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Interior Desecrations: Hideous Homes from…
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Interior Desecrations: Hideous Homes from the Horrible '70s

by James Lileks

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Another salvo of sarcasm aimed at past fads. Not quite as hilarious as The Gallery of Regrettable Food, but a fast, funny read in its own right, and the subject material itself - interior design of the 70s - is actually harder to believe than the regrettable food. ( )
  benjamin.duffy | Jul 28, 2013 |
I was laughing so hard I had to keep wiping the tears from my eyes to see the page. Although tear-induced blur did enhance some of the horrid 70's design. But it is the commentary more than the photos that make this worth reading. Now I want to go find more of his books. ( )
  jegka | Oct 3, 2011 |
All too familiar! In 1978 I moved into a house that had been decorated according to the aesthetic which Lilek hilariously demolishes in this book. It had metallic greeny-silver wallpaper - with flocking! -, huge orange-and-brown geometric wallpaper (different patterns for different rooms) and a tiny room wallpapered past the point of claustrophobia with a metallic-shocking-pink-fire-engine-red pattern. It took many hours to scrape it all off the walls. The scary thing is, after reading this book, it suddenly occurs to me that they may have done all that right before selling to make the house more attractive. The scarier thing is that earlier in the decade I probably admired some of this stuff, although in the case of seventies design it was difficult to distinguish aesthetic attraction from horrified fascination. Lilek's wicked comments literally are laugh-out-loud funny, so be warned before trying to read the book in public. ( )
  muumi | Feb 12, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307238725, Paperback)

Warning!

This book is not to be used in any way, shape, or form as a design manual. Rather, like the documentary about youth crime “Scared Straight,” it is meant as a caution of sorts, a warning against any lingering nostalgia we may have for the 1970s, a breathtakingly ugly period when even the rats parted their hair down the middle. (Please note that the author and publisher are not responsible for the results of viewing these pictures.)


James Lileks came of age in the 1970s, and for him there was no crueler thing you could inflict upon a person. The music: either sluggish metal, cracker-boogie, or wimpy ballads. Television: camp without the pleasure of knowing it’s camp. Politics: the sweaty perfidy of Nixon, the damp uselessness of Ford, the sanctimonious impotence of Carter. The world: nasty. Hair: unspeakable. Architecture: metal-shingled mansard roofs on franchise chicken shops. No oil. No fun. Syphilis and Fonzie.

Interior Desecrations is the author’s revenge on the decade. Using an ungodly collection of the worst of 1970s interior design magazines, books, and pamphlets, he proves without a shadow of a doubt that the ’70s were a hideously grim period. This is what happens when Dad drinks, Mom floats in a Valium haze, the kids slump down in the den with a bong, and the decorator is left to run amok. It seemed so normal at the time. But this book should cure whatever lingering nostalgia we have. So adjust your sense of style, color, and taste. beware!

You’ve been warned.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:52 -0400)

Who knows? But we do need to accept the fact that otherwise sensible American housewives who would never grind a quaalude into their morning coffee or sleep with their tennis instructor nevertheless went daft during the 1970s and performed heinous acts of design on unsuspecting homes. What James Lileks did for dinner with the critically acclaimed classic The Gallery of Regrettable Food, he now does to the wonderful world of 1970s home interiors. Blazing plaid wallpaper. Vertigo-inducing matching patterns on walls, rugs, chairs, pillows, and blinds. Bathrooms straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The whole {8217}70s shebang. If you think the {8217}80s were dumber than the {8217}70s, either you weren{8217}t there or you weren{8217}t paying attention. James Lileks came of age in the 1970s, and for him there was no crueler thing you could inflict upon a person. The music: either sluggish metal, cracker-boogie, or wimpy ballads. Television: camp without the pleasure of knowing it{8217}s camp. Politics: the sweaty perfidy of Nixon, the damp uselessness of Ford, the sanctimonious impotence of Carter. The world: nasty. Hair: unspeakable. Architecture: metal-shingled mansard roofs on franchise chicken shops. No oil. No fun. Syphilis and Fonzie.… (more)

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