We’ve tracked down some of the coolest, trendiest vintage kids’ bedroom makeovers from the decade that also included Free to Be You and Me, Zoom (the TV show), and an avalanche of wacky and wonderful breakfast cereals.
Or are you looking to the past to style something new? You’re in the right place, too. You’ll find dozens of creative vintage kids’ bedroom decor ideas & inspiration from the ’70s right here.
Making the most of existing space – Bedroom decor for two kids (1975)
Crayon box rainbow floor for baby bedroom decor (1972)
Kids love color — so this crayon-box floor is bound to be big with the little ones.
And it’s so easy to do! Just mask off floor-boards with tape and paint each board with a different color enamel. A brightly striped window shade fabric can get you started.
For nursery essentials, try side-by-side drawer units, a wall-to-wall clothes bar, and a cantilevered shelf that serves as a changing table for baby.
Super-groovy makeovers to organize your dorm or bedroom (1971)
CREATE GROOVY STORAGE FOR YOUR PAD
Has a paraphernalia explosion hit your pad? Are you short on space for storing stereo and records, seating friends? Here’s one reader’s doubly good solution.
WIDEN A WINDOW VIEW
Take two double cubes in singing colors and place them under the window, then top with pillows. Presto! You have a mini music center and cushy seating, too. – Jane Schmittdiel, Los Angeles, California
P.S. MULTIPLY AND CONQUER
Why stop with two units when you can go on like this:
- Frame the entire window in cubist casework
- Get set with op-art canisters to hold miscellany
- Match wall to shades: stick on dot-and-dash vinyl
- Zebra-stripe the floor with a no-glue, no-wax covering
Integral Cubics storage units, Con-Tact wall covering, Congoleum flooring
Separate areas in the bedroom or dorm room
Too-square room, too-full closet? Two heads (plus ours) came up with these practical, decorative notes
ADD SUPER SHAPERS
Screenery to the rescue! Make a great divide and reap useful extra surfaces — one for fashion and accessory hang-ups, the other for a beautiful furniture backdrop. – Barbara Goldberg, Trumbull, Connecticut
Pair two trunks to make a zany dressing table with built-in storage space. Jetting away? Unstack and pack. – Ann Gilpin, St. Joseph, Missouri
P.S. SPLASH ON COLORWORKS
Combine both bright ideas for a marvelous makeup and dressing center; clash lively hues to turn it on
- Wrap the screenery in outdoorsy gift paper
- Paint trunks shocking pink (they’ll never get lost)
- Billow pillows in snappy crinkle vinyl
- Contour-cover the bed with pillow-matching shine
- Nest plastic-fantastic tables here and there
Paper by Faroy, Riverdale vinyl pillows, Comark fabric
Home decorating: Organizing & storage for your pad or bedroom
Do you start your day with a treasure hunt? Are possessions cramping your style? Peruse these sparkling ways to neaten a nook, put everything in its place.
BAG CHEERY CATCHALLS
Paper the walls with blooming vinyl (or any glowy cover-up), then use extra cuttings to make closet door prizes: matching bags for accessory etceteras. – Janet Schluger, Flushing, New York
Make a sunshine stand-tum an old milk can into an umbrella holder by painting it the most upbeat yellow. Or top its lid with a plump cushion for spiffy seating. – Jane Halbach, Cedar Falls, Iowa
P.S. MORE IS MERRIER
Continue the closet clearing with handy sequels:
- Mix nifty garment bags that go to all lengths
- Stack two-tone boxes for accessory put-ons Open the door to towel racks, petite pictures
- Square off the floor with stick-to-it checker tiles
- Make tracks with furry feet-or hang them up
Wall covering by Wall-Tex, Bogen garment bags, Goodyear floor tiles, Glenoit footprint rugs
Time to get organized?
Change your dorm or room into a happy habitat by following these collective tips (ideal for busy students, into-everything activists)
MAKE HANDY PIN-UPS
Create a bulletin board of felt: turn edges under, thread yardsticks through and trim in contrast braid, ribbon. – Cynthia Young, Radford, Virginia
Deck the door with a giant writing pad for while-you-were-out messages, noteworthy thoughts; add fluttery butterfly placemats or cutouts for a personal touch. – Betsy Johns, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
P.S. PULL IT TOGETHER
Swing into full zing by adding comfortable plumage:
- Play up the floor with plush bathroom carpeting
- Fit a spread to the bed to make it sleek in a wink
- Give pillows the slip: hide them in bed-matched covers
- Catch table-turning cans to store stuff and stack
- Paper walls in prepasted zigzags (easy on and off)
Lysander carpeting, Karla bed fashions, United-DeSoto wallpaper
ALSO SEE: 70 popular vintage 1970s cereals we loved & we miss
Pretty white latticed bed surround with deep blue floral decor
A child’s room is lively with color (1970)
This little girl’s room has a sloping ceiling, painted walls (in contrast with the wood in most rooms), and, in one corner, a window looking into the greenhouse. Rear windows all face the woods.
She lives in a swirl of pattern and color. The flowers in the fabric and needlepoint rug have a coloring-book charm. (Since she loves her easel and showcard paints, she might have chosen the kind of colors favored by any budding artist: gay and intense.)
Her rattan day bed she will gradually grow up, too, with footage to spare: it is about 7 feet long and fits into a niche formed by the shelves that hold her collection of dolls and stuffed animals.
MORE: Check out these 10 fuzzy toilet covers from the ’70s to see totally retro bathroom decor
Her grown-up chest of drawers was chosen as a generation link, as was her chair, large enough for two children or one adult. Ottoman she sits on now will one day be a footstool.
To calm down the intensity of the room’s color, walls and vinyl floor are snow white. The posy window shades were made by cutting out flowers from the day-bed fabric and gluing them on plain white roller blinds.
Looking ahead, the shelves that frame the day bed and make a splendid showcase for her dolls will do as well eventually for books. Rattan chest is. and will remain, a superb catch-all.
Make good use of the area around the windows (1972)
If you’re searching for storage and work space, don’t overlook the window area.
In this girl’s room, a shelf/desk unit between windows supplies storage space for everything from books to bobby pins; the laminated counter serves as both a study center and sewing table. And look how little floor space it steals.
A kids’ hobby table that folds away (1972)
This carefully designed table is just like a hobby room on a wall. When not in use, the table folds up into a cabinet recess; flanking cabinet doors then close to conceal the underside of the table.
Built-in units like this illustrate a good way to put more living functions in a room without using any floor space.
Chantilly vintage bedroom decor by American of Martinsville (1972)
Designed to a diminutive scale, Chantilly offers a wide selection of bright go-together pieces that give a fresh, feminine touch to any girl’s room.
Elegant Country French styling features exquisite shaping accented by fancy hardware, delicate floral carvings, and a satiny Antique White finish with gold striping.
Tops are of high pressure laminate to insure resistance to most scratches and stains.
Trellis retro bedroom decor from American of Martinsville (1972)
Fresh, fancy and flexible — that’s Trellis. This new teenage girl’s grouping features a beautiful brushed white finish brightly accented with delicate yellow striping and hand-painted floral carvings of red, turquoise and yellow.
The result? A cheery go-together collection that blends with any decor. But don’t let the feminine beauty fool you. Matching white tops are high pressure laminate that resist mars, scratches and most household stains.
Vintage racing car bed for kids with road-like carpeting (1971)
In the old days, being sent to your room was supposed to be a punishment. Now it can be fun, if your bed happens to look like a fire engine or a Ferrari.
Among those responsible for taking the complaints out of bedtime are Californian Darrell Howe… and several English designers, whose furniture resembles giant shoes and huge hands.
While the Englishmen stick to single pieces, Howe creates entire rooms on a single theme: his soldier room has a sentry-box desk, and his car room features a lamp made from a steering wheel and a flywheel.
Unfortunately, a racing-car bed has no trade-in value, and once it’s outgrown, there’s nothing to do but park it illegally and hope a police truck tows it away.
Vintage Dr Seuss bedroom furniture for preschoolers (1971)
A cute attic bedroom with a chalkboard wall (1972)
Ever wish you could give your kids a part of your house that’s all their own?
This remodeled attic designed by Jean Curtis, author of A Parent’s Guide to, Nursery Schools (Random House), shows you how. The “Kids’ Kingdom” includes two bedrooms, bath, storage, and play areas.
The bedrooms, at opposite ends of the attic, are large enough to offer individual play areas; in the bedroom [here], a special paint turns one wall into a gigantic blackboard.
This rejuvenated attic even provides a bonus for the parents; the former children’s room on the second floor will now be turned into a combination study and guest room.
Platform for the beds in this retro room for teens (1972)
Raising the floor level makes the bed area of this bedroom look like a room within a room.
The architectural change also yielded a storage-space bonus: three six-inch-deep apparel drawers. Pull-back drapes help define the sleeping area.
ALSO SEE: Vintage 1970s bedspreads: Soft retro home decor you may remember snuggling under
A boys’ bedroom, divided (1972)
If you’re convinced two boys in a single bedroom is the formula for bedlam, consider this solution.
A floor-to-ceiling wall divides the room in half, so each boy has a “room” to himself. The symmetrical arrangement of beds and furniture affords each boy the same living arrangement. T
he cork-surfaced center wall serves as a pinup board so that each boy can personalize his “room” as he likes. For storage, the tops of the bunk beds flip up to reveal roomy toy chests.
The built-in shelves, spotlights, and study desk form a compact work-and-hobby center arrangement. The boys’ dressers and closet are on the room’s opposite side.
Red white and blue child’s bedroom theme with built-in seating (1975)
Vintage bedroom decor for kids: Change the scene (1972)
In a child’s room, periodic remodelings are a must, just to keep up with the child’s growth and to cover the wear and tear. While you’re about it, why not treat your youngster to a completely new color scheme?
1) A preschooler’s bedroom
We designed this room for a preschooler, but it could be adapted easily for an older child. The yellow and orange scheme is a good demonstration of how to use two related or harmonious colors.
To make the room look larger, we painted the end wall a shade lighter than the carpet, ran the color across the ceiling, and painted the walls on either side white. Cabinets, door and woodwork were painted with semigloss enamel for easier cleaning.
2) Room for an older child
A combination of wallpaper and coordinated fabric transforms the same room for an older child. We painted the walls and cabinets orange, then played some strong pattern against it.
We papered the end wall and ceiling in the pattern, and repeated it in the bedspread and curtains. The plaid’s neutral colors and white background help tone down the room’s intense color.
3) The room for a young teenager
For a young teen, we switched to a mix of bright colors and striped accents. We included all the primary colors, plus green on two walls.
This time, we papered only the end wall, hanging the stripes horizontally to coordinate with the cabinets and to make the room seem wider than it actually is. Matching striped fabric appears on the bed and curtain trim.
High-gloss enamel on the door and furniture shines up the paint-box color scheme, while white ceiling and accents provide the necessary balance.
Small bedroom idea: Shag carpet & platforms (1976)
Cutting across from door to window, the “upper level” offers space to sleep and study, and leaves the rest of the room wide open for dressing, play and everything else.
The platform is 14 inches high, with three drawers built into the top riser. The mattress and box spring rest in a box on casters that can be pulled out to make the bed. The design of the desk, window seat and headboard are easily adapted to any room — just plan their sizes and locations around the window.
The angular cabinet at the foot of the bed is bonus storage and can be fitted with shelves or used as a hanging space.
Everything here is plywood. Use a lower grade for the carpeted platform, and a top grade for the built-ins so you can get the smooth glossy finish. Add an acrylic sheet to the desk top to protect the work surface.
ALSO SEE: 15 vintage Fisher-Price dolls from the 1970s & 1980s
Split-level systems to make your bedroom work better (1976)
ALSO SEE: Vintage shag carpets: The super-popular deep & plush carpeting from the ’70s
Fun furniture for kids’ rooms: Drop-down desk (1976)
Handsome paneling covers both walls and built-ins in this use-every-inch bedroom. Its biggest asset is the hinged, plywood-backed panel that swings down over the bed to form a king-size work surface.
Magnetic catches hold the panel up. When it’s down for action, it rests on cleats at the head and foot of the bed.
Turn your room on. (1970)
Sitting room. Living room. Dressing room. Study. Your bedroom has to be all these things and more. So the patterns that you choose have to say, in no uncertain terms, exactly who you are.
Royal Family can help. Bright and wild coordinates in silky smooth, no-iron sheets of cotton and polyester. Extra soft bedspreads. And thick, rich cotton towels.
Several styles. Designed exclusively for you by Cannon. Doing its best to widen the generation gap.
Cannon Great Day (bedding) in old gold, celestial blue, fudge brown.
A dashing red, white and blue room (1970)
Hickory, dickory, dock. Watch for bedtime by a dashing red clock. (Tick off the hours — see the wallpaper ticking along.) Won’t you feel pampered, sleeping in a serene white four-poster that’s sheeted and pillowed in blossomy blue?
You’ll be guarded, too, by a gingham dog and a calico cat. (They’re really postcards you can mat and frame with this room in view.)
Other traditional touches: the gold-trimmed table, the Jack-be-nimble candlestick lamp, a braided rug. Combine the lot and what have you got? A storybook room for tomorrow.
ALSO SEE: A ’70s designer dream house: The American Home of 1974
This setting’s perfection for a pastoral Goldilocks. (1970)
What fun to drop off to sleep counting sheep (or bears) in a bower of flowers! It’s always tulip-time here under a soft-quilted coverlet and headboard slipcover.
Tulips grow anew on the dust ruffle and ring-around table skirt. A night light beams yellow on your pillow and sheets — part solid, part printed. Neat!
For a feeling of being outdoors in a meadow, gaze at the caned wallpaper green as a leafy tree. Now think of the present where all this is possible — aren’t you glad you’re you?
Pink retro bedroom with floral canopy bed and curtains (1971)
“It’s an old custom — pink for girls and blue for boys — and in our family, it still works. Pink is feminine like my six-year-old daughter.”
A Florida mother backs up her statement by pointing to the bedroom she planned for her child.
The room has all the sentimental charm of an old-fashioned valentine. Pink and red floral fabric was lavished on walls, windows and the canopied alcove, which holds a snow-white wicker bed. Bright red in the rug, coverlet and painted desk serves to perk up the pink.
Pink retro bedroom with Bohemian vintage style (1970)
Fresh & bright, green plays throughout in this 1970s bedroom
MORE FOR KIDS: Candy Land, the vintage board game that made millions of kids dream of an ice cream & lollipop world
Bright yellow bedroom decor for a girl’s room (1979)
Stanley presents furniture for Miss Carrie Leonard, Elkhart, Indiana
That’s our Carrie! Tomboy, little girl, sophisticated young lady, all in one.
I’m sure Stanley designed Colleen just for her. The little flower accents make it so lovely and feminine, yet it’s practical, too.
There’s a big selection or reasonable prices, so we could do her room just right. Tops that resist scratching and stains. And wonderful ideas like the big storage drawers under the bed… perfect for blankets out-of-season clothes, and Carrie’s rock collection.
Over the bed, a beautiful canopy makes it snug and kind of private. Carrie wanted grown-up furniture. I wonted furniture that would grow up with Carrie. And Stanley heard us.
Vintage bedroom decor: Ruffled pale yellow soft furnishings with a sturdy four-poster bed
Fabric-filled ribbony retro kids’ bedroom decor in yellow and blue (1973)
NOW SEE THIS: See 70 beautiful vintage canopy beds from the 1970s
Love the pink retro bohemian 1970’s one. I remember seeing that in a magazine back then.