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40 Things Every House in the 70s Had That No One Sees Today

MP Staff - JA June 8, 2023

Doesn’t it feel like the 70s were a more relaxed and perhaps even mellower era? Disco ruled the airwaves, Jaws terrified movie audiences, and roller skating was all the rage. Houses were one-story ranch-style, or split level and filled with never-before seen design choices (most of which have been never seen again). Regardless of whether they were good, bad, or simply tacky, home interiors of that time were undeniably distinctive. A little nostalgia is never a bad thing, so let’s step inside the time machine and into a typical 70s pad. Just a warning, you might want to put on your sunglasses first!

Linoleum Floors

In the 70s, patterned linoleum was the go-to choice for kitchen and bathroom flooring, widely favored by working mothers for its resilience and effortless maintenance.

Woman Drinking Coffee at a Salon
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Bean Bag Chairs

Bean bag chairs were an essential addition to any 70s home, and no basement was truly complete without a few of them scattered around. Sure, they were comfy, but how did anyone ever get out of them?

Teenagers sitting on bean bag and record albums
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Wood Paneling

While you may still come across wood paneling today, it’s not the same as the popular beadboard or shiplap styles. In the 70s, wood paneling was typically crafted from materials other than real wood and featured an unmistakably artificial grain pattern.

Retro Televison in Wood Paneled Room
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Crocheted Blankets

These throws were crocheted in a repeating “granny” square pattern, using colors that clashed. Typically fashioned from rough wool, these blankets were more suitable for being thrown over the back of a couch than for snuggling under during a movie night.

1970s Crochet Background
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Lava Lamps

While the mesmerizing lava lamp rose to prominence in the 60s, it remained a popular fixture well into the late 1970s.

Jack Daniel's Motel No. 7 Preview on November 10, 2015
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Shag Carpeting

When it comes to interior design trends of the 1970s, wall-to-wall shag carpeting in bold, attention-grabbing hues like bright orange stands out as the most iconic.

70's Orange Shag Rug, Close UP
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Huge TVs

In the 1970s, televisions used to be bulky pieces of furniture that not only served the purpose of watching shows like The Brady Bunch but also provided a surface for displaying knickknacks. It is quite a contrast to the flat and lightweight televisions that can be mounted on walls today.

Family TV
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Statement Stone Fireplaces

This design trend, typically made of rough rock and occupying an entire wall, could easily blend in with the décor of a hunting lodge.

1970s era living room
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Alarm Clocks

In the pre-digital era, individuals used to wake up to alarm clocks featuring flipping numbers. These clocks were available in the trendy fake wood veneer or vibrant hues reminiscent of the 1970s, and produced a satisfying clicking noise.

A glass of orange juice next to a clock
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Patterned Paper

In case the walls of the 1970s were not covered in wood paneling, they were adorned with paper displaying striking geometric patterns in contrasting, vivid hues.

Vintage old radio on sixties, seventies wallpaper and furniture
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Sunken Living Rooms

The 70s were a neighborly time, and conversation pits were meant to encourage socializing. The seating areas were situated slightly lower than the rest of the room, creating a snug and welcoming atmosphere, provided that your guests didn’t trip and hurt themselves getting to them.

Sunken seating area and exposed stone fireplace of Palm Springs home
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Floating Stairs

The floating staircase was a prominent feature on the stylish set of The Brady Bunch. Despite Mr. Brady’s profession as an architect, the stairs still appeared somewhat perilous.

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TV Dinners

Although many of us still indulge in eating while watching TV, do we do it with elegance, using precisely-sized molded plastic trays designed to hold our TV dinners?

Turkey, mashed potatoes and peas dinner on tray in front of TV
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Rattan Furniture

In the 1970s, rattan furniture, which was previously limited to outdoor patios and similar areas, became a popular addition to living rooms and other indoor spaces. It did go rather well with all the macramé and ferns that started turning up everywhere…

Spacious living room with orange and blue accents
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Floral Sofas

Similar to wallpaper, upholstery in the 1970s was characterized by large, vibrant, eye-catching designs that were as busy as a bee in a sunflower field. But where wallpaper tended toward geometric shapes, furniture fabric was all about the florals.

Christmas season
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Push Button Phones

The push-button phone of the 1970s bridged the gap between the rotary phones of the past and the cell phones of today. It seemed lightning fast to dial compared to its predecessor.

1970's Vintage phone with receiver off hook
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Stereo Systems

In the 70s, stereos were whole systems, some so intricate they rose in towers, up the wall. The contemporary equivalent, a small speaker that plays music from cell phones, cannot match up to it.

Stereo Equipment in a Living Room
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Macramé Everything

Macramé, which involved knotting cords together, was extremely popular in 1970s households and was utilized for various purposes ranging from potted-plant holders to decorative owl-shaped wall hangings.

Stylish and minimalistic boho interior of living room with wooden furnitures, gray macrame, rattan and elegant accessories. Botany home decor with a lot of plants. Bright and sunny space. Template.
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Colonial Furniture

Perhaps due to the patriotism surrounding the Bicentennial, Colonial-style furniture experienced a resurgence in popularity, showcasing turned wood and other classic elements reminiscent of our ancestors’ preferences.

A mirror in a hall.
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Fringe Elements

Fringe was a trendy fashion element in the 1970s, not only as a hairstyle but also as a decorative feature on vests, ponchos, and more. Fringe turned up on lampshades, too, where it diffused light and helped create a mellow vibe, man.

A lamp on a side table
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In the era before internet and satellite radio, people in the 1970s listened to only AM and FM radio, using devices specifically designed for this purpose.

Vintage 60's 70's Clock Radio with floral wallpaper background orange
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Funky Lights

Hard to believe these weird little lamps with the colored filaments that glowed lit up everyone’s rec room back in the day, but they did.

old-fashioned tv
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Pod Chairs

No matter what you refer to them as – ball chairs, pod chairs, egg chairs, or globe chairs – these seats were exceptionally comfortable and snug.

Der legendäre Ball Chair, auch Egg Chair genannt, in der BMW Welt in München
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Popular Pottery

Whether due to the emergence of ceramic artists or the availability of kilns for hobbyists, pottery had gained popularity long before Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze got muddy with wet clay in Ghost. During the 1970s, ceramic lamps, vases, and various other items were prevalent in every home.

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Chrome Finishes

Despite the prevalence of earthy tones and hippie-inspired décor, the 1970s also embraced shine, particularly when it came to chrome. Chrome accents on furniture such as kitchen chair legs, coffee tables, and lamps added a touch of Studio 54-style glamour to the home.

Property Interiors
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Undoubtedly, it’s more convenient to use the backspace key to correct an error, rather than resorting to whiteout. However, doesn’t anyone miss those clunky typewriters from the 1970s, even a little?

Woman Typing
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Pyrex Dishes

While plain old see-through glass is still available, Pyrex casserole dishes and mixing bowls were available in vibrant and playful colors in the 1970s that added an element of festivity to your dining table.

Vintage Pyrex Mixing Bowl with Cake Ingredients
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Record Players

Vinyl records, it’s sad to say, peaked in the 70s when ambitious “concept albums” like The Eagles’ Hotel California were released. However, according to experts, the sound produced by analog equipment is much warmer and richer than what can be achieved through digital means.

music with vinyls
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Dark Tones

The muted, flat shades that were so popular in the 70s have endured, but it’s rare to see rooms nowadays adorned with colors like rust, sand, brick, harvest gold, and avocado all together. That’s probably a good thing, since taken together they tend to get a little…depressing.

Close Up, Color Image of Retro Plaid Textile
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Exposed Brick

Exposed brick was such a hit in the 70s that it seemed like everyone was living in a converted warehouse. Add in an angled roofline and its twice the time trip back.

Renovated 70s architectural apartment with angled roofline
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With the exception of bell bottoms, there is little that is so iconically 70s as the 8-track. The plastic analog tape cartridges of the past are now long gone, and even Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits is said to be the last 8-track from a highly successful band ever produced, but the legend lives on.

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Textured Walls

In the 70s, walls were adorned with various textures such as flocked or foiled paper, as well as textured plaster, creating an inviting ambiance that made you want to reach out and touch them.

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Vinyl Tablecloths

In the 70s, vinyl tablecloths weren’t just for outdoor use; they were commonly used to cover kitchen and dining room tables. Their easy-to-clean surface made them perfect for wiping up spills like Kool-Aid.

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Electric Slides

During the 70s, it was a customary practice to invite neighbors over for a slide show presentation of their vacation pictures upon their return.

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Rec Rooms

70s rec rooms were often located in basements, with dim lighting and perhaps even a bit of dampness, but the atmosphere was perfect for playing games like spin the bottle and stealing your first kiss.

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Concrete Patios

There was a certain look to patios in the 70s that has never been replicated. Back in the 70s, a simple patio consisted of a concrete slab, a few lightweight plastic lounge chairs, and perhaps a small grill, all made complete once Mom had applied a healthy coating of baby oil.

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Pendant Lights

In the 70s, glass pendant lamps with huge globes were the ultimate kitchen trend, especially when they came in orange.

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Fondue Pots

In the 70s, fondue pots were a popular choice for entertaining guests. However, the fun could quickly turn into a disaster if someone accidentally spilled melted cheese on themselves.

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Massive Coffeemakers

In this age of Keurig, it’s hard to believe that people in the 70s used such bulky machines to make coffee.

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Super 8s

In the pre-cell phone and pre-digital video camera era of the 70s, families would capture their everyday moments on Super 8 film and play it back on a cool home movie projector, often causing embarrassment to all involved.

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