mid century modern living roomThe reason I tend to focus so much on kitchens and bathrooms is that these spaces, if they need work, are the costliest and most nerve wracking. But, I do care about the other rooms! So, when readers submitted more than 200 photos of their vintage and retro holiday decorating, I had a great chance to “mine” the photos for some examples of some of the great things going on in mid century living rooms today. For example: I’m for sure dreaming of a white Christmas in the Hibbard living room. See more on their blog: HibbardKitchen.Blogspot.com. Read on for a peek inside six more mid mod living rooms…

colonial living roomWhat a lovely photo from Gavin, showing his formal colonial interior-in-progress last Christmas (his is a trim-the-tree on Christmas eve family). We saw an update of this living room earlier this year.

chartreuse living roomContinuing to show the diversity of mid mod, Mrs Erin D’s living room also is classic — mid century modest meets tiki, I’d call this, I think. I love the chartreuse color scheme, the matching Asian figural lamps with their awesome two-tier fiberglass shades, the vintage TV, the afghan and pillows, the fiberglass planter… lots of great details here!

vintage yarn wall hangingI’m really liking vintage textile wall hangings these days. And this photo from SassyMissTallulah is blowing my mind, how did you do that, SMT?

mod graphic curtains with cornicesI like Maryanna’s mod graphic curtains along with their coordinating cornice. A cornice like this can be a really good idea in cold climates: In the winter, if you pair a cornice like this over hefty pinch pleats, you can really prevent drafts. Drafts occur when warm air rises, is attracted and pulled toward cold windows, then drops along the window surface, to the floor, where you then heat it and start the cycle all over again.To prevent such drafts, you really need to block that window off, including from the top. Can you tell it’s FREEZING here in Massachusetts and that I have been thinking about this? Cornices may be in my future yet.

scalloped corniceNow THIS is blast-from-the-past shape for a mid century cornice. Scalloped cornices like this were super popular, I am guessing because Dad could make them out of knotty pine or plywood using his own shop tools. In time capsule homes, I usually see these all-wood. But I also really like the padded and upholstered look, depending on the style of the rest of the room. Nice pole lamp here, too. *no name*

wall of pinch pleat draperiesOh yeah, baby, wall-o-pinch-pleats, love the pole lamp, the wall color is great, contrasting peach colored chair is fabulous, and the cat is a nice touch, too. Another retro interior from Eartha Kitsch.

Many thanks again to everyone for their submissions — I swear these photos gave me ideas for at least five future stories. 🙂

  1. Jen says:

    I’m late, too, but this is a delightful post! Those cornices are marvellous…I’d like to put some over my office windows and perhaps in our master (currently in the throes of a to-the-studs remodel), too.

    You are right on about drapes and heating/cooling. My husband has fought me since we bought the house about getting pinch pleats for our three front windows (one on each side plus the large one in the center). We were in a hotel recently, and he pulled the drapes open for a moment to check on the car. He turned around and said to me, “Now I know why you want drapes. I cannot believe the cold air coming in through this window!”

    I just smiled and said something about starting colour shopping. LOL No need to rub it in!

    Belated Christmas & New Year’s wishes to everybody…

  2. MrsErinD says:

    Hi Nina, yes you still can use rotary even with the new lines etc, we have Verizon Fios phone thing, but our rotary still works. Now if I have to call somewhere that has press one for whatever (which sadly many places do, sigh) then I have to use our regular touch tone phone/answer machine which is hidden under the one end table, lol ;O)

  3. Nina462 says:

    MrsErinD – how do you use a rotary dial phone in this day & age? I thought that you could’nt based on modern technology with the touch tone dial & all.
    I, also, collect old magazines & have them around the living room (along with old catalogues). I love to read them – such a difference from todays reading material.

  4. Jeff says:

    A happy holiday to all- have really enjoyed RR this past year, looking forward to many more!

    And a special thanks to you Pam, for making it so special.

  5. MrsErinD says:

    Oh wow, I came here to see what was new (late of course) and saw my living room!! Thanks Pam for showing our living room!

    Thanks for everyones comments, and Pam, I am happy you noticed the details, that is one thing I’ve been working on, that all the details are correct, and that pretty much everything in the room(s) is vintage, except for the one corner with the big ugly plasma tv, lol.
    We have rotary phones (we use) and I even have a pack of lucky strikes in the pink/black standing ashtray by the couch! Vintage magazines in the magazine rack, and now on the coffee table, and I forgot to put back my asian chartreuse tv lamp!

    Our colors are pink, aqua, chartreuse and black/gray. Yes, the style is mid century modest meets tiki/asian/atomic, I have many mod kitschey accesories, even a PINK starburst clock, but kept with the homey modest traditional-ness of the house with the wood furniture and things, too mod would look funny in our house, it’s a small 2 bedroom colonial.

    I am going to take more pics of the living and dining room (with dinette) next week (we’re still working on the kitchen bedroom) to send you Pam (and put on flickr) I think you will get a kick out of it all.

    Thanks again Pam :O)

  6. Sara in WA says:

    Gavin yours should be on a magazine cover! and Erin D. how homey and wonderfully welcoming is your living room! Such a treat. Like a Christmas present I actually “wanted”! Well that, and fudge with nuts. We had a pole lamp and pinch pleats growing up complete with sunburst lamp, etc. Barkcloth, cornices, round pillows, turquoise stockings, love, love, love. Merry Christmas from North Fork Ranch!

  7. Maryanna says:

    Hi Pam! Thank you so much for featuring our room! Truth be told, I had no idea that there was anything more than a decorative purpose to those cornices. I just knew that they made the window look “complete” and that I wanted them! I’m glad to know they will help with the drafts though. Ours are actually some that had been custom-made for another house 40+ years ago…I bought them for next to nothing and reupholstered them.

    I also got a kick out of the other submitter’s tree skirt too…we probably were rival bidders on an eBay auction or two! 🙂

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