coloured blinds

70s interior design book

Here are some scans from a 1970s interior design book- House by Terrence Conran. Some of the stuff in it is really really 70s looking, and some is very clean and timeless-looking. The pictures I’ve scanned are a mix of the two categories. I just scanned the pictures that appealed to me, as it’s a massive book. Some of them are a little grainy due to the printing technique. I scanned another 70s interior book I have here.


The book starts with the exterior, and then works its way through room by room, with building and architectural advice as well as decor tips. The exterior section recommends doing some horrific things to fine Victorian brickwork with brown paint. There was a time in the middle of the 20th Century when no-one seemed to want Victorian terraces. My nan was happy when her two-up two-down in Battersea was knocked down and she was given a modern flat instead because it had proper plumbing and heating (nothing that couldn’t have been fitted to the old house). Now people pay a small fortune for the identical houses on the next street, and people think the 60s flats are ugly.

My dad also remembers helping friends nail sheets of plywood onto the panelled doors in their houses in the 50s and 60s to get the modern flat door lookMy dad spent his whole life as a building surveyor. He wanted to be an architect really, but it took long enough to finish the night school classes to be a surveyor. He had/has a sideline in designing extensions and renovations for people and doing the planning applications, though, but I don’t think he’s ever designed a whole building from scratch, and he’s a bit old to start now. You go anywhere with him, and you get an impromptu architecture quiz/lecture about the buildings along the way. If anyone ever threatens to shoot me unless I answer whether those semis are Edwardian or inter-war, I’m sorted. Apart from that, it’s a useless skill.

Anyway, I do like these blinds.
(Late Victorian, I’d say- bay windows and elaborate porch, but sash windows on the side. Useful, huh?)


Pretty much my ideal kitchen. Glancing at the sideboard makes me see a laptop with my modern eyes.


I like this enormous room too, although watching the tv on that bookshelf looks a bit awkward. The room looks like it could do with a piano I think though, for the full effect.


The flooring section has these really pretty watercolour floorplans.


A living room for intergalactic voyaging.


Various ultra-70s door treatments. The one on the bottom left isn’t glass, it’s silver foil.


Guaranteed to smell of patchouli.


The complete opposite. It really looks like a double bed edition of UK university accommodation.


This is my favourite thing in the book, a studio flat belonging to an artist.


And to finish, some elaborate topiary of terriers.

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