Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Harsh seventies reality

Dining Rooms

p64 This style of furniture, known as the "Mediterranean Look," is beginning to be seen in furniture shops in this country although it is not yet established as a trend. Originating in the USA, its formal look has been loosely copied from old Spanish designs.

Playrooms and Rumpus Rooms

p70 An indoor barbecue is invaluable in a playroom in areas where weather conditions are unpredictable.


pp 84-85 Books can work wonders for a decorating scheme, giving it warmth, an intimate atmosphere, and a variety of colour and pattern in the jackets that is hard to achieve in any other way. When they are combined with other objects, books can become the focal point of a room. A wall of shelves filled with a display of books and decorative objects, that are a record of your hobbies, travels and work, is always interesting.

Here's a sundry list of the sort of things you could include: hi-fi, ceramic animals, model ships, birdcage, carved wooden box, clock, doll in national costume, venetian glass, copper tray, pottery, candlestick. There is no end to the possibilities.

Jim and Judy Siers, and Vivien Shelton.
A Guide to Home Decorating in New Zealand:
A H & A W Reed, 1971.

Three points worth making:

1. The Mediterranean Look could have been stopped before it became established as a trend, like other imported pests. All it required was people of good will to burn down the furniture shops. But nothing was done and now it is everywhere.

2. Grumpy Old Men and pop psychologists are always complaining that children today are over-protected. If these people are from a time when playrooms were equipped with indoor barbecues, one can understand their cultural dislocation.

3. There was an end to the possibilities. It came in 1973 and was called the Oil Crisis.


Psycho Milt said...

Books can work wonders for a decorating scheme...

As a resident of NZ in 1971, I can confirm this description of the typical contemporary NZer's understanding of the purpose of books. However, it's a bit odd to find it expressed by people writing, and presumably trying to sell, a book.

Paul said...

Indeed; and a very peculiar book it is too. Not just a home improvement book, more an essay on national identity, you might say.