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Friday, March 27th, 2009

Make Your House Modern!


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
10 Comments » | Published in Bathrooms, Design Magazines, Vintage Looks, modern inspiration  |  10 Comments

I was leafing through a 1958 H&G and this ad cracked me up:

The entire theme of the magazine was all about how to be modern, yet it was still very family-oriented and full of features about picnics. It was so very Mad Men; I can picture the readers just leaving their trash on the ground when they were done picnicking. Obviously the modern part only regarded aethetics, as this girl is still wearing a poodle skirt and Bobby socks. It’s an interesting ad; clearly people were desperate to be considered modern, yet are grasping desperately to the past. The very transitional time is clear in the aesthetics down to the smallest detail.

A few other gems from this issue:

About Becky

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the "Editorial Director" here on Hatch, you can find me spewing lots of design opinions and tips over at Houzz. Make me happy -- leave a comment!



  1. Logo Design Guru says:

    March 27th, 2009 at 8:51 am (#)

    Haha. So interesting how the original modern design is not quite so modern anymore. Very nice.

  2. Becky says:

    March 27th, 2009 at 9:08 am (#)

    I always have fun seeing which elements have stayed modern, and which ones would change. I think the Revolutionary Road and Mad Men set designers have done an perfect job of capturing this transitional time, especially when I see old magazines like this!

  3. kitpollard says:

    March 27th, 2009 at 11:17 am (#)

    You know, I really love that font in the top ad. It actually looks modern-modern (as in current) to me…

  4. Becky says:

    March 27th, 2009 at 2:58 pm (#)

    Kit, you’re right, it is rather pleasing. I like the headline on the black and white page as well. The word “TWINDOW” cracks me up! Are you supposed to buy them in pairs or something?

  5. Vanyali says:

    March 31st, 2009 at 7:45 am (#)

    I think the “twin” in “Twindow” refers to the double layer of glass. Insulated double-pane windows were a new idea at that time.

  6. becky says:

    March 31st, 2009 at 9:28 am (#)

    Vanyali, thanks for the insight!

  7. ejw says:

    March 31st, 2009 at 7:28 pm (#)

    Becky: What goes around comes around. We are very family oriented here in Oregon….to the point of deifying
    children…I suspect that is considered “modern”. Just clean up all that clutter and these spreads would look almost contemporary….especially that dining room (the chairs are terrific, all it needs is a Saarinen table, larger art on the wall and better window treatments. I saw worse in those days.

  8. becky says:

    March 31st, 2009 at 8:25 pm (#)

    ejw, I couldn’t agree more. What I like about images from this time is seeing the furniture in the context of the 1950s. Some of the more traditional elements are still hanging around while people eagerly add modern pieces that are still classics today. That is part of why I am so in awe of the Mad Men and Revolutionary Road sets; I think those designers really captured the transitional phase.

  9. Scott says:

    July 8th, 2009 at 3:45 pm (#)

    Becky, Thanks for posting this timeless piece of history :-)

  10. EdinburghCleaner says:

    September 12th, 2009 at 3:37 am (#)

    Funny to see old ‘modern’ styles. Interestingly enough they are still quite valid ;)

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