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Better Homes and Gardens’ 1961 Decorating Book — 432 pages — reissued !

Howdy, hudee, here’s a great gift idea: A reissue of the 1961 classic, Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book: How to Plan Colors and Furnishings That Reflect the Personality of Your FamilyAt 432 pages, it delivers a lotta bang for your buck, too. Thanks to Heather for this tip! She found her copy at Costco, and also spotted it >> on Amazon here. << Note, I earn a small commission if you click through and buy anything from Amazon links. More info on this hours-of-fun reading:

From the Amazon description:

Take a walk down memory lane with this 1950s decorating classic, re-released for a whole new generation

The year is 1956….And during this boom period, grateful young families thrilled to find themselves homeowners after the uncertainty of the Great Depression followed by a second Great War. Those empty rooms needed filling in order to make the house a home, and homeowners turned to the iconic Better Homes and Gardens brand.

Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book, the first edition of a title that would spawn ten editions over the years, became the new home bible for injecting class, style (and the occasional misguided cowboy wallpaper) into American homes. While exploring numerous styles, the main theme of the book is the on-trend mid-century modern sensibility, a style as appropriate today as it was six decades ago when the book was initially released.

Filled with hundreds of full-color period photos, dozens of adorable illustrations, and decorating tips and tricks that are both helpful and nostalgic, the book remains a fun classic. With this welcome hardcover release, reproduced exactly as it looked and read in the 1950s, everything old is new again.

Again, ya can nab it >> on Amazon here or via the widget below << or like Heather, maybe a store locally.

Categoriespostwar culture
  1. Heidi E. says:

    It was an actual Victorian beauty practice! Small doses of arsenic for the complexion, both because pallor was fashionable, and also because arsenic kills bacteria as well as it kills bigger things, so it was actually effective against some cases of acne, if you want to risk dying to get rid of zits( I suppose some adolescents would understand that to this day). And Sears-Roebuck sold boxes of pretty little shortbread cookies with a pre-measured dose in them…

  2. Michelle says:

    Same here, James definitely has a reverence and care for a lot of history and he has many different books and his website is chock full of goodies. I don’t think he’s mean at all.

  3. Mary Stutzman says:

    My Aunt Marion is one of the featured designers on page 305! Never knew this about her until I found a copy on eBay. I have this great promo photo of her that I would post if I could figure out how!

  4. Jessica says:

    This is great! I have a 1974 version of “The House Book,” which my daughter and I love looking at. I’m going to put this on my Christmas list and broaden her decor horizons a bit.

  5. Garth Gimble says:

    Misguided cowboy wallpaper? I mean really :-). I have the 1961 edition as well as the 1957 Handyman book, love them both. I also have mothers BH&G New Cookbook that was a wedding gift, in 1948! People were much happier when they ate lard!
    Giddy Up Cowboy!

  6. Felicia Alexander says:

    Mary, you can contact Pam via the “Contact” link at the very bottom of the page. If she’s interested, she’ll send you an email address where you can send her your photo.

  7. Lynn says:

    I have the 1968 and 1975 versions of this as well as The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement set (also by Meredith) and love them all! I also really love the individual BHG cookbooks like Make Ahead Cookbook, Favorite Ways with Chicken, Holidays and Family Celebrations, Barbecues and Pucnics, etc.. Those have the best recipes.

  8. Ree says:

    I ordered this through Amazon a few days ago and it arrived yesterday. It’s a really thick book and even though I spent over an hour looking at it, I didn’t finish it. I loved looking at the various decorating styles, and remembering many of them first hand. It was an early Christmas gift to myself.

  9. Pam Kueber says:

    Great to hear!!! I have an ebay listing that I’m hot to trot on that will be my holiday present to myself! Fingers crossed!

  10. Scott says:

    I’m super impressed/shocked this is being reissued but own an original and can heartily recommended it. Its chocked with so many ideas its almost hard to process. Sadly, some rely heavily on materials that are hard to find or non-existent but the majority can be as easily executed today as in 1961. The 1960 edition is also a must-have.

  11. Karen says:

    I actually own an original copy of it that I found in a vintage store. It is seriously cool and well worth perusing. Lots of traditional/colonial stuff in the original version, if that helps anyone. Interesting to see what people were actually doing versus what we might think that they were doing design-wise at the time.

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