Retro Renovation Reader Roundup

Here’s a new Saturday feature for the blog: A weekly roundup of its and bits that readers send our way. Matthew will edit the weekly roundup, and provide commentary. – Pam

Jason emailed Pam about this amazing find — a mint-in-box GE “Drape-o-matic”. Here is what he said:

Thought I’d show you a couple of recent Ebay finds that I purchased for my home project when I get home next month…. A 1959 Imperalite pull down light for my kitchen. This will look great over my Heywood Wakefield kitchen table!  $150 including shipping. I’m not so price sensitive on things and when I find something that I have been looking for for a long time or feel I may never see it, again, I’ll jump on it. It was a Buy-It-Now at $150 and I made an offer for $130. The next item seems really NEAT_O……….an Automatic Drapery Opener!!! Looks new in the box. Seller said that drape cord attaches inside control unit. I don’t know if Mom’s modern traverse rod cord will work with this, but I will make it work, if necessary as this seems like such a cool gizmo. I’ll be hanging some original vintage drapes, too. I should mention that I won the Drape-o-Matic for $5.00 plus shipping. I think about $10-$14 total. The seller was going to send some pics on how the pulls go into it. Mom’s traverse rods have the pulls that are one piece and go around a wheel mounted to the base board. I may have to cut the pulls in order to attach them into the D-O-M. Hope it works as it is neat. But then, kinda lazy, because it doesn’t take much effort to pull the strings to open your drapes. Oh…I will be building some cornice boxes to cover Mom’s drape hardware as it is somewhat modern. It’s been installed for some time and I did not remove the mounts when I painted as i did not want to disturb the integrity of the fasteners. Think I will make a cardboard mock-up of the cornice box before I actually build it, to get the feel of how it will look. I enjoyed the article today about the mosaic floor and the pink toilet. They had their tub and sink reglazed, which is something I asked about several weeks ago. Looks like they had some success with that. Could you make a feature about that, if you have enough material/ letters from folks who have done it to tell their story? Thanks. Love your website.

Wow, Jason, That’s so exciting —  they’re so interesting, and what a great price. Aunt Pam told me she was truly jealous. I love old technology like that, it’s always so much fun when it actually works. We’re interested to see how your DIY cornice boxes, the vintage drapes, and your Mom’s traverse rod all look together – and how the Drape-o-matic works out – sounds like a very retro combo, if you ask me.

Following up on Marybeth’s two recent stories about roses, Mary Ellen wrote:

Hi Pam,  I wanted to share some of my roses with Marybeth and the gardening post followers.  She seemed interested in how I grow them out here in the soggy NW.  It is a challenge, I admit, but I LOVE them–they make me feel sort of triumphant. Now it’s DAHLIA season!  Woot woot!

Thanks for sending these in. Mary Ellen. I’d love to have a room full.

Daniel wrote:

I’m not sure if you’ve seen this yet, but I thought it was really cool! Your site is looking wonderful!

This is a made-to-order 1970’s style flat screen television by Wilkerson. Too bad it is $3200. I would be so jealous of anyone who had this TV..

Jocelyn emailed us pictures of the great table and chairs she picked up at a huge warehouse sale. These were a super find. She said:

Here are some pictures of my dinette set. I bought it in 2005 at a great warehouse-sized vintage place in Fresno, CA called Yoshi NOW! Underneath the chairs, it says it is Kitchen Master brand, manufactured by Douglas Furniture, Chicago and Los Angeles. I love that the chair backs’ cutouts and upright supports that are within the back rather than bolted onto the outside; that they have such graceful back legs; and the pedestal-like base on the table. I wish I could get some cracked ice vinyl to match; the chairs could stand to be redone, and none of the samples I got from C.F. Stinson (thank you!) were a good match. These pictures are when my mom had newly shined the table with chrome polish & wax. (Please ignore the “tasteful” cherry cabinets chosen by the house’s previous owners…they spent $30k redoing the kitchen the year before we bought this 50s vintage house…I hate to think what they might have torn out)

Excellent choice to pick these up. I completely agree that the cutouts on the back and the back legs make them that much more appealing. I really do ove the green color, nice job matching  your towels on the stove ha. The metal edging around the table makes it look like a giant hudee ring. I’d say don’t worry about the little cracks. Everything else looks so clean no one should notice unless they are really picking it apart.

Last but certainly not least, here is Denise who writes the blog on the verge on snapping. She also runs a Schnauzer Rescue (where Aunt Pam got Astro the Retro Wonderdog) but in her spare time creates excellent painted toilet seats. Read the post she wrote about her experience here. This looks so amazing. I never would have thought to do this but it totally brings a whole new look to the room. Great Job Denise- it’s a shame it took you over a week to finish it but it looks sooo good. Don’t get too caught up with your toilet seats and forget about the Schnauzers. 🙂

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Comments

  1. Julie says

    The vinyl on our awesome 50’s table and chair set was cracking and ripped so badly on the seats that my children were ripping out the stuffing. So I HAD to replace it. I used a coordinating oil cloth and I’ve been very happy with the results, not to mention it was way cheaper than getting specialty vinyl. I was just sorry I hadn’t done it sooner, it was such an easy project!

  2. Pencils says

    I love the Drape-o-Matic! Why aren’t more things called “o-Matic” these days? Heh. It reminds me of the woman on Twin Peaks who was obsessed with her silent drape openers.

  3. Lynn-O-Matic says

    Matthew, do you have pix of Jason’s Imperalite, too? I’d love to see that!

    Pencils, love the Twin Peaks reference. Can’t believe that’s not the first thing I thought of when I saw the Drape-o-matic. And there’s still at least one thing called “O-Matic” around here!

    Fabulous table and chairs, Jocelyn!

  4. Linda Blackmore says

    This is probably simplistic, but wouldn’t it be fairly easy to replicate a tv cabinet like that if you’re handy?

    • Amy says

      I agree! That cabinet doesn’t look too hard to build. The legs can be picked up at Home Depot and the box was pretty much all straight cuts. FAB idea to house a modern flat screen inside a retro-looking cabinet!

  5. Jocelyn says

    Hey, there’s my dinette! Yes, the towels match…as does the Fiestaware…as do the vintage tchotchkes on the bookshelves on the left. Everything’s green, yellow, and orange. Very cheerful, very 60s.

    And wow, that t.v. enclosure is sharp!

  6. says

    Hey Pam,

    Not to worry, although the toilet seat took a week, a lot of it was drying time so there was still plenty of time for the Schnauzers.

    Miss Lucy has been taking a bit of my time because I can’t help but talk to her, laugh at her, worry about her and put my head in her crate so that she can smell me. Now that she can see, she’s becoming a little less afraid of people and seems happier…and I’m thrilled for her. It would be interesting to see if she’d remember Astro. They’ve both come so far.

  7. Amy says

    Jocelyn — I, too, bought a house built in the ’50’s that had “updating” inflicted upon it. When some older neighbors come over to welcome us, they told us what the kitchen used to look like — I wanted to cry! It sounded so CUTE! I hate all of the modernizing some flippers did on our house, but the price was right, so we’re making do. I’m kitsching up what I can — just made some yummy fabric-covered cornices using vintage pinch-pleated drapes I picked up at an antique faire. Pics to follow soon! Oh, also your dinette set is the best! Congrats on that find!

  8. matthew kinkead says

    Sorry it took so long for me to comment back everyone- I’ve had a very busy weekend painting my room. It has taken 3 days and I’m almost done. Silver and Gold. I have a large attic room with many like ten walls with all kinds of crevices. I never thought it would be this much work. But anyways…
    Lynn, I laughed at your o-matic name, therefore will look for his imperialite pictures. Denise, Astro was terrified of me for a few days when I first got to Aunt Pam’s but after a bit his attitude improved greatly!

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