Welcome again to Back Issues, a summer series wherein Curbed raids the blissfully robust archives of House Beautiful, the grande dame of American decorating magazines, and retrieves the best bits of bygone decor. Have an old issue in the attic you'd like to share? Whip out the scanner and please, hit up the tipline.
Next up in the tour of beautiful, if hilariously outmoded, shelter magazine interiors of yesteryear are the soothing fire engine reds and neon tangerines that make up the bedrooms of the 1960s, a decade when the beds were smaller, the linens crisper, and the wallpaper nuttier than a Necco Clark Bar. Indeed, some bedrooms strive for serenity—or "luminous enchantment," as translated into effusive 1960s mag-babble—others go, uh, the cherry-red-and-zig-zaggy-wallpaper route. Check it out, below.
? Back it up. Hold the phone. Drop everything. Rewind. Is that a chair facing the other way on the front end of a rocking horse? Brilliant. Pretty much everything else about this room superb, actually. It covers all the bases: creepy dolls, paper lanterns, uncompromising dedication to a single pattern, half-rabbit French schoolboys... (Dec. 1965)
? This bedroom is actually unambiguously beautiful, with the crispness of Mad Men-era decor translated with the delicacy of a china pattern. (Nov. 1962)
? Apparently kids bedrooms in 1960s shelter magazines were incredibly restrained. (Dec. 1965)
? "At night, the bedroom becomes mysteriously beautiful, suffused with glowing light from sources concealed in the surrounding deck that may be dimmed or intensified in endless ways, combined almost like musical chords, to fit the occupant's need or mood. The bed wall is luminous enchantment in itself." (Feb. 1960)
? Another 1960s kids room. (Dec. 1965)
? Complete with a baby typewriter, paper lantern, and tiny rotary phone. (Dec. 1965)
? "In an apartment bedroom, three kinds of screen join to form a distinguished display of Japanese art and a practical bed niche. This custom-made combination of louvers, shoji-type silk paneling, and an antique foil painted screen can embrace the bed in complete privacy." (Nov. 1960)