The front room

I was reading a book the other day where the author was talking about her “orange” period in the seventies when everything from carpets to wallpaper had to be orange. As she said “what was I thinking!?”

It took me back to our front room at home in that decade which had an orange shag pile carpet and purple walls. “What were my parents thinking?!”

It also made me ponder the idea of the “front room”. Like so many families at that time, despite not having lots of rooms, we had one which was kept for special occasions or for when guests were visiting. As kids we spent most of our time in the living room at the back of the house and the front room was clearly different. In fact as I write this I can smell the sweet sherry that was consumed in the front room on said special occasions.

It is fun to occasionally look back on the conventions of your youth and to think what different things we aspire to and how differently we view symbols of status these days.

5 thoughts on “The front room

  1. We didn’t have a front room in our house because my father was an architect and our house was very modern for its time. The kitchen was at the front off the house as my mother didn’t want to be stuck down the back. That says a lot about her. She hated missing out on any conversations! Sadly my dad died before it was finished and some friends from the church came and put in the cupboards and internal doors. He was only 33.
    My nana, on the other hand, had a front room that was never used. It had a lovely, almost brand new lounge suite and a beautiful glass fronted bookcase.


  2. I first read your comment when I picked up my phone while still half asleep and misread “architect” as “anarchist” which could have been equally relevant! And goodness, your Dad died when 33. How very sad.


  3. Our house that was ‘home’ in the 60s & 70s had terrible heating, and with no cavity wall, no insulation. The living room had an open fire and consequently that was where we would stay & play. My father had built a ‘play room’ out of the garage, but the condensation was such an issue that mould grew on the walls, so we were allowed to be in the same room as the grown ups. The colour scheme was magnolia walls and beige carpet. Very neutral, very boring, but that is my memory of the period.


    1. We had only coal fires for heating and that was one reason that the living room was the main room as the fire weasel always on there. I remember waking in the mornings to frost in the inside of the window next to my bed.


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