Television & the mid century modern living room
As a parlor in prosperous households, this room was primarily used for entertaining guests, and was a dedicated formal space. Other gathering spaces in the home (drawing room, sitting rooms, smoking rooms and the like) were similarly specialized.
In smaller and more modest homes, a cozy living room right inside the front door would simply serve as a combined place for the family to gather and perhaps entertain. But — starting in the 1950s — the mid century modern living room changed the game.
As American households adopted both television sets and more open-concept floor plans en masse during this era, casual comfortable living/family rooms with inviting and comfortable furniture became ubiquitous (and have mostly stayed that way!).
Below we have dozens of examples of mid century modern living room decor from the 1960s — check them out!
The living room is for living (1967)
Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, New York) January 8, 1967
If there is one single trend that persists in the home furnishings picture of the ’60s, it’s the unabated emphasis on having room decor which clearly establishes it as a room for living.
What a welcome about-face from other days when a living room was strait-jacketed into a formal parlor to be kept dark and generally unused until company came!
Nowadays, in even the most formidably formal homes, the living room usually reflects the home’s occupants and their day-to-day activities.
Prime factor in the development of this casualness is the realization that the rules of decorating are not inflexible. Antiques are no longer found only in period settings: in-stead they mix amicably with contemporary furniture and fabrics.
China collections are not necessarily housed only in cabinets: in today’s decor, they can become wall ornaments or can be massed casually on a tabletop; paintings are used in unexpected places, including even the kitchen.
A widely dissimilar collection of art objects — paintings, clocks, choice furniture and sculpture — was even displayed in a one-wall “gallery” created in a model living room here, this wall becoming the traditional “focal point” of the room.
FURNITURE itself is different, with comfort superseding most previous limitations of period purity. Even in furniture arrangement, there is evidence that rooms are for living: static, stiff placements have given way to groupings which permit the relaxed flow of conversation.
Another contributing factor in creating a casual, lived-in look is the fact that pieces of furniture and accessories once regarded as too informal for the living room have happily been accepted — as long as the piece contributes to comfort.
For example, decorator Michael Taylor in a formal Louis XV living room — with Venetian over-mantel and crystal chandelier prominent in the room’s decor — flanked the period fireplace with a pair of 1930-type chaise longues, piled high with pillows for reclining.
MANUFACTURERS, too, have contributed to the development of informality in the living room. Ottomans now appear in many sizes and shapes, from round to mush-room, making living room furnishings that encourage relaxed lounging unheard of in less casual days.
The ottomans, this century’s “footstools,” are the accepted accompaniment for many chairs, some even formal in styling.
The armoire, used in 17th and 18th Century bedrooms as a closet for clothes, now graces living rooms as chests or bookcases.
An adaptation of the early American dry sink, used by colonials for their ablutions, may be converted into a music center, with doors hiding speakers, amplifiers and turn-table.
And there is the manufacturer who has made a combination lamp table and checkerboard to add a real note of informality to the living room. The lamp itself, on a metal arm, is curved to shed light on the table without interfering with the game.
Red retro living room style
Color in your living room
by Lynn Elson – Ada Evening News (Ada, Oklahoma) October 14, 1966
Fashions in color change every year on the home decorating scene, but personal tastes remain constant.
Psychologists tell us color preferences are related to personality traits. Outgoing people are likely to be drawn to bright, warm colors and strong contrasts. Introverted types usually go for cooler, quieter colors in monochromatic schemes.
Individuals respond to color fashions in their own terms. For example, when the trend is to bright colors like tangerine, some people will carpet the floor or paint two walls in the popular color. Others will use it only in small accents.
Yellow mid century modern living room decor from the 1960s
Blue vintage living room home decor from the ’60s
Blue trellis-clad walls give this living room decor some texture
Super-tall ceilings with exposed natural wood in this showplace 60s living room
Mid century modern living room decor in neutral shades and natural stone
Stone fireplace in a vintage 60s living room with a natural setting