Before there was IKEA, there was Bloomingdale’s. Founded in 1861 by Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale, the first incarnation of today’s upscale department store was a “Ladies Notions’ Shop” specializing in hoop-skirts on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Having the brains — and the imagination — to predict that the bourgeois metropolis to come would need a glorious retail destination housing everything from a delicatessen department to the largest rooftop greenhouse in America for city dwellers wanting the fresh air of a country estate, the Brothers Bloomingdale did more than outfit an era, they defined it.
Bloomingdale’s Book of Home Decorating by Barbara D’Arcy, the influential interior design guru and chief decorator of the model rooms in the flag ship store’s furniture department, is testament to its influence. As one particularly helpful Amazon reviewer writes, “this book showcases the best of the best, furniture for your dream home, no budget in sight. It’s an inspirational, all-out, sky’s-the-limit explosion of creativity, trends and fantasy.” Click through to check out the very best of this ’70s design dream tome. Then, let us know in the comments what inspires you the most today!
Image credit: Bloomingdale’s Book of Home Decorating via Nadja Robot