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Lounge Sofas, Soft Lighting, Lots of Smoke – Secrets to Mad Men Style Decor

The new season of AMC’s Mad Men begins June 25! Some of us are a little excited around here. We’re all wearing our best Betty Draper 60’s dresses and drinking four martinis for lunch and smoking incessantly. Okay, not all of that. Not the dresses. Just kidding! We quit smoking five years ago, although if anyone might make us want to pick it back up again, it would be Don Draper. No comment on the martini lunches.

We can’t wait for the new season, partly just to be back in that world! The set designers of Mad Men have dream jobs, as far as we’re concerned. So, in celebration and just for fun, we’ve put together these tips for you, should you desire to turn your home or office space into a setting Don Draper might hang his hat.

1. Furniture: Clean lines in the lounge sofas and chairs are a must. No skirts or frills. Danish modern is the way to go, and because it’s such a classic design, is still made by contemporary crafters from Cabot Wrenn to Ikea. Check thrift stores, of course, for pieces that are truly of the period. For offices, another secret is to consider hospital furniture like steel desks. You’ll want accent tables everywhere, to hold very important numbers 2 & 3.

2. Lamps: lighting is key to the Mad Men mood. Lots of accent table lamps with large drum shades, task lighting and wall sconces. Anyone reclining on lounge sofas should be able to reach over in a seductive pose and turn a lamp on–or off, as the scene demands. Leave the overhead lights off, as a rule.

3. Ashtrays. Whether you smoke or not, or smoke but not in the house, or smoke but not tobacco, hey, we’re not asking, just suggesting that you take advantage of stylin’ 60s ashtrays. They’re so cool, and can always be used as paperweights or candy dishes in lieu of what they were made for. Thrift stores are a good source for ashtrays, and eBay, too, since it’s a small item and not too expensive to ship. Just think how Betty Draper you’ll feel signing for this special delivery to yourself!

4. Decanters and barware. Even if you’re not going to drink four martinis for lunch, or pour yourself a Scotch every time someone new walks into your office, absolutely nothing says Mad Men like cut glass barware. Vintage glasses can be found easily and are such fun to collect and use. Heighten the drama of any conversation by pausing to pour a drink first. Don’t forget to offer one to your guest, too.

5. Patterns and prints. Plaids, houndstooth, floral or theme prints should show up in curtains, wallpaper, pillows or throws tosses on the backs of lounge sofas. A nice move for lighting is to layer a sheer curtain underneath a heavier patterned curtain. Colors are generally muted browns, blues, yellows, with a brighter spot popping out at you here and there.

6. An upholstered headboard. A final bonus: if you want to bring Mad Men into the bedroom (who could blame you?), try this one. Don and Betty, when they were sharing a bed, had an enviable band and button-tufted cushy headboard that we just bet could be replicated pretty easily DIY-style. Just don’t follow the pattern of their relationship, we beg you, for your own good.

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