Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oh credenza, you complete me.

Man knows no love greater than that between a collector of Mid-Century Modern and an amazing 1960's credenza...

... and this one sure has me all riled up!


Our old Best Buy TV stand served its purpose well and had a certain retro flair to it, but after a hot tip from a good friend, it hit Craigslist and moved out faster than Grant took Richmond.  Gotta make room for that new vintage hotness.

And, oh boy, did it need plenty of room.  It barely fit along our 8 foot wall!

The upside of its size is that this sexy beast has storage aplenty: a set of two drawers on the right, shelves with folding doors in the center, and another two shelves with a door on the left.  We managed to fit all of our A/V stuff in just the center section, though the receiver will require a few wire routing holes before it can be hidden away.

I've no idea who the maker is, and right now I could really care less. I just want to bask in it's warm walnut glow.  Look at them legs!

Sorry, I'll stop going on.  I think that the girlfriend and Bessie might be getting a bit jealous.  I've also gotta take care of that squirrel's nest behind the television.  I swear, those wires must be moving and knotting up all on their own.

Friday, July 27, 2012

1520 Carman Road, 63021

A Mid-Century Modern home in West St. Louis County?!

On a drive through my old hood, Manchester, I noticed a "for sale" sign outside of this strikingly modern home.  It wasn't just any home.  No, it just happened to be the very same one I'd always admired growing up.  As a child, my school bus rode by this home every day and I always gave it a longing glance as we went by.  It was just so different than the suburban McMansions that sprouted up  all around the neighborhood.

Too bad the coffers are dry.  So somebody needs to save this mid-century gem before the bulldozers claim another victim...

... and then sell it to me real cheap when I've saved up to buy my mid-mod dream home ;)

You'd be hard-pressed to find such a modern home outside of Ladue or Clayton.  They just didn't build them like this around St. Louis.  

It looks as if a little elbow grease will be required, but it's a great neighborhood and such a rarity.  

For more (and larger, non-pixelated) pictures, head over to Ted Wight's St. Louis Style blog.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reader Mail

There's too much to do and too little time to get it all done, so I'm gonna take today to clear out the backlog of reader mail.  Apologies to anyone who got a belated reply, a good number of messages have  been appearing in my spam folder, which I check infrequently.

I've also got a couple instances where I'm in need of the assistance of you, my fine, intelligent readers.

First off, we have Marie, who's planning on renovating her old kitchen and is looking for interested buyers for her retro cabinets and appliances.  These are gorgeous metal American Kitchens cabinets and would be a great buy for anyone in the St. Louis area (or anyone willing to pick them up).  If you'd like to take this fine specimen of a 1960's kitchen home, Marie may be reached at  skifarm2@yahoo.com.

I've also had quite a few requests for furniture ID's and, though I do try my best, haven't been able to answer them all.  So, does anybody out there have the deets on this sofa and armchair set or dresser?  I think that the dresser might be a Bassett, but I'm not 100% and have no idea which line.

Until next time, happy thrifting!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling

Lucky lamp?  Not so much.

It's been another hard week, folks.

Bill O'Brien, a dear family friend and co-worker passed away last Saturday evening at 87 years old.

You'd never find a more dedicated, honest, and hard-working employee (Yes, he was still working full-time at 87).  Bill was hired in 1946 (66 years ago!) by my great grandfather, shortly after the close of WWII in which he served as a navy seaman.  

Since that day, he's worked 6 or 7 full days a week and took only 3 weeks vacation in total, each taken after heart attacks (he actually returned to work the day after the last of his 4 heart attacks).  He'd also show up several hours early almost every single day (frequently as early as 3AM).  I certainly couldn't imagine working hours like that (especially at 87), and we often told him not to, but he did it of his own accord.

Those long hours must have kept him in good shape, because he had a quicker mind and a sharper with than anyone I knew.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that he was some kind of savant.  The man could think up jokes or recall trivia and statistics like nobody's business.  He even stayed physically fit and tough-as-nails into his 80's by walking miles every day through the mean streets of East St. Louis.  Most sane people wouldn't even drive near some of the neighborhoods he passed through.

Bill never married or had any children, but he knew and was loved by everyone.  He was trusting, helpful, and kind to a fault.  While he would never spend any money on himself (quite literally, as all of his possessions were free and he lived off canned food in a tiny apartment) he lavished gifts and money on his friends and charities.

He didn't want a funeral, but we did manage to get Bill, the proud Irishman, a green casket for his burial at the local veterans cemetery.  He'd have loved it.

So it looks like Bill finally took his well-earned retirement.  Unfortunately, the man was also quite the hoarder, and we've got A LOT to clean up and I'll have to completely reorganize and update his position.  Bill never trusted technology and did everything the old-fashioned way using ledger paper, adding machines, stamps, and typewriters even to this day.

This office will never be the same.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mood Board Magic

Remember those mood boards I put together a while back?

At the time I'd already picked up a good number of the items pictured, but was seriously short of mid-century lighting (a situation since resolved).  So instead of uploading a snap of my single lonely Quartite lamp, I Googled "white mid-century lamp", selected the first appealing image I came across, and used it as a stand-in.

Now let's fast-forward to today.

Shazam!  How's that for serendipity?  This thing sat in my living room for over a month in the very spot I'd placed it on the mood boards before I even noticed the connection.

Though there's a tiny bit of crazing in the ceramic, Its a gorgeous fluted mid-century lamp of indeterminate make.  So this one is sticking around.  It's my new lucky lamp, after all,  and I sure could use a bit of luck.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just Barely Staying Afloat

Source: Das Boot

"The ship's taking on water, men!  Blow the ballast tanks!  Head for the surface!"

St. Louis has been starved for rain lately, but we certainly made up for it on Sunday.  Unfortunately, a good portion of that rain ended up in my basement and sunroom.  I've never seen anything like it.  The water was literally spraying out of the walls like in some sort of WWII submarine epic, and the whole evening was spent franticly bailing out the USS Nickarmadillo.

So that was fun.

Looks like I'm gonna have to seal a few foundation cracks and fix the drainage issues.  You know, because I don't have enough projects already.  

After all of the issues we've had in just one year, I'm beginning to wonder if it's about time to abandon ship.  $25,000 in repairs on a cheap beginner home is verging on ridiculous.  One can only sink so much cash into a money pit before realizing that it's best to just cut your losses.

I did do some thrifting though.  Yes, thrifting makes it all better.  After a pretty long dry spell, I managed to bring in quite a haul too.

A couple of the larger items are still in the van, but here's the smalls:  A set of salt and pepper shakers and cocktail glasses.

The salt and pepper shakers came from Portugal, but have a really cool Danish-esque design.  I really like the mustard yellow and reddish-brown on these.  They're gonna need a new set of corks though.  Should be an easy fix.

The cocktail glass set includes 8 small tumblers and 4 shot glasses with a nice orange, gold, and black mid-century pattern on them.  With my Dorothy Thorpe tumblers I've now got quite the set, especially for someone who isn't a drinker.  It'll be great for parties though.

Does anyone else out there think up back-stories for the second-hand items they bring in?  Maybe I'm just a bit odd, but occasionally I do.  One of the tumblers was obviously put in the dish washer, as the gold has worn away, but the rest are in perfect, nearly unused condition.  In my mind I can see exactly how this went down:

The wife brought home a new set of cocktail glasses, which she thought would really impress the guests at their next dinner party.  She implored her husband, "These are NOT to be put in the dishwasher!"  "What's the worst that could happen," he thought a short while later as he finished his post-work tumbler of neat whiskey.  "Why'd we get this fancy new-fangled dishwasher if we're never gonna use it!"  Needless to say, the set was designated "for guests only" when it came up one short and she found the ruined glass that he'd tucked into the back of the kitchen cabinet.  Poor guy...

At least that's how I imagine it.