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Interior Desecrations: Hideous Homes from the Horrible '70s

af James Lileks

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
307663,314 (4.09)10
Warning! This book is not to be used in any way, shape, or form as a design manual. Rather, like the documentary about youth crime “Scared Straight,” it is meant as a caution of sorts, a warning against any lingering nostalgia we may have for the 1970s, a breathtakingly ugly period when even the rats parted their hair down the middle. (Please note that the author and publisher are not responsible for the results of viewing these pictures.) James Lileks came of age in the 1970s, and for him there was no crueler thing you could inflict upon a person. The music: either sluggish metal, cracker-boogie, or wimpy ballads. Television: camp without the pleasure of knowing it’s camp. Politics: the sweaty perfidy of Nixon, the damp uselessness of Ford, the sanctimonious impotence of Carter. The world: nasty. Hair: unspeakable. Architecture: metal-shingled mansard roofs on franchise chicken shops. No oil. No fun. Syphilis and Fonzie. Interior Desecrations is the author’s revenge on the decade. Using an ungodly collection of the worst of 1970s interior design magazines, books, and pamphlets, he proves without a shadow of a doubt that the ’70s were a hideously grim period. This is what happens when Dad drinks, Mom floats in a Valium haze, the kids slump down in the den with a bong, and the decorator is left to run amok. It seemed so normal at the time. But this book should cure whatever lingering nostalgia we have. So adjust your sense of style, color, and taste. beware! You’ve been warned.… (mere)

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This was so funny! It's the same guy who gave us "The Gallery of Regrettable Food". I loved looking at these pictures. It's a bit embarrassing, but some of these pictures actually gave me a wave of nostalgia. Some were truly horrible. I suppose I was lucky that my mom despised shag carpeting as I was a child of the 70's. Actually, I don't think I knew anyone with shag carpeting but I sure do remember it from - somewhere? Most people I knew didn't have the money to hire a top 70's decorator so we made do with a mish mash from the 50's, 60's, and 70's so that tempered the horror just a bit. And by the time the 80's came around, we finally did get the harvest gold and avocado appliances. A bit late, but in the 70's we were still dealing with pink, black, and copper appliances from the days of yore.

Some funny quotes from this book (too bad you can't see the pictures):

"If you look at this room long enough, you can make up your own Love, American Style plots." The sad thing is I started singing the theme song while looking at this room.

And the comment on one room with lots of brown leather couches (and carpeting, and walls) - "You just know there's a De Lorean in the garage. And a pound of blow in the closet."

And to describe one girl's bedroom in various hues of brown and orange: "Is your little girl a cheerful, happy, bubbly little bundle of love and delight? This'll cure her. It's the Downer Browner room, specially designed to grind the brightest soul into a thin gruel of granola-hued joylessness."

Makes me glad I escaped the 70's with a pink and a blue room. Whew.

( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
Funny, in a truly awful way. I remember some of these design elements in the house where I grew up, although I don't think my mother went overboard quite to this extent. (I do remember her painting the walls fo the staircase red, and adding a big white arrow pointing down. But that was the extent of it.) Author James Lileks has wry, witty manner of describing the Era of Excess. ( )
  AstonishingChristina | Aug 25, 2018 |
Another salvo of sarcasm aimed at past fads. Not quite as hilarious as The Gallery of Regrettable Food, but a fast, funny read in its own right, and the subject material itself - interior design of the 70s - is actually harder to believe than the regrettable food. ( )
  benjamin.duffy | Jul 28, 2013 |
I was laughing so hard I had to keep wiping the tears from my eyes to see the page. Although tear-induced blur did enhance some of the horrid 70's design. But it is the commentary more than the photos that make this worth reading. Now I want to go find more of his books. ( )
  jegka | Oct 3, 2011 |
All too familiar! In 1978 I moved into a house that had been decorated according to the aesthetic which Lilek hilariously demolishes in this book. It had metallic greeny-silver wallpaper - with flocking! -, huge orange-and-brown geometric wallpaper (different patterns for different rooms) and a tiny room wallpapered past the point of claustrophobia with a metallic-shocking-pink-fire-engine-red pattern. It took many hours to scrape it all off the walls. The scary thing is, after reading this book, it suddenly occurs to me that they may have done all that right before selling to make the house more attractive. The scarier thing is that earlier in the decade I probably admired some of this stuff, although in the case of seventies design it was difficult to distinguish aesthetic attraction from horrified fascination. Lilek's wicked comments literally are laugh-out-loud funny, so be warned before trying to read the book in public. ( )
  muumi | Feb 12, 2008 |
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Warning! This book is not to be used in any way, shape, or form as a design manual. Rather, like the documentary about youth crime “Scared Straight,” it is meant as a caution of sorts, a warning against any lingering nostalgia we may have for the 1970s, a breathtakingly ugly period when even the rats parted their hair down the middle. (Please note that the author and publisher are not responsible for the results of viewing these pictures.) James Lileks came of age in the 1970s, and for him there was no crueler thing you could inflict upon a person. The music: either sluggish metal, cracker-boogie, or wimpy ballads. Television: camp without the pleasure of knowing it’s camp. Politics: the sweaty perfidy of Nixon, the damp uselessness of Ford, the sanctimonious impotence of Carter. The world: nasty. Hair: unspeakable. Architecture: metal-shingled mansard roofs on franchise chicken shops. No oil. No fun. Syphilis and Fonzie. Interior Desecrations is the author’s revenge on the decade. Using an ungodly collection of the worst of 1970s interior design magazines, books, and pamphlets, he proves without a shadow of a doubt that the ’70s were a hideously grim period. This is what happens when Dad drinks, Mom floats in a Valium haze, the kids slump down in the den with a bong, and the decorator is left to run amok. It seemed so normal at the time. But this book should cure whatever lingering nostalgia we have. So adjust your sense of style, color, and taste. beware! You’ve been warned.

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