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23 interior design things that seemed to be inside every house in the 1970s

Wood, fur and shag was everywhere.

Images: Wish Book Web | Madonovan / Flicker

The Seventies had a distinctive design style. Earth tones ruled. Carpet grew its fibers out as long as men's hair, and it only seemed to come in "olive" and "sunset" varieties. Wood was everywhere, from the walls of our dens to the panels of our station wagons. People loved to hang random things on their wall. Everything in general just seemed to be fuzzier and browner.

There are some specific items that turned up in every catalog and neighborhood home. Okay, sure, you might not have had ALL of these things, but you undoubtedly had some.

Let's take a step back and dig through some catalogs, you dig?


Bean bag chairs

Amorphous furniture was all the rage. They were comfortable — until you tried to get up. Even couches aspired to be bean bags, with swollen cushions that gushed over the sides.

Image: Wish Book Web


Wooden Televisions

Few things probably boggle the mind of kids today like the notion that you could use your TV for firewood in case of emergency.

Image: Wish Book Web


TV on rolling carts

Televisions were either massive and immobile — or they slid all over the place on rolling TV carts.

Image: Wish Book Web


Secret stereos

"My, what a lovely credenza!" "No, actually, that's what I need to play my Steely Dan 8-tracks."

Image: Wish Book Web


Retro colonial furniture

The Bicentennial gave everyone Colonial fever. There were ornamental spinning wheels and apple buckets for storing your macramé yarn. Note the magazine rack with attached ashtrays. Why were all the pajamas back then "flame resistant"? Perhaps because we were ashing stogies over old issues of TV Guide.

Image: Wish Book Web


Old Timey Beer Lights

You wanna go where everybody knows your name? It's called "home"! Still, people turned their basements into man caves that looked like the opening credits of Cheers.

Image: Wish Book Web


Big wooden utensils on the wall

There was all sorts of fun stuff to hang on your (avocado) walls. Take these giant forks and spoons, for example. Or how about a lovely brass sunburst?

Image: Wish Book Web


Weird clocks

You could tell time with an oversized watch, a tennis racket or, confusingly, a bathroom scale?

Image: Wish Book Web


Bed Warmer Planters

You'd be surprised at the number of antique "bed warmers" used as planters in catalogs back then. They were everywhere!

Image: Wish Book Web


Plant stands

Ferns, ferns, ferns! The more you had, the merrier. There were also more people named "Fern" back then, too.

Image: Wish Book Web


This wooden weather station thing

These decorative barometer-thermometer contraptions were hanging in every kitchen. It was like having your very own Weather Channel, shaping into something they might have used in the 19th-century whaling industry.

Image: Wish Book Web


Ornate standing ashtrays

Brass and glass for your ash.

Image: Wish Book Web


Cane lamps

"The natural look of cane" was everywhere. People were nostalgic then, too, but for the 1920s. The goal was to make your house a fine balance of The Great Gatsby and Little House on the Prairie.

Image: Wish Book Web


Lava lamps

Of course. You can't forget about these.

Image: Wish Book Web


Patriotic linens

Again, the Spirit of '76 was evident everywhere. 

Image: Wish Book Web


Fur bedding

It certainly was a hairy decade.

Image: Wish Book Web


Fur chairs

Take a good look at that lavender fur lounger. It looks like Grimace's sister.

Image: Wish Book Web


Fur sofas, fur on everything

The more fur, the merrier. Cleaning stains and spills was not so fun in the 1970s.

Image: Wish Book Web


Furniture with words

The dresser has drawers marked with each day of the week. Now that's organization (that we doubt anyone stuck with). We also dig this "Goodnight" nightstand.

Image: Drexel Furnishings / Gold Country Girls


Beds under beds

Families we big — and kids shared rooms. Like the Brady Bunch or the Drummonds on Diff'rent Strokes. That's why bedding had to accommodate more than one. Trundles put us closer to our siblings.

Image: Retro Renovation


Shag carpeting

You watch HGTV today, and "house hunters" have an allergic reaction to all carpeting. Not back in the '70s, baby. People wanted it everywhere, and deep.

Image: Madonovan / Flickr


Shag stairs

They wanted it spilling down the stairs…

Image: James Vaughan / Flickr


Shag bathrooms

… they even wanted it on — and all around — the toilet. Carpet cleaning was a good business to get into that decade.

Image: Pop-Circus


Who can forget these funky styles? READ MORE

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