Bloomingdales 1970s display rooms by Barbara D’Arcy

Japan room

More photos from “The Bloomingdale’s Book of Home Decorating,” 1973, by Barbara D’Arcy. These displays –  a Japanese room, a psychedelic red room and a room done in a sort of wild Tudor hunting lodge style – were built inside Bloomingdales in the late 60s or early 70s. See more of the amazing display rooms D’Arcy designed for Bloomingdales in our earlier post,  The Saturday Generation.

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

Bloomingdales red room by Barbara D'Arcy

Tudor hunting folly

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10 Responses to “Bloomingdales 1970s display rooms by Barbara D’Arcy”

  1. ii-ne-kore Says:

    wow – you seem to have a really nice collection of reference magazines and books. i am liking the japanese room, but the zabuton are bit fat/out of proportion?! maybe everything was just bigger and better in the 70s.
    (ps – i very much like the tag: ‘why are things so boring now?’

  2. Lindsay Says:

    ii-ne-kore, Re: the zabuton… I know, I think Barbara D’Arcy was only riffing on the Japanese. Or the British. And everything else. So wild. Also she had very little time between displays – sometimes these rooms lasted a month or less inside Bloomingdales! It’s worth trying to get a copy of this book secondhand (I think there are some on abebooks.com, not sure if that site includes or ships to Australia/Asia yet). My design partner Sarah discovered this book.

  3. Lorri Says:

    My Uncle served as Canada’s Cultural Adviser to the U.S and lived in New York
    during the latter part of the 60’s to mid 70’s. I was fortunate to have inherited the furnishings he purchased at that time from Bloomingdale’s model rooms. When he returned to Canada, he had the furnishings shipped back to his home in Toronto. Since he was a member of the Canadian Embassy staff, it was transported for free.

    Some of the pieces I have can be found on page 108 of “bloomingdale’s book of home decorating.” I have a pair of the aluminum clad club chairs as well as the aluminum rectangular coffee table shown in the lower living area. It opens in the center to reveal magazine and alcohol storage. I also have the pair of Martinelli Luce mushroom table lamps shown just see to the right of the coffee table in the same view. From another model room I have the original Arco lamp, a 7′ white chenille low back sofa (with large matching ottomans) that all have the original Bloomingdale Brothers tags on them.

    The best part of all these pieces is their design – they are absolutely timeless!

  4. LB Says:

    LUCKY! A lot of those were things I’d have chosen too. Now I’m really curious about your uncle – where do you think he developed his tastes, and why was he so cool? I’m curious about where the adventurism of the 60s/70s came from and who hooked up with it. Was entertaining part of his job at the Embassy? Don’t mean to pry; can’t control my curiousity.

  5. keller donovan Says:

    i worked for Miss D’arcy for almost 2 years. We always called her Miss D’arcy. It was my first job and she was a kind, talented teacher to a young student. I learned so much and still have many wonderful things i bought at Bloomingdales. Lots of wonderful baskets from when we were the first store to have items imported from China.

  6. Rusty Paul Says:

    Oh hearing Barbara D’Arcy’s name brings back very fond memories of working on the 5th floor Interior Design Department at Bloomingdale’s. I was young and in love with the adventure of working in New York. Barbara, Henriette Granville were true artists with magnificent taste and I learned so much from them.

  7. Lorri Says:

    What a dream job that would have been especially for an aspiring decorator!

    This time period” was the era of the cocktail party. My Uncle’s position involved attending art events, entertaining government officials and celebrities. Unfortunately this era also was the reason so many people became alcoholics – booze was a big part of the scene.

  8. Barbara D’Arcy White, Interior Design Guru, Dies at 84 | News of Life and Death Says:

    […] 1958 until 1973 she designed hundreds of model rooms. Each was like a stage vignette, with the decorating trend of the moment its star: sleek Danish […]

  9. The New York Resource | The New York Resource Says:

    […] 1958 until 1973 she designed hundreds of model rooms. Each was like a stage vignette, with the decorating trend of the moment its star: sleek Danish […]

  10. dennis cory Says:

    Barbara’s designs at Bloomingdale’s inspired the world and set the standard for all competitors, a must-see whenever I visited New York. Heaven has inherited a magnificent new angel named Barbara D’Arcy !!

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