A living room in 1965 photographed by Chris Ridley
This open-plan, living/dining room is based on that of a typical town-house of the early 1960s in Highgate, North London. The large windows and double-height dining area were designed to create an impression of space. These houses were generally fitted with a central heating system, making the television rather than the fireplace the focus of the room. Social and domestic conventions relaxed considerably in the 1960s, and the family living room now had to provide for activities like homework, watching television, eating and entertaining.
The room is furnished in the ‘Contemporary’ style, which was influenced by Scandinavian interiors and, in particular, Danish design. The furniture was plain and undecorated, and the wood was simply varnished. Chairs were upholstered in textured woven fabrics. In modern interiors walls were often painted white, and pattern and colour were largely confined to the soft furnishings. The floor was often of wood parquet blocks, as here, with a rug laid in the centre of the room to add contrast in colour and texture. The low coffee table was introduced in this period, designed so as not to obstruct the view of the television and to provide a surface for magazines, drinks and snacks.
Explore our 360 view of the Living room, 1965 or take the Virtual Tour of the Period Rooms and Gardens.