A look at 1968 – yes, the era of avocado green, harvest gold and other very distinctive designs. I have to say, I really am growing to adore 60s and 70s kitchens, bathrooms and interiors. These people were having a lot of creative fun. Imagine owning a 1971 split level and outfitting it with a red and black rumpus room… bedrooms with multicolored shag carpet…a Nutone intercom throughout, a Drexel Mediterranean dining room set. Hey! That was my house in 1971!  A triumph. Cut to the chase: 70s decor is back – big time. Avocado Oak ad: Georgia Pacific.


Isn’t this Moenique bathtub/shower faucet terrific? Those are “persian” tiles behind – very popular in ’68, as far as I can see. Ad: Moen.


In the kitchen, it’s Andy Warhol pop colors all the way. That’s wallpaper on the fridge. This kitchen is so well done. Ad: Armstrong.


Those panels lining the tub and shower are Formica laminate. I don’t think the stuff turned out to be very waterproof. Pretty, though.  And I really like the mirror and framed print arrangement above the sinks. Tip: Look for unusually-shaped mirrors like this – they can work in so many possible spaces. Ad: Formica.


I really have a hard time believing that many women put wallpaper on the front of their appliances. But, it certainly is an idea…. Ad: Frigidaire.


I adore this style of wallpaper. The gold, green, orange colonial motif – just makes me so happy. And this is a wonderful Frigidaire. I am quite partial to side-by-side refrigerators. They are particularly good when space is tight. Note, they are not as energy efficient as fridge-on-top styles, I believe. Ad: Tappan.

  1. Mary Bush says:

    In the first home that my ex-husband and I bought (this was in the late seventies) I remember that the “back splash” was the fake red brick design wall paper. I loved it for a while but we eventually took it off and painted the entire kitchen white. I don’t think focal walls were popular then but in the living room we found a very nice…extremely neutral wallpaper in a lite beige color that also had texture to it
    that we put up covering two walls that previous owners had put up ugly, fake wood paneling…it looked terrific then and it still looks good…oh- how I long for the “good ole days” when I read articles like these.

  2. J says:

    I’m an electrician and have seen hundreds of renovations and interiors. My big take-away with regard to retro style is how much better it looked when it was new. Any material which cannot hold up to regular use and cleaning is a bad idea. Veneered cabinets and stained paneling don’t hold up to scrubbing. Laminate shower walls will delaminate and grow mold. I wouldn’t mind a blood orange countertop or starry tub surround, but I would choose a different material such as Corian or quartz. Tile backing has come along way, too. Using purple drywall and Ditra will help a tile installation last longer.

  3. Molly says:

    I just bought some vintage curtains that I want to design my bedroom around. They are this deep orange and brown- thanks for the ideas!

  4. pattyoscar says:

    Back in the 70’s when we were renting we bought a used 18 cu. Frigidaire. It was sort of scuffed on the outside and was white. I had an avacado sink(still do) and an avacado stove. I could not afford a new fridge. I put a pink and green small floral pattern contact paper on the fridge and thought I would probably hate it later but I loved it,, it was uniquely mine. and it was the best fridge we ever owned. We must have moved 3 times with it before it finally quit on us.

  5. Joseph says:

    Well, to each his own, I guess. I personally don’t care for sixties revival kitchens and bathrooms because of the very things everyone else here is admiring. To me, the colors are too garish, and the ideas weren’t always thought out very well. You’re right about the Formica plastic laminate used in the bathroom. It is NOT waterproof, and over the years the people who had it installed probably had lots of time to regret their choice. I also think that remodeling one’s home with motifs that are billed as “so out they’re in” just assures one of a kitchen or bathroom that is eventually “out” again. I think one is much better off sticking with classics, because you never really get tired of those. Just my opinion, of course!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Joseph, I think the issue of color/design through the decades is so interesting. I have been thinking about this a lot – and have a post planned for soon…. In a nutshell, I tend to think that “what’s garish” is extremely relative.

  6. retroppo says:

    Pam, that kitchen is to die for! I love the suspended cupboards with the window behind it! Nice & easy to clean!
    As for the contact wallpaper…well yes it’s difficult to get off, I still have a couple of intact rolls with a gold star pattern that we found again in the garage in one of the previous owners boxes. It used to be used alot to line kitchen cupboards here…on the inside rather than the outside! Was wondering what I could do with my two rolls? Maybe I could cover my fridge! Although the chrome handles may clash with the gold! Michelle x

  7. This is an era which really gets me excited! I wasn’t born in the 60s but I did grow up in a succession of late 1960s homes, including one with gold formica countertops and what I think was woodgrain pattern formica laminate on the cabinets. Whatever it was, even in the kitchen it sustained water damage!

  8. Robert says:

    Rumpus Room!!

    Where did that name come from? To be honest I never even heard the term till within the past three years. Obviously it was a term around for a while.

    When did it originate?

    How did it originate?

    We called it TV room, Family Room, and Rec Room and Basement.


  9. Maureen says:

    The thought of a red/black rumpus room with a multi-black/grey toned shag rug makes me shake my head: that’s my mother’s rumpus room! It remains virtually intact from the early 1970s! I’ve lived through the 70s and, altho I still love its tv shows, I just can’t do the ’70s decor! LOL!

    1. Mid Mod Pam says:

      Maureen, I didn’t even tell the whole story of our 1971 black and red rumpus room. As I recall, the carpet was intense red, the walls were lacquered black and the whole room was anchored by a standing bar that was upholstered in black naugahyde with a red laminate countertop… and finally, black swivel wrought iron stools with red velvet cushions. My mom still has the bar set.

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