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A Swinging ’60s Design Guide Inspired by Season 5 of ‘Mad Men’

If you’re like us and devouring every tidbit of information about Mad Men in preparation for what’s sure to be a doozy of a finale on Sunday night, then add this to your list of bookmarks dissecting the complex and convoluted series. When the season began, the year was 1966. One of the greatest voices of the time, Bob Dylan, had just shocked adoring fans with a jarring set of earth-shattering electric guitar riffs. Michelangelo Antonioni’s English-language debut, Blowup, an explicit depiction of Swinging London photographer David Bailey, was successfully challenging Hollywood’s conservative film rating guidelines. And, thanks to the well-received premiere of Star Trek, every household in America was obsessing over intergalactic exploration.

We think it’s no coincidence that Matthew Weiner set Season 5 in this pivotal year. Our country was on the brink of colossal social change demanded by the countercultural movement that produced the Summer of Love, Woodstock, pop art, and psychedelic rock all in the name of environmentalism, sexual liberation, civil rights, and freedom of speech. A far cry from the conservative suffocation of the decade prior, things in our country — as in our beloved fictional advertising agency — were starting to get crazy. Since nothing reflects that the times they are a changing like the design of an era, here’s our look at a country about to embark on one groovy, far out trip through the lens of the most brilliant production design today. From Don Draper’s colorful Park Avenue apartment to the bohemian gauze panels at a Hare Krishna temple, click through to be inspired by the style of a show — representing a nation — about to lose control.

The Draper’s Sunken Living Room

Inspired by two design books from the ’60s that set decorator Claudette Didul says show colors so vibrant “they almost make your teeth rattle,” Don and Megan’s Park Avenue apartment shows a tasteful balance of bright, jewel tones and a muted, earthy palette. A nod to the groovy times to come, we love the bohemian Moroccan pendant lamp hanging over the bar and the silk throw pillows that were surely a compromise between Don’s subdued masculine inclinations and Megan’s youthful love of color. All that’s missing is a lava lamp placed lovingly next to Don’s growing vinyl collection. Maybe next season.

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