The Saturday Generation

The Bloomingdales Book by Barbara Darcy, dining area in The Cave Room

The Bloomingdales Book by Barbara Darcy, The Cave Room

The Cave Room (above), the Projection Room, and the Xanadu Room (below) are from “The Bloomingdale’s Book of Home Decorating,” 1973, by Barbara D’Arcy. D’arcy was famous for her wild display rooms actually constructed inside the Bloomingdales store in New York in the 1960s and 70s. All her rooms had the classic 60s emphasis on lounging, pleasure, boldness, and an appeal to the senses that bordered on the psychedelic or the mind-altering – they were an Experience. But there was also a DIY component to D’Arcy’s approach. Many of the room elements were not expensive to build or buy, and that’s because most of her displays were directed at the “Saturday Generation” demographic, which she describes (in a tone that’s only funny because it’s so of its time) in a way that makes it sound a lot like the readership of Apartment Therapy or the current DIY movement in general, to which many of us probably belong:

The Saturday Generation. That’s what we call them at Bloomingdale’s, but they’re everywhere – all over the country, all over the world. We call them the Saturday Generation because they fill our stores on Saturdays. They’re young, they’re vital, they’re hardworking. And Saturday is about the only day they have to shop.

Maybe you’re a member of The Saturday Generation. If so, we know you… Some of you are just starting out in your profession. You may have a roommate, you may be newly married, you may live in a bachelor pad. You’re informed, you’ve got taste (usually more taste than money, right?) and as far as today is concerned, you’re with it. (Click below for more…)

Update: Barbara D’Arcy died age 84 on May 10, 2012. Lovely obituary in the NYT.

The Bloomingdales Book by Barbara Darcy, The Projection Room

The Bloomingdales Book by Barbara Darcy, The Xanadu Room

See also a nice post on this book from buildmeanest, which we first read as “build a mean nest.” Which also works, especially in this case.

The Saturday Generation. That’s what we call them at Bloomingdale’s, but they’re everywhere – all over the country, all over the world. We call them the Saturday Generation because they fill our stores on Saturdays. They’re young, they’re vital, they’re hardworking. And Saturday is about the only day they have to shop.

Maybe you’re a member of The Saturday Generation. If so, we know you. Some of you  have gone to work right from high school or trade school. Some of you are just starting out in your profession. You may have a roommate, you may be newly married, you may live in a bachelor pad. You’re informed, you’ve got taste (usually more taste than money, right?) and as far as today is concerned, you’re with it.

And because your means are limited, you have to find ways to decorate your apartment without professional help and still have snappy, happy surroundings. Time was when the bachelor pad was nothing more than a dingy studio couch that served for sitting as well as sleeping, a “something” to store things in a a few travel posters tacked to the wall. No more.

There are foam rubber modular seating units in unusual shapes covered with service-able cotton fabrics. (Who’s got the time for constant maintenance or the money for domestic help?)

… Fortunately, some of today’s best designers are devoting their talents to furniture that is contemporary looking, can be mass produced and consequently is in the right price range for the new homemaker with a slim budget. A bit of advice, however. Furniture for you of the Saturday Generation is not dime-store cheap. But neither is it anywhere as expensive as conventionally constructed furniture.

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3 Responses to “The Saturday Generation”

  1. Bloomingdales | Ouno Design Says:

    […] more of the amazing display rooms D’Arcy designed for Bloomingdales in our earlier post,  The Saturday Generation. Why are things so boring now? Taste is nice, but “tasteful” and “safe” now […]

  2. Identifying Likes and Dislikes « Supergraphic Strategies Says:

    […] on Barbara D’Arcy’s Bloomingdale rooms and the “Saturday Generation,” read this informative post by Onou […]

  3. 10 Insane Interiors and Radical Room Designs | WebUrbanist Says:

    […] (image via: Ouno Design) […]

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