FABULOUS FIFTIES FLOORING

Vintage flooring options, 1950s Spiegel catalogue

Vintage flooring options, 1950s Spiegel catalogue

After searching around for flooring options for the new place for quite some time I still have yet to find anything that really duplicates the amazing selection of fun, vibrant flooring available back in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Check out these pics out of a 1950s Spiegel catalogue and here are some of the lovely flooring options that you just can’t find today. The pages weren’t in great shape so the photos aren’t the best, but you can still see why I thought they were worth sharing.

1950s Congoleum flooring

1950s Congoleum flooring

Congoleum is still around but unfortunately, not the patterns above.

 

Love the patterns on all of these vinyl flooring options...I want starburst flooring!!

1950s vinyl flooring patterns

I love, love, love these prints. How wonderful would it be to have starburst flooring?!

Vintage vinyl sparkle flooring, 1950s Spiegel catalogue

Vintage vinyl sparkle flooring, 1950s Spiegel catalogue

Imagine, ordering your perfectly coordinated kitchen flooring, backsplash and counter top all from one page in a Spiegel catalogue.

FAVORITE FINDS #3 – BULLET PLANTER

My recent vintage bullet planter find

My recent vintage bullet planter find

One item that seems to be a mid century modern staple is a bullet planter. I had been wanting one of these for a while and was hoping that I might come across one at a garage sale or thrift shop (man would I do a happy dance if that happened). I haven’t given up hope of that happening some day but in the meantime I’ve been eyeing these beauties all over Ebay and Etsy for months trying to get my hands on an affordable planter but without much luck. Most authentic 1950s bullet planters go for hundreds of dollars. Eventually I came across this one on Ebay and I managed to get it for under $50. It’s about 22″ tall so not as big as most people want and it wouldn’t be my colour of choice…it’s a wishy washy pinky peach. I could spray paint it which I am considering but then it would lose the stringy look of the fiberglass so I’m still deciding whether to leave it as is or give it a colourful make over. And it isn’t in perfect condition but to me that is part of the beauty of a true vintage rather than a reproduction so I’m okay with that.

 

mid century bullet planter

mid century bullet planter

 

Bullet planter made of fibre glass

Bullet planter made of fibre glass

I have no issue with reproductions though…and there are some amazing reproduction bullet planters available. One company that has specialized in mid century bullet planters is Hip Haven which offers them in sixteen colours and three height options. You can check out their site at www.hiphaven.com . You can also get similar planters at Design Within Reach http://www.dwr.com/product/bullet-planter-short.do which offers five lovely colour options…and they’re on sale right now. Unfortunately, with the Canadian dollar exchange rate and international shipping, it still ends up being a bit out of my price range right now. But it is nice to know there are options.

 

Bullet planter available from Hip Haven

Bullet planter available from Hip Haven

As you can see in the photo, they really make lovely eye-catching planters whether indoors or outdoor. I’m planning to use mine outdoors in our entrance area and maybe find another one for our living room in a fun colour. People have also used them for other purposes like as an ice bucket, that would make a great party conversation piece. I’ll keep that in mind for our future house warming party.

FIND OF THE YEAR – YOUNGSTOWN STEEL KITCHEN CABINETS

Ad for Youngstown kitchen cabinets

Ad for Youngstown kitchen cabinets

I love the look of vintage steel kitchen cabinets, specifically Youngstown cabinets with their chrome boomerang hardware. That is the look I was after when picking our future gloss white kitchen cabinets.

This was one of the kitchen ads used in a post from back in December 2014 while I was still contemplating what my dream kitchen would look like (http://modranchreno.com/2014/12/my-dream-kitchen/)

Youngstown Steel Kitchens ad from 1954 Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Youngstown Steel Kitchens ad from 1954 Better Homes & Gardens magazine

I never thought I’d be lucky enough to find an original set of Diana-Style cabinets, but recently I was excited (to say the least) to see an ad for a set of vintage Youngstown kitchen cabinets online. I saw them and knew that I had to be the next owner of these great cabinets. I forwarded the ad to my sister with the heading ‘I must have these’.

I contacted the sellers who had recently pulled the cabinets out of a 1950s home they were renovating for a family member. With two other potential buyers coming from out of town and a drop in price that was very reasonable I knew I had to act fast. So my sister and I headed out on a Tuesday evening, borrowed her boyfriend’s truck and picked up the set which managed to fit perfectly on the truck for the ride home (thanks H & D for your help.)

The cabinets waiting to be restored

The cabinets waiting to be restored

The set I got includes 6 lower cabinets. There is a sink unit:

The sink unit, minus the sink

The sink unit, minus the sink…notice the eye-catching red Youngstown Diana the huntress emblem

Two four drawer cabinets:

The four drawer cabinets

The four drawer cabinets

My favorite piece, the giant lazy susan:

The lovely lazy susan cabinet

The lovely lazy susan cabinet

There is also a two door – one drawer cabinet and a thin towel unit with pull out racks for drying one’s dishtowels.

This page is out of a vintage brochure for these Diana-Style Youngstown cabinets. It shows a couple of the units I have.

Youngstown Steel base cabinet options

Youngstown Steel base cabinet options

Steel cabinets came in a few colour options and as you can see in the photos, the cabinets I got were originally a lovely aqua…they would have been fabulous. Over the years someone painted the fronts white. I haven’t decided whether to try to match the aqua shade or paint them all white – but they’d look wonderful either way. There is also some rust on some spots that needs to be addressed. That is why I am thinking of asking an auto body shop if they might take on a job like this and how much it would cost. They could deal with the rusty areas and spray paint or powder coat them evenly like they would a car, rather than me painting them by hand. I also plan on testing them for lead paint which is always a possibility with vintage furniture.

While they get refinished I will be deciding where to put them. Since six lower cabinets would not be enough to do a full kitchen and I already have a kitchen on order that is paid in full, I have a few alternate uses in mind. My options are to create a bathroom vanity, a serving area in the dining room or install them in the basement for a stylin little kitchenette area. Any other ideas?

I’ll definitely update this post once I get them painted and set up in our house. They are going to look, as they would have said back in the fifties…mighty swell.

I also recently got my hands on a few old brochures for steel kitchens. The first few pictures are from another top steel kitchen company from back in the day, Republic Steel. I would have gladly taken either brand although I must say I prefer the boomerang hardware on the Youngstown cabinets. But I do love the simple designs and colourful countertops in these illustrations…beautiful!

From a Republic Steel Kitchens brochure

Lovely kitchen illustration from a Republic Steel Kitchens brochure

 

L shaped kitchen illustration from Republic Steel Kitchen brochure

L shaped kitchen illustration from Republic Steel Kitchen brochure…love that linoleum!

 

A u shape kitchen illustration from a Republic Steel Kitchen brochure

A U shape kitchen illustration from a Republic Steel Kitchen brochure

 

Republic Steel Kitchen options were very similar to Youngstown

Republic Steel Kitchen options were very similar to Youngstown

The following pictures from a 1955 Republic Steel Kitchens brochure are sure to inspire.

A pink and red peppermint stick inspired kitchen, 1955.

A pink and red peppermint stick inspired kitchen, 1955

 

1955 Republic Steel Kitchen - I love the bar counter and the yellow Formica...and the wallpaper - wow!

1955 Republic Steel Kitchen – I love the bar counter and the yellow Formica…and the wallpaper – wow!

 

A simple L shaped steel kitchen, 1955

A simple L shaped steel kitchen, 1955

Steel kitchens were a very popular choice for a few decades but they had to compete with more traditional wood kitchens. Wood cabinet makers like Kitchen Maid advertised their wood cabinets to be ‘warm and friendly’. I’m sure some people found steel cabinets cold and too industrial, and they had the potential of rusting – especially on sink cabinets. Wooden cabinets were available with clean lines and were also offered in a variety of colours, painted with enamel paint so they were easy to clean. Eventually, people lost interest in  steel kitchens and wood won out. The kitchen photos below are all enameled wood from a 1953 Kitchen Maid brochure.

Kitchen Maid wood kitchen, 1953

Kitchen Maid wood kitchen, 1953

 

For the laundry kitchen, Kitchen Maid offered laundry carts and built in ironing board units

For the laundry kitchen, Kitchen Maid offered laundry carts and built in ironing board units

 

A very functional Kitchen Maid kitchen, 1953

A very functional Kitchen Maid kitchen, 1953

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One last totally unrelated thing. Did 1950s housewives really wear high heeled shoes indoors at all times? Like while they made a sandwich for lunch or while they did laundry like in these illustations?  I like a nice pair of shoes as much as the next gal but heels all day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WONDERFUL WALLPAPER

Sunworthy wallpaper ad, 1957.

Sunworthy wallpaper ad, 1957.

I have never wallpapered a room before. It seems like an awful lot of work and I’m afraid of the commitment involved since I like to change my colour schemes fairy often. I certainly wouldn’t want to go to all of the work of wallpapering a room only to decide to take it down a year later. And then I blame the ugly wallpaper of the late 80s and 90s (my childhood) for a bit of my hesitation. Wallpaper from that era, especially in the 90s, was usually a pastel floral print, slightly shiny and most often included dusty rose. And every home in the 90s had either matching wallpaper borders or borders covered with fruit or flowers…or both. Thankfully, after the 90s people spent hours taking down the ugly wallpaper and borders and paint made a big comeback.

I also remember the 1970s wallpaper that filled the house I grew up in which was built in 1974. It was much cooler than the wallpaper that covered over it in the 90s. Geometric shapes and stripes graced the kitchen and bathroom walls in vivid oranges and browns. I took a photo of the kitchen wallpaper last year before my parents moved…a little of the original paper was still up behind the fridge and stove.

The old kitchen wallpaper in my parent's house...circa 1974.

The old kitchen wallpaper in my parent’s house…circa 1974.

 

So now that I am about to decorate a house that is basically a blank slate as far as wall coverings and decor, I am actually thinking about doing at least one room in a fun vintage or vintage inspired wallpaper. I had even toyed with the idea of using vintage wallpaper as my kitchen backsplash but I have since decided against that.

I have only found a few rolls of nice vintage wallpaper over the years in thrift shops. I have used it for framed art, making cards, lining trays and even jewelry.

A few of the vintage rolls of wallpaper I've gathered over the years.

A few of the vintage rolls of wallpaper I’ve gathered over the years.

But really nice paper, especially from the 40s and 50s is difficult to find. One of the best spots to look for great vintage wallpapers is on Etsy. There are several shops that sell only vintage wallpapers, some by the roll and some by the yard. They are usually not cheap, especially with the shipping, but probably worth it.

Here are a selection of some great original wallpaper from the 1940s to the 1970s, all found in Etsy shops:

From the 1940s…

1940s wallpaper from Rosies Wallpaper on Etsy

Such a fun 1940s wallpaper from Rosies Wallpaper on Etsy

 

This is a dainty but colourful 1940s wallpaper from Hannah's Treasures on Etsy

This is a dainty but colourful 1940s wallpaper from Hannah’s Treasures on Etsy

 

Pretty 1940s floral paper from Hannah's Treasures on Etsy

A pretty 1940s feminine floral paper from Hannah’s Treasures on Etsy

The 1950s…

This is one swell 1950s print from Rosie's Wallpaper on Etsy

Quaint 1950s print from Rosie’s Wallpaper on Etsy

 

I really like this mid century atomic style paper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

I really like this mid century atomic style paper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

This is a definate contender - I love the starbursts in this 1950s wallpaper from Hannah's Treasures on Etsy

Love the starbursts in this 1950s wallpaper from Hannah’s Treasures on Etsy

 

Another great 1950s print from Rosie's Wallpaper on Etsy

Another great 1950s print from Rosie’s Wallpaper on Etsy

The 1960s…

This is a great abstract 60s print - love the colours...from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

This is a great abstract 60s print – love the colours…from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

 

Any little girl would love this bright 60s floral wallpaper in their room - from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

Any little girl would love this bright 60s floral wallpaper in their room – from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

 

A very 60s looking wallpaper from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

A very 60s looking wallpaper from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

 

I'm really liking this pattern and the colours in this wallpaper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

I’m really liking this pattern and the colours in this wallpaper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

Here is fun mod floral paper from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

Here is fun mod floral paper from Retro Wallpaper on Etsy

And the many styles from the 1970s – large floral, mod designs, op art and geometric…

Here is a pretty 70s wallpaper with a large floral print from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

Here is a pretty 70s wallpaper with a large floral print from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

This print would be nice in the dining room with my 60s tulip table...from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

This print would be nice in the dining room with my 60s tulip table…from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

Here is a late mid century print in a great mod print with more subdued colours, from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

This late mid century wallpaper has a great mod print with more subdued colours in blue and grey, from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

Here is the perfect example of a modern  1970s panton wallpaper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

Here is the perfect example of a modern 1970s panton wallpaper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

 

Here is another 1970s geometric pattern wallpaper from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

Bright, colourful and geometric – this paper is definitely 1970s from Daisies in the Attic on Etsy

There are also a few online shops that carry new wallpaper with a vintage look. Bradbury is a company that makes vintage inspired wallpapers. Their Modernism line includes hand screen printed wallpapers in the styles of Art Deco, Post-War Era, Atomic Age and The Mod Generation.  http://www.bradbury.com/modernism.html

Here are a couple of my favorites from the Atomic Age collection:

Gee Gee in Gray

Gee Gee in Gray

 

Googie Land in Ivory

Googie Land in Ivory

 

Atomic Doodle in turquoise...maybe a little busy, but would be cute for a small area

Atomic Doodle in turquoise…maybe a little busy, but would be cute for a small area

I could spend another whole day looking at more wallpaper in online shops but this is a good start. Now which room shall I paper and which paper shall I use??

 

SIXTIES SOFAS

Retro couch and chair.

Retro couch and chair.

I bought this cool late 60s matching sofa and chair a few year ago at a thrift shop. I loved their simple style, shape and tapered legs. And even though they weren’t in perfect shape, with a $65 price tag they were well worth it. I brought them to the photo studio I had at the time to use for some retro photo shoots and since then they’ve been sitting in a corner in my parents basement…along with all of the other vintage furniture for the new house that doesn’t fit in our own home (thanks mom and dad). So this sad looking set that once sat proudly in someone’s living room sits here in a cold basement. But there’s hope…

1960s orange couch waiting to be reupholstered.

1960s orange couch waiting to be reupholstered.

 

1960s orange chair ready for reupholstering.

1960s orange chair ready for a makeover.

I am quite fond of the original orange textured fabric but alas, the cushions have seen better days, the arm rests are worn and the wooden legs have scuffs and scratches. I know the set has great potential and would be a great addition to our new living room but I think they need a new look.

I contacted a local woman in the upholstery business. She took a look at the couch and chair and confirmd what I already knew – they would definitely be worth re-upholstering. The bones of the couch are still in great shape. She would strip them down to their frames and start fresh with new padding, new cushion foam and poly wrap…and of course new quality fabric that should be good for another fifty years. So for about a $1700 investment I would essentially have a like new sofa and chair but with 1960s style and quality wood structure and legs.

My other option would be to buy a new couch. I would want it to have the stylish design, clean lines, unique touches, tapered legs and to be quality made like these original sofas from the 1950s and 60s:

This 1960s couch has a similar textured fabric in a great turquoise colour. And I love the funky design on the back rest.

1960s couch set from Eaton's catalogue.

1960s couch set from Eaton’s catalogue.

I’d feel like dancing too if I owned this beautiful 1960 Kroehler couch.

1950s Kroehler couch.

1950s Kroehler couch.

And check out the beautiful lines of this sectional. My parents had a similar 1960s sectional for years while growing up. If only I would know at the age of 15 I would one day be searching for the same couch I’d have tried to convince them to keep it instead of trading it in for a 1990’s pastel floral sofa and loveseat (sigh.)

Elegant sectional by Kroehler, 1959.

Elegant sectional by Kroehler, 1959.

To help me decide, I did a search for new sofas available today that have the vintage style I’m looking for. Many of the mid century style sofas I found were only available in the U.S but here are a few that are available in Canada.

From EQ3, here is the Reverie sofa,

reverie_sofa_klein_charcoal_front_02

This 86″ sofa is from EQ3, cost would be $1699 plus tax.

And EQ3’s Oskar 2 piece sectional,

EQ3's Oskar sectional is made in Canada and costs $3398 plus tax.

EQ3’s Oskar sectional is made in Canada and costs $3398 plus tax.

Both CB2 and West Elm now have stores in Vancouver and Toronto so you may be able to find one of their sofas available. This is CB2’s movie sofa.

The movie sofa from CB2, $1399 Canadian plus shipping.

The movie sofa from CB2, $1399 Canadian plus shipping.

And CB2’s parlour sofa,

CB2's parlour sofa available in lots of colours - $1699 Canadian plus tax.

CB2’s parlour sofa available in lots of colours – $1699 Canadian plus tax.

The Crosby love seat below is a nice size for a smaller space, from West Elm.

The Crosby loveseat from West Elm, $1499 plus shipping.

The Crosby loveseat from West Elm, $1499 plus shipping.

This style is from Bouclair’s Atelier line of furniture in soft velvet.

Bouclair Home Atelier line of furniture makes this retro 3 seater in velvet, priced at $999.

Bouclair Home Atelier line of furniture makes this retro 3 seater in velvet, priced at only $999.

This sectional can be shipped internationally for a price. It is the Luna sectional from True Modern.

True Modern's Luna sectional is nice but is pricey with a total price of around $4500 including tax, shipping and duty.

True Modern’s Luna sectional is nice but is pricey with a total price of around $4500 including tax, shipping and duty.

And one of my favorites, the Canadian made Hudson sofa from The Bay.

400865150696_main

Hudson Bay’s Hudson sofa, currently on sale for half price for $999.

Although there are some nice mid century styled sofas and sectionals available that I would happily put in my future living room, I think I like the idea of bringing my thrifted vintage sofa and chair out from the basement and giving them a new look.

UPDATE: I will be taking some photos of the reupholstering process and of course the before and afters in a new post coming soon!