24 Things Everyone Had in Their Houses in the 70s

Vintage 1970 kitchen, retro

Every decade has brought something to the table, only for it to be forgotten by the next. Then there are some trends that, though gone, are never truly forgotten. Enter the wonderfully trippy world of the 1970s! From shag carpets to questionable patterns, maybe one of these lost household items will surface a long-lost memory of days past.

1. Linoleum Flooring

Old kitchen with Linoleum Flooring
Image Credit: Artazum/Shutterstock.

Fun fact: Linoleum was considered a luxury item during the early 1900s and around the time of the Titanic. It had recently been invented and was expensive to make at the time. Think about that the next time you look back at old photos and cringe at the kitchen flooring or question your parents' choice to put it in the bathroom!

2. Fake Wood Paneling

Old Wood Paneling, retro
Image Credit: Andrea C. Miller/Shutterstock.

Depending on where you live, wood may be a common material to cover a wall. We’re not talking about actual wood in this case, however. In the 70s, wood paneling was typically plywood covered with a fake wood pattern. If you are one to knock on wood, don’t do it in a wood-paneled house from the 70s.

3. Lava Lamps

Lava Lamp
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Fittingly hypnotic for an era filled with trippy illegal substances, the lava lamp found a place in many people's hearts and homes during the 70s. Can’t say we blame them. The slow rise and fall of wax globs mixed with the soft colored glow of the light make it easy to fall under its hypnotic spell.

4. Shag Carpeting

Shag Carpeting, 1970s retro, old vacuum
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This long, luscious carpet was a '70s staple. Though it may have been nice on the toes, some questionable choices were made about color and placement. We will never forgive those who decided it was a good idea to place shag carpet in the bathroom.

5. Console TVs

Old console TV, vintage television, retro
Image Credit: Wilfredor – Own work, CC0/Wiki Commons.

Giant televisions may still be common in the present day, but console TVs took “giant” to a different level. These units of visual entertainment were practically pieces of furniture on their own! They could be the size of a cabinet, framed in wood, and weigh more than 100 pounds. Not many people would volunteer to put these babies on the wall.

6. Stone Fireplaces

Stone Fireplace
Image Credit: w_lemay – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

This isn’t bashing grand stone fireplaces in areas where they fit, such as castles, mansions, cabins, and even big fancy hotels. Instead, this is about the random placement of statement stone fireplaces. Sometimes, you would enter a house and find that it all fit together quite well style-wise. But then you’d see it… a fireplace filled with giant rough stones puzzled together, clashing with everything around it.

7. Analog Alarm Clocks

loud alarm clock
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Whether it was a traditional analog clock with bells on top or a more advanced flip card style (potentially with a radio built-in), the alarm clock was an essential part of getting up in the morning for many. Now, clocks, especially alarm clocks, have been replaced by smartphones. Even digital-faced alarm clocks are more common nowadays compared to the analog originals.

8. Trippy Wallpaper

Old phone, 70s wallpaper, retro wallpaper, trippy,
Image Credit: Marcus Norman/Shutterstock.

For a decade filled with hallucinogens, you’d think people would have stayed away from crazy patterns on everything. Then again, maybe it was the sheer number of trip-inducing substances that made so many want those patterns in the first place. Whatever the reason, a significant number of homeowners plastered their walls with brightly colored wallpaper with geometric and/or curvy patterns.

9. Sunken Living Rooms

Sunken Living Room, 1970s living room, retro
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Something about the 1970s made people really want their sitting area in the living room separate from the rest of the room. But they didn’t want it so separate that it was now its own room. Instead, they decided to sink it into the floor. We can only imagine how many people fell into these things late at night. Still, when done right, it didn’t look too bad.

10. Floating Stairs

Floating Stairs, 1970 stairs
Image Credit: Renato Cortez/Shutterstock.

It doesn’t matter what anyone says — these things are an accident waiting to happen! If you have anxiety, there's no doubt floating stairs will make you nervous. The Brady Bunch family may have had one of these staircases in their home, but that isn’t going to make us feel any safer about them.

11. TV Dinners in Foil Trays

Old TV Dinner, Metal Tray Dinner, 1970
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When people didn't feel like cooking dinner, this handy compartmentalized meal was a perfect shortcut. Usually consisting of meat, two sides, and sometimes a dessert, the TV dinners of the 70s had everything a person needed for dinner in one convenient platter.

12. Floral Print Sofas

Floral Couch, Sofa 1970, Retro
Image Credit: U3211603 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Maybe if the patterns were flattering, these sofas would have been in style a little longer. The floral pattern on the upholstery was truly a thing to behold. At times, it was so much you couldn’t differentiate one part of the couch from the other. If you think the '70s wallpaper and flooring were bad, take a peek at some of these sofas.

13. Corded House Phones

Senior woman searching yellow pages and holding telephone.
Image Credit: Bojan Milinkov/Shutterstock.

A lot of us had a designated house phone growing up. It may have been a blocky push-button phone or, in some cases, a rotary dial style. Regardless of the style, it's rare to find a working corded phone in someone’s home these days.

14. Giant Stereo Systems

Old stereo system, speakers
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During the '70s, listening to music was taken very seriously — so seriously that massive stereo systems were common. Listening to records, 8-tracks, or reel-to-reels all required big audio setups with giant speakers. Needless to say, music took up a lot of space.

15. Macramé

Macramé
Image Credit: Auckland Museum, CC BY 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Macramé took over the walls and ceilings of many homes during this era. It was a trendy craft for wall hangings, plant holders, furniture, and even clothes. Oh yes, we’re sure many put their Boy Scout skills to good use back in the day.

16. Fringe on Everything

Fringe bag outfit 1970s, vintage, retro
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From vests to hair, you could find fringe everywhere! Even home items weren’t safe! Furniture, lamps, rugs — if you can think of it, someone probably put some fringe on it.

17. Radios

1970s old retro radio
Image Credit: Ricce – Own work, Public Domain/Wiki Commons.

Though they're now mainly in our cars, radio was another big player in the home music industry. The sizes varied, with some being almost pocket-sized and others being about the size of a handbag, if not bigger.

18. Egg Pod Chairs

Business Man sitting in pod chair, egg chair
Image Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.

Apparently, there was a common desire among the masses to simulate the feeling of sitting in an egg. These round beauties gave you the sensation of being in your own little space while not being too distant from the rest of the room. You also had the option of acting like a movie villain of some kind in this chair.

19. Chrome Everything

Chrome table
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Reflective chrome spoke to the futuristic inspiration of design. The shiny material was everywhere you looked in the '70s. No matter where you went, you were more than likely to find at least a hint of chrome.

20. Pyrex

Pyrex
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Though the company and its products have been around since 1915 and are still around to this day, Pyrex underwent a bit of a transformation during the groovy years. The mixing bowls and dishes came in opaque colors with different patterns on the outside. Now, they are only seen with the clear versions.

21. Everything in Earth Tones

1970 living room, retro, vintage
Image Credit: Leif Jørgensen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

For such a colorful decade, the '70s sure liked its browns. Homes were filled with all kinds of vibrant shades of brown and tan and sometimes a bit of green. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the colors have disappeared entirely. They just aren’t as dominant in homes anymore.

22. Vinyl Tablecloths

Vinyl Tablecloth
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At present, vinyl tablecloths come in the form of thin sheets of plastic that are typical of outdoor get-togethers or birthday parties. That wasn’t the case in the '70s, however. Vinyl tablecloths were thicker, probably had a crazy pattern, and were kept on the dinner table. They also had a fuzzy material underneath that made them slide all around the table like an ice skater.

23. Rec Room Basements

Rec room basement
Image Credit: Dagys, Paul, – Public Domain/Wiki Commons.

Before the man cave and the she shed, there was the rec room. Rec rooms were almost always located in the basement, making them a bit dark and musty. Still, it was an excellent place to hang out, play games, or have a party.

24. Avocado Kitchen Appliances

1970s avocado green kitchen
Image Credit: Frigidaire.

Avocado green and harvest gold were very popular appliance colors in the '70s. All your appliances, from the oven to the dishwasher, could match these muted yet distinct shades of green and gold, all brought together with dark wood paneling!

Author: Molly Locke

Title: Freelance Journalist

Expertise: Movies, Video Games, Travel

Bio:

Molly Locke is a freelance journalist for Wealth of Geeks fresh off the presses with a degree in business management focused in digital and social media marketing. Having been traveling since before she could walk, she's gained quite a bit of insight on what this world is all about. Movies and video games are her bread and butter, as is being able to talk about their stories, quality, effects, and impact endlessly.