight Zone… It just isn’t right!
So enough about the cookie cutter house. What goes in the house is what makes it a home. Home décor tends to follow the same evolution as every other thing in this life. Much like clothing, hairstyles, and music, home furnishings typically reflect the personal style of the owner. Home furnishings in the groovy era were like no other. If you lived through that time you know this firsthand.
Check out some of these groovy nuances that made HOMES out of HOUSES in the ‘60s and ‘70s:
Shag carpet was all the rage in the groovy era…. the shaggier, the better!
Not all homes had carpet during the groovy era. Some still preferred their hardwood floors, but you can be sure that any respectable modern and hip household that did have carpet had shag carpet. Some shag carpet was so shaggy that you could lose the family hamster in it for days.
TVs weren’t just for watching a favorite program… they were a piece of furniture. Most TVs were inset in large consoles and were quite a presence in any living room. They were very bulky, some requiring two men and a boy to move but they were nonetheless state of the art.
Linoleum sheet flooring was practically a décor staple in plenty of homes way back when.
Flooring in the groovy era was not about to take a backseat to the rest of the décor. Linoleum flooring was loud and proud just like the homeowner and it didn’t matter if it clashed with the rest of the room. The funny thing is that many of the same patterns were found in homes everywhere. In a time when conformity wasn’t cool, people were drawn to the same flooring patterns and designs… probably because there weren’t that many choices.
These days, appliances come in white, almond, black and chrome. Back in the groovy era, appliances came in colors that included harvest gold, avocado green, and that beautiful brown. The brighter colors were quite a commitment in any kitchen. It must have been difficult to make the appliances, flooring, and wallpaper coordinate.
A lot of cool house parties took place in modern ‘70s club rooms.
Up until the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, basements were a place for the hot water heater, furnace/boiler, and washing machine. Basements were also a great storage area. Basements were stacked with boxes full of things that wouldn’t ever be used again but the owner couldn’t live without! During the groovy era, "finishing" basements for living space became a popular craze. It wasn’t called a finished basement… it was called a club room; complete with the old TV set and fake wood paneling. It was a classic look.
Many homes had a laundry shoot in the one and only bathroom to send clothes in a hurry from upstairs to the laundry room in the basement.
Hip, modern home décor back in the day typically included a lot of bright colors and patterns. Stripes, lattice and funky patterns that created optical illusions were very popular in modern '70s decorating.
Rotary telephones were modern communication in the groovy era.
Telephones have come a long way from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Most homes back then only had one phone for the entire family whether there were three people or twelve people. That’s right… people had to get in line to get on the line! It wasn’t uncommon for the cord to be stretched out of shape since the user could only hope for privacy by getting as far away from the other family members as possible.
Macramé home décor was especially popular in the ‘70s. A lot of different home decorations were macramé including curtains and plant hangers, but nothing was more popular than the macramé owl.
The groovy pop-culture era is a phenomenon that stands out among many others. Sometimes it seems like it was a million years ago and sometimes it seems like just yesterday.
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