1960s decorating style — 16 pages of painting ideas from 1969 Sherwin-Williams

1969-family-room-with fireplace-and-rust-colored-sofaOur weeklong revue of 1965-1970 interiors continues, and gosh, I think I love this brochure of 1969 interiors maybe best of all we’ve seen so far. Or else — I’m getting so sucked into 1960s interior design that it’s all just growing growing growing on me, so much so that every great interior I see becomes my new favorite. I had a really difficult time choosing the lead image from this 16-page Sherwin-Williams brochure. I settled on this family room because of its warm, dense colors, its colonial-modern “coolonial” vibe, and because so many readers are always looking for ideas to decorate a fireplace – especially one with asymmetric architecture. Click on through for some additional, terrific interiors, 15 more photos in all…

Matthew scanned and uploaded the photos, and he was spot on, I think, when he named this 1960s family room “manly mellow.” I love the cafe curtains… and those two little pillows by the fire… and the rust color fabrics. Also, this room demonstrates one of my favorite interior design tips: Strategically place one strong or bold color (black, in this case) all around the room to keep your eye “dancing.” This room is spectacular.

To view the slide show, click on the first thumbnail. Once it’s enlarged, click on the arrow below to move forward or back. You can start the slide show from any spot…

  1. Chris says:

    oooh! looove these pics! It’s hard to pic a favorite, I do however seem to navigate back to the more colonial look each time. I sort of have that look in my home. I too always notice how the furniture is placed, I think that says a lot about how a room is used. I was inspired by an old 1050’s BHG decorating book passed on to me from my MIL and arranged the furniture in my relatively small living room but can sit at least, 10 comfortably just by the way I arranged the furniture! I was able to set up several “conversation areas” with one overlapping another. .. it works every time! What an inspiration these are! Oh, and yes, pic. 11 looks like it was taken from a Doris Day movies. .. I love old movies and oftentimes find myself looking at the set decorations as much as the movie, esp. old Doris Day movies!
    Lastly, yes I do think credit had a LOT to do with how re-decorating trends changed during the 50’s. . we had just won the great war and after that, who could deny themselves a little furniture! Great site!

  2. tammyCA says:

    The fireplace pic feels so cozy…back in the 60s we had friends/neighbors who had a big brick fireplace and those tiered curtains (probably plaid or some earthy tone). Their’s was one of the very few fireplaces I remember seeing back in Illinois…I live in hot So Cal and every house has a fireplace…wonder why? I do love having one (mine is the original 1954 red brick) and now I would have to have one if we ever move.

  3. Alice says:

    Wow! and a painted polka dot chair in one of those images…they made a paint that stuck to plastic way back then?!

  4. nina462 says:

    I love item #13 for the knotty pine kitchen as it almost mirrors mine. I have the head beams in the living/dining room versus the kitchen. And the huge brick fireplace….which today I had cleaned. I’ve lived in my house for 4 years and haven’t used it yet. I want to this winter so I had it cleaned & inspected. The chimney sweep said it was one of the BEST one’s he’s ever seen made. He said whoever built my house in 1965 knew what they were doing compared to homes built now. I was so HAPPY that he said that. I’m just beaming — and hope to have a fire this weekend 🙂
    Oh I do wish I had the Dutch door in view #1. And I went to a garage sale this morning, and the house had a horrendous yellow door that just screamed LOOK AT ME!
    Thanks Pam

  5. Heidi Swank says:

    There seems to be a shift in focus in the home from from the 50s through the 60s. It appears that the focus moves away from merging the inside and outside to emphasizing the coziness of an interior. The windows are not as large or not as highlighted for their openness. Also, the placement of the furniture seems closer together. Or maybe I’m just imagining it all… I love to look at how people use interior space in their homes, how use has changed over the decades, and how these changes can be linked to changes in our society. Thanks for the pictures!

    1. Lou Ann says:

      Now that I think about it, you are so right. If you do look at these photos the furniture is set up closer together for communication and bonding. Now days the furniture is set wider apart and the decor is much less cosier and more showy. I guess that is why I love the earlier styles of the Victorian period to 60’s, because it reflexs a closer communication.

        1. Gavin Hastings says:

          Let me put a smile on this last post as to not get in trouble…
          I have seen millions of real and staged interiors from the 40s-70s and I think a huge difference is the way people lived, and the $$$ available. Many of the “spartan” homes of the 1940’s were furnished one piece at a time: each piece paid for before moving on to the next. Many livingrooms were actually museum-like rooms not really meant to be used. The furniture was a one time expense.
          I think credit changed the way we furnished homes sometime in the 1950’s, Whole rooms could be completed in one afternoon-and paid for over a period of years (and years…). Up until the 1960s “redecorating” meant a gallon of paint.

          The familyroom above appears to have been decorated all at once…and between the curtains, flooring and furniture would have cost thousands….something most homeowners just could not imagine 10/20 years earlier.

          1. Heidi Swank says:

            Thanks for the great reply. I agree that the availability of credit also shaped how people populated their spaces. That’s a great tie in to how shifts in our society shape how we use space in our homes. Thanks!

          2. Gillian says:

            Redecorating in the new recessionary economy now means a gallon of paint again, don’t you think? Credit has gone bye-bye, frugality in the home is back.

  6. MidCMitzi says:

    Oh my gosh, you’re right Pam! This has to be my favorite of all the 1960s brochures you’ve shown so far too. It really is hard to choose a favorite here–love the yellow bedroom, the yellow & black kitchen, the turquoise & woodtone kitchen, the manly mellow and the floral/aqua living rooms–I’d need two houses just to accommodate all the rooms I love here! Love the “traveling screen” story too. Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Atomic Mum says:

    Such lovely colours. I wish I could have a fire place but it’s way too hot here.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Lou Ann says:

      As to wanting a fireplace, but it is too hot to use one, get electric logs. They have fake logs that have a rotating light behind the logs and gives off a look of glowing embers without the heat. Uses one light bulb you can get at any store–have to get a red one. I have a fake fireplace and electric logs and people fall asleep watching it. It is very soothing. You can find the logs on Ebay and other places.

      1. angie says:

        ooh ooh we had one of those when I was growing up!
        Mind you, we had an actual functioning fireplace but my mom
        couldn’t be bothered with all that “fuss” so electric was the way
        to go. The well-known refrain in our house after holiday dinners
        and snowy eves was:
        “Plug in the fire!”

        1. jkaye says:

          My parents got some of those electric logs too, in the mid- to late 60s. We had a brick fireplace that had been built just for looks and not for real logs. We kids were embarrassed about the electric logs at first, but then, they got to be a fun family joke. We only use the logs on holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, or, maybe if it snowed. Then we all said, Oh, it’s cold, let’s build a fire! Someone would plug in the logs, and we’d crack up. Also, there was a little mechanism that rotated to create a flickering look, and it made a little thunking noise every couple of seconds. That made us joke, Oh, listen to the popping, crackling fire! What a hoot. They might not have provided heat, but, they did help add to the warmth of our gatherings.

  8. Shane Walp says:

    Alot of times, this is the furniture you see in garage sales and the thrift store. All beat up and stained. It’s fun to see it in its original context with like furnishings. My preference is the Post War thru ’64 period, but I appreciate any originality and time capsules!

    1. Shane Walp says:

      …and this shows the normal, everyday living ’60s that I remember. Not the whacked out fringe and political stuff that all the young people stylize now!

      1. Gavin Hastings says:

        Thes photos are crying out for a woman in a black ribbed turtleneck, bold red plaid maxi-skirt, a brunette fall with a black velvet hairband and “sleeper” false eyelashes….

        Oh, wait- that was Marlo Thomas in “That Girl”!

  9. Amy Hill says:

    Doesn’t the bed in image 11 remind you of that old Doris Day/Cary Grant movie “That Touch of Mink”?

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with next! Love your website!

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