A 1929 bungalow decorated with beautiful vintage art tile

harris strong tile cityscapeBungalow Bill is a regular reader and commenter — and every once in a while I showcase some of the beautiful vintage art tile that he sells on his website, BungalowBill.com. In a recent comment, he mentioned the Harris Strong tile cityscape in his living room.

Harris Strong tile cityscape recently on ebay. Spendy.

This is one of the pieces I’m lusting after Big Time. So I asked Bill if he could send some photos of his home. Bill deals in the most gorgeous 20th century tile. So the interior of his own home does not disappoint.

vintage art potteryBill tells me about his house, confirming first of all that it is indeed a bungalow — hence “Bungalow Bill.” He writes:

It was built in 1929 and is a nondescript shoebox type, similar to a Chicago bungalow. 

vintage art tileOriginally the exterior was half clapboard and half shingle. It was covered in aluminum siding in the 70’s.

mid century modern tile tablesMy parents bought the home in the early 50’s and went on a renovating spree to modernize it.

My father built the radiator covers and cornices, put in the acoustic tile ceiling and luan doors.

fulper vasesHe took out french doors between the living and sunroom and put in the arch.

art potteryAbout the only real bungalow type thing left was the window seat that now houses my fountain collection.

bungalow bedroom with pendelton blanketI inherited the house in the mid 80’s. I was a poor zookeeper that needed furniture. A friend suggested I go to auctions saying I could get better quality at a better price. That’s how it all began…

Thank you for sharing, Bungalow Bill. When it comes to adding art to the walls of a mid-century home, I am a big fan of mixing things up — consider paintings, prints, posters, illustrations or botanicals, a mirror, a sculpture, a textile, carved wood pieces, framed architectural fragments or ephemera, silhouettes — and yes, art tiles.

Be-Safe-graphic2.3

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Comments

  1. Jana says

    Bill,
    Talk about “eye candy”…. Your home is absolutely wonderful! One of the best architectural points that I really like is the arched doorway that your dad put in between the sun room and the living room. With the age of the house, I thought it was original until I read your picture caption. Your art tile and pottery pieces are beautiful! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ann-Marie Meyers says

    Bill, your collection is fabulous, and they really make your house a work of art.
    I am doing what your friend suggested, furnishing my house by attending auctions. You really can get tremendous bargains, and I am also picking up some little “art” treasures, too.

    • says

      Buying at auctions and shows can give you better value and quality. Generally the items will retain or maybe increase in value. Plus it’s green. Most times when you buy new the items will be worth less in 10 years. Sometimes that doesn’t matter. I bought the blinds and rice paper floor lamps at Ikea.

  3. Denise Cross says

    Wow, you are in posession of an authentic Catalina Tile table! I’d like to hear more about that. Your home is so special Bill. Thank you for showing.

    • says

      The backgammon and other 2 tables are by D&M of Los Angeles, same time period, c. 1930. Catalina backgammon tiles have little circles at the tip of the points. (tile nerd fact)

  4. Nancy Stevenson says

    Bill, I loved your whole feature, the house, the tiles, ALL of it, but I have to ask you… what are those pottery vessels? Are they vases? Urns? I have an obsession of my own. I have 100’s of vintage California made pottery flower pots. They are colorful and fun, very mid century to me, and I love glazed pottery pieces. I am always attracted to it. So, when I saw your pictures, that is what stood out for me! Please, somebody do an article on your pottery now! I want to see something on mid century potteries from California, and elsewhere, and if anyone knows where a Bauer black swirl flowerpot, about a 8, or larger is for sale, I want it! LOL, sometimes I think this is an illness, but a good one! :o)

    • says

      Nancy, the pots in the sunroom would be called porch vases on this coast, oil jars on the west coast. They have an interesting back story. There were families of potters that worked for generations in North Carolina. They made stoneware and pottery jugs, crocks, and tableware. About 1920 they were losing business from the introduction of manufactured wares in their area. About the same time tourists began getting in their cars and driving from the northeast to vacation in Florida. These families set up roadside stands and sold colorful decorative pots to the tourists. The clay was locally dug, pots hand thrown, glazes made on site and fired in wood fueled kilns. This became the source of income for those families 1930-50’s before the interstate highways were developed. Many of the colors are similar to Bauer but then sometimes they went crazy and made some wild glazes.

      Some of the other big vases are from West Germany and Italy 1950-60’s. I like the one on the tile table because it reminds me of a big piece of Juicy Fruit gum.

  5. Ethan says

    All that pottery would never make it in my house. 4 kids make having that kind of stuff impossible. It would be nice to see some flowers, or decoration, in a few of those vases. I think it would look really nice.

  6. TappanTrailerTami says

    So many interesting and different things to look at, and I love how Bill hasn’t locked himself to any one era – very eclectic yet still has that comfy “there’s no place like home” appeal.

    Well done Bill !

  7. Diana of Mt. Lebanon, PA says

    Bill,

    Your house is awesome. We have a glass cabinet very similar to the one you have, can you tell me if you know the maker of the cabinet? Ours has an engraving on the inside of the door of a curvy M and a curvy W.

    Thanks
    Diana

    • says

      The cabinet I have is unmarked. If I had to guess about yours I might say the M is for Michigan, where much of the furniture was made. There is a Facebook group The Arts & Crafts Society where you can post a picture and see if anyone knows who made it.

      • Diana of Mt. Lebanon, PA says

        Awesome, I will check out that facebook group.

        Btw, are you sure that yours in unmarked? The mark on mine is only visible when the door is opened wide and it’s an engraving on the inside near the hinge. It’s not easy to see.

        Diana

        • Julie P says

          Hi Diana- It’s the other reader from Mt Lebanon! I always smile when I see your posts. It’s nice to know there is another reader nearby.

  8. Barbara says

    I was watching that auction. Spendy it was. I only wish I had the money to buy the really good stuff!! His place is awesome!

    • says

      It is! (even has the label in the corner) I was at an outdoor antique show and this was being used as a wrapping blanket around a piece of primitive furniture in a muddy field. I convinced my friend to buy a piece of furniture from the dealer then I convinced the dealer to give me the blanket for free. It was filthy and took about 5 trips through the washing machine to get it clean. Nothing beats a wool blanket in the winter. I have some lighter weight ones from England that I use in the summer.

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