A short pause today, to reflect upon and ogle the linoleum pattern that we believe was The Single Most Popular resilient floor pattern in midcentury American houses: Armstrong No. 5352. So far in my research, I have found No. 5352 in Armstrong catalogs as early as 1935 and reader Scott says that it was still being sold at Sears in the mid-1990s! That is quite a run!
I have this opinion that Hazel Dell Brown was the most influential residential interior designer of the 20th Century. In 1921, she was hired by Armstrong Flooring to create an interior design team tasked with creating real rooms to show off Armstrong products in advertisements. She was super successful and led interior design there for decades to follow. I have done a lot of research about Hazel Dell Brown, and need to write a big story soon! I will, I promise! Meanwhile, the point of today’s story: Valerie, a longtime reader of this blog, recently scored a big bundle of renderings by a subsequent Armstrong designer, Louisa Kostich Cowan — a Hazel Dell Brown protege who herself went on to lead Armstrong’s interior design department for many years after Dell Brown. Valerie generously spent an afternoon photographing some of the designs — which we are so excited to show here today! Heck yeah there is more →
2014 was a great year for reissues of classic midcentury product designs. Still, there are three very basic products — I’m trying not to be greedy — that I would love to see brought back to the market, mass produced for cost, quality and availability. My list is based on seven years of blogging about midcentury modest and modern homes, hearing about what Retro Renovators need and have been excited about whenever the products come up. Heck yeah there is more →
I’m not saying I love all the colors — most are too darn greige for me — but if you are looking for retro style vinyl floor tiles, remember to take a look at the Karndean. Above: The faux pebble design in these tiles kinda sorta remind me of 1970s floor tiles.Heck yeah there is more →
Remember Amber’s pink toilet trafficking antics during her quest to retain the vintage charm in her retro pink bathroom while also meeting current day water usage requirements? Well, she’s been at it again — this time in her knotty pine kitchen, which had received a sad 1980s partial “update” from the previous owners. Thankfully, the knotty pine cabinets were intact, so Amber turned her attention to finding flooring, countertops, lighting, decor and even a vintage yellow sink to complement the wood and return the retro feel to her kitchen. No interstate fixture trafficking this time — but the story — and results — are just as happy.Heck yeah there is more →
Last September, reader Tina sent me a tip that there was a mint-in-box Welbilt stove at the Re-Store in Alexandria, Virginia. I immediately did a post, but never found out what happened. Well… nearly nine months later, I hear from longtime reader Lawrence Bill — he snapped it up … relocated it to his home in Kansas … and shares the whole story with us today. Goodness, I sure do love hearing the end of these stories! 🙂 Bill writes:Heck yeah there is more →