HBO’s Mad Men is deservedly critically-acclaimed, with the sexism, classism and racism of the 1960s contrasting well with the beauty of the fashions and design of the era. You might not have the figure to do Joan Holloway’s or Betty Draper’s outfits justice, and you might not have the funds or skills to go to town with CJ Pony Mustang floor mats and Mustang accessories on a classic car, but you can still have some Mad Men flavor in your life. The intricately detailed sets of the show make for great inspiration for home decorating.
Dorothy Thorpe Roly Poly Glasses
If there’s one thing the Mad Men characters do far too often, it’s drink. While it’s probably not a good idea to emulate their alcohol consumption, when you do want a glass of something strong why not take your sips out of the same lovely glasses that have been a fixture of Don Draper’s various offices? Designed by Dorothy Thorpe, the silver rimmed ‘Roly Poly’ glasses are regularly up for offer on eBay in varying numbers.
The glass coffee table in the Season 5 Draper apartment was purchased from Deja Vu in Long Beach. Deja Vu offers a range of mid-century designs, from a retro bar cart to a colorful French block table. If the prices are a bit much, just use them for inspiration and take a leaf out of the book of the Mad Men set designers. The counter stools in the Draper apartment were bought from a Craigslist seller.
Burnt orange sofas and armchairs are iconic ‘60s, and they feature in the Sterling-Copper-Draper-Price workspaces. Search in antique stores, on craigslist, amongst retro new designs or go to town yourself and re-upholster your current sofa-set. Alternatively, you might choose a caramel and gold palette, as preferred by Bertram Cooper in his office during Season 3. You could also choose to soften up your bedroom with a padded headboard.
The ‘60s didn’t shy away from bold statements on the walls. Betty Draper’s plaid wallpaper would surely brighten up any kitchen. For an even more outrageous statement, you could copy the bars featured in many scenes and go for an animal print … not for the faint of heart! A safer option might be the classic interlocking floral designs that were a mainstay of mid-century design.
While it might be tempting to go a little bit overboard with your interior design, taking a few Mad Men elements and incorporating them into a more modern whole will probably be a better idea. It’s almost always better to be inspired than to simply copy an era wholesale.