Today's book is the 1958 edition of Homemaking for Teen-Agers, Book 2
. Book 1 was yesterday, and turns out to be aimed at middle schoolers. This one is for high schoolers.
It starts with an in-depth discussion of interior decorating, because ensuring that all us Middle America drones have excellently designed rooms is essential to the success of the American Dream. At least that's what I read between the lines.
I don't have a camera here so I can't show you the page that has pictures of two different sofas - one boringly normal and the other interestingly avant-garde* - and the text which heaps bile upon the avant-garde one. Which, by the way, I saw several variants of last year when shopping for a loveseat.
Can you tell at a glance which of the two davenports shown above is in good taste? Your study of good design in upholstered chairs should help you to do wthis without difficulty. If you are not sure, you might say to yourself, "Which davenport would I rather see in my living room day after day?" Certainly you would tire of the one with the awkward shape and the bulging curves. The slanted legs under this monstrosity seem hardly able to bear the weight above. This odd-looking davenport seems to have been designed with extra seats where the arms are usually located. It would be a very strange sight indeed to see people across the front and all the way around the corners. Some of them would have nothing to lean against but each other.
Ironically, the one they hated is the sort of style now lauded as an example of good Fifties design.
They are also missing the point
of the sofa, and the audience to which it appeals: stylish people with lots of money who redo their house every few years, and who throw cocktail parties at which people perch on the edges of furniture while drinking their Harvey Wallbangers before staggering out into the dark with someone else' spouse**. I admit that it's not of the best for lounging around watching TV, which is why my current loveseat (this one
, in black) does not resemble it.
The photos they use tend to show furniture arranged around the walls of a space, such that anyone sitting on the sofa will have to shout to be heard across the room by the person on the chair.*** Fireplaces are meant to be enjoyed from afar, not up close according to these pictures.
* It looks very much like this
without the arms. And tufted, if "tufted" in furniture means what I think it does.
** I may be making that up a bit.
*** That may also be another personal pet peeve. I have a sheer hatred of furniture ringing the walls, leaving a blank empty space in the middle of the room suitable for a dance floor, but not for facilitating conversation.