57 popular 70s things: Stuff people had in their homes in the 1970s

Popular things from 70s homes at ClickAmericana com

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Look back at the everyday 70s things that filled our homes

Let’s rewind to the 1970s, when shag rugs were the norm, and life had the backdrop of a vinyl record’s crackle. That decade had its own vibe, as seen in the cool, (okay, sometimes tacky) stuff that filled every home. Think lava lamps and fondue pots — those essential 70s things that make us go all warm and fuzzy with nostalgia today.

Here’s a list of some 1970s things you’d find in so many homes back in the day — a snapshot of those gloriously groovy times.

Bean bag chairs

An icon of retro design, the beanbag chair was the ultimate in casual seating. Created in 1969 by Italian designers Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini, and Franco Teodoro, this squishy piece of furniture embodied the laid-back vibe of the ’70s.

A variety of retro 70s bean bags at ClickAmericana com


Patterned vinyl flooring

Bold, bright, and easily noticeable, patterned vinyl flooring was a definitive trend of the ’70s. Whether it was a floral, geometric, or abstract design, this flooring choice was all about making a statement.

Vintage 1970s vinyl kitchen flooring patterns at ClickAmericana com

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Decorative kitchen canister sets

Kitchen décor in the ’70s was all about style meeting functionality, and decorative kitchen canister sets were no exception. Embellished with colorful designs or kitschy themes, these sets were a stylish way to store kitchen staples.

Decorative kitchen canister sets from the 1970s at ClickAmericana com (1971)

DON’T MISS: Dozens of kitschy 70s kitchen accessories your mom or grandma probably used to have


Automatic coffeemakers

Automatic drip coffeemakers, with their iconic gurgling sound and aroma, were a must-have in so many 70s homes. Simpler than many of the older ways to make a mug of joe, it made it even easier to make a piping hot mug of coffee to kick-start the day.

West Bend Quik-Drip vintage coffeemaker from 1976

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Colored toilet paper

In the ’70s, even the bathroom wasn’t safe from the decade’s love for color. Colored toilet paper, matching the bathroom’s color scheme, was a quirky yet popular trend.

Colored toilet paper of the 70s

SEE MORE: Remember retro toilet paper that had colors & patterns?


Formica countertops

A household name in the ’70s, Formica offered durability and design in the kitchen and beyond. From countertops to dining tables, it was laminate luxury at its finest.

1976 kitchen design with wooden cabinetry and central island with sink and range


Dinette sets

The Dinette set was a staple in ’70s households, offering a cozy dining solution for smaller spaces. With their compact design and often colorful upholstery, these sets were both functional and fashionable.

Vintage dinettes from the seventies (4)

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Vintage dinettes from the 60s and 70s: Take a seat!

Sectional sofas

A more practical and often groovy alternative to the formal sofa and chairs, the sectional sofa offered comfort and encouraged community in a less structured setup. These cozy arrangements turned sitting into an art of dialogue.

Vintage winging seventies sofas (2)

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Tufted headboards

For grandeur, comfort, and an air of Vegas-style opulence, there was nothing like a tufted headboard to tie together 1970s bedroom decor. These statement pieces — like those below in red, and yellow — made any bed the focal point of the room.

Retro 70s tufted velvet headboards for beds at ClickAmericana com


Oil rain lamps

The oil rain lamp, a hypnotic blend of light and fluid dynamics, became a favorite amongst households in the ’70s. It created a mesmerizing effect of raindrops, providing both ambient lighting and a soothing visual experience. (They sure weren’t cheap, though!)

Vintage 1970s oil rain lamps at Click Americana


Touchtone telephones

The ’70s saw the rise of Touchtone pushbutton telephones — including wall-mounted landline telephones — infusing homes with a touch of technological advancement and practicality. These phones, which came in white as well as vibrant colors, became a common sight in kitchens, bedrooms and family rooms, connecting families with the world outside.

Vintage 1970s touchtone telephone in white at ClickAmericana

SEE MORE: See vintage touch-tone phones with old-fashioned push buttons


Mushroom décor

Mushroom décor was a staple of the ’70s, popping up on knickknacks, wallpapers, kitchenware, and even clothing. These friendly fungi added a whimsical, psychedelic touch to the home, embracing the era’s love for nature and organic shapes.

Glass mushroom knickknacks and decor from 1970 at ClickAmericana com


Hanging lampshades

Hanging lampshades were all about creating mood lighting while doubling as a statement piece. Whether they were paper globe lanterns or Tiffany-style stained glass, these suspended luminaires added a touch of elegance to any room.

Hanging lampshades and swag lighting from 1978 at ClickAmericana com


Board games

During the 1970s, board games became a staple of family entertainment, riding a wave of popularity that brought people together around the kitchen or dining room table. Long before electronic games were available, classics like “Monopoly,” “Risk,” and “Clue” were found in nearly every household, offering hours of strategic enjoyment, friendly competition, and fun family time.

This era also saw the introduction of innovative games like “Dungeons & Dragons,” which opened up new realms of imaginative play and storytelling, cementing board games’ place in the social fabric of the decade.

Classic family board games from 1971 (1)

 

 

 


Granny square blankets

These kaleidoscopic creations of crochet brought homespun charm and a splash of color to the ’70s home. Granny square blankets, with their vibrant colors and intricate patterns, offered comfort and style.

Retro-style granny squares are easy to crochet

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TV trays

TV trays made dinners in front of the television a common practice. This mobile piece of furniture, often decorated with colorful patterns, was synonymous with casual dining and family movie nights.

Vintage TV tables - 70s home decor at Click Americana


Clear vinyl sofa covers

To protect their precious sofas while still showing off their designs, many ’70s homeowners — particularly the older set — turned to clear vinyl sofa covers. They weren’t so comfortable to sit on, but they sure were shiny!

Vintage clear vinyl furniture covers from the 70s at ClickAmericana com


Decorative Avon decanters

The ’70s saw Avon taking a creative route by introducing decorative decanters for their perfumes. These ornate bottles, often shaped like animals, vehicles, or historical figures, served as both a fragrance holder and a charming piece of décor.

Vintage 1970s Avon car decanters for cologne at Click Americana (1971)

SEE MORE: Vintage gift sets for men: After-shave, cologne & other grooming gifts for him


Pedestal/footed mugs

Vintage 1970s pedestal mugs at ClickAmericana com


Braided rugs

Braided rugs, with their twisted patterns and warm colors, added a cozy and rustic charm to ’70s homes. They were often homemade, adding a touch of personal craftsmanship to the décor.

Vintage braided rugs from the 1970s at ClickAmericana com


Captain’s chairs

Retro dining room with captain's chairs at ClickAmericana com


Rocker-recliners & rocker easy chairs

The ’70s took relaxation to a new level with the popularity of rocking easy chairs, rocker-recliners and swivel recliners. These comfortable chairs, perfect for an afternoon nap or a TV binge, were the epitome of laid-back luxury.

Rocker recliners and easy rockers from the 70s at ClickAmericana com

MORE: See old La-Z-Boy recliners, easy chairs, swivel rockers and more from the 70s


Hide-a-beds & other sleeping couches

1970s fold-out living room sofa (1974) at ClickAmericana com

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Card tables & folding chairs

Whether it was used to actually play cards, as the center of a play fort, or where the kids had to sit during Thanksgiving dinner, it seemed every home had a fold-up card table tucked away somewhere.

Vintage 1970s card tables and folding chairs at ClickAmericana com


Colorfully-patterned wallpaper

No ’70s home was complete without a splash of color and pattern on its walls. Loud and proud wallpaper added personality and character to rooms, with bold florals, geometric shapes, and psychedelic designs (like paisley) being the most popular choices.

Vintage 70s wallpaper styles from 1976 at ClickAmericana com


Shag carpeting

One step into a 1970s living room meant sinking your toes into a world of shag. Shag carpets were the epitome of plush comfort with their long, soft fibers in a myriad of earth tones that added warmth and a splash of personality to any room.

Vintage Sears Kismet shag carpeting 1970

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Magazine holders/stands

Retro 1976 wooden magazine holder at ClickAmericana com


Macramé wall hangings

Macramé, the art of knotting rope or cord into decorative patterns, truly took off in the ’70s. Wall hangings made from macramé were a common sight in homes, adding a bohemian flair to any room.

Macrame wall hangings from the 1970s at ClickAmericana com

SEE MORE: Learn how to make a macrame plant hanger (and 3 other macrame projects!) with this easy tutorial from the 70s


Beaded curtains

Beaded curtains were another ’70s staple that brought a playful, whimsical element to homes. Typically hung in doorways, these curtain of beads added a splash of color and sound to a room, creating a sense of intrigue.

Vintage beaded curtain styles from 1973 - Interior doorway

DON’T MISS: These vintage beaded curtains from the 60s & 70s prove that they’re not just for hippies and fortune tellers


Colorfully patterned and decorated everyday drinking glasses

During the ’70s, even the most mundane household items were injected with a healthy dose of style and color. Everyday drinking glasses, especially those from fast-food restaurants, were no exception. These glasses often sported vibrant patterns and designs, with popular franchises like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Kentucky Fried Chicken offering collectible sets to their customers.

The designs on these glasses usually featured beloved characters from cartoons, movies, or television shows of the era, adding a dash of fun to meal times.  Today, these colorfully patterned glasses stand as nostalgic reminders of the playful and dynamic spirit of the ’70s.

Old Libbey glass drinkware from 1979

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Dixie cup dispensers

Adding convenience and a bit of fun to bathrooms and kitchens — especially for kids! — the Dixie cup dispenser was an iconic item of the ’70s.

Vintage Dixie cups (1969)

ALSO SEE: Vintage Dixie cups: See retro designs & dispensers, plus get the history of the little disposable cups


Fuzzy toilet seat covers

The ’70s brought a unique touch to bathroom decor with fuzzy toilet seat covers. These colorful, shaggy carpet-like covers not only provided a warm seat during the cold months. but added an unexpected pop of color (and maybe a surprise bit of dampness) to the restroom.

Fuzzy toilet seat cover hall of shame - Yellow 1973

SEE MORE: These 10 fuzzy toilet covers from the 70s were such retro bathroom decor


Console TVs

A far cry from today’s sleek screens, the console TV was a mammoth piece of technology featuring wooden housing, often doubling as a credenza. These color television monsters were the focal point and centerpiece in living rooms across America.

Wood console color TV sets from the 1970s (1977)


Harvest gold & avocado green appliances

Your kitchen wasn’t truly ’70s unless you had appliances in harvest gold or avocado green. (The runner up shade: burnt orange.) These bold colors were emblematic of the era’s fearless design choices.

Retro 1970s kitchen with avocado green appliances


Waterbeds

Once a hot commodity, a waterbed was the epitome of luxury and relaxation. The undulating motion was said to mimic the soothing effects of the ocean and you’d likely find one in any self-proclaimed “free spirit’s” bedroom.

Vintage 1970s waterbeds at ClickAmericana com


Slide projectors

Slide night was an event, with photos from holidays or the latest gathering beamed onto the wall from a classic slide projector, complete with gentle whirrs and clicks. Everyone loved it. (Just kidding — for most people, it was about as exciting as looking through 200 vacation photos on someone’s smartphone today.)

Vintage 70s slide projector - Kodak Carousel at Click Americana (1977)


Fondue pots

The cocktail party was at its peak in the ’70s, and no soirée was complete without a variety of meats and veggies to dip into bubbling cheese or oil from the electric or Sterno-powered fondue pot.

Vintage meat fondue in a metal pot 91960)

SEE MORE: Easy fondue recipe fun! Here’s how to party like it’s 1969


Record players/turntables

Thanks to the rise of vinyl, record players were a way to play some tunes, but also a symbol of identity, lifestyle, and taste. From the inexpensive and color turntables for kids to the fancy hi-fi stereos, music was a must in most homes.

How do you choose a good turntable Tips for the best record players, direct from 1975


Conversation pits

If your living room didn’t have distinct levels for seating, was it even ’70s enough? Conversation pits were sunken lounging areas, often centered around a fireplace, fostering intimate chats and fondue fests.

red-conversation-pit-sunken-living-room-mid-century-1959

SEE MORE: The mid-century conversation pit: Check out dozens of trendy 60s & 70s sunken living room designs


Wicker & cane furniture

People loved to bring the outside in with cane, rattan or wicker furniture! The ’70s obsession with bringing nature into the home extended beyond houseplants to include this lightweight and stylish furniture material that could be fashioned into so many different furnishings.

Wicker and cane furniture from the 60s and 70s at ClickAmericana com


Wall paneling

Paneling wasn’t just a building material — it was an interior design choice. Whether wood, cork, or even leather, it was a staple in many houses, adorning walls in living rooms, dens, and down in the basement where the party kept going.

paneling-1960s

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Tupperware

Parties were not just for mingling – they were for buying storage containers! Tupperware parties were empowering events, allowing women to be entrepreneurs, all while organizing their cupboards.

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SEE MORE: Vintage Tupperware: See 100+ retro plastic container styles, from the ’50s to the ’80s


Lava lamps

Few items capture the ‘cool’ of the ’70s quite like the lava lamp. As the waxy globules undulated within the liquid, one couldn’t help but feel a sense of serenity and, in a way, philosophical.

Lava Lamps in Wards catalog 190s

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Console stereos

Before the days of AirPods and Flow headphones, stereo consoles stood as a sort of monument to music. With a turntable and radio built in, these decorative pieces of furniture were as much about style as they were about sound.

Old-fashioned Magnavox cabinet console stereos from 1974

SEE MORE: Remember when those huge vintage console stereos were a major trend?


Rough cut stone fireplaces

A rough cut stone fireplace was often towering and commanding in its presence — often taking up half of a wall or more — and was a symbol of rustic luxury in the 1960s and 1970s home.

Retro 1960s tall midcentury stone fireplace living room with big windows

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Inflatable furniture

The ultimate in modularity, inflatable furniture options of the 1970s were bright, bouncy, and often multi-functional, catering to the changing needs and personalities of the inhabitants.

Retro inflatable living froom furniture from the 70s at ClickAmericana com


Dial thermostats

While today’s homes favor digital thermostats, starting back in the 1950s and through the 1970s, the dial thermostat was king. These wall-mounted gadgets, like this one from Honeywell in 1972, had a rotating dial and straightforward temperature settings.

Honeywell dial thermostat from 1972 at ClickAmericana com


Big stand-up vacuums

Vacuuming in the ’70s often involved lugging around a hefty stand-up vacuum cleaner. Despite their size, these machines were considered a symbol of modern convenience, making carpet cleaning a breeze.

1972 Hoover vacuum cleaner at ClickAmericana com

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Ashtrays

As a further sign of the times, ashtrays were commonplace in ’70s homes. These receptacles came in various shapes and materials, often doubling as decorative pieces, serving more of an aesthetic purpose than a functional one in many non-smoking homes.

Retro ashtray on a honey pine wood table at ClickAmericana_com
Oleg Palium | Dreamstime.com

Needlepoint pillows

In the 1970s, needlepoint pillows emerged as a popular home decor trend, reflecting the era’s appreciation for handcrafted and personalized doodads.

These intricate accessories adorned many homes, offering a cozy and colorful touch to sofas, chairs, and beds, showcasing everything from geometric patterns to whimsical motifs.

Dinah Shore making needlepoint pillows in 1972 at ClickAmericana com
Dinah Shore making needlepoint pillows in 1972

Doormats personalized with the family’s last name

The ’70s saw a rise in the popularity of mail-order plastic doormats personalized with the family’s last name, a warm welcome that added a personal touch to homes.

Vintage plastic personalize doormats at ClickAmericana com


Ceramic figurines

Ceramic figurines, whether animal-shaped or depicting historical figures, added a touch of whimsy to ’70s homes. These charming figures adorned shelves, mantelpieces, and windowsills, serving as conversation starters and sentimental keepsakes.

Vintage ceramic figurines from Hummel (1970s-1980s) at ClickAmericana com


Terrariums

Terrariums, small gardens enclosed in glass containers, became a popular ’70s indoor gardening trend. These miniature ecosystems, with their variety of plants and quirky decorations, added a green oasis to homes and offices alike.

70s plastic egg-shaped terrarium (1974)


Bathroom tile

For decades up through the 70s (and in many cases beyond), basic ceramic tiles were the bathroom decorating standard. There were even matching tile inserts for soap holders or handles.

Retro yellow bathroom tile at ClickAmericana com


Gold-edged bedroom furniture with a faux French provincial style

The ’70s penchant for glamorous decor was evident in the popularity of gold-edged bedroom furniture, often in faux French provincial style. These opulent pieces, with their intricate gold detailing and classic design, added a touch of sophistication and luxury to any bedroom. (See more of this retro furniture here.)

Bonnet bedroom furniture sets from Sears (1982)


Just a little look back

As we hit the pause button on our groovy trip down memory lane, it’s clear our list of iconic 70s items barely scratches the surface of this far-out decade. So, we’re turning the microphone over to you!

Did we miss the item that defined your 70s experience, or is there a memory from the decade that still makes you smile? Maybe there’s something you wish had never vanished with the passing of time.

Let’s keep the 70s party going in the comments — share your stories, your favorite 70s must-haves, and let’s revel in the nostalgia together. Who knows? We might just spark a revival of the best bits of the decade!

DON”T MISS THIS: The most popular 1970s house plans: Ranch, contemporary, split levels & other groovy home designs

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