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8 Vintage Home Trends That’ll Take You Way Back

Take a stroll down memory lane with these vintage magazine ads.

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Look, Timmy, I'm a starReminisce

1962: Motorola Modern

 A stunning ad from the Fresh from Motorola print campaign that ran through the early 1960s. It featured electronics in ultracontemporary settings. Here, architect Leon Deller’s subterranean rec room design has aquarium windows that look into the backyard pool. Notice the TV remote on the table to the man’s left. Check out these vintage cars you’ll wish you could still drive today.

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A floor for all seasonsReminisce

1952: A Floor for All Seasons

Originally a cork cutter, Armstrong began making linoleum in 1907. By midcentury, it had dozens of styles and was known for product quality. Ads successfully targeted women, emphasizing linoleum as attractive and easy to clean and maintain. Fans of the ’50s will get a kick out of these vintage Frank Sinatra photos. 

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Modern comfortReminisce

1952: Modern Comfort

Before he began his 50-year collaboration with North Carolina’s Thayer Coggin company, pioneering designer Milo Baughman styled contemporary furniture for Drexel. His Perspective line, now prized by collectors, has features that later distinguished Baughman as a master of California Modern—smooth lines, adaptable styling, burled wood. We wish these vintage swimsuits would make a come back.

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Space saving pull out couchReminisce

1953: Space Saving

Disguised beds had been around since 1885 when entrepreneur Sarah Goode got a U.S. patent—the first African-American woman to do so—for a folding cabinet sleeper. But they took off with the boom in rental housing in the 1950s.

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Tucked in and tidyReminisce

1953: Tucked In and Tidy

Mass production all but eliminated embroidery and intricate detailing. Instead, it produced crisp, unadorned sheets suited to the pared-down style of platform beds (top left). Modular layouts show the trend to combine living and sleeping areas.

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Open concept kitchenReminisce

1954: Open-Concept Kitchen

This spot from Ladies’ Home Journal could have come straight from the current IKEA catalog. Armstrong understood the power of lifestyle advertising as early as 1917 when it hired an interior decorator to create elaborate displays to pique the imagination. Not surprisingly, Armstrong later opened a furnishings division. Check out these rare vintage photos of what summer was like back in the day.

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It really ties the room togetherReminisce

1955: It Really Ties the Room Together

The delicate sky blue linoleum, identified as “Royelle, style 1519,” is virtually secondary in this appealing layout of a blended living and dining area, a concept that would come to dominate American home design.

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Motorola modernReminisce

1947: Look, Timmy, I’m a Star!

The Revere Camera Co. glorified the growing home movie craze of the late ’40s with a line of 8 mm cameras and supporting devices, such as a splicer for editing. “Color movies, per scene, cost scarcely more than snapshots,” the ad says. But the equipment was pricey: The projector alone was $120, or about $1,350 today. Look at these vintage photos of what life was like in the ’50s.

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Reminisce magazine coverReminisce

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