By Michael A. Thomas, FASID, CAPS
As the 76 million Baby Boomers being to approach their retirement, many will look back on decades gone by and remember the "good times." For them, and yes for all, there are those moments that one just can't forget.... mile-markers in time.... like our first true love, the first car, the first real job, maybe it was the first house you bought with a 30-year mortgage ( a commitment at the time which seemed like it would last forever. )
But especially for Boomers, there were many kinds of mile-markers during the 1970s. It was a time of change and huge social evolution. They were blazing trails and burning bridges,... sometimes at the same time. American novelist Tom Wolfe labeled the 1970s as “the Me Decade" and based this on the Boomer's newfound preoccupation with their own self-discovery and self-awareness.
RADICAL CHANGE SOON BECAME THE NORM
Here are some examples of how times have changed and how the times changed the lives of the Baby Boomer.
Trendy home design during the early 1970s was considered "mod." Bright citrus colors replaced the classic1960's "boring beige" and "tired taupe." Chippendale cherry wood chairs and tables were tossed aside and replaced with seating and counters made from Lucite and Formica. While vertical slat and mini-slat blinds had been around but they become very popular during this era. Big prints and big plants filled our rooms.
During this time, dishwashers were considered a real luxury and microwave ovens still seemed something from outer space. While we had color TV, there were only a handful of stations where I lived to choose from and only a few TV shows were in color. And depending on where you lived, TV stations signed off at midnight after playing the National Anthem.
If you wanted to listen to specific music artist, there were vinyl records. You could buy about 14 songs on vinyl for about $ 5.99. ( My first was Carol King's Tapestry and I still have it.) Today, CD discs are "out," iTunes is "in" and vinyl is returning to favor. Wait, ... what happened there? This was also a time before fax machines, desk top computers, voice, emails and cell phones. It makes you wonder how we ever communicated with one another?
Early Boomers were some of the first to raise concerns about the destruction of the planet's resources. Studies and reports released about air, land and water pollution led to marches, demonstrations and sit-ins which helped to give birth to the "sustainable" movement. We know it today as "green design," a popular trend in building that has become a standard design component.
And speaking of giving birth, the Boomer generation was the first generation that thought it was perfectly fine to have a baby and then get married. And in July, 1978, the first test-tube baby was born which proved that you didn't even need a uterus to have one. Amazing, eh?
WE GIVE THANKS TO THOSE RADICAL BOOMERS
Those crazy years provided many milestones and memories for Boomers. Those years shaped who they were, what they believed, how they lived and what they became impacted our culture.
So you say you're a Boomer but can't remember back then? Perhaps you weren't even born yet?
Take a peak at what it was like in 1974 and see how things have changed,... or have they really?
And finally.... in 1974: we were saying "Whatever."
But now its 2014,... and we're saying "Depends."
So if you're a Boomer, what's changed for you? What do you remember?
Michael is an award winning interior designer based in Palm Desert, CA. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a member of the ASID College of Fellows.
As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, he creates smart looking spaces that are safe and secure and create homes for a lifetime.
And with thirty plus years in the profession, he has honed his humor, elevated his passion for design and sharpened his wit to not take anything too seriously except his design work.