At Home, 1970’s Style

March 05, 2012   //  Posted in: Decor   //  By: Emily   //  2 responses

Hello. I recently became the owner of the best book you’ve manufactured, 1970’s.

Flashback: The 1970's edition of The Complete Family Home Repair Book

I find myself gifted with many-a-home improvement book, maybe you can relate. They’re fail-safe presents too, for anyone who’s needing to buy me a gift in the future. We also buy up as many as we can get our paws on at summertime garage sales, and somehow in two years have a collection that rivals the local library. I’m talkin’ fun design books. DIY How-To Books. The common “Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know About Building A Deck” book (ours is still dog-eared and filled with pieces of paper featuring doodles and measurements and budget info; it’s like a customized scrapbook of our masterpiece and labor of love).

But none of books in our collection quite compare to this mint gem. The Complete Family Home Repair Book is a hand-me down from my Grandma (making it special all by itself), I’m not actually sure that its seen the light of day before. It’s possible that it lived untouched on a shelf, but there’s not so much of an iota of sun bleaching on its spine.

It’s always kind of fun to look back at design and best practices as outlined in an old, out-dated manual. This one, celebrating it’s 40th anniversary since publication, made its own profound mark on me as I flipped through it’s still-flawlessly pages for the first time.

My favorite features?

It’s loaded with character. And color.┬áDesigned with a creative mix of illustrations, photographs, and pops of wonderful olives and yellows, flipping open to this page was an insta-win. Also, it’s a 3-ring binder, which always makes for super handy additions and deletions.

Flashback: The 1970's edition of The Complete Family Home Repair Book

It’s a real blast from the past. These snapshots of 70’s home design are pretty cool. I immediately flash back to my parents installing paneling or enjoying the most modern of technologies in their first apartment (what’s an ironer with 1,320 watts?).

Flashback: The 1970's edition of The Complete Family Home Repair Book.

Flashback: The 1970's edition of The Complete Family Home Repair Book.

Flashback: The 1970's edition of The Complete Family Home Repair Book, when paneling was in.

And it’s loaded with all kinds of best practices that I’ve never heard of before (and that’s surely a 50/50 combo of ignorance and outdated-ness).

  • Painting in totally random fashion (horizontally?)
  • Quieting squeaky floors with lubricating oil (I’m skeptical)
  • A real how-to on installing faux brick (list-worthy since most people I know, like our friends Heather and Mike, are removing it as fast as humanly possible)

And with all the graphic goodness about what I’ve already shown you, it shouldn’t come with much surprise that I selected some of my favorites pages that were accented with deep yellow (since it fits right into my color palette) to frame and serve as a little f-r-e-e home decor.

Selected pages from The 1970's edition of The Complete Family Home Repair Book.

I’ve had this trio of IKEA RIBBA’s tucked away since last April; I originally bought them for use in the bathroom, since the birch veneer matches the recently installed bathroom vanity. They may or may not find their way there eventually, and may or may not continue to hold this “art,” but for now I’m really loving the pages matted for our enjoyment. (And no, I didn’t have to cut any of the pages, I just lightly folded the pages to make them fit, so I can return them to the binder when I’m ready to swap out my art.)

Pops of color from framed book pages.

How was your weekend? Filled with any novel reinterpretations?

  • Gin
    6 years ago - Reply

    I love that page with the appliances and the electric cords and the one lonely outlet. When I was little, we had a cake decorating cookbook from the 60s or 70s that had the most amazing ideas for parties. It would have made for awesome framed pages, but alas it disappeared. Hmmm, maybe Google to the rescue.

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      I love decorating and cookbooks from that era – I have a few myself, but haven’t been able to bring myself to cut them up since they’re hardback bound. This one was easier since the whole book was a binder (brilliance).

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