306 photos of reader living rooms — Upload your photos

May 8 update: 306 photos so far in our gallery — wow, this has been EPIC! Hey, readers: Keep getting out the camera, get artsy fartsy with your angles, and let’s see your living room, too! Uploader enabled —>

I went looking on the blog recently for photos of readers’ living rooms, and I was disappointed that I did not have too many. My bad. Do you have a mid mod or vintage living room that you are super proud of? I invite you to upload your photos and share them with the Retro Renovation tribe. Above: Betty Crafter‘s midcentury modern living room — reflected in 70s mirror tile adjacent to the front door. So pretty!

janes midcentury modern living room photoAnd above: Jane’s living room. Also dreamy. Have fun with your photos — use natural light (no flash) and have fun with your angles; most cameras today, including those on phones, take great pictures. So experiment to get the best shot — yes, you, too, can be artsy fartsy! Instructions follow –>.

Upload photos of your living rooms, belowTips:

  • Please set your camera to no bigger than “medium” images, so files aren’t too large — large files really slow down the slide show for all to view. 
  • (2) Uploader DOES work but message you get on screen *may be* funky and confusing. Upload ONCE and trust the image it there — I just need to “set new photos free” from my control panel and will be checking hourly to do so. 
  • (3) Terms of Use apply.

[ngg_uploader id = 218]
Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image:


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  1. Janice says

    Loving all of the living room pics!!! Soooo jealous of all the beautiful vintage sofas. *Sigh* I just can’t seem to find one in decent shape. The good news is I am so inspired by all of your pictures it has motivated me to get my vintage curtains hung and get to painting!

  2. Becky from Iowa says

    Heidi, my favorite sources so far have been the local junque and thrift stores, Ebay (for small items and my passionately adored green rya rug), and a few Retro stores in my area. We’re pretty poor Country Mice, so when it came to the *new* pieces I needed (just couldn’t find decent upholstered pieces around here; everything stank or I was afraid of bed bugs ;-)… I went a cheapo route and bought from TJ Maxx (the Lane wing recliner and the knock-off Milo Baughman club chairs) or Overstock (the made in the USA, gorgeous, nubby avocado green long sofa…shipped all the way from L.A. for $2.95!). I’ve spent a lot of time with Minwax products, restoring the wood pieces…and Watkins Danish Oil… My teak lounge chair (not pictured; still needs upholstery) and ottoman, the end tables, the chests of drawer, two short danish modern bookcases, the credenza and hutch, and the working 1965 Zenith console stereo (Free on Craigslist!) all needed a little spiffing up by me, but I find that kind of work fun–and I got two end tables, the chest, the hutch, the credenza, two bookcases, and three chairs, and the stereo, for a grand total of about $350.

    • Becky from Iowa says

      Here’s the sofa I bought. The feet are totally wrong, but the overall design (tufted back, bench seat, and arms and nubby fabric) are great..AND there are nice, modern touches, like little bungee cords on the seat that attach to hooks on the platform of the sofa, and keep one end of the seat from flying up in the air (like I’ve seen in so many vintage photos) when someone is sitting on the other end. Hah! This one comes in two other colors (butterscotch and oatmeal) as well. I’m very pleased with the construction quality; this is a heavy puppy!

      • Heidi says

        Hi Becky, I am so impressed by how resourceful you are…I haven’t done much restoring on my own, mostly because of laziness, but I definitely have a couple of projects up my sleeve that I want to do but I’m a little afraid of. I tend to be the one who ends up with 20 tailoring projects in a bag in my closet that I never get to, and I don’t want to be like that with furniture! Maybe I”ll be better since I can’t really hide furniture in the closet. 🙂

  3. Christa says

    I agree with Becky…EBay ( and now Etsy…a new favorite) CraigsList and Thrift shops(and the occasional dumpster dive)Along with that…patience! We moved into our place on 2001, and probably only in the last 2 to 3 years, have I finally got the furniture I want ( there are 3 pics of mine…2 marked mid century modern with an asian twist, and one unmarked up near the top…sorry) But those sources have got me everything from chairs to tables to art, to light fixtures. I never expect things to look new, and am always willing to put in some elbow grease to clean them up. Good luck, and don’t get discouraged…things will come.

    • Heidi says

      Hi Christa, thanks for your kind words, good things do come to those who wait! I visit my local thrift shops almost every weekend, and I’m so excited that yard sale season is coming. It is a lifelong treasure hunt…

  4. Nadine says

    In Michelle’s living room NC – I have those same lamps on your couch end tables! I’ve never seen them anywhere else before. I have them in my bedroom but need to get them rewired. I don’t remember if they were my Great Aunt’s or my Grandmother’s. Beautiful room!

  5. Loretta in Austin says

    Jason (Blue Jay) & Nicky – great room! Love the accent wall. Where did you find the media console?

    • BlueJay says

      Thanks! The console is on the newer side. We tried looking for vintage, but I couldn’t bring myself to drill holes into a vintage piece. It’s from a company called Zocalo (http://www.zocalousa.com). I believe they are made in the US, and the prices are reasonable (we got our console on sale, since it was a floor model). I found out after the fact that Zocalo set out to create affordable reinterpretations of mid-century design. We’ve had friends ask us if all of our living room is vintage (it isn’t: it’s about a half and half mix of new and old, since this is the most used room in our home). 🙂

    • BueJay says

      Loretta, are you in Austin, TX? That place is an awesome mid-century haven! We went last year and our jaws hit the floor. The prices were definitely reasonable too! It’s a great mid-century city!

      • Loretta In Austin says


        Thanks so much for sending along that resource, will check it out! Yes, Austin, TX. Returned to my home state after 21 years in NYC and LA, with no prospects for purchasing in either location. After a few more local moves was finally ready to purchase in fall ’10 and my ’54 ranch MCM was love at first sight, and a good deal! It’s a swell pocket neighborhood in North Austin with great trees and nice sized lots.

        • BlueJay says

          That’s awesome! NYC has some great architecture, but is it ever pricey! Our house is actually from 1992. We looked for mid-century houses, but most were in need of a lot of work, which we didn’t have the money for. Our layout is almost identical to a split level we looked at built in 1966 though, so we decided to run with the mid-century! The nice part about having a newer house that we can back date is that we don’t have to stay with just one decade of MCM! Our living room is 70s, our dining room and kitchen are an amalgamation of early 50s and 60s, and our bathrooms will be 60s and 70s; we’re gonna go early 50s for our Master bath.

          • Loretta Farb says

            It’s nice to have options like that! I think I’m the third owner – previous owners lived there 23 years – got married in the backyard, left me wonderful rose bushes and native plants and a house in excellent structural condition…the inspector was impressed. Of course one of my first thoughts was to open it up with a demo of the structural wall between the LR and the kitchen and have a great open floor plan…I may return to that idea some day….Previous owners demo’d the third BR (as a 2 BR/2 BA I think that helped me have less competition – it’s a little over 1300 sq. ft.) With the opened up kitchen and den area from where the third BR used to be I have a Banquet Hall along the back of the house. My big winter project was to replace the faulty sliders wi French doors and painted them yellow. At my spring party a few weeks ago I got to throw open the French doors on a beautiful night and the party felt like it was in one room, the flow is so good between the Banquet Hall and the back yard. The back yard is starting to look like an Austin outdoor cafe!

            • BlueJay says

              We are the 2nd owners and we have no plans to move, which is probably good because people already ask us when we’re going to update our place. 😀 We usually have to tell them several times that it was built in 1992; our friends seem to think our house is older than our development! Mission accomplished! We put french doors in our lower level; they really open up the space! The one main difference between our house and the 1966 split is that the kitchen in ours is open to the dining room~which we love. We can throw a buffet table in the space between the 2 rooms and serve from one side! We loved Austin when we visited. If we ever planned on moving again, it might be a serious contender. It really is a great place!

  6. Meredith R. says

    I forgot to add — those are two of the Charley Harper national parks posters hanging above our green couch. Thanks for the tip, Pam!

  7. says

    we may have re-claimed our livingroom recently from all het crap we had in there for our basement reno, but as it is a hodge podge of furniture from different periods (except the 60’s!!), it’s so not worthy of a share, but I’ll pretend mine looks like the one from Rochester NY, love!

  8. says

    Wow Pam! These posts are AMAZING!

    Will there be a permanent link to these photos? I’d love to be able to show my clients these images when helping them determine what mid century furnishings they would like me to locate for them. Visualization is difficult for some, and having a great reference like this would be wonderful.

    What a lot of people don’t understand is that “mid century” is not a singular look…there were many variations, and the term itself covers the 1950’s and 1960’s. In some cases, folks are even incorporating some great pieces from the 1970’s into their mid century decor/houses with success! I see some great examples here.

    This is very inspiring! Congrats to all of your readers for rescuing so many gems!


    • Christa says

      Hi Bobbie-
      You might try Flikr…Pam has a group there, and there are many other retro groups as well…ranging from 50’s to the 70’s. Lots and lots of pictures to see. Good luck!

    • Sue Sweeney says

      Thanks, Jane! We love our house – I call it our “Brady Bunch House”! Can you believe that when we moved in we had a friend who tried to talk us into getting rid of the pendant lights? To the left of the fireplace is the window above the front door. There are metal pendant lights outside, and glass pendant lights inside. To the right of the fireplace you are looking into the back hallway of the house. I love the brick, too, although it probably needs cleaning (not sure how to do that). I think that it is called “Roman Brick”

  9. hannah says

    I am in awe of all these wonderful living rooms! But, my heart lies with the wallpapered one. That, really takes me back. The wallpaper, though if I’d have seen it in a shop I’d have passed it buy, but seeing it all tied together like this just sends me. I could die happy in that room. Fabulous decor taste. *swoons*

  10. Stephanie from N.C. says

    I have throughly enjoyed looking at all these wonderful photos. How refreshing to see other folks who “take the interior design road less traveled” and do so with pride. I posted three photos of my kitchen as seen from the living room of my 1953 ranch. It’s is a very bright yellow kitchen, so the photos are easy to spot. I inherited a Sellers baking cabinet from my parents which is visible in the photos. If anyone is knowledgable of these cabinets and could help me date it I would be most appreciative. Also there are two large plates hanging over the cabinet with floral prints. The plates belonged to my mother and there are no markings on the back to idenify the manufacturer. They are at least 40 years old. Does anyone know what they are?

  11. Barb S. says

    I am drooling over these photos!!! I love Sylvia’s blue drapes in the first two photos! And that pink couch with the fringe….yum!…. My living room is WAY retro, more like 1902 Parlor. Can I still participate?

      • Barb S. says

        Oopsie! Forgot about the basement living room! I hereby dub myself “Bargain Basement Barbie”. (The couch is 17 feet long, thanks for asking.) Thanks Pam, this is fun!

  12. Cynthia says

    These are so inspiring! I’m filing this post away for future reference. My living room is currently decorated in “three young kids run through here and play here all day long, so cool retro decor is at the bottom of the priority list for awhile.”

    Someday, though…my kids won’t act like bulls in a china shop forever, right? 😉

  13. nina462 says

    Love these rooms – makes me want to have a moveable cocktail party in each one! It’s giving me some good ideas for my shopping this summer 🙂 Makes me think that my living room could change a bit from the more early american to a more modern. Hmmm, I will have to think on that. So, thanks very much for all the pictures –

  14. SebastianFortLaud says

    So jealous…I liked the smaller spaces, like Anne’s apartment in NYC since we have a 1/1 condo from 1960-something, which has been gutted to be awkwardly contemporary. Fortunately they didn’t put turn-of-the-century-apropos woodwork around the windows. Just, when I see these spaces I love them all but somehow feel they are mostly “too much” or “not enough.” I hope I don’t make that mistake. I am giving myself 24 hours to think about it but I might purchase a PERFECT ‘Madmen’ style suite from Macy’s tomorrow…I know, I should ‘look’ but since we just moved in I need more than the bed & my 1960’s chartreuse chair to sit on, haha! 😉

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