Monday, March 30, 2015

Studio 54 in the Suburbs: A Look at One Reader's Grooving '70s Abode


I'm willing to bet that if you visit sites like Go Retro, one of your dreams is to live in a mid-century modern home of your very own and decorate it with wild retro abandon (I know it's one of my dreams.) Well, allow me to introduce you to the home of Go Retro reader and fan Richard, who recently made that dream his reality. 



This was Richard's Denver area house from the outside when he purchased it with his husband Gerald in 2014. Very Brady Bunch, don't you think? It's nice enough from its street view, but the real treat is what is on the inside...




Like most vintage enthusiasts, Richard had a soft spot for 1960s design and architecture that eventually gave him an appreciation for the 1970s as well. The house was built in 1971, one of several in the neighborhood that has a similar style and floor plan. 

A lot can happen to a house in over 40 years, but the split-level home still had its '70s bones and spirit intact thanks to its previous owners. The beams, wood panels above the brick fireplace, cream-white carpeting. and dark wood banisters are all original to the property. "They updated the kitchens and baths in 1999, but thankfully left the rest of the home in all its original 1970s charm!" says Richard. "We love how the light carpets and dark wood play off each other so we're keeping it all."  

Now get ready to see what the abode looks like after Richard and Gerald super seventies-sized it...









If by now you're thinking, "Wow--this house looks like one I've seen in a movie or TV show!" then you know your '70s films and television. Richard got much of his decorating inspiration from the short-lived CBS series Swingtown as well as the classic '70s sitcoms and shows Mary Tyler Moore, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, and Charlie's Angels, and movies such as American Hustle, Boogie Nights, and Anchorman 2. He also owns several interior design books from past decades that provided a slew of ideas, and being married to an illustrator with an eye for colors and patterns helped immensely as well. 


Richard purchased the vibrant abstract wallpaper for the bar area from a German website called wallpaperfromthe70s.com after seeing it used on the show Swingtown and kept it safely tucked away until he knew he'd use it one day. (You won't find the particular patterns Richard purchased on the site any longer, as they've been discontinued, but several come close.) 

Some of the furniture items are designer pieces: the dining room table is Milo Baughman for DIA, the chairs are Pierre Cardin, and the mirrored wall unit is Pace. 

Says Richard, "The kitchen table is an original Eero Saarinen and the chairs are Baughman as well as the club chairs in the living room and white love seat. I'm a huge fan of Milo Baughman's 1970s designs.

Most everything (except the brown velvet sectional) has been recovered with care...all in lush velvet fabrics, with color tones from the era: rusts, browns, creams and sand (tans). I was looking through a design book I have from 1980 and noticed we have the same brown sectional that Egon Von Furstenberg had in his apartment back then."







What's that old saying? The disco's in the details! Richard and Gerald scooped up a lot of the finishing touches, wall decor and fun, kitschy accessories seen throughout the home online and at estate sales. 

"I always heard how people mocked the decade with all of it's earth tones, hippiedom holdovers from the late 60s, and over-the-top design choices...but truthfully...any decade can be mocked in such a way so I didn't let other people's opinions derail my vision for the house." says Richard. "The best comments I've received from guests upon walking through the house are, 'Who lives here...Dirk Diggler?', 'I expected to see Halston and Bianca Jagger at the bar!', and 'It's like a scene from Hart to Hart. I love it!"

As cool as this place is, it's still not done...Richard and Gerald are looking forward to "retro fitting" several more rooms including the den, upstairs office, and additional bedrooms. They are also planning on upgrading the exterior of the house with new windows and paint. In the meantime, though, the '70s spirit is definitely spilling over into the back deck...(and yes, that's a can of Tab! Can't get more 1970s than that!)




Thank you so much, Richard, for sharing your gorgeous house with us. Party at your place sometime? I'll bring the fondue pot!

9 comments:

  1. That's great, I feel like turning on the console TV and watch some Space 1999. Actually I always do.

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  2. I've looked at these pics 3-4 times now and it still amazes me--these are some pretty far-out digs! It may be all retro, but it still looks new and with plenty of style. Thanks for sharing these!

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  3. "Brady Bunch"
    The first thing I though when I looked at the picture.

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  4. I freaking love this! I have several MCM pieces in my home and am going for that vibe, but they really did it justice! And the mention of Swingtown...I was so upset when it was cancelled, they got the 70's so right.

    The underside of that patio umbrella is the same print I had in my room for my bedspread and curtains as a preteen - but mine was blue/aqua/purple. Ah memories!

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  5. Thanks Pam for making our 70s pad come alive online! Very special and it looks OUTTA SITE!

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  6. far out and groovy man!

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  7. Thanks everyone for your comments. It is one good looking house!

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  8. Please be sure to post pictures when they finish the house! Man, this is truly out of time!

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  9. A can of Tab, I'm in 70S Heaven!! Yeah I sooo much want a retro house like this - complete with the shag pile carpeting and fake wood paneling!!

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