Living Rooms explores the past, present and future of domestic life.
In 1950, industrial designers Mary and Russel Wright published the “Guide to Easier Living,” a handbook for the modern home intended
to liberate women from old-fashioned formal entertaining, and families from old-fashioned and high-maintenance furniture.
“The beauty of an eighteenth-century drawing room was the perfect expression of its time, but it is not a perfect expression of ours,” they wrote. “A home carefully planned around the requirements
of your own family will provide much richer satisfactions. Imitation of other people’s ways holds pale pleasure at best beside that of creating one’s own.”
The easier living the Wrights described—both in the book and in their lines of domestic products — sounds very familiar today, with buffet suppers,
one-pot meals, portable seating and lots of double-duty storage. But the Wrights’ work was revolutionary at the time: not only did they simplify