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).
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 amazon.com 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!
I personally feel overwhelmed when I look at the 1000s of interior design images I’ve amassed.
How will I ever decide which ideas to recreate and which to leave on the shelf? Maybe I should have stopped collecting when I had three decorating books. Or ten. A home only has so much square footage!
In her book Bloomingdale’s Book of Home Decorating, Barbara D’Arcy recommends making an exhaustive list of interior elements that you like and dislike. Perhaps this is a simplistic idea, but I’ve found it to be helpful (plus, I like making lists). If you can’t identify exactly what you like about 1970s interiors, you will forever be staring at your empty canvas of a room, trying to make a decision.
Here is my list of likes and dislikes (you don’t necessarily have to read this, although it will give you a better picture of what you are likely and unlikely to find covered on this blog):
Low Ceilings, Slanted Ceilings
Conversation Pits, Seating Platforms, Steps, Staircases
Wood Paneling, Vinyl Flooring
Wallpaper, Supergraphics, Heavily Patterned Rooms
Monochromatic Color Schemes / Orange & Brown, Green & Blue
Low Hanging Lights on Chains
Built-in Couches, ETC
Pale or Light Shades of Wood
White Walls and Unfocused Color Schemes
Stainless Steel, Marble
Four Poster Beds, Bed Canopies
Venetian Blinds, Long Curtains that are drawn back in the center
Animal Skins and Prints, Polka Dots, Checkered Patterns
Decorative Bowls, Baskets, and Pottery / Nonfunctional “Knick Knacks”
House Plants, ETC
I partially dislike over half of the photos I post on this blog. There is something (big or small) that I would change in nearly all of them. However, crossing things off your list that you don’t want in your home can also help you get closer at recognizing the things that you do. Make a note of those things. Don’t disregard an interior before you really look at it; images are worthwhile if even one feature makes you smile. Disliking a photo because of its hectic color scheme is very different that disliking a photo because of its deer head and polka dots. Let’s look at some interiors that can easily be “fixed” to fit in with my likes:
The above room isn’t my absolute favorite, but if I changed the black upholstery to a dark brown, threw out the white fur blanket, and used a darker shade of wood paneling, it would be perfect. I appreciate the repetitive patterns and the (nearly) monochromatic color scheme in the next photo, but I hate the particular pattern they chose, the posts on the bed, and the style of the white accent furniture:
It’s not enough to drag a photo that you like onto your desktop. Figure out why you like it. Be picky. Discriminate.
Notes and Citations:
The images in this post, in order of appearance, are from: The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement (1970), Family Circle Home Decorating Guide (1973), and unknown . For more information on Barbara D’Arcy’s Bloomingdale rooms and the “Saturday Generation,” read this informative post by Onou Design.