Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Cliff May Mondavi Estate

One of the big local news stories that I've been keeping tabs on this year is the selling and buying of the beautiful Cliff May designed Mondavi  Estate here in the Napa Valley. Cliff May was a west coast based architect best known for being the "Father of the California Ranch House." My own home has elements of Cliff May's design ideas and May's influence can be seen all around Napa. He designed one of the most amazing wineries in the area for Robert Mondavi in 1966 and he also designed the Mondovai's home in the '70s.

The spectacular Mondavi Estate was just sold at auction where the starting bid was $13.9 million dollars. I don't know who the lucky well-heeled new owner is but I hope they appreciate May's design and preserve the home's original style. Below are some photos of the Mondavi estate along with a video highlighting the natural beauty of the Napa Valley and Cliff May's design.
Mondavi Estate
Mondavi Estate
Mondavi Estate
Mondavi Estate
Mondavi Estate
Mondavi Estate from Sheldon Good and Company on Vimeo

Recommended Links:
- Mondavi Estate Auction Site
- Napa newspaper article about the Mondavi Estate auction
- Official site of the Mondovi Winery
- Cliff May, The Father of the California Ranch Home

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Modern Christmas Tree Mobiles

Happy Holidays! I recently picked up a vintage holiday craft book called Christmas Magic by Margaret Perry, which was originally published in 1964. Inside there are lots of fun & creative ideas for holiday themed crafts. Some of my favorite projects in the book are these modern style Christmas tree mobiles (or 'mobile Christmas cards') that you can make out of construction paper or any pliable materials you like depending on how durable you want them to be. I thought I'd share the instructions, which should appeal to anyone trying to decorate their home with some mid-century style holiday cheer.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter

The new documentary, Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter premieres nationally Monday, December 19th on PBS - American Masters. If you didn't have a chance to see it in theaters this year, this is your opportunity to catch it on TV. More information about the film can be found at the PBS website.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ice Cube on Eames

In case you haven't heard, Southern California is currently playing host to Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 - 1980. This ambitious six-month long exhibition celebrating mid-century design and post war art opened in late September and runs through March 2012. More than 60 institutions in Southern California are participating in the event, which will also include a ten-day Performance and Public Art Festival in January. Their latest promotional video features rap artist Ice Cube (confession time - I think 'Straight Outta Compton' is one of the best records of the '80s) who briefly talks about studying architecture drafting before he turned his attention to music and discusses L.A. landmarks. Ice Cube's sincere appreciation for the design of Ray and Charles Eames is apparent in this great video.

If you happen to live in Southern California or are planning to visit there soon stop by the Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 - 1980 website for information on where you can see some of the exhibits and attend events.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Brighten Your Life With Colors You Like

Brighten Your Life With Colors You Like (1962)

A few months ago I picked up a great little book that was published by Pittsburgh Paints in 1962. It goes into great detail about how to use color schemes in your home, how to choose paint colors, etc. and it's been an eye-opening read. It's changing the way we're using color in our place, which I plan to write about in more detail soon but in the meantime I thought I'd share a few of my favorite images from 'Brighten Your Life With Colors You Like.'

Dining/Living Room (1962)
Dining Room (1962)
Kitchen (1962)
Kitchen (1962)
Kitchen (1962)
Kitchen (1962)
Living Room (1962)
Living Room (1962)
Bathroom (1962)
Bedroom (1962)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving - 1963 Style!

In November of 1963 most of America was in mourning. President John F. Kennedy had just been assassinated and thoughtful citizens around the country were in a state of shock. People were undoubtedly trying to understand what exactly had happened in Dallas on November 22 and how it would effect their world. But families still gathered together and cooked meals.

Above you'll find some Kellogg stuffing recipes and Turkey cooking tips (click on the image to see it full size) taken from a 1963 issue of LIFE magazine. They suggest you use Kellogg's Croutettes, which I don't think are being made anymore but obviously you can substitute them with other types of croutons or bread cubes.

1963 isn't a year that a lot of people would like to remember but I think it's interesting to look back and see what people might have ate during that bleak November. This November there is obviously a lot of unrest and uncertainty in the country once again but I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you're all able to enjoy a good meal with family and friends.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Movie: The Love Machine (1971)

I just reviewed a film called THE LOVE MACHINE (1971) for TCM that was recently released on DVD and I couldn't resist sharing a few screen grabs here. The film has some great interiors that I know a lot of vintage furniture and design enthusiasts will love. It's based on a novel by the best-selling author Jacqueline Susann who's best remembered today for writing "Valley of the Dolls." I spotted some Burke chairs in the film that were inspired by Eero Saarinen designs for Knoll as well as some nice glass tables, op art wallpaper, etc. If you're interested you can find my review of the film at TCM's blog, The Movie Morlocks. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the images!

Friday, October 28, 2011

1958 Halloween Costumes

I recently came across these great ads for Halloween costumes in a Sears catalog from 1958 and had to share. Click on the images to see the full size versions. Love that robot and space "Satellite Joe" man!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Apples

Found these old recipes in a copy of the Better Homes & Gardens "Cookies and Candies" book originally published in 1966 and wanted to share them. I haven't tried these recipes myself yet but caramel & candy apples were one of my favorite things to eat on Halloween night when I was a kid. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mod Macabre @ Cinebeats Oct. 1-31

This month I'm participating in the "Countdown to Halloween" blogathon over at my film blog Cinebeats with a little celebration I'm calling Mod Macabre. I thought I'd let Mid-Century Living readers know in case they're looking for some Halloween viewing suggestions or just want to enjoy some vintage Halloween inspired fun.

Hope to update here soon too but I was in a car accident a few weeks ago and it's kind of thrown a wrench into my blogging plans. In the meantime please feel free to stop by Cinebeats anytime and you can also find me on Twitter & Facebook.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer Thrift Shop Finds

Apologies for the lack of updates lately. I've been working a lot and haven't had much free time for blogging. Hopefully I'll find the time to update more soon but I thought I'd share a few of my favorite thrift shop/estate sale purchases from the past couple of months.

Sascha Brastoff Owl
Resin Owl by Sascha Brastoff (1960s)

Samsonite Silhouette Luggage Set
New old stock Samsonite Silhouette Luggage Set (1960)

Westinghouse Toaster
New old stock Westinghouse Toaster (60s)

Thrift Finds
Vintage Eero Saarinen table by Knoll (owl & coasters were also thrift store finds)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rejuvenation's Spektr Light

Spektr Light

Over the July 4th weekend we installed our first Spektr Light from Rejuvenation. We plan to install two more in our entry way and hallway. We had been spending a lot of time and energy trying to find matching vintage lights but the prices are often just as high or even more for quality lighting. It's also hard to find multiple matching lights in good condition. To make matters worse, we've had lots of problems with the old electrical wiring in our home and we're nervous about using older lights due to possible fire hazards. Lastly, we appreciate Rejuvenation's commitment to authenticity and energy efficiency so we're really happy with our decision to purchase lighting from them.

Rejuvenation's Hourglass line is absolutely gorgeous! The Spektr Light is based on the Stockholm series originally manufactured by EJS lighting in 1959. It took more than two weeks for our first lamp to arrive so if you order from them and need something in a timely manner make sure you place your order far in advance. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the lamp. It was beautifully made and easy to install. We considered getting the aluminum finish but we decided to go with the bronze two-tone instead. The bronze has more warmth and feels more period perfect. It also picks up on the warm wood tones we have throughout our home.
Spektr Light

Living Room (1954)
I believe this vintage furniture ad features the original Stockholm lights.

We'd also love to get the these lights for our kitchen.

Sample image from Rejuvenation

A word of warning to new home owners...

I suffered "sticker shock" when we started shopping around for vintage and new lighting after buying our new home. I've been living in rented apartments for the last 25 years or more and I had no idea how pricey good home lighting could be. Lights were an expense we hadn't really planned for so it's going to take us a year or more to get all the lights we want & need for our home. Quality fixtures add a lot to a home's resale price even when they're as specialized as the ones we're purchasing so we think we're making a good home investment by installing Rejuvenation lights, which are beautifully crafted and energy efficient. And since we plan on living here for a long time we can enjoy them for many years to come.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Clocks In Home Decoration (1965)

Clocks In Home Decoration (1965)
I recently picked up this great book & catalog at a garage sale. It was published by Westclox in association with Good Housekeeping magazine and it features a ton of great snapshots of style conscious 1965 interiors. I love '60s design and I found it really inspiring. I especially love the colorful kitchens! I thought I'd scan some of my favorite images from the book to share. Hope you enjoy them!

Family Room (1965)
Kitchen (1965)
Kitchen (1965)
Kitchen/Laundry Room (1965)
Bedroom (1965)
Bathroom (1965)

If you'd like to see a few more pictures from the book you can find them in my "Clocks In Home Decoration (1965)" Flickr Gallery.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Butter Cream Bakery

My favorite breakfast spot in Napa is the 65-year-old Butter Cream Bakery. This colorful pink & white stripped building is a local landmark and serves up up some of best omelets and pancakes I've ever had the pleasure to eat. The bakery is also a reasonably priced culinary treat in a city where food is extremely important and you'll find some of the most delicious donuts and pastries imaginable being sold there. Almost all of their ingredients come from local farmers and growers so the food is always fresh.

Top: The original Butter Cream.
Bottom: How Butter Cream looks today.

The Butter Cream Bakery has been owned by the same family since it first opened its doors some 48 years ago and they've donated to a lot of important local organizations including the Napa Food Bank, various Schools, Hospice, the 4-H Club and the local Police and Fire Departments. When they renovated the building in 2002 they kept as many of the original furnishing as possible and today it still has the look and charm of a 1950s style diner. If you're ever in Napa don't miss the chance to visit the Butter Cream Bakery. They're also open for lunch and during most holidays.

Visit Napa's Butter Cream Bakery online:
- The Butter Cream Bakery

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