Mini-Makeover: Moving my mid-century bedroom from the glam early 60s to the groovy, organic early 70s

The above is the "before" of my bedroom with the shag rug, turquoise Princess rotary phone (yes it works), "Hollywood Regency" style gold bedspread and sheer turquoise and brown drapes.

I had a stack of vintage suitcase that was also used for storage. There were a few girly things on my faux vanity (it's really a sewing table!) and a 1960s Paris oil painting.

The sheer curtains are pretty but not very practical during the cold Maine winters. I have heavy shades I can pull down behind them (and a working furnace!), but curtains without insulation means heat loss (and more money). I do need to be more budget-conscious these days.

I wanted to give my bedroom an "updated" look. (But not like this. I'm sure you've noticed the all-white decorating trend. I like color. And the past.) Updated in this case for me means the earthy organic style of the early 70s. I also wanted less clutter. To accomplish this I made a number of changes, but my 60s blonde furniture, pale yellow walls and carpet that came with the house when I bought it stayed intact (for now). 

The Makeover

I replaced the gold satiny bedspread with a vintage yellow wool blanket.

I alternate between two different sets of vintage sheets.

One set is flower-power yellow and orange daisies. The other set is of a desert sunset!

This is from the insert in the original packaging held up to my curtains.

I replaced the curtains with a complete set of orange tweed insulated drapes. 1960s orange drapes with barrel shade lamps hold a special place in my psyche. During my early grade school years my mother and I moved to New York City. I dearly missed living in Fort Lee, NJ, so I was plotting (in a little kid kind of way) to run away back to Fort Lee and stay at the Holiday Inn:

I never made it there and I was so bummed when they renovated! I hadn't thought too much about it since then until I was at an estate sale and saw a complete set of six thermal lined orange curtains! I took them home, washed and pressed them. Other than a few tiny tears they are perfect!

When the drapes are closed but the shades open, the sunlight creates a soothing orange glow that flows out into my hallway. All day. Yes! Except for cloudy days I now have the warm colors of a long-lasting fiery sunrise or desert sunset streaming live.

Next I replaced the turquoise Princess phone with a yellow desk rotary.

I wanted less clutter, so I moved the stack of vintage luggage to my basement.

I also no longer have the vintage cologne bottle or kitschy lipstick holder. I moved the Paris oil painting into my outside hallway and replaced it with  Syroco dogwood flowers because I like the way it looks in that space.

I bought a handmade jute runner at Target that seems to have all of the colors in my bedroom. I like the natural touch it adds to a carpeted room. 

As a final touch I added one of my mid-century "Mechanical Mirror Works" mirrors that had previously been in my hallway. It reflects bars of light back into the rest of the room.

I'm really happy with my "new" room, and can say that color therapy is real. I'm also OK with going orange in a white-washed world!


  1. Fun! I'm obsessed with 1940s at the moment. I often say I shop eras the way some women shop department stores. I draw the line at the 80s though. I lived them. I did my part. I used so much Aqua Net hairspray I may be personally for the hole in the ozone layer. Oops. But, hey, I has boys in Camaros to impress.

    1. ha. I had Joan Jett hair in the late 80s and like you I draw the line at 1979. Do you decorate 40s or dress? Both?

    2. Actually, I started in life as a fashion designer, so I make most of my clothes. My life is a hodge podge of whatever is gripping me at the moment. I buy up vintage patterns and re-work them. Mostly 40s and 50s, with some of the sleek silhouettes of the 30s and a little groovy modness thrown in for good measure. In both fashion and decor, I just go after whatever makes my heart sing. But somehow it ends up being right smack between the mid 40s and mid 50s more often than not. Dior's New Look is my heaven.

  2. Nice room, Averyl! Energizing color choice. I could't have an all white bedroom either. It's too sterile and cold looking.


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