Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Suddenly, it's 1956! The Dining Room

This shot shows the built-in room divider in between the living room and dining room. The divider is not original, but is from an original 1954 design out of a home interior magazine from that year. I drew it up and had it made and installed while I was renovating the place.

Another shot looking at room divider and into dining room.

Yeah, I know...vertical blinds. The thing is I can't find the right drapes I want to put there, so they are going to have to do for the time being, I guess.  :(

Floor is green and light gray checker linoleum tiles. They were trimmed to the original 9x9 sixe squares to stay period correct. I definitely did not want to do the stereotyped 50's malt shop, black and white checkered squares that so many mistaken as being the true 50's. Give me a break!

 Looking at dining room from kitchen. The table and chairs are all original. The only thing I had redone on them is the chrome. Other than that, it has the original mother-of-pearl (a.k.a. crushed ice) formica top and vinyl on the chairs. You can see on the room divider that there are doors on this side of it for cabinet storage.

 The hutch, again, was my godmother's and was purchased in 1956 from McMann Furniture in Ontario, California. When I received it from her it was orange from cigarette smoke residue. It took a couple hours to really clean it up. It's not perfect, but it still rocks!

Another shot of the hutch showing it's contents...vintage 1950's glassware.

This fiberglass planter used to be turquoise, but it was too faded and stained, so I painted it a light yellow to still keep with the color scheme of that time.

I snagged this off of Ebay a year ago. The thing screams atomic!

The retractable flying saucer lamp was another Ebay find. It still has it original brass finish. All I did is have it rewired to be safe.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Suddenly, it's 1956! The Living Room

The great thing I like about my 1950's furnished condo is that I can leave 2011 at the doorstep and walk back into the past...1956, that is! Even though the condo wasn't built until 1962, I have painstakingly made sure that it resembled that of a mid-50's, contemporary, modern house. The condo consists of a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bathrooms (well, one is now a laundry room/bathroom) and two bedrooms.

The majority of the living room furniture I have is blonde. I've always liked the blonde furniture because it has a clean, modern look that is so well remembered by those who were fortunate to have grown up in that era. I decided to go with a somewhat bachelor pad look using blonde and black as the main colors throughout, which gives it more of a "guy lives here" appeal. See what you think.

The Living Room

This what you see when you walk in the front door.

This three-tiered corner table was a junkyard find. With a little paint and polishing, it was resurrected.

The two-tone upholstery of the sofa and sofa chair compliment the two-toned tables.
The object in the middle of the coffee table is a Cypress tree root. In the 1950's, they were used as mantle decor, plant holders and also served as lamp bases. This was one of two that my grandparents bought in 1956 while in Florida. The other was made into a TV lamp, which I will post later on.

I picked up this free form end table, it's twin (not shown) and matching coffee table on Ebay three years ago. I plan to replace the legs with tapered round ones soon. The little drum ashtray was my grandfather's.

Another shot of the living room looking from the dining room.

When I renovated the condo, I had laminate wood flooring installed and birch doors. Luckily, I had an old door knob escutcheon that I shined up (those don't come around too often). The fiberglass planter is vintage. Also, from my godmother.

Now, no 1950's pad is complete without a hi-fi console. This little gem is a 1957 Olympic that has AM/FM, phonograph and also plays my Mp3 player. I listen to it constantly, and the tubes give it a rich, mellow sound. This hi-fi console screams 1950's with it classic design and tapered legs. (I have a few other 50's hi-fi's that I may be selling soon.) BTW...the black panther on the console has been in our family since 1951.

The drapes are from original vintage stock. There wasn't enough material for them to close completely, so I left them open and got some original-style 2" venetian blinds with cotton straps, just like the original ones were. The valance I made from white oak and put an Ebony oak finish (black background with white highlights in the grain).

Another view looking towards the front door.

This tripod floor lamp I had made from an original design I saw out of a 1950's lamp catalog. I already had the lamp shades, but needed something cool for them to go with.

This is the matching tripod lamp. They were actually quite easy to have made. Again, they are not original vintage, but they are vintage design.
How often do you come across a pole lamp with colored fiberglass cone shades?

The artificial jade tree was my godmother's, whom gave it to me before she passed. She said she's had it since 1954. The gooseneck lamp was restored to original, but having it re-brassed wasn't cheap.

This actually a 1912 Mission clock that I had a new face, casing and pendulum stick made out of white oak and then I finished them in blonde so that it would go with the rest of the place. The original 1912 clockworks are still inside it....and it works great!

This painting is from an artist out of Los Angeles named Gen Matucha. I tried looking him up on the Internet, but no luck. Nonetheless, it has a very cool Carlo-style trapezoid frame that really sets off the living room.

This Asian-style shadow box was in bad shape when I got it out at the Rose Bowl 10 years ago. I plan to sell this when I find the right wall hangings I really want to hang there.

Things made of wrought iron, such as this ash tray and magazine rack were very popular in the 1950's. Though these are original, I'm sure they can easily be reproduced.

Right now, I have a 1956 Admiral television/phono/radio console that I'm having restored (this is a rendering of what it looks like). Of course, it's a blonde console, but I'm having a newer TV put inside it so that it looks original, but can receive cable hook ups. I don't watch much TV anyway, so it will mainly be for when I have visitors over. I will definitely post photos when it's done.