Retro Touches for My New Home

EmmJayJuly 19, 2014

As a child of the '60s/70's, I'm adding some retro touches to my new town home. As you look in down the foyer, the kitchen will be on the right and the family room will be on the left. The kitchen cabinets are white, with butterfly green granite, stainless appliances and gray walls and expresso hardwood floors throughout the first floor (it's spec, so I didn't get to pick any of that.

The attached photo shows the retro touches I'm putting into my family room. The starburst clock is bigger than the photo indicates; it will be above the wall-mounted flat screen TV, and the groovy green globe lamp will be by two sage green chairs, with the retro doorbell nearby. The couch will be across from them, by a large window with green curtains. I figured the pendant lights over the island would be something of subtle dividing line between the retro family room & modern kitchen.

Yes, I know it's tackier than hell, but that's what the '60s and '70s were all about. I'm going to poke around here to get some other ideas, but I thought it would be fun to share the pieces while I wait for the house to be done (looking like mid-to-late Aug. The globe lamp is vintage, but everything else is new.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like your groovy choices!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One of my favourite features of the Decor section is the philosophical discussions about design choices. Based on that, I find it interesting that "as a child of the '60s/70's", you are drawn to 60s/70s decor.

It's a generally accepted theory that nobody wants what their parents had/did. 1980s oak cabinets with baby blue walls and goose accessories are widely shunned by 30-somethings today because they all either had that kitchen as a child, or their friends did, or their parents' friends did.

Your feelings for retro style seems to contradict this theory.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've always been drawn to certain decor my mother had in the '60s. That green light in particular is much like one we had in our living room, and although we didn't have a hanging chime doorbell, it's something I always admired in other homes as a kid. My dad died when I was 14 and my mom when I was in my early 20s, and I didn't have an opportunity to get any of the old decor stuff from our original home. Maybe it's a matter of recreating a space that was comforting to me way back then. Now I'm just waiting for the colored bathtubs and sinks to make a comeback!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I too am a child of that era and love MCM and some things from the seventies. I know others my age that love MCM too. Maybe, like me, it is because we had wonderful childhoods and associate the furnishings with that.
Emmjay, I hope you share photos of your home when you have it decorated.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Refreshing, isn't it?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

EmmJay, we were typing at the same time. I'm sorry for the loss of both of your folks by such a young age. That had to be so hard.
We do have pretty much the same reasoning on why we like what we grew up with.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like all your choices except the doorbell. I have that exact doorbell in my foyer. It doesn't look retro in my house, but traditional & kind of clunky. Maybe mine just isn't in the right environment.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Add me to the mcm list of fans. I am totally addicted. My grandparents and I were very close, and I always think of them when I purchase something from that era. My whole house is mcm - the architecture and furnishings.

I love your choices.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Holly- Kay

I think it is wonderful that you are using what you love! I am sure that you will enjoy using them in your new home.

I lost my first DH when my children were 17, 13, and 11 so I have seen first hand how difficult it is to lose a parent at a young age. (((Hugs))) to you.

Please post pics when you move in. I must admit that the older I get the more I am drawn to MCM pieces.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My mom had a working starburst clock like that when she passed away 5 years ago, and I'm not sure who got it or if my siblings just gave it to Goodwill. Love the green globe lamp, too.

Would love to see the finished house.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gotta have a Lava Lamp somewhere : ) I always remembered my friend's mother had one of those black and white cat wall clocks, with the clock on it's tummy and the tail wagged back and forth like a pendulum.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Glad to see I'm not the only one who loves MCM, and thanks for all the kind words. If I ever hit the lottery, I'd love to buy a time capsule home (and of course add all the modern amenities). I'll definitely post photos when the house is done. We're hopefully looking at mid-August, with early Sept. being the latest.

I don't have any MCM in my current home, other than my comedy/tragedy mask collection, much of which is '50s/'60s. When I was 2 or 3, we had a pair of masks hanging above the chair where my mom would plunk me down with a bottle, and she told me "That's Comedy and Tragedy." Being too young to understand the subtitles of language, I figured that was their actual names. I don't know what happened to the originals, but I spent years trying to find duplicates and that's how the collection got going. I finally found them, thanks to eBay. They're the ones in the blue box in the photo, and they're the only ones with Tragedy on the left because that's how my mom hung them for some reason. I have a spot plotted out in the new house, but I'm not sure if I'm going to hang all of them or just a few and then rotate them. There are lamps and knick knacks in addition to the wall masks. The photos are from two houses ago, in my very '90s condo.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

RockyBird, I would love to see pictures of your home. Inside and out! Our home is a Victorian Revival, but the furnishings are more modern with MCM thrown in as I find it.
Holly-Kay, I had no idea you'd lost a husband. I'm so sorry.
EmmJay, what an awesome collection of Comedy and Tragedy.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love your globe lamp. I actually had one that was pretty much identical years ago, except my globes were turquoise. The doorbell looks pretty much like one we had years ago in a rental house. Have fun with it. I just put a round chrome table and chairs in my kitchen, and have had a lot of fun with that.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

RockyBird I think I saw pics of your house on another thread. Do you have several starburst clocks? If so, I'm totally in love with what I saw. It's gorgeous. Do you have a thread with other pics?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just got back from the house and snapped a photo of the room where the retro decor will go. The starburst clock will be between the two windows and above the flat screen TV. The couch (darkish gray) will be on the right by the big window (green curtains), and there will be two sage chairs with the green globe lamp between them on the left. Also on the left, you can see the doorbell wiring above the door, but it needs to be moved over a bit. You can see one of the two island pendants on the far left that will be replaced with the retro pendant shade. The floor will be expresso hardwood, and there will be a long unit with shelves below the TV for various knick knacks. There will be a short ladder shelf below each window if they fit.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 4:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This one shows the kitchen and the two pendants that will be replaced. I figure that will kind of visually "wall off" the square retro family room area with a subtle touch, and the green pendants will break up all that white. I hate builder's fixtures.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 4:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love, love, love that green globe lamp! I'm also a fan of the sunburst clock and always have my eye out for an original in a thrift store.

gr8day, there are two lava lamps in my house! I think my style is somewhere between MCM - lots of vintage teak - and thrift store eclectic. Symetry and sameness are anathema to me.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it's going to look fabulous! I cant wait to see it finished!

Here is a link EmmJay and Justgotabme to the clocks and some pics of house:

Let me know if you have any suggestions!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:10AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Improvement With A Few $'s
My plain pony wall bugged me. I finally tackled it...
Office ready for window treatments - WWYD?
I finally hung the diplomas and DH's favorite print...
Repurposed Wallpaper
I DON'T KNOW WHY but I save a roll of wallpaper all...
Office Desks - Coordinating Styles
Hello all, I'm working on my home office, and I'm excited...
what is IKEA Stocksund?
IKEA Stocksund So, I found this sofa cover on the IKEA...
Sponsored Products
Richland 46830 Table Lamp by Arteriors
$432.00 | Lumens
Queen 510TC Flat Sheet - SILVER (98X108)
$99.90 | Horchow
Antique Finish 6 Lights Chandeliers with Glass Shades
Fornetto Wood Burning Oven and Smoker
Fanimation 60-inch Reversible Finish Ceiling Fan
Oxygen Lighting | Fila Pendant Light
$272.00 | YLighting
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™