Mid-Century Modern Chair on MST3K

I was watching the MST3K version of Santa Conquers the Martians the other day (it's not a movie I would recommend watching the non-MST3K version of). And I noticed something interesting in the background, this mid-century modern chair:
At first I wasn't sure if it was a "martian" movie prop or a chair that was purchased at a store, but after a little research I found out it's a Petal chair by Erwin and Estelle Laverne for Laverne International. (Sometimes they're called a Tulip chair.) They were made in the '60s and are 50" tall by 46" wide by 32" deep.

Here's another shot with better lighting of the base:

And here's a shot of a pair not on a spaceship, but still looking out of this world.
I can see it was used as a futuristic movie prop.

2011 AIA Homes Tour

The 2011 American Institue of Architects Austin Homes Tour is this weekend. Sadly, I won't be going because I keep accidentally picking home tour weekends to travel. But, if you're in Austin, you should check out the tour. A few of my favorite architects in town have homes on the tour, and there are more than a few mid-century modern homes to check out. If I were in town, I wouldn't miss it.

Mid-Century Modern Movie Titles

Much like the mid-century X-Men movie title sequence, I'm in love with this mid-century modern Dexter title sequence.

The first time I watched it, I thought, "This reminds me a lot of Hitchcock posters," and the YouTube descriptions let me know why:
The [work] I created for Dexter was inspired by mid-century modern design and particularly the work of Saul Bass - who developed both static graphics as well as animated title sequences. This is what I imagine the Dexter title sequence might look like if the show had aired in the 60s.
For those of you who aren't graphic design nerds, Saul Bass was the designer behind some of the most iconic movie posters and title sequences, including the poster for Hitchcock's Vertigo and the title sequence for Psycho.

Crestview Doors Home Tour

Ever wonder what the homes of mid-century modern all stars, like Christiane and David Erwin (the owners of Crestview Doors), look like? Well, Apartment Therapy is giving you a peak inside the Erwin's Crestview house.

It looks like the Erwin's recently updated their blog with new photos as well. (You can always find their blog on my list of mid-century blogs.)

Mid-Century Screen Door Maker in Austin

I never realized Austin was such a door city. Not only are we home to Crestview Doors and their mid-century door kits, but we're also home to Hip Haven, makers of the above screen door.

A bit from their website:
Austin, Texas-based Hip Haven, Inc., headed up by owner and designer Kelley Sandidge, opened for business in early 2002. Hip Haven designs are carried in stores throughout the United States, and are regularly featured in the national media.

Mid 20th-century modern style is our inspiration, with its varied influences from atomic to primitive, but like most of our customers we will include accents that depart from the style and allow it to be interpreted in new and interesting ways.
And that is one fantastic mid-century screen door they make. The only problem is that it's a bit outside of the budget I set for our vintage screen door. Since the door at my mid-century ranch that the screen is going on is rarely used or seen, we don't need such a beautiful screen door. But if we were putting one on the front door, this would be it.

Map Light for a Travel Nursery

Benita over at Chez Larsson had the clever idea of making her own map light, perfect for any travel-themed nursery.

And she's kind enough to teach you how to make your own map lamp here.

Mid-Century Screen Door

The weather in Austin is starting to come down from its record-high heat, which has me thinking about screen doors. We have three doors in our mid-century home: front, back and off the breakfast nook. We can't put a screen door on the front door because we don't want to cover up our Crestview Door (once we actually get it installed) and we can't put a screen door on the back door because we have a pet door for the cat there. But we can install a screen door in the breakfast nook, which, once it's fall, should give us a nice breeze throughout the house.

But me being me, and wanting this door to fit the mid-century design of the house, I can't just go to the local hardware store and pick up your standard screen door. So I've been wondering the neighborhood, spying on people's screen doors and trying some reference points online. There isn't much online, the only thing I could find was this vintage screen door ad.
The text reads:
For Any Style of Architecture
Rusco Combination Doors harmonize with all styles of homes, large and small ... add distinction to every enterence ... make hallways light and friendly-looking. They're sturdily built of tubular steel to give years of service.

Self-Storing Glass and Screen
It's a screen door and a storm door all in one! You never need to change or store anything. Self-storing upper and lower glass inserts and lower screen insert give full protection, yet permit ventilation as desired.
I love the letter detail in the iron work, but I doubt I could find the right letter in new old stock. And in Austin we really don't need a storm door, just a screen door. So the search continues.

Globe Mobile for a Travel Nursery

We didn't have a mobile in our travel-themed nursery. We couldn't find one that we really liked, and now the little one is too big for a mobile.

But had we seen this globe mobile or this Around the World mobile, it might have been a different story.

Herman Miller Eames Table

Happen to live in Hong Kong? And happen to have what probably amounts to a giant stack of cash? Then you should head to the Herman Miller Reach event today and buy a House Industries and Herman Miller Eames table. But hurry because there are only 40 of them.

Can't make it to Hong Kong? Then maybe you can pick one up in Tokyo. House Industies has the details on their blog:
House Industries and Herman Miller are producing a limited edition series of 80 Eames wire-base tables (aka an LTR or Low Table Rod) that include A thru Z, numbers and ornaments from the Eames Century Modern font collection. Forty tables will be available in Hong Kong at the Herman Miller Reach event on September 16, 2011 and 40 will be available at the House Industries exhibition at the Herman Miller Tokyo Showroom on October 27, 2011. Each tabletop is hand-printed by House’s own David Dodde in our Grand Rapids, Michigan factory, returned to Herman Miller for assembly then packaged in a special House Industries-designed wooden crate.
Those us on this side of the globe will just have to drool and dream.

Modern Eichler Address Numbers

Thanks to this list of mid-century modern address numbers I was able to find a second source for the mid-century address numbers I was looking for, Unica Home. I also found out that they're called Plane Numerals and were designed by Tom Gordon and Ted Pierson. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice and wait till the numbers I need are out of stock, I ordered them today.

So my plan to recreate modern Eichler address numbers is back on.

Another AD Stenger Remodel

I mentioned an energy-efficient A.D. Stenger remodel a little while back. Turns out that wasn't the first A.D. Stenger remodel for Stuart Sampley, he also remodel the A.D. Stenger home at 440 Ridgewood in Austin, TX.

On his website, he describes the project:
Originally designed and built by modernist and maverick AD Stenger, this home was thoughtfully updated to continue the unique Central Texas modernist experience and help preserve the architect’s legacy. Like most Stenger houses, its modest footprint belies the inventiveness that defines the architect’s particular aesthetic and holds so much appeal for its owners. This renovation focused on updating the interior spaces, reinforcing the existing outdoor connections, while upgrading the thermal envelope and systems.
You can see photos of the remodel on Stuart Sampley's website and Facebook page.

Sheets for a Travel-Themed Nursery

I was flipping through a Baby & Child Restoration Hardware catalog this weekend and found a few items for anyone designing a travel-themed nursery: a vintage passport stamp duvet cover and a globe ottoman.

The globe ottoman is a little too brown for our travel nursery, but if the kid still likes the travel theme when he's in a big-boy bed, we might have to pick up that passport stamp cover.

Modern Dazed and Confused Poster

I happened upon this modern Dazed and Confused movie poster while doing some Etsy shopping. If you're a movie fan at all, you need to check out Claudia Varosio's shop, it is full of delightfully designed goodies.

I specifically liked the Dazed and Confused poster because it highlights Top Notch, which is in the mid-century Austin neighborhood of Crestview.

Character-Culture-Citizenship Guides Posters

A while back my mom brought over a few framed items. As she was unloading them she said, "My friend was throwing these away and they seemed like they might be your style so I kept them for you."

I figured the worst case scenario was me throwing them out. But my mom was right. They are mid-century-ish and the SMILE poster is pretty creepy (I tend to like creepy art).

My mom thought they were magazine covers, but I did a little digging and found out they were actually educational posters; Character-Culture-Citizenship Guides to be precise. Antiques Roadshow has some more info:

So now I'm a little bit obsessed with these Character-Culture-Citizenship Guides and have to see the set of 36. If for no other reason, to learn how to be a good citizen.

Energy Efficient A.D. Stenger Remodel

The A.D. Stenger remodel I mentioned a while back received a write up recently. Besides being a fantastic remodel that kept much of the original A.D. Stenger design and feel, it also received a 5-star rating from Austin Energy Green Building program, which makes me like it even more.

You can still check out the full photo gallery here.

Mid-Century Modern Address Numbers

My original idea to replicate authentic mid-century address numbers was to do an Eichler-style address plaque, and if I can find the right numbers, that's still the plan. But the mid-century address numbers I had in mind are sold out at the one source I could find. So I went hunting for new mid-century modern address numbers. I'm not sure I've found the perfect house numbers for my mid-century ranch, but any of these would look good on your mid-century modern home.

Neutra address numbers from Modern Dwell Numbers

Avalon modern house numbers from Atlas Homewares

Domicile house numbers from Chiasso

Paragon modern house numbers from Atlas Homewares

Palm Springs address numbers from Modern House Numbers

Metropolitan Retro modern house numbers from Atlas Homewares. These would be perfect for any atomic ranch home.

Neutra address numbers and Eames address numbers from Heath Ceramics

A modern address plaque from Modplexi

If you have glass on or near your door, there's this Helvetica address number window cling from House Number Lab

Side note: I tried to limit these mid-century modern address number options to a budget that I thought was reasonable (~$20 per number). If you're willing to spend more than that (upwards of $100 a number) there are plenty of other options out there, including custom numbers in almost any font.

Manly Vintage in Chicago

I happened across Manly Vintage's site while looking at some images of mid-century furniture. They have some gorgeous furniture on their site. I especially like this mid-century modern executive desk.

Mid-Century Architect John Lautner

One of the things I learned from watching Visual Acoustics was who John Lautner was. An off-hand comment from the movie was, "his homes are the ones the evil villains in movies live in." Which turns out to be true. It also turns out that I am now obsessed with John Lautner.

You can check out a full list of John Lautner's work here.

Mid-Century Modernism in Visual Acoustics

My wife and I caught Visual Acoustics on Netflix the other day. It's a documentary about Julius Shulman, who you might not know by name, but if you like mid-century modernism then you certainly know his photographs. It's a film that worth checking out. Towards the beginning of the film they give a quick history of modernism - all the names, who influenced who, what schools they came out of, what countries they came from, etc. While the entire film was a lesson in mid-century modernism, that section was some of the best Cliffs Notes I've ever seen.