This post is part of a monthly series that explores the historical applications of building materials and systems through resources from the Building Technology Heritage Library (BTHL), an online collection of AEC catalogs, brochures, trade publications, and more. The BTHL is a project of the Association for Preservation Technology, an international building preservation organization.

The adage “what is old is new again” is best applied to Midcentury Modern design. With the help of mainstream retailers like IKEA, the clean aesthetic applied in boht architecture and furniture of many residences of the 1960s has become more popular than ever.

Here, the BTHL highlights house and interior design options available at the height of this design era.

Homes in Brick: Contemporary-Traditional & Ranch by Garlinghouse, L.F. Garlinghouse Co., Topeka, Kan., c. 1960
This catalog features 120 designs of contemporary- and ranch-style houses made of brick. L.F. Garlinghouse Co. was a prolific publisher of house catalogs; the BTHL has more than 100 digitized catalogs on record.

Prize Homes, Hiawatha T. Estes and Nationwide Plan Book Co., Northridge, Calif., c. 1960
For just $1, readers could purchase this house plan catalog featuring designs for ranch and traditional residences. “We sincerely believe that this book has the most complete guide to the popular Ranch-style home on the market today,” the publishers wrote.

Modern Wood Fences, Weyerhaeuser Sales Co., St. Paul, Minn., 1960
This catalog offers multiple design options for fencing that “frames your home and lot, provides a beautiful backdrop for flowers and shrubs, and draws together the house, the yard, and the garden.”

Bulletin: Now … for the First Time … Award Winning Design Plans Available to the Public, U.S. Rustic Cedar Homes, Los Angeles, c. 1960
While the ranch style was the most common new house type in this era, the A-frame also gained in popularity in the 1960s. This steep-roofed house type was particularly popular for vacation homes and often used wood for a rustic effect.

Weyerhaeuser Catalog of Plywood, Weyerhaeuser Co., Tacoma, Wash., 1961
Plywood began appearing in architectural applications in the 1930s; by the 1960s, it was ubiquitous in framing and finishing systems. The catalog includes Texture One-Eleven, a “highly distinctive vertical siding and interior paneling plywood with groovings” that was widely used in the 1960s and 1970s.

New Decorating Ideas with Ceramic Tile, American Olean Tile Co., Lansdale, Pa., 1962
American Olean highlighted applications for ceramic tile as an interior finish in this catalog, claiming “you will see it in entrance halls, family rooms, dining areas, laundries ... on walls, floors, countertops, window sills ... even outdoors on patios.”

Home Modernizing Guide, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, New York, 1962
This renovation guide provides a comprehensive overview of home improvements popular in the 1960s. Ideas include installing vinyl sheet flooring, using acoustical ceiling tiles, and upgrading kitchen appliances.

Harmony House Kitchen Idea Book, Sears, Roebuck & Co., Chicago, 1963
This kitchen catalog from Sears, Roebuck & Co. promised to “turn an out-dated space-waster into a kitchen with efficiency, freshness, and style.” Renderings showcase the interior design and fashion styles of the day.

Distinguished Home Designs for Modern Living, Plan Publishers, New York, 1963
This house plan catalog offered “designs by professional architects” featuring “split level, raised ranch, one and a half story, two-story, and ranch houses.”