During the Apartment Therapy home design blog contest, a number of readers repeated our Retro Renovation tagline in their comments. This gave me an idea:  I engaged Mel Kolstad, who I met on flickr, to create a series of “Love The House You’re In” collages for the blog — and here’s our first one. Mel, I forgot to ask you what year this house is from. I’ll guess mid-40s (this house has a very international-moderne feel to me), but I also bet the car-lovers in our community will be able to date it precisely by the convertible. To tell you more about our new collage artist laureate: Mel is a collage/mixed media artist who currently lives in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Stemming from her love of all things paper she began creating collages 3 1/2 years ago, which started out as a hobby but quickly became her passion.  Her favorite collages to make involve using vintage ephemera, which she says “have a patina lacking in newer items.  Hardly anyone uses lithography anymore!”  When asked what draws her to vintage items, she writes, “…because they evoke a time and place that is quickly fading from our collective memories.  These lovely pieces of yesteryear remind us of a far simpler and slower era.”   You can find Mel’s collage works on flickr and her blog, Much Ado About Stuff. Thanks, Mel, you know I love your work, and I’m so excited to have this addition to the blog in 2010.

  1. Cyndi Basker says:

    I absolutely adore Mel’s collages!!! My Mom and sisters were big into decoupage in the 70’s, and her work takes me back to those days! Is there a contact for Mel? Are the collages the size of a greeting card? I would love to have a few to hang in my home – am hoping they are a bit larger than that. Thanks!

  2. Reed W. King says:

    Very interesting. We live in this house (Mel Kolstad lst of “Love the house”) or a clone thereof. Built in 1951 in Phoenix. We have some of the original blueprints–Architect = WZ Smith, Jr.
    We purchased from the original owner. If the photo is of our twin we would very much like to know more. There are some subtle differences that raise questions. E.g., the trim above the entry and over the carport appear to be painted in the photo; ours is/was copper although that could have been a later change. Also the planted areas are a slightly different configuration but, again, in 50+ years changes could have been made.

    We’re very curious and will welcome any additional information re: the source & location of the photo.

  3. MrsErinD says:

    Love that collage!

    Yup, looks like an early to mid 50s car to me too. Fins were bigger the later it got.

  4. Mel Kolstad says:

    Wow – thank you SO much for all of your wonderful comments, everyone! 😀 As you can see, I’m a fanatic about mid-century modern (and modest!). Of course, all my thanks to Pam, who brought me in as part of the “Retro” family – I love it! 😀

  5. Tikimama says:

    Beautiful work! Mel became one of my newest Flickr contacts a few weeks ago because I enjoyed seeing her collages so much. I’m going to have to give this collage stuff a go – I certainly have enough “ephemera” around!

  6. Bryan says:

    i should have noticed the block. my house was built in 1949 and its a block house as well, just not as cool as the one in the picture.

  7. Barbara says:

    Houses made of concrete block were huge in the early 50s – thought to withstand the “bomb” that was sure to come. That house looks owner-built – all straight lines…

  8. Bryan says:

    I’m going with 1952 Oldsmobile. im not sure its 100% an Ods but it is Olds inspired due to the trunk emblem and the body style is that of a 52 to 53 Olds. it looks like a bit of a mix between a Buick skylark convert and a Olds.

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