WELCOME TO GinaUSA’s 1960s bathroom. I am really quite in love with this style of mosaic tile — 3/4″ or 1″ squares — and in this case, with little porcelain splatters. I generically call this “Romany Spartan” tile because that’s the company that seems to be in all my vintage magazines. I know of at least one source for tile pretty close to this, still (continue after the jump.) Ooooh, peek at GinaUSA’s door handle, too — crystal. Yes, you can add this bit of sweetness to your house, if you prefer it rather than mod metal. Heck yeah there is more →
DOGGIE BLOGGERS JAKE AND BARCLAY — that’s Jake at left, he’s an Eames/Saarinen fan — have a fun blog called The (dog) House. [update: now seems to be offline] Their reader-owners recently added acrylic inserts to their “great wall of yellow” vintage kitchen cabinets, even more so if you have jigsaw and know how to use it. This is a low-cost, high-impact update for any kitchen. They also added a dose of pistachio color, and check out the checkerboard Armstrong VCT floor…. Nicely done “grandma’s redux,” as they call it. But read on, this house is very interesting for at least two more reasons. Heck yeah there is more →
HERE IS A REALLY GREAT SURVEY OF VINTAGE OUTDOOR LIGHTING, from my 1961 Progress Lighting catalog. I started with this photo because: Just look at the little umbrella landscape light. It is phenomenal! The careful addition of outdoor lighting can be one of the easiest and relatively cheapest ways to improve the curb appeal of your midcentury ranch house, Cape, colonial or contemporary. At minimum, think: High quality, well maintained wall lanterns adjacent to or above the entry door and garage, and a lamp post either at the front of the driveway or closer to the house next to a walkway heading toward the door. Landscape around the lamp post – this is also a great piece of ‘hardscape’ to launch a decorative fence. Light are “sentinels”. Use them to ultimately draw attention toward your front door…they are tools to make your house say a big, warm “Welcome.” Heck yeah there is more →
Jennifer gets snaps for sending us this very nice midcentury style post lantern, with matching wall lantern. to consider for out front. Finding appropriate outdoor lighting is always a hot topic, with not *that many* resources on our list yet. So this is a very welcome addition. Here’s what Jennifer writes: Heck yeah there is more →
STEVEN KURUTZ OF THE NEW YORK TIMES has written a terrific story about time capsule houses — not empty ones, but ones people still live in today, original furniture and all. The basic question of his story was: Why do people choose to live in homes that they never change for 20…30…40…50 years? He interviewed couples living in four such homes, and it is fascinating, interesting and funny, even, to read their stories. In his research, Steven came across this site and all our interest in time capsules, so he contacted me and ultimately interviewed me for the story.
What do you think? If they fit the bill, why did your grandparents, aunt and uncle, parents, or neighbors stay in their house and never change it? Heck yeah there is more →
The New York Times story also spotlighted the efforts of so many blog readers — who are awesome “reporters” on the scene bringing time capsules (and all the retro-love) to the surface. Here’s that part of the story:
Identifying exactly when a home became stuck is easier. “Pink-tile bathrooms, Dishmaster faucets, colors like aquamarine and sunbeam yellow — all very 1950s,” said Pam Kueber, who runs retrorenovation.com, a Web site devoted to midcentury design. Shag carpet and avocado appliances indicate the ’70s. Lava rock and ultrasuede? As ’80s as a Rubik’s Cube.
Ms. Kueber posts midcentury time capsules on her site, with photos provided by readers, often taken from real estate listings.
Take a bow, Retro Renovation Time Capsule Hunters, Retro Recon Detectives and STPB Ambassadors. You are the best. Thank you so much. And keep ‘em coming: retrorenovation @ gmail dot com.