1970s Homes … in Miniature

1970s home? Nope, dollhouse.

It makes perfect sense. 1970s dollhouses were inspired by 1970s homes. We are inspired by 1970s homes. 1970s dollhouses can inspire us. (Otherwise stated as d=h and i=h, thus d=i).










Additional Resources

Check out more 1970s dollhouse photos on the Flickr pages of The Shopping Sherpa, Pub Doll, Call-Small, and diepuppenstubensammlerin. All photo credits go to them.


Edward T. White’s Architectural Drawings

A Book Review

A Graphic Vocabulary for Architectural Presentation by Edward T. White — a boring title for a visually stunning book. Published in 1972, this spiral bound manual was intended as a textbook for architect students. But you don’t have to be an architect to appreciate it. All you need is a love of the 70s. Unlike most books I feature on this blog, there are no photographs within – instead it is comprised of delicate line drawings of 1970s furniture and spaces.

Hatching, crosshatching, stippling, contours, and more – all of the illustrations are based on the Line.

There are 53 pages of period chairs, couches, ottomans, side tables, dining room tables, conference tables, and office furniture – some drawn with simple contour outlines, others which are shaded in through hatching, crosshatching, and many other line-based techniques:

Strangely, there is only one page of lamps:

In order to flesh out the students’ architectural spaces, this books also features 12 pages of adults and children dressed in 70 clothes and hairdos, plus 12 pages of period automobiles:

And of course, (considering that this is an architect manual and all,) there are pages upon pages of textures that you can produce with lines, including different ways to draw brick, stone, wood, grass, trees, shrubs, etc.

Unfortunately there are only a handful of the author’s absolutely beautiful finished architectural drawings at the end of the book. It’s a shame, I would have loved to see more.

If you are interested in buying A Graphic Vocabulary for Architectural Presentation (180 pages), I would suggest seeking out a spiral-bound copy, so that the pages will lie flat if you are drawing from it or photocopying it. After a quick search, I found some copies on and other obscure book shops online. Edward T. White is additionally the author and illustrator of many other architecture manuals  (none of which I have read). Thank you, Edward T. White!

Carpeted Pits & Platforms

Both types of built-in seating, the conversation pit and the seating platform serve the same social purpose; the difference is simply structural. Seating platforms (above) are constructed on top of the floor, while conversation pits (below) are built in advance, beneath the surface. Consisting of carpeted areas in multiple horizontal levels, these pits and platforms are most often found in living rooms and are designed to seat a large number of people.
Serving as couches, endtables, and room dividers, pits and platforms are the only “furniture” really needed in a room. Look how the platforms in the above image are used to break up the space of a large room, and create multiple seating areas.
In addition to living rooms, bedrooms can also be suitable candidates for pits and platforms. However, pits and platforms are usually used for more social areas. Along with a bed, this pink conversation pit even includes a sink:

Though pits and platforms are essentially steps (steps that you sit on), they rarely contain actual staircases. The below ski resort is ingenious. Building staircases into your platforms also allows you to continue the same platform onto multiple floors of your home:

Here’s another view of the seating platform with the arrow supergraphic from a previous post:


The below seating platform includes drywall which allows for a two-toned color scheme. It doesn’t look quite as comfortable, but it melts into the wall and ceiling nicely. Additionally, check out the bed and couch that have fabric/cushions which camouflage into the color of the carpet:

The five rectangular prisms at the top of the next seating platform are really cushions upholstered in black fabric. They are lightweight and easy to move, making the levels of your platform itself modular:

If you look closely, you can tell that the next living room’s seating is actually half carpeted platforms, half-upholstered couches. If the yellow rug in the center was also red-orange, it would barely be distinguishable from some of the seating platforms at the beginning of this post:

Not a true platform or pit, the below image is simply wooden furniture upholstered in carpet on a flat floor:

This room’s platform does not fulfill the same seating-role as most platforms; instead it exists as an open play area:


Conversation pits are not exactly a do-it-yourself project unless you are a professional. Platforms are much easier (and cheaper) to build as they require no alterations to the existing floor. A good compromise between the two is to build a raised platform with a hollow in it, as pictured below. Whatever you choose, you need to be aware of your local building codes and general safety.


Citations by Section

In order of appearance, the images in the first section under “Carpet Pits & Platforms” are from: Living for Today (1972), unknown, The House Book (1974), unknown, and Ugly House Photos (1974). The images in “Modifications” are from: The House Book (1974), unknown, Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book (1975), unknown, and Sunset Children’s Rooms & Play Yards (1980). The first image and the text blocks in “Construction” are from The House Book (1974) and the remaining images are from this website (2005)- look at the link under “Riser Construction.”

Additionally check out this amazing post on pits and platforms by Ouno Design.