That 70s house — 3 interiors


Could there have been a more creative period in American design history than 1974? Methinks not – as evidenced by the three interiors today… and by my memories of the era. And folks: This look is back with a vengeance, so no whining, go look for your old David Cassidy and Bobby Sherman posters and prepare a place for them.

The image above is a “garage getaway.” As in, refinish the garage for mom so she has some space of her own. Do you watch That 70s Show? Seriously, it is really funny and has wonderful interiors, too. All three images today are from the ever-ingenious interior designers at flooring manufacturer Armstrong World Industries.


This is “The Picnic Kitchen.” It’s adorable, don’t you think? It’s such a pleasant shade of red…and the white and gold go so nicely.


And downstairs — we have our own personal family Irish Pub. This is really truly impressive. Remember, readers, with old floors: Get informed regarding the environmental and safety issues that may be present – consult with a professional.


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


Get our retrolicious free newsletter.


  1. patty says

    I did have the Bobby Sherman poster up and I would never want to go back to that era stylewise – no spider plants, macrame wall hangings, avocado and harvest gold, or polyester for me!

  2. says

    I don’t know why, but avocado, harvest gold, and burnt orange are looking good to me again. I don’t know if it’s that I’m sick of clean, white appliances and stone countertops, or if it’s just nostalgia for a time when there was only one flavor of Mountain Dew and it was made with sugar. Macrame owls and orange carpet sounds good to me again.

    But I do think that kitchen above has way too much going on. Lose the spiral-poled railings. That would help get rid of most of the cluttered feel. The garage getaway is nicely understated, although the oil drum is out of whack with the rest of it.

  3. James says

    Groovy picture of the garage getaway. I have quite a collection of old home and garden magazines from the 50s thru the 70s and one interesting idea that seems to pop up with surprising frequency in these magazines is re-purposing the garage for use as a family living space. Some promoted weatherizing and remodeling the garage into a permanent living space- a family room or bedroom. Others suggested moving the family car out on an occasional basis, and converting the garage to temporary alternative uses- a porch-like space in the summer (with the garage door opened), a party space for special occasions. Such a thing may have worked on a conceptual basis, but my garage is a bit fume-y and cluttered for that kind of thing…

    • pam kueber says

      Yes, James. I don’t know if garages really had the same sub-floor construction, which would keep them odor free and dry, for example. Like, the floor of my garage is always wet when there’s rain. The basement is dry.

  4. sixoh says

    Pam yer floor isn’t supposed to get wet when it rains. Lol. Try staying away from the 70s its bad for your health! Focus….focus…!

    • pam kueber says

      sixoh, i think there is an underground river running below our house. our basement seems to have very good drainage around the foundations. but the garage – no. i think there’s a lake immediately underneath the garage.

  5. says

    I have a soft spot for 70’s electronics and space age furnishings. And I still have my spider plants that I bought back then as a teen! The rest seems awkward looking in retrospect but perhaps I’m projecting the angst of my teen years onto that decade.

  6. mcmeg says

    Did you notice the window treatments in the Irish Pub basement? Genius.

    Anyone for a rousing chorus of “I think I love you”?

  7. Jonathan says

    I love the 70s Show. I would love to see all of the shows from the pilot to the finale. I used to laugh so much over it, but also waste so much time watching tv.

    Just had to echo in with your love for the show.

  8. gavin hastings says

    My favorite 70’s interior ever: the home of Mack and Sally McMillan of “McMillan and Wife”. Runner-up: Mary Tyler Moore’s apartment and the set of “The Doris Day Show”.

    Makes me want to find a capiz shell lamphade and I do miss those exposed brickwall fern bars with church pews as booths!

  9. tailfin says

    James, here in Western New York we see a lot of garages repurposed as living spaces during the summer. Many homes have screen inserts for the garage door, they install indoor/outdoor carpeting and bring casual, comfortable furniture into the garage. They’re jokingly called “Cheektowaga Living Rooms” named for a suburb where they are prevalent. I think it’s kind of neat idea, but many people consider it tacky. This is a region where many homes (including mine) still don’t have air conditioning.

  10. rompsy says

    Wow, the repurposed garage looks like an IKEA showroom (aside from the unfortunate carpet and the tiki chairs, that is). That picnic kitchen is so sweet that it makes my teeth hurt! But I love all the red trim and the checkered floor. And who wouldn’t want an Irish pub in their basement?? Great pics, Pam!

  11. says

    Color-wise, I can’t yet embrace the use of all those 70’s colors together, but I am loving my set of 60s danish modern avocado green upholstered chairs, tempered by my royal blue couch.

    For a great look at a 60’s modern interior set, rent the first season of “Bewitched”. The set designers liked danish modern furnishings, but there are other style touches, too. It’s fun!

  12. James says

    I like the concept of the “Cheektowaga Living Rooms”- apparently those old home magazines with their find-more-living-space-in-the-garage articles did have an impact. Sounds like fun, and a lot “greener” than blasting the air conditioning all summer.

    Unfortunately, I have a garage like Pam- a lake forms in the garage with each rainfall…

  13. tailfin says

    Yeah, my garage is detached, dates from 1930, is kind of creepy & is filled with overflow from my house, so I can’t do the Cheektowaga living room either. Plus my street doubles as an on-ramp for a thruway, so the truck fumes can be pretty harsh. But a few blocks down — where the homes were built in the 1950s — I see a lot of these summer garage conversions (which makes sense since part of this neighborhood actually is in Cheektowaga).

  14. sumac sue says

    My dad turned part of our basement into a family room, with dark wood paneling and lots of “antiqued” furniture in greens and blues. Couches and chairs had brown upholstery, and the carpet had thin stripes in multicolors. Decorative pieces had a colonial look, since that’s what my mom used in the rest of the house. Dad built a bar in one corner, and we had a cutout in one wall for an aquarium, which actually sat on a shelf in the unfinished part of the basement. We thought it was all so cool. That room was used for slumber parties, pizza or fondue parties, and family holiday gatherings. My most vivid TV memories from that family room are watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon in 1969, and watching the original Saturday Night Live cast in the mid-70s, when I was home from college for the weekend. Lots of friends had similar basement and garage rooms, but no one had a room as sunny as that red and white room pictured. Everyone went for that dark look of the Irish pub room — although shabbier, since the old living room furniture made its way to the family room.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *