Posts from the ‘Home Decor’ Category

The Ideal Modern Kitchen [1945]


While now it may look like the backup kitchen at a big city church built in the 1930s, this Ideal Modern Kitchen from The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book would have been the bee’s knees in its day.  Check out the mural; do you have a mural along the ceiling in your kitchen? How about the big hanging lights which are designed to take 200-watt bulbs that sweat blistering heat from 10 feet up? Rounded corners on the cabinets? I want those now. 

Truthfully I’d cook here; a perfect upgrade – aside from the electrical system – would be stainless steel appliances.  And I’d keep the mural 🙂

Afghan Awesomeness [1966]

Bernat Afghans VII

A thrift store treasure, beyond measure 🙂

I found this brief catalog – Bernat Afghans’ Contemporary and Traditional Styles, Book no. 132 – in a Long Beach WA shop for a whopping 25-cents. Initially I thought it would be a nice addition to Wall Of Retro – one which could dish out some of the cheesiness that only the mid-1960s could provide. Yet, as I began looking through the publication, I discovered that the pictures were just short of amazing. Staged without looking staged. Telling multiple stories, while giving focus to the subject of the catalog. The photographer employed a delicate depth of field in the work, and a film used duplicated the subject’s colors at an amazing level.

In short, I was duped by 25-cents worth of awesomeness.

While I was taken in by the quality of the photography, the stunning Mrs. BelRedRoad was smitten with the afghans themselves. “That’s beautiful work,” she said of the first one she saw, “and expensive.”

Bernat Afghans VIII

The stories depicted in these pictures are ones of relaxation, wonder, longing, and tranquility. In a sense, a warm afghan should be providing at least a couple of those – even ones that don’t cost big bucks. Check out these pictures; aside from being a warm time capsule of the Sixties, they also embody the feelings and softness in life which many of us want.

Bernat Afghans XX

I always make sure my chauffeur has an afghan handy…

Bernat Afghans XIV

Bernat Afghans VI

Bernat Afghans III

Bernat Afghans II

Bernat Afghans I

Bernat Afghans XVIII

Bernat Afghans XVII

Bernat Afghans XIII

Bernat Afghans XII

Bernat Afghans X

Bernat Afghans V

Bernat Afghans IV

Bernat Afghans IX

Bernat Afghans XI

Bernat Afghans XV

Bernat Afghans XVI

NuTone Intercom

NuTone 1

A friend moved into new digs this year, and was confronted by the most comprehensive 1960s Com System she had ever seen.

It was wired throughout the two-story house, with speaker and microphones in many of the rooms.  There was even a speaker out on the porch that overlooks the city.  Most of it still works, and we have parties there under the glorious umbrella of AM Radio.

When I was a kid this would have generated hours and hours of playtime.  The mere fact of having two-maybe-three intercoms in a house could help children imagine all sorts of stuff.  original Star Trek episodes could be reenacted. Submarine adventures – Dive Dive Dive!  Even pretending to be a chef calling out orders in a really big kitchen.

The possibilities are endless.

Check out these detail shots:

NuTone 2

Hallway Intercom

NuTone 3

Room Intercom

NuTone 4

Space-Age Nutone logo

NuTone 5

Skyline of Bellevue WA under the roof-mounted Nuton deck intercom

NuTone 6

Intercom Command Center in the Dining Room

NuTone 7

“Remotes” – nothing wireless here; slide switches communicate with each room.

For the record, Nutone is still around – making intercoms, security systems, even bathroom fan assemblies. Sadly none of the products have that awesome space-age logo!

Mid-Century Style [1967]


Sunset Books: Ideas for Planning Your New Home

From the Intro:

The house on the cover is a provocative example of what can be done with the use of sky-lights. Glass walls open the house to the out-of-doors and the unusual sky-light system opens the roof over every room. Architect: Jacob Robbins

Vintage Shakin’

African Salt Pepper Toothpick Set

These beauties are straight out of the 1960s or 70s, and came from Africa.  They are ringed with porcupine quills.  My parents worked in the Missions field when I was little, and had many colleagues who were stationed in Africa.  These came back as a gift, and were actively used at our dinner table the entire time I lived at home.

How did I end up with them?

As my folks have gotten older, they are more than willing to let some things go from the past.  One sister and I are fairly sentimental about the past, while the other sister is not quite as much.  Each of us has a certain household item that we hold near and dear, as a reference point in growing up.

And for me, it’s this shaker and toothpick set that I love looking at…while my wife just sort of scratches her head.

I’ve got them at work now 🙂

African Toothpick Holder

House Plant Table

Kudos to Sunset Books for capturing the essence of the mid 1970s in one photo.

Clearing out a book case upstairs, I found How To Grow House Plants from 1976.  The elements are almost countless here: rustic wood, glass tops, wide legs, farrah flip, and shag carpet.  I have visions that she is reading about the addition of Lindsey Wagner into the Six Million Dollar Man, or the fact that Billy Carter is a perpetually unexpected embarrassment to his brother Jimmy’s race for the White House.

Or maybe she’s just staring at track & field athlete Edwin Moses.

The plant under the table is Tolmiea Menzieslii, a mostly ornamental plant known to grow along the West Coast of the US.  But I’m sure enterprising members of society chose a more aromatic and mind-altering plant to go under the glass.  It’s a perfect place for a “house plant” [insert air quotes].

Right…Huh huh…huh huh huh…

Sunset Books How To Grow Houseplants 1976

%d bloggers like this: