When I was in Kentucky visiting Mom, I had some time to poke around local stories. I stopped by Corvin’s Floor Coverings in Elizabethtown — it was a surprisingly big store, and they were very nice — and I shutterbugged away. Right quick I spotted this Mannington vinyl sheet flooring. “Tuscan Sun”, 99 cents a square foot, and soooooo 1970s, I wanted to redesign my mom’s 1974 house all around it. However, she is into 1940s design, as you will recall.
In his wonderful book — The Great Funk: Styles of the Shaggy, Sexy, Shameless 1970s — all about 1970s pop culture, Thomas Hines says (as I recall) that nothing defined 1970s interior design quite so much as the era’s fixation on tile.
As I’ve tried to pay attention to “aspirational” advertising from the period and otherwise kept a watchful eye, I would say: He’s got it right. Tile, tile, and more tile. E.G.: Orange Mediterranean style tile from Emily’s deliciously wonderful time capsule stash for sale in West Virginia. See the family resemblance, then and now?
And if you think about it, “Mediterranean” of course means tile floors. Like, in Granada, Spain, or Greece. Tile underfoot in those warm, sunny climes. In the 1970s, they also made vinyl sheet that looked like tile. ‘Cuz we loved our plastic then, too. I think this Mannington “Tuscan Sun” vinyl sheet flooring would be great in a 1970s style home.
Where to buy it?
Unfortunately, this looks to be officially discontinued now. But, I found it at least one place on the intertubes — here at Owen Carpet. Or, you can head over to Corvin’s, in E’town.