When tackling a vintage home restoration, many wish to sweep the existence of wood paneling under the rug and disavow any knowledge of knotty pine, or more likely, the midnight chocolate hue that sidedished a healthy crop of tri-color shag.
I, on the other hand, find great nostalgia in knotty pine, golden but showing hints of orange as the polyurethane patina baked in the sun. Maybe it is because I have memories of visiting a cottage frequently in my youth with knotty pine walls, dotted gunpowder horns and family photos. Don’t forget the cuckoo clock and the small entry table from the “old house” half the guests were too young to remember.
Regrettably and somewhat predictably, dark paneling brings back memories of stale cigarette cologne overpowering the smell of jiffy pop on the open fire. The “other old house” in the family. It was a turn of the century beauty with parlors and marbled mantels. For some reason, it was a good idea to give the den a modern update…circa 1969. The sample in the photo at upper left is a bit lighter than the den in question, but the feeling of mass quantity at a low price is well conveyed.
If you have a love-hate or a hate-hate with wood panels, but want to bring a home back to its original character, 0r feel strongly compelled to by correctness or guilt, there are some choices in contemporary wallcoverings that will vaguely hint at the idea without recreating the sights and smells of a misplaced bachelor pad. You can choose actual wood panels, or something a bit more like a wallpaper that gives a very convincing effect. Just stick to the walls, okay. Any matching ceiling scheme can make anyone claustrophobic, no matter how inspired or unique the wall cover is.Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)
I once saw an on air announcer at a restaurant between shows, and the amount of orange makeup not so well blended in beyond his jawline was startling – akin to a bizarre farmer’s tan…that is if you were farming on Mars. Maybe on air he looked fine, but in “real life,” he looked like he had sprayed the tan on a bit too enthusiastically. Later I learned in my days of hanging snow cradles from the theater ceiling for the most magical Christmas Carols and Wizard of Ozes, stage and screen makeup need not be orange.
Nowadays, many correspondents appear on TV or “Google Hangout” via webcam. What if you need to appear on Skype and don’t want anyone to come to the automatic conclusion that you are coming to them live from your parents’ smelly basement? Alternatively, you don’t want anyone to think you actually LIVE in your parents’ furnace room.
Apparently. ChatLight is a Skype light that illuminates your visage into something to behold…or at least something to actually see.
This post brought to you by Moen, Incorporated. All opinions are 100% mine.
The individual hot/cold water handles (with “H” and “C” on them, to boot) add a lot of charm to a vintage-inspired or restored home. If installed in the kitchen or utility room over the bathroom, however, getting just the right chemistry of volume from the cold side and heat from the hot side is an art and a science.
If your home doesn’t already have such “charm,” going sleek and modern and clean often works equally well with some midcentury or retro decors. If the faucet is on an island, or in an equally prominent place, the biggest factor is the spots that gleam in the sunshine. I myself frequently call on a friend with this very problem. The early evening sun shines like a laser beam a la the map room in Raiders of the Lost Ark and only seeks out the water spots and chocolate finger prints on the back of the faucet neck.
The Kiran Spot Resist one-handle pulldown kitchen faucet (available at Lowe’s) has a nifty treatment on its stainless steel that resists spots and smudges. The only real negative about stainless is the finger prints. When I saw the new stainless in the store, I was amazed that my shoe polish stained hands did not make a lasting impression.
So, the kitchen is not authentic 1952 or 1937, but the sleek look is a long way from the utilitarian standard issue budget spigot.
For more information and design tips, follow @Moen on Twitter or “Like” them on Facebook.
Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)
Ah, the furniture of youth. The 1950s Danish Modern dresser was so passe in the early 70s, such that it lived out its existence in my cousin’s room. It’s finished was slightly marred by the occasional Batman sticker, not discreetly affixed to a low corner like a maker’s mark, but smack-dab in the middle of the first or second drawer. Attempts to remove were met with bald wood or a papery footprint. There was no in between.
Karen Keane, expert over at the Antique Roadshow would just be gobsmacked. Apparently she is not quite that flappable. It relieves me to hear her say: “The trade market is filled with compromised pieces,” and doesn’t seem to poo-poo them for daily use. Faded paint is apparently a beauty mark, but she says nothing about Batman.
No one ever seemed to have “kid furniture” in my family. You had a crib. When you were old enough, you got you mom and dad’s or cousin’s cast off set. No race car beds. Oh, but occasional bunk beds. We were the original urbane hipster babies.
I was reminded how urbane we all were as tots when I perused The RoomPlace furniture stores website and inspected the comforting selection of bunk and Captain’s Beds. I always wanted a Captain’s Bed with all the drawers, but I was too much of a packrat and I spawned from those types of parents that thought a five year old would fall to their death in one. But that is what the metal slide-in railing that we could get our head caught in was for, no? My cousins were the lucky ducks. As the third born on that side of the family, there was still one random dresser and head board left. As fourth born my cousin, M, had bunks. We were all very close in age, so there was no chance of a hand me down from an older cousin. By the fourth, it was time for new furniture.
Further into my journey on the website, I came across something more familiar. The “five year old adult” decor I was so accustomed to
My brother had a bachelor pad-ish black lacquer set that had been an uncle’s during his heyday. Now, its gone through a major transformation and it seems it is back at a retailer – but this time marketed specifically to kids. Well, not to kids. Whoever has the check book. In many ways, it makes sense to create furniture to follow the child into the teens and kick all the pieces out the door with them when they leave.
Maybe the folks at the The RoomPlace furniture stores have the right idea. After that, your cinema room or hobby room is right around the corner without adding on.Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)
As anyone who checks their RSS feed or news sites knows, the Missoni for Target line sold out within hours in stores in many major markets. Early adopters are recycling their duplicates on eBay for a quick buck or two. Were you hankering for a dress, a tie or the coveted Missoni throw blanket? Reports are that some items, such as childrens items and accessories can still be had at certain stores.
Did anyone at the ‘Daily push through the crowds?
No matter what the style is that everyone has to have, on someone that it doesn’t quite suit, it looks as if a hat, tie or dress is coming at you from down the hall, rather than someone cutting out a fashionable figure. When someone stops saying, “You look great,” and replaces it “Here comes that dress again.,” or “Drive by again. You can’t miss that suit,” then you have to do a bit of a review. Though I have some friends that can rock it, but one bit of feeling you are wearing someone else’s skin and it just doesn’t work. The VintageGent=ette’s petite frame and seemingly opposite skin undertone than the current colors that are flattered was overwhelmed. Still, I do have a hankering for some scarves, ties and stationary if the afterglow, after crowd scavenger hunt is a success. The only disappointment is that there are many, many items Made in China, but that seems par for the course.
Are you, too, dreaming of zig zags but are not quite got the gumption to shell out lots of cash on eBay? Look no further than items inspired by Missoni the first time around. One of the most coveted items was and is the Missoni throw blanket. Well, feast a gander here. At left, is the true Target throw. Next to it are several vintage afghans from the 1970s with the undoubted trend for zigzags created the first time around when Missoni was something very new:
The three blankets to the right were made by hand in the 1970s and are available from Etsy sellers right now, unless they sell out of course. I was not able to see and touch the Missoni blanket, but can say some of these undiscovered hand made wonders were usually made to stand the test of time, long after trends change.
Sure, you can go out and buy vintage Missoni clothing, but if you find that untouchable, here is a way to get the look in your home without feeling you are buying designer knockoffs. Handmade pieces from yesteryear may be inspired by the trends of the day but they are truly one of kinds. Just instead of it being draped over a settee at Grandma’s house, they’ll be on the beds of trendsters and fashionistas, if that term isn’t passe.auctions, designers, modern fashion, Stuff for the Pad | Comments (3)
While tooling around on the internet, I realized I had forgotten all about Cafepress. How could I have done that? Everyone and his roommate’s girlfriend’s uncle’s first girlfriend’s dog sitter’s favorite television personality did up their own custom Cafepress t-shirts . In fact, I had tried my hand in it, too. Since I haven’t been thinking of buying or making anything, it sort of slipped off the radar in my mind. I remember the margin on paper products was slim, but now there are all sorts of funny motivational and inspirational posters, as well as classic posters sold directly through Cafepress.
I was surprised by the selection of retro posters. There are movie posters, such as the Godfather poster, but I had seen those all before. There is also a selection of retro images, such as posters from WWII. Some look familar, but I am wondering if some were created with new artists in the old style. There are so many images from the War that exist just as a couple copies of a poster, so it is not surprising if many are unfamilar. Either way, if you want to create a retro decor, they fit the bill. Some are available in the typical Cafe Press format of poster, mini-poster and framed print.
Of course, always surf around to find original designs from individuals, but if you are looking for classic copyrighted images, Cafepress itself has a lot to offer now.
Speaking of poster, I was wondering where the word originated. The snippet on posters from Wikipedia states, “A poster is any piece of printed paper designed to be attached to a wall or vertical surface.” Really? That would include wallpaper. However, Merriam-Webster also insists its “intended for public display.” The word came into vogue during the 1830–40 period.Stuff for the Pad, wwii | Comment (0)
Over the holiday, I walked through an architectural salvage warehouse. A couple was buying Heywood Wakefield twin headboards for the guest room. The plans were to adorn them with Zebra Bed Sets, though the male of the party was objecting due to the historical era they were looking to recreate. Did you know that zebra prints were not out of the question in the 50s? Granted, I would probably put it in a luxe master suit rather than a twin bed guestroom. So, she gets a point for historical accuracy and he gets a point for objecting to the setting….that is, if you are going for historical accuracy. 1950s, fashion history, Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)
When redoing a house, it is sometimes hit and miss with finding vintage upholstered pieces prior to the 1960s that are in their original condition and that don’t need a major overhaul. Sometimes you get lucky and find something that just has not had the usage, but if anyone in your home has dust allergies, there are some types of upholstery where the years just don’t come out of them. It is no big deal as far as an occasional chair goes, but you want to use more common sense when it comes Bedroom Furniture.
Recently, I found a daybed online that was bang on as far as recreating a Bauhaus look. In fact, it is touted as a Mies-style design replica. It measures 72″, which is 6′ if you are math weary. It may not be long enough for an NBA basketball player, but daybeds are not meant for that. They are meant to curl up with a good book on, or for a guest accommodation in a pinch. To me, this would look also look good in an office or a study where a sleep sofa is just too bulky, and you don’t want to do the air mattress thing when a guest comes knocking.
I happened to find this over at Modernfurniturewarehouse.com. They have a few other interesting designs that are worth drooling over as well.Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)
ELTE has been providing furniture and lighting in toronto since 1944. I found quite a few arm chairs that would fit into a very Art Moderne style of decor, hidden in their “traditional” section. However, what stopped me short was this piano stool. I can’t exactly decide what fashion movement it represents, and I have never seen anything quite like it. It has a traditional vibe with the nail heads leather, that appears to have a hint of oiling to it, or patina. The open legs instead of the traditional four legs or tripod give it a more modern flavor. I haven’t decided if this stool reminds me of something a sea captain would sit on in a map room, or if it would be more at home in a library or smoking room.
The price is $775.00 Canadian. Today, but maybe not other days, it translates to about $689.46 in American dollars. I won’t be evicting my dining room chairs and replacing them with them, but they certainly are a conversation piece. That’s an interesting question. Is something only a conversation piece when there is one of them? When there are more, does it diminish their uniqueness or make the conversation just last longer. That is something to ponder.Stuff for the Pad | Comments (3)
A lot of guys tend to want to put Tiki bars out near their pool. It doesn’t matter of a Polynesian theme will clash with the rest of the house, especially when one really decides to “go for it.” It doesn’t stop at swizzle sticks. It usually involves a thatched roof, and plenty of tikis. You may not just have a few tiki salt and pepper shakers. You may end up with something a bit startling. Your guests will tell you to go return it to the Island, otherwise you will be surrounded in a web of woe, just like the Bradys were.
There are other ways to stock your tiki bar and not have your guests feel that they are overdressed not wearing a grass skirt. Here’s another way to do a tiki theme without feeling like you are going to boil your guests in oil. There are bamboo glasses floating around out there that would bring more of a streamlined look to your fete:
This set is available for a limited time on Etsy. What is limited? Until someone snaps them up.Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)
I have seen countless commercials for things that plug in, light up, or motorize to make your home smell like a garden of begonias instead of the nasty, dusty, wet dog smelling place that it is. The commercials lead us to believe that our lives would not be complete, nor would be function. They are, of course, the secret to a classy, high brow home. The gig was certainly up when one woman peeled the label that had stuck to the other lady’s derriere, revealing the name of the product.
What did people do before they had these such devices? Of course, it meant that less people peeled stickers off of each other’s behinds. Of course, I am speaking more about what did people do to make their homes smell not so rank back in the old days? What can someone retro do? One idea is to use scented oil diffusers. I found a couple of styles on Sabonnyc.com that weren’t too frilly. The simple jar reed diffuser is so much more unisex. Also, they give off a scent without having to change the batteries.
Well, of course there is always the concept of using candles. The issue with candles, however, is smoke. Cheap candles can leave a dark ring around the rim of their jar, not to mention on the ceilings. When I see something like that, I can’t imagine, or don’t want to imagine, what it would look like in my lungs. Usually, soy based candles do not have the same level of soot. That was something I hadn’t known until recently. There are many vendors at local fairs, or you may want to google or check out etsy.
At left, is a special trick candle that the sold in the 1930s. Someone would light it, and a little rocket would take off. I find it hard to believe that it would look “so real” that someone would actually think it was a candle whether a strange plastic object. Apparently, people were hard up for entertainment. This was marketed towards, kids, apparently, so maybe they were just not versed in the ways of candles and doilies yet.
Whatever you choose, there are many covert ways of making the smell of your place a little more bearable, that doesn’t involved your guests getting their ankles sprayed at every time they walk past an outlet.1930s, Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)
This time of year, I usually read passages in the Bible regarding the birth of our Lord. Concurrently, through the month of December I am also usually reading a novel that puts me in the holiday spirit. Often, it is something nostalgic like the Sherlock Holmes tales I took with me under the covers with a flashlight as a kid, or it may be something that has to do with the winter season in general. This time I am deviating and reading a book I picked up at a used book store on a recent trip. I picked up an old hardcover of the late 40s pulp “The Screaming MiMi” about a Chicago reporter unravelling a mystery about a slash killer. Some of the turns of phrase can be very quotable, and I am writing them down, or slightly cheesey, which befits the genre.
Recently, I had to retire a torchiere lamp that I had that always served as great mood lighting for winter reads, and spied one that was made by Elk Lighting that rather reminded me of a street lamp of sorts. Maybe it would be more likely found in the Big Easy than in Chicago, perhaps. It also reminded me of the exhibit at the museum in Milwaukee that had an indoor section made to look up like old neighborhoods, complete with streetlights, stars, and a creepy lifelike lady sitting on a rocker on her porch. It was made by the same folks who made the “dioramas” behind glass of explorers that were a much more realistic than mannequins that were just accessories to dramatize the museum’s artifact collections.
Of course, it is a bit more delicate than an actual decorative streetlamp for a little downtown or touristy area, but if you are recreating the look inside a house, you would want to merely evoke it. The “real thing” may be too heavy handed or just plain too heavy! I converted the photo to black and white just because it put me in more of a film noir mood. This is something that might just fit the shoes of my torchiere. I will keep you posted on what I decide!Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)
My grandfather served in WWII. He started wearing a hat recently that says “World War II Vet.” It is the first time in his life, or at least for a long time, that people have come up and thanked him. Most times these days, people think of Veteran’s day as the day for the sale at the mall. Some people write long rants about it. I am deciding to use it as a day to think of my grandfather, a lifelong carpenter, and will look at the sale as serendipitious to add a tool to my repertoire so he can teach me a few things I need to know.
For Sears Veterans Day Sale, which runs ovember 9th through November 11th, there will be plenty of sweaters on sale. Deep discounts of up to 60% off for him and her on outerwear and sweaters is an enticing deal. Many people will rant and rave on how it is just not apropriate to think of Veteran’s Day as the day the sale is at the mall. I just look it as serindipitous. It gives me a chance to buy my grandfather something I normally couldn’t splurge for. He is going to visit the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C., and I am going to use the opportunity to buy him a nice zip sweater for the trip. They have a clothing line called US Army 1st Infantry Division. I wonder how he feels about that. (A sweater from the line is pictured. It appears to have insignia on the sleeve.)
Also, since we really don’t have a “main street” where people are walking down and meeting eachother, the mall gives plenty of chances to thank a vet who may be out shopping that weekend with their family. Some vets make it a point to wear insignia or a hat like my grandfather, so please use your shopping time as an opportunity to thank as many as possible.
restoration, Stuff for the Pad | Comment (1)
Whenever one of the trees in the yard grew a little lopsided, we called it a Charlie Brown tree. Of course, we would never cut them down for the holidays. They were the wrong species on top of that.
I was alerted by One of a Kind Wisconsin that this year, Charlie Brown Christmas trees were being sold. Michelle found it in Mill’s Farm & Fleet 2008 Trim & Gift Catalog. I also found that 18″ versions are available at Sears. A 24″ version is available at a costume supply website I also found here. They can’t beat the $9.99 price at Mill’s Farm, but then I do not know the size and have not investigated the shipping costs from each place.
If you are looking for a nostalgic tree, and want something small, it is sure to bring back memories of the long running Christmas special. You might also want to have a traditional tree, and then put this one on a hall table or such.Stuff for the Pad | Comments (2)
We come in Peace!
No bachelor pad would be complete without a lamp that resembles a flying saucer. This is what modern designers want to have been the ones to have designed…but it has already been done perfectly fifty years ago. This particular one is offered by The Vintage Peddler at $95.00. Quite the bargain to own the “real deal” than another ho hum lamp of equal price from the department store.1950s, gift ideas, Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)