Aren't we all anxiously awaiting Sunday when season 3 of Mad Men begins? Just what have Don and the gang been up to?
House Beautiful is running a feature on their website about decorating the Mad Men way. You can learn how to add a little 1960s dash to your home, view photos of House Beautiful homes from the era, and help Betty with the redo of her home. (Can we please get rid of her kitchen?)
House Beautiful editor-in-chief Stephen Drucker was kind enough to answer some of my Mad Men questions, all for the sake of understanding that Mad Men allure.
What is it about the Mad Men era that still captivates us today? Is it the cavalier attitude towards drinking, smoking, and sex? The fashion? The cocktails?
First, we envy them: They could smoke, drink, and say inappropriate things without any guilt. And then there's the whole schadenfreude thing: Their world is about to fall apart, and they don't see it coming.
Design wise, which looks from that era still seem fresh today? Which looks should remain shelved?
I love the Sterling Cooper office with all those colored doors and Selectric typewriters. Nobody likes Betty's spinning-wheel-and-butter-churn Early American suburbia. Everybody thinks all the midcentury modern stuff seems fresh, but they got tired of it, and I think we will too.
What was with all of that orangey, stained wood paneling and cabinets in homes from that era? Betty has it in her kitchen, so I'm assuming it was de rigueur for the time?
Maple was the wenge of 1960. Let's not be judgmental. They'll be laughing at 2009 in a few years.
What three colors sum up Mad Men style?
Any of Joan's dresses.
Any idea of what that generation did to get rid of cigarette odor? Or did they not worry about it?
They didn't think of it as an "odor." It's just what everything smelled like. There was no stigma to smoking, and non-smokers were the minority, so if you didn't like that ciggy smell, it was sort of your problem.
If you were one of the Mad Men, what would your "pad" look like?
Get me the key to Pete's penthouse. His 1950s white brick building is down the block from my apartment in Manhattan, so I have a soft spot for it.
Were they really more sophisticated back then?
Back then, everybody aspired to being grown up and wanted a sophisticated, adult stage to live life on. Now everybody wants to be 25 forever. And we feel sorry for Don and Betty?!
(All images via House Beautiful's website.)