Home decor in the ’70s was a wondrous time of paisley, popcorn ceilings, shag rugs and fearless color combinations. As you may have noticed in the “Interior Before Shots”, we have some fine examples of that ’70s era decorative goodness right here at the ranch.
It would be a shame to let all of that visual history go to waste, so I have been working on a photography project to preserve – at least in images – the various colors, patterns, and textures in the house, before the time comes for demolition. Here you will see some of my favorite shots (with commentary!) from the preservation project.
Favorite #1 – The Downstairs Carpet
These shots are from the carpet that runs through the majority of the house – the laundry room, the kitchen (yes, the kitchen is entirely carpeted), and the main living area. As an extra bonus, this carpet also goes up the half-wall between levels.
As always with the photography posts, you can click on any of the images and see them in a larger size. You should be able to see the actual carpet fibers, which gives a sense of the scale of these patterns in the overall design.
While this carpet seems way over the top compared to the design sensibilities of most any other era, I do have to appreciate just how much work went into it. There is so much of everything covering every inch of this carpet, and the amount of unique design – before the pattern begins to repeat itself – is really large.
I give this carpet points for not being afraid to fully and deeply express itself. The specific design elements might not be very well defined, but they have a lot of emotion behind them. Others might have toned it down a little, considered that less might be more…but not this carpet. This carpet went all in.
Favorite #2 – The Back Third Wallpaper
Moving on, and up, there is a really interesting wallpaper that covers the giant wall across the back third of the house.
This is not the floral pattern that one would typically imagine – you know how those are – with delicate flowers and dainty leaves, gracefully sharing a garden or meadow scene. Instead this wallpaper is more chaotic, like a collage-gone-wild with different leaves, flowers, and botanical bits overlapping and competing to be on top in this somewhat unbalanced space.
I give this wallpaper points for reminding me of “Where the Wild Things Are” and showing that a floral wallpaper doesn’t have to be all sweetness and light.
Favorite #3 – The Kitchen Table
The greatest discovery I have had, so far, here at the ranch, is this kitchen table. Here is a shot of the table, which, while it may not look quite like your standard kitchen table, it doesn’t look all that special. It’s just an oddly shaped pale yellow table, right?
The entire table surface is covered in an amazing, subtle and intricate pattern.Not only is the pattern super detailed (and these two shots have only a fraction of the design), but it also covers considerable ground before it repeats. It’s difficult to even find the boundaries of repetition, which is certainly due to the mesmerizing effect that the table has when you stare into its depths.
There are paisleys, there are leaves, there are flowers. There are lines and circles and dots and triangles. There are things that look like amoebas, and there is something that looks like an old man with a big nose and no mouth. The whole thing could actually be one giant maze, with no beginning and no end.
If the floral wallpaper was taking us to the place where the wild things are, this table top is taking us on a psychedelic mind trip deep into the ’70s.
I give this kitchen table points for having such a compelling design, without calling too much attention to itself. There is so much to see if you look closely (although perhaps it’s best for one’s sanity to not look too closely) – and yet I almost didn’t even realize it was there.
AND THE WINNER IS….The kitchen table design! I like it so much that I am thinking about how to incorporate it into a tattoo.