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Kiddo Time Machine :: Vintage 70s Kid’s Room Were Swank!

Howdy gang. I was cleaning up the house this weekend and stumbled upon my stash of old vintage home interior books—I have a handful from the late 60s and 70s. I love them but I have to be honest, I rarely crack ‘em open. Thank goodness I did, I had totally forgotten about all the amazing kid’s bedrooms in some of them! I thought you guys might like to take a little look-see with me, so after an afternoon with the scanner, here’s what I have for ya. I think you’ll like!

I love those little mod pedestal stools that look all magic mushroomy. I totally remember that old green froggy toy bin in the back/ Four beds though…hmmmm. Was that for sleep over fun or was this some Jon and Kate style family?? Let’s continue…

“Oh hey it’s Todd here. Just shootin’ some pool with my good buddy Lance.”

OK. Where to begin. The honkin’ star on the ceiling? The ‘stash on that chalk drawing? Wow. I hate to say it, but in 10 years Lance will be driving a Camaro and probably won’t have anything to do with ol’ Todd. But don’t worry…Todd will get his revenge. He’ll invent the Walkman in the 80s and become a digi-mogul. Lance will end up renovating Todd’s rec room.

Tiny Tuesdays look out! Here’s a vintage baby nursery. Intriguing…

Ahh, ye olde floating wall nursery, with the deadly medieval metal pole hanging over sweet bebe’s head. Fantastic! I confess, I do love that rug…almost as much as I love the full formal hair do mama is sportin’ in her nightie.

This next one is amazing. Lots of cool cubby space for hunkerin’ down and reading your best Encyclopedia Brown book.


Sigh. I love the wallpaper, the book nook, that aquarium and those vintage adidas. Nice kicks, kiddo….

This next one is fun. I’m crazy about polka dots (although these are a little eye-cross inducing, methinks).

Look how cute that little polka chair is too! And nope. You aren’t imagining things. The next photo is the same room, but it was in a different book! I love the little romper on the boy.

This next room is a pre-teen dream. The yellow Arne Jacobsen chair is so dreamy.  Ten points to whoever figures out what the hell is on that top shelf down there.

UPDATE!!!!!! I know what’s on that shelf. It’s a HAIR DRIER. Brilliant. Check it out:

image: sugarpie honeybunch

Ahoy matey, the S.S. Kiddo is set to sail! This theme room is amazing….down to the porthole and the bell on the wall. By the way, those white circles aren’t fancy lights. This particular book is a three-ring binder. I was able to crop the holes out of most of the photos but I didn’t want you to miss out on the grandeur of the director’s chair/desk combo. Or that starfish pillow on the bed. And while we’ve solved one mystery (the ladydrop gumdrop above), can someone tell me WHAT IS THAT GREEN THING PEEKING OUT OF THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER DOWN THERE??

Moving on! Check out this four poster bed. Holy florals, batman! I love the matching trunk, chair and wee table on the left. Gotta say I’m highly intrigued by the colossal Fish on Wheels on the floor over there on the right.

The 70s ruled. In addition to bold colors and fun pop stylin’….there was that 1976 bicentennial action that nudged people to go all Colonial. Check out that old-timey phone! The play space is great in here (and I love those mod window treatments) but wait til you see the beddie.

How cool is that?? It’s like a double bunk/fort with a build in puppet theater. Looove.

Check out this creative little space. The slanted wall could have felt oppressive, but the big happy rainbow just livens up the whole joint.

Kory lives here—and apparently Kory is The Man. If you couldn’t tell by his rad tube socks and name emblazoned on the bedroom wall, then just feast your eyes on his bunk bed pods:

I’m speechless, people.

Next up is Sasha’s pad. And this kiddo is giving Kory a run for his money. I mean the Star Wars Tie Fighter, X-Wing and R2D2…but I’m mostly digging the color swoosh on the wall….which somehow runs across the window shade, thank you very much.

My parents were into Danish modern when I was litle—and this was no mean feat growing up in Flint, Michigan, lemme tell ya. My brother and I had these really cool mod red bunk beds that were a bit like these next ones. There is no ladder, you climb up the slats on the end. Super cool! Alas, ours didn’t come with the head-decapitating magazine rack hanging over the top bunk.

And finally….my top favorite. The Indoor Playground. HOW. COOL. IS. THIS.

As always, vintage makes me want to embrace color and just kick everything up a notch. I hope you were inspired by these rooms as much as I was. Just promise me you won’t, you know, hang any awkward magazine racks over yer child’s bed, ok? We’re here to inspire, not clock yer kiddo.

Images: From the collection of Miss Alix. Better Homes and Gardens Decorating book (1968), Better Homes and Gardens Decorating book (1975) and House and Garden’s Complete Guide to Interior Decoration (1970).

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21 Responses

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  1. gabrielle says

    makes me want to plan a make over of the kids room all 70s styling

  2. Joanna says

    Oh wow this was awesome. Those horrifying gumdrop stuffed animals with eyelashes are like furbies on steroids. Although, I think the one might have some hinges. Is it a box? Not gonna lie, I would have wanted one as a kid.

    Also– the four poster bed– I can guarantee that child has chronic insomnia now.

    Some of these are really inspirational though, and you can definitely see how the 70s are slipping back into interior decorating a little bit now.

  3. danielle thompson says

    SO.FLIPPIN.AMAZING. :D i love the 70′s. : )

    • Alix says

      The 70s were the best. What happened?? Even “regular folks” were nice and colorful.

  4. jennifer w. says

    Wow – I am speechless! My parents really failed in the decor department…

    • Alix says

      HAH! I know, right? I want a giant mural on my wall now.

  5. Cate Subrosa says

    Wow. Most of those rooms give me a headache just looking at the photo, I can’t imagine living in them! Cool post. :)

  6. Jessica says

    Love this as my Mom had a book featuring these very rooms! I used to tell her I wanted the room with the pod style bunk beds or the one with the tree wallpaper!

    • Alix says

      The pod bunk beds are totally my faves….how cool huh. Although I wonder if sleeping in them would be creepy……a little too cave/coffin like????

  7. Dottie says

    It’s the little things that make these photos–like the colonial phone (genius) or the KORY LIVES HERE sign which is killing me!

    But I just love the smart use of space on a lot of these homes. Very clever stuff that I’d like to even try today!

    Good stuff, Alix!

  8. ChantaleP says

    OMG, this made me laugh, you are hilariously fun! I sort of expected a Logan’s Run inspired bedroom somewhere.. hm. Well, all that orange and brown does feel like it doesn’t it? Ah the Tod and Lance part.. lmao! This was a fun run down memory lane. Thx!

    • Alix says

      haha, a Logan’s Run room would have been AMAZING! Ok, now i have to try and track one down….

  9. erin@designcrisis says

    I want to move into each and every room. The indoor playground! The magic mushropolis! The psychedelic rainbow room! Just awesome.

    Great narration, btw.

  10. Mari, Small for Big says

    GOD these are awesome. I had no idea that 70′s kids could be so cool, at the time I was stuck in a knotty-pine-walled-formerly-the-back-porch bedroom. With green and black checkered linoleum.
    Yeah.

    • Alix says

      LOL and this is why we love you Mari……do you know we have a knotty pine basement? So weird for California!

  11. elizabeth says

    LOVE THIS! Inspiration for decorating.. I love all the orange and greens!

  12. Virginie says

    love.love.love. you can see where Jonathan Adler gets his inspiration!

  13. Suburban Homestead says

    SO AWESOME!!

  14. tracy says

    this is my FAVORITE POST EVER!!!! I love them all and am surprised at how many of them could be done today! Classics.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Tweets that mention Kiddo Time Machine :: Vintage 70s Kid’s Room Were Swank! – Modern Kiddo -- Topsy.com linked to this post on February 2, 2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mari – Small for Big, Alix & Dottie and Alix & Dottie, Josephina Mydreama. Josephina Mydreama said: Kiddo Time Machine :: Vintage 70s Kid’s Room Were Swank!: Howdy gang. I was cleaning up the… http://goo.gl/fb/hQfsv [...]

  2. It Was a Wonderful Year in Vintage: Part 3 – Modern Kiddo linked to this post on January 23, 2012

    [...] We decided to take a peek at some authentic 60s & 70s kiddo bedrooms from my vintage decorating books and friends, they did not disappoint! See an awesome selection over here. [...]



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