Floral patterns were often the stars of the show, and were presented in a variety of shapes and sizes, scattered throughout homes from coast to coast. But there were also other popular themes of the era, like this 1978 retro rainbow sheet set! It had the curve of the rainbow on the pillowcases, and the sheets and blanket continued the colorful stripes down the bed.
Vibrancy was the motif, and one interior decorator who had that vibe down cold was a man named Carleton Varney. His column, “Family Decorator,” was carried in newspapers nationwide, and answered questions from readers about how best to paint, furnish, finish and accessorize their homes.
Below are some of Varney’s decor suggestions from November of 1973 — along with dozens of fabulous examples of the zesty ’70s zeitgeist in all its glory.
Get some flower power with retro 1970s sheets and bedding (1973)
Dear Family Decorator: I would appreciate ideas for a color scheme for my daughter’s bedroom walls are painted white, and the furniture is painted a soft blue.
Carleton Varney: Perk up your daughter’s room with a floral print bedspread of red, lime green, daisy yellow and soft blue. Use the floral fabric quilted for an upholstered headboard. Choose a lime green shag rug.
Create a striped effect at windows with alternating vertical blinds of salt blue and lime green. Place a daisy yellow-based lamp with white shade on the nightstand. And to complete your daughter’s room, paint all trim — including doors — daisy yellow.
Dear Family Decorator: Our guest bedroom is a studio-type room with a blue and white shag carpet. Walls are paneled in oak, and bookcases are white. What colors would you use for studio couch slipcover and curtains?
Carleton Varney: A bold apple green and white trellis design fabric would be my selection for the studio bed and curtains, and bolsters can be apple green. Any additional furniture, such as a chest or captain’s chair, can be painted white.
Decorate the white cabinets with lots of spicy orange and bright yellow accessories, and put lots of blue pillows on the bed.
Vintage 1970s JP Stevens candystriped bedsheet design
Vintage Wamsutta Tomorrow Stripe sheet set (1972)
Vintage Daisy Delight floral sheets
A delectable display of daisies that can transform your bedroom into a beauty room… Pick Daisy Delight and see your bedroom blossom in beauty.
Lady Pepperell sheets and bedding in blue Adriana design (1979)
ALSO SEE: 70 vintage sofas from the swinging ’70s
Traditional Lancaster and wedding ring patterned sheets from the 1970s
ALSO TRY: Funny Cake recipe: A Pennsylvania Dutch dessert (1949)
Checks and simple small floral patterns
Red and brown retro bedding sets from the late seventies
Classic French style floral and striped pattern sheets from the seventies
1970s percale sheets with classic floral designs
Lady Pepperell Aster Place floral pattern sheet set (1972)
Floral retro sheets & bedding (1970)
Article from The Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) May 10, 1970
Spring is bursting out all over. While the tulips are blooming in the garden, a gal can add the look of spring to her bedroom.
The secret lies in a collection of sheets, towels and bedspreads designed to go together and make a decorating impact that just won’t stop.
One is Fieldcrest’s “Frost Flowers,” sure to add flower power to a room. This pattern is over-printed on solid color sheeting to bring the design into bolder relief than usual.
Manufacturers of towels, bedspreads and sheets, recognizing that women often want to make changes without doing a complete redecorating or refurbishing job, have come up with bright, colorful offerings to whet any women’s decorating appetite.
One has introduced a new collection of bedspreads in designs ranging from elegant to traditional to plain. Some are dazzling prints; others are contemporary abstracts or traditional Jacobean. All are available with matching curtains, valances and table rounds to easily achieve a total look.
Another has coordinated sheets, towels and bedspreads, making it possible to choose a design for both bath and bedroom that is dramatic.
In any event, when the heat of summer arrives, the urge to decorate will diminish as the move to outdoor activities begins. It will probably take the first cool fall breeze to bring the restlessness to the fore once again.
Burlington House sheets: Flower Bed & Devonshire Garden
Patchwork-look sheet sets and bedding with retro geometric print (1972)
NOW SEE THIS: 33 fab vintage kids’ bedroom makeovers: Ideas & inspiration from the ’70s
Vintage seventies sheet sets in contemporary stripes and flower patterns
Retro ’70s sheets & bedspreads: Malibu Stripe
Striking stripes in smashing colors that can change your bedroom into a beauty room. Malibu Stripe is one of our new Decorator Fashions.
Crisp muslin sheets of no-iron cotton and polyester, they’re available in Vibrant Pink (shown), Delphinium Blue or Royal Blue. Let Malibu Stripe march boldly and brightly through your bedroom.
Cannon Windsor Park pattern from 1972
Cannon Royal Family Roman Holiday pattern from 1973
State Fair checked sheets in blue, pink, green or orange
The Beauty Rooms are made with Monticello Decorator Fashions.
Check out Cannon’s State Fair. As refreshing as a sunny day, it can make your bedroom into a beauty room… With a whole palette of cheery colors to choose from.
Delphinum Blue (shown), Vibrant Pink, Spring Green or Empire Bronze. Coordinating towels, too. Bring a sweet country afternoon into your home with State Fair.
ALSO SEE: 70 beautiful vintage canopy beds from the 1970s
Aloha vintage sheets & bedroom decor from Cannon (1970s)
We’ve collected crowds of tropical blossoms to transform your bedroom into a beauty room. Aloha is one of our new decorator fashions… Now you can run away to the islands without ever leaving home.
MORE: Hawaii in the ’70s: Look back at Honolulu & Waikiki
1970 Yves St Laurent designer sheets
Cannon Seven Seas bedding design in cool blues (1972)
The pattern that’s making fashion waves… the Cannon pattern that thousands of women are using to give a new look to their bedrooms and bathroom. It brings out the romance in a room the same way other Cannon patterns bring out other moods.
Retro ’70s sheet styles: Gypsy, Echotone, Antoinette
Gypsy by Springmaid: Cherry red/blue green patchwork print on polyester-cotton muslin
Echotone by Springmaid: Two-tone pastel stripes in pink, blue, gold or green.
J P Stevens Antoinette: Pastel floral print in pink, blue or yellow
FROM THE SAME ERA: See vintage kitchen carpet from when it was popular home decor in the ’60s & ’70s
3 Vera original patterns from Burlington House (1970)
Left to right: Rainbow stripe in yellow-orange, pink-red, brown-black. Waterways in blue-green or orange-yellow. Daisy Chain on gold or brown grounds with black. A touch of black on flat sheets and pillowcases.
Rainbow stripe and Waterways available at all stores. Daisy Chain available at Macy’s Herald Square, Roosevelt Field, White Plains, Queens and Kings Plaza only.
Vintage Springmaid MOMA floral bedding from 1973
Old 1970s bedding and sheets with floral country patterns
“Happiness is… Peanuts.” — Vintage Snoopy Peanuts sheets (1972)
MORE SNOOPY: Vintage Snoopy & Peanuts stickers sheets (’70s & ’80s)
’70s muslin sheets – trendy retro designs
Cute vintage sheet styles from the 1970s – Floral and check country-style patterns
Primary color sheets and bedding for a 1970s boy’s room
NOW SEE THIS: Vintage 1970s bedspreads: Soft retro home decor you may remember snuggling under
I love all the stuff that was popular in the 70’s. I can find a lot of that stuff at resale shops and rummage sales. To me a lot of it was very elegant.
I remember some of the calico and patchwork patterns and they were so popular at the time. Also, it seems like there wasn’t as much of a focus on things like thread count, etc. like now. I think you just bought the sheets in the size you needed and that was it. Oh and Perma Prest…I remember that label on sheets and clothing. We had a Perma Prest cycle on our washer or dryer (can’t remember which).