The idea of building the shell of a house in a factory has entranced American home builders for decades. Hodgson Houses claims to have made the first prefabricated homes in the U.S. The Aladdin Company, out of Michigan, was building kit houses as early as 1908. Sears offered them, too. In mid century America, we’d say this fascination was as strong as ever. The country was focused on scientific production methods… There was sheet metal and factories to put to work… And most importantly, the biggest housing boom in American history was “on.” Put these factors all together and: Lots of experiments in factory-built housing. So it’s great fun to look at today’s catalog — 28 pages of houses manufactured by Lincoln Homes in 1955. They were based in Belle Vernon, Penn., and it looks like they sold into Pennsylvania, Ohio, and a bit of West Virginia. These houses are such classic mid century modest houses … and inspecting the illustrations, you can get lots of ideas for siding, masonry, shutters, and other features to improve the curb appeal of a small house.
Who were the leaders in mid century bathroom fixtures? We tend to think: American Standard and Crane. Seems like we see these the most. We also tend to think of Crane as the creme de la creme. These sinks — vintage — are still around in great quantities. If you need replacement parts including instructions to DIY, see our longtime advertiser deabath.com — they are experts in Crane. So with all this background — it’s great to look at a big catalog of vintage Crane bathroom sinks, faucets, tubs and toilets from 1949. Just coming out of the war — there is a building boom on that will last for years to come. This catalog also is fabulous in terms of viewing aspirational (interior designer and illustrator conceived) color, tile, wallpaper and other 1940s and 1950 bathroom design ideas. Continue on for highlights of vintage bathroom design — and the complete catalog, enlarged in a slide show:
One of our resolutions for 2013 here on Retro Renovation is to start featuring more fabulous vintage home improvement catalogs — featuring kitchens, bathrooms, decorating, light fixtures, house plans — the list goes on. What better place to start this new series than with a fantastic 1958 kitchen catalog from Sears — with 32 pages of great information and style — oh if only we could still order from this catalog. The optimistic color combinations and fun designs will have you wishing that one of these kitchens could magically appear in your own home.Heck yeah there is more →
My 2013 Color of the Year choice — Broyhill Premier Chapter One Lime Green — was inspired by a particular line of Broyhill furniture that was love at first site. I kept seeing this furniture referred to as “Broyhill Loewy” style — so I decided to do some research to find out more about this line, including what the heck its real name was. That part was easy. Some clicks on the worldwide web, and the name came up, seems to be: Broyhill Premier Chapter One. I was able to find photos of the line in two fabulous colors — lemon yellow and lime green. Above: Reader Steve sent me this ad from 1970. Woot! I digg it! Read on for more info and 20 more photos of this technicolor dream design –>