Whether you watched the Mary Tyler Moore Show when it first aired in the 1970s or are streaming it for the first time following the news of its star’s passing on January 25 at the age of 80, it’s impossible not to be charmed by the era-defining style of Moore’s fictional counterpart, Mary Richards, and her quirky, cozy bachelorette pad.
The series, which ran for seven seasons from 1970-77, began with Moore’s character moving to Minneapolis after ending a long-term romantic relationship — a forward-thinking plot point for the time and one that has influenced roles for women on TV since — and beginning the new phase of her life by putting down roots in an apartment tucked inside a classic Victorian home. (The real house used as the facade on the show is currently for sale for $1.7 million).
Moore’s TV living room was the backdrop for many memorable scenes on her beloved series, and sported delightfully retro finishes, from beige shag wall-to-wall carpeting to brown- and mustard–hued seating.
Fans will remember Moore’s kitschy decor, including a gallery wall featuring a mismatched collection of art and the familiar letter M that hangs above her typewriter. The latter would certainly receive the approval of today’s HGTV stars.
Her compact kitchen had a surprising special feature: a stained-glass window that could be pulled down for privacy. For a small space, she had an impressive amount of storage, including a hanging pot rack that, unlike the carved-wood spindles that frame her cook space, is still in style today.
Her sunken seating area was on point for the era, as was the grouping of a yellow mod side chair, slim tulip table and frosted globe lamp beside the windows.
Moore’s career-driven character paved the way for countless actresses in the decades since, and her single-gal apartment served as the ultimate sign of independence.
BY MEGAN STEIN