The V & A’s Typical 1950s Living room (which this picture only shows half of + the TV on the other side):

Similar Arrangements:


Please access my ebay list – now if possible (as some things are ending now) – and have a look through.

These are not necessarily all things that we could/should/would immediately buy there (although a few M and I are insisting that we DO buy), but also ideas for things to look for, information about pricing or provenance of objects we have and other useful information.

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Things that we REALLY want to buy here/source the most out of all of the items:

(which are mostly about the media centrpiece of the living room display)

1. THIS perfect 50s Record Player with Classic Splayed Legs: (which we might have to keep for the ex-Button Shop Foundation if it didn’t sell….)

2. Tomorrow’s House 2 page Spread: for the typical ‘exterior’ of the display room

3. This Perfect Television, reasonably price, with shipping.

4. AND/OR This Perfect 50s Television (If they ship)

5. AND/OR This TV. not a bargain, but also a great potential centrepiece:

Other Particularly Nice Things:

Grundig Stereo with Decorative Floral Panel

We also have a perfect 1950s house in London in our potential shopping basket — Mouse says if we put in an offer now, we could try a dry run of the display there before July.

Items that We Already Have:

Orange Bucket Chair

My Blue Lamp/eye-catching sculptural artwork/other main lamp on top of console table

Other Lamps

New Lamps that you have bought

Hassock (display)

Large 50s Barkcloth panel(s?)

Large quantity of small-medium size crockery and decorative items

1 radio (I think? Didn’t one arrive after I’d left?)

50s Globe]

Add other things

Display Layout Ideas – The Typical Living Room (Main Area)

Chair(s) angled towards TV/Radio/Record Player/Console Table

Barkcloth or other fabric panel over central console

Side Table(s) with lamps, magazines and journals displayed

Side Table with cocktail/glass/other crockery set on tray

Side table with 50s telephone and vintage reference book
Coffee Table/Low Table (Ideally Formica Boomerang), journals and magazines displayed, cocktail/glass/other crockery set on tray

Shelf Divider and/or Shelves in Background

Shelves on top of Sideboard

Desk Area

Desk (or table) + 50s Chair (Bucket or other)

My Luxo Lamp
My Black reading Lamp
Other Desk-Office Type Lamps


Row of Colourful Books arranged  by colour and shape/height

Glass Jar with Coloured Pencils

Globe (My 50s vintage globe or other)

Magazines and Journals Displayed

Radio and/or telephone (Maybe)

Other Decorative Objects

50s Writing Implements, Office Equipment, etc.

Tabletop shelf(ves) over/behind desk with artfully-spaced items on display

Shopping List – Items to Find/Source

High Priority

The Central media unit: TV set with period antenna, and/or record player, and/or radio and/or console

Some sort of shelving unit(s) for display of ceramics, books & other small-medium size decorative objects. Ideally, 50s style open-sided, some version of this kind of shelf or Room divider:


In a pinch, even a cheapo Ikea-type new(ish) shelving unit would work, as long as it had that staggered box, open ended, abstract look

Several smaller units like this would be good also:

Small Record Cabinet – with splayed legs, suitable for displaying objects on top and 50s design record albums

To Look For (Books and other Media)

Books with the Cover Art of Alvin Lustig:

    By these publishers:

Some 1950s Records with their, distinctive covers displayed, would be a nice addition next to whatever is the central media unit

Magazines and Journals
Typical 50s, eye-catching and/or wanted for the Foundation’s Collections:

  • Fortune Magazine (See here for some examples)
  • Arts & Architecture
  • American Artist
    Pencil Points
  •  Decorative Art

 +House-Decoration Guides, Manuals, Colour Charts and Product Charts: