Shining Carpet Pattern

A day before Halloween, allow me to indulge in a video trailer that features the Shining carpet pattern, which I have twice written about.

I stand by the fact that, if I could buy this carpet pattern today, I would. The browns, the reds, the oranges: It's perfect for most mid-century homes. Even if it now carries creepy undertones with it.

Eichler Mid-Century Door Hardware

I love our Mad Men door knob and it looks as good as I thought it would on our atomic ranch door. There's something to be said for recreating the original look. And that's exactly what Jonathan Jarrett does with his Eichler door kit.

The circular 6" door knob backplate is bigger than you'll find on almost any modern-day knob set, so it'll take a little extra work because you'll have to start with a blank door and drill the holes yourself (or your contractor will). But that extra work will give you a set of authentic mid-century door knobs.

Atomic Ranch Exterior Paint Colors

This vintage home development ad is outstanding for two reasons the outstanding atomic ranch designs and the classic mid-century house colors with doors that really pop.

The look might be a little dated if you used these exact mid-century modern color palettes, but pick one of the colors and bring in some more modern tones and you've got some exterior paint colors to be proud of.

Frank Lloyd Wright Dog House Letters

If you know a little about Frank Lloyd Wright than you might know the smallest house he ever designed with a dog house known as Eddie's House.

The dog apparently didn't have a sense of good design and, the story goes, hated his new home. The Wright dog house was eventually torn down.

However, Letters of Note has the correspondence that started it all. I can see why it would have been hard for Wright to turn down the request. I wonder if he was paid in paper route money or if he sent the designs out of the goodness of his heart.

Frankenstein Green Door

Here's an easy, yet amazingly cute, way to dress up your door for Halloween. If you happen to have a green door like Mel Designs.

This Frankenstein door is so perfect that it almost makes me want to paint my blue door green.

Wordy World Map Mural

This world map mural from World Maps Online is one of the more interesting map murals I've seen. All the countries are created using the names of the cities within that country. Up close it looks like this: 

It might be a little busy for a lot of travel-themed nurseries but if you had a big enough wall, it could look really good. And teach a pretty extensive geography lesson.

Neighborhood Modern House Numbers

Once again, I want to espouse walking around mid-century neighborhoods and straight out stealing the ideas and designs that you see. If you live in a mid-century neighborhood, go a few blocks over. It's no good if all the houses on the street look the same.

I say that, because I happened upon these modern house numbers in a mid-century Austin neighborhood a few blocks over.

Granted, it probably cost more than my DIY mid-century modern house number kit but if you wanted to make a big statement with your address numbers, this is the way to do it.

I don't want to be the creepy guy in the neighborhood, so I didn't walk up to see exactly how it was made, but it looked like a big piece of stainless steel with the numbers spray painted on. The ivy is just adds to the look, but I think this would also work on a clean brick or wood wall of any kind/color.

Mid-Century Mailbox in My Neighborhood

As much info as there is on the internet, I still think walking around mid-century neighborhoods and checking out houses and looking inside actual homes when you get the chance (visit duting estate sales, open houses, etc) is one of the best ways to find the authentic details that put the finishing touches on a mid-century home.

 For example, this mid-century mailbox:

Which is on one of the most unassuming homes in my neighborhood. I walk by this house once a week and haven't noticed the mailbox till now. And it might be the best mid-century mailbox that I've ever seen. And I don't think I've ever seen it on the internet.

 It would have been too small for our home, but it looks really good on the home it's on.

(Please ignore the junk hanging on the door. I feel weird enough taking photos from the sidewalk. I'm not going to stage a shot but taking things off of people's doors.)

Mid-Century Modern Exterior Paint Colors

Here's another fine gentleman who's proud he picked Dulux.

A small detail to notice: The house is one color (white) while the overhang is another (yellow). That could be a really interesting look.

This time Dulux has a much brighter mid-century modern color palette to select from. That probably stems from the fact that this is a paint card for mid-century modern exterior paint colors, instead of interiors. A lot of these mid-century paint colors would work to make a door or a window frame pop, but you wouldn't want to necessarily fill an entire room with them.

There's also plenty of softer exterior paint colors if you're feeling little less bold. Or maybe for the main color of a mid-century house.

I'll be a little biased and say that this paint card is probably my favorite set of mid-century paint colors so far – mainly because you could almost recreate the look of our atomic ranch from that first sheet of colors.

Our Mid-Century Halloween Decorations

We got our Halloween decorations up. The rope spiderweb that I was going to put over the railing didn't happen. It wasn't as easy as the internet would have you believe. After 45 minutes I ended up with a tangled mess and just gave up. So it's a little minimal, but I think what we do have matches the old atomic ranch well. And honestly, the only thing the kids are going to care about is the candy and we've got that covered.

Our Mid-Century Modern Mailbox

We're putting the final touches on our front porch. We put in a new mid-century modern front door from Crestview Doors and we hung new mid-century modern house numbers so it was time to tackle the old mailbox.

It wasn't a bad mailbox, it just didn't look right next to all the mid-century modern stuff.

Most of the mid-century mailboxes we considered were from Chiasso. The Postino mid-century mailbox (or Post mailbox as Chiasso calls it) was the number one contender for a while, but after seeing it in person it was a little too small for us. Eventually we landed on the Parcel mailbox as the perfect new mid-century modern mailbox for our home.

It looks great next to the door and it matches our Mad Men door knob perfectly.

And really adds a nice pop of silver to a fairly white area of the front porch.

Before replacing the mailbox, I used to come every night and not even notice the front porch. Now, as I walk up to the front door, I think, "That's a good looking porch." Sometimes it's those small final touches that bring everything together into one good-looking package.

Circle Windows on Mid-Century Modern Front Door

It's sad to see a door with such good bones in such rough shape. This is the old entrance to a recently closed and abandoned Italian restaurant here in Austin. I still think with a decent paint job and some new mid-century door hardware, you could bring this baby back to life.

I just hope it doesn't end up in a dumpster because the next owner can't see the beauty in it. If it does, you might find me in a dumpster outside of an old Italian restaurant.

Mid-Century Modern Home with Kids

My wife is away for the weekend. I got a trip to Portland so she gets a trip to New York, it's only fair.

Perhaps it's just the timing, but this photo of a mid-century modern home before and after kids is hitting a little close to home (the mid-century home).

Especially the ugly blanket draped over the lovely mid-century sofa so it doesn't get any more apple juice stains on it. Not that I would know anything about that.


Mid-Century Drinks

I've been thinking recently that our mid-century house should have a classic mid-century drink that we serve when we have guests. Knowing myself, I knew it had to be easy  two, maybe three, ingredients. I also wanted to use organic ingredients if I could. I am in Austin after all. So I went on a hunt for classic mid-century drinks and I found a few great sources.

This 1950s Fleischmann's Mixer's Manualthis 1959 How to Make 32 Popular Drinks by Southern Comfort and this Mad Men cocktail guide.

Looking all these mid-century drink manuals over and walking the aisles of my local liquor store to see what my organic liquor options are (vodka and nothing else) I landed on one drink: The Moscow Mule.

It's a bit obscure, which I like. If a home is going to have a signature cocktail, it should be memorable and maybe something the guests have never had before. And it's easy to make: ginger beer, lime juice and vodka. And it can then be dressed up with some mint and/or a slice of lime.

My kind of drink. If you stop by, you might find us on the front patio sipping one.

Broyhill Sculptra Catalog and Original Packaging

In case you missed it, Retro Renovation recently tracked down some of the original Broyhill Brasilia and Broyhill Sculptra catalogs. If you're a fan of either collection, you should check it out. They have the only image of a Sculptra cigarette table that I've ever seen, other than the drawing in the Broyhill Sculptra brochure.

And in other vintage Broyhill furniture news, this little gem of an image popped up on craigslist.

It might just look like a boring brown box and it is, but it a boring brown Broyhill Premier Sculptra box. It's the only one I've ever seen. Probably because most people don't keep furniture boxes for over half a century.

DIY Mid-Century Modern House Numbers

A while back I was stolling through a mid-century neighborhood in Austin and noticed this modern address plaque.

I instantly recognized the numbers as Distinctions numbers, but I'd never seen them mounted on a board like that. It got me to thinking, "that looks pretty amazing and pretty easy to do."

So I started cooking up my own DIY mid-century modern house numbers. And I was right, making this modern address number plaque above is super easy. And the finished product looks great. Here's how to make your very own mid-century modern house number kit.

1. Head to Home Depot and buy whatever Distinctions modern address numbers you need.

2. While you're there, buy a board to use as the address plaque. I used a 1" x 6". It's thin, which gives it a nice modern look, and the Distinctions address numbers are about 5" tall, so it gives you a little room above and below, but still keeps it nice and tight. The length will depend on how many numbers and which numbers you have. Ours is 11.5" long.

3. Paint the board. We went with the same color as our trim because we already have a door that pops. But any mid-century modern exterior paint color would work. Depending on the wood quality, you might need a few coats.

4. Layout and attach the numbers. There's a template and instructions in the Distinctions package for doing this. We totally ignored the template and eyeballed it. We also super glued the numbers instead of using the posts that come with Distinctions numbers. We wanted the modern house numbers to be flush to the board. If you do the same, just make sure to use glue that adheres to painted wood and metal.

5. Figure out how you're going to attach it to your house. You could simply nail it if you have wood siding. If you have brick like me, things get a little tricky. You could use an industrial adhesive/caulk or drill into the brick. But that seemed like a lot of work, so I attached a couple of hooks to the top and bought a bit of chain.

6. Then I put a few hooks in the wood ceiling above the porch and hung the address plaque from them.

And here's what our new mid-century modern house numbers look like.

I'm really happy with how they turned out. I think they look great next to our Crestview Door. And even on the Behr Antique Tin gray, they're really easy to see from the street.

Mid-Century Furniture Store (in 1965)

Over on Mid-Century Modern Freak they posted two photographs of furniture store in 1965 that make me want to time travel.

My guess is you could get any of the items with a solid print instead of the floral, but even if you couldn't I would buy the entire store.

Mid-Century Modern Halloween Decorations

We don't go overboard on Halloween decorations. In fact, last year we only had jack-o-lanterns. But we wanted to add a few decorations this year and I wanted to try an keep with the mid-century modern exterior. I found a few mid-century modern Halloween decorations that I like:

Skel-A-Mingos seemed like a natural fit

These mummy lights were too cute to pass up

And I'm planning on making a giant rope spider web on the front porch, something like this

Easy to put up and take down, low-key and with a little mid-century modern flare. These seem like the perfect Halloween decorations for us.

My Mid-Century Modern Art Toys

I've decided to share my art toy collection. Some of them will look familiar from my post on mid-century modern art toys. And, as I mentioned, some of them definitely don't fit the mid-century modern look we're going for. But, I'm still going to find a way to integrate them into our decor so I can enjoy them on a daily basis.

I few notes before the pictures:
  1. You might think this is a big collection, but I assure you, compared to other art toy collectors, it's pretty small.
  2. The way I keep it small is by having a pretty strick "only one piece per artist" rule. I like the rule because it keeps my collection diverse and keeps me on the lookout for new artists. As you'll see below, I've broken this rule once and I'll explain why.
  3. There are a few non-art toys (eg toys you could find in a toy store) in my collection too. I just like them and think they're well designed and/or they're connectioned to some pop culture that I enjoy (Star Wars, etc)
  4. Most of these toys have sold out long ago, so if you do like one, you'll probably have to hit ebay or some other secondary market site to buy it.
So here's my collection, in no particular order. Hope you like it.

Blue Mr. Wiggles by Tara McPherson

Baby Eating Crocodile by Amanda Visell

Lulu by Camille Rose Garcia

Brown Sour by Brendan Monroe

Jeremiah the Innocent by Daniel Johnston

Captain Sturnbrau by Jon Paul Kaiser

Companion: Resting Place by Kaws

HMV Nadsat by Kaws
This is the one artist that I have two pieces from. Kaws is really hard to find in the States and usually extremely expensive on any secondary market. I found this Nadsat dispensor (essentially Japanese Pez) on our Honeymoon in Japan and picked it up because I never thought I'd be able to find another Kaws piece. Except I got a Resting Place Companion (above) a few months ago. It's not the most impressive piece in my collection, but I'll never get rid of it because of the Honeymoon tie.

Max from McFarland Toys

Mego World’s Greatest Superheros Hulk

Dunny by Michael Michael Motorcycle

Yellow Peleda Owl by Nathan Jurevicius

Nigel by Kathie Olivas

Pantone Kubrick

Pink & Green Supersize Me by Ron English

Blue Fatima by Sam Flores

Scurvy Nevil by Greg Simkins

Star Wars Stormtrooper Room Alarm

Super Teeter by Joe Ledbetter

Mystic Serpent by Todd Schorr

Yujin Human Dissection Model Gashapon Japanese capsule toys
Another purchase from our Tokyo honeymoon. These are toys that come in capsules, like you would find in American grocery stores. There are entire stores filled with those machines and various toys. I thought it was so weird/fantastic that these were actually a toy that I had to buy two. I got the liver and part of the spine.

Mighty Muggs Chewbacca

Simpsons Comic Book Guy Worst Episode Ever

American McGee’s Alice Caterpillar

Tigerlily by Tim Biskup

Possessed by Luke Chueh