Mid-Century Modern Cat Bed

Some wonderful content curator has started Thou Shall Craigslist, a daily dive into Austin's craigslist to find the best items. And that's where I saw this little oddity, a mid-century modern cat bed:

If I had room in my place for something like this, I would absolutely love it. I can almost guarantee you'd be the only house on the block with a mid-century modern cat bed that looks remarkibly like Eero Aarnio's Ball chair

You could look like an evil genius bent on world domination if you sat in a Ball chair and your cat sat in this mid-century mod cat bed. Although, knowing my cat, she'd just keep sitting on my laptop keyboard.

Preserving Modern Architecture

The Atlantic has a very interesting article about preserving mid-century modern buildings, specifically those of Paul Rudolph. It's an important read for anyone interested in the preservation mid-century architecture.

Mid-Century Lettering and Radios

I've mentioned mid-century typography here and there on this mid-century blog, but Letterology's post on mid-century radio graphics has some of the best mid-century lettering I've seen. I love the space-age, future feel that was a part of so many mid-century electronics.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Google Doodle

Today's Google Doodle honors Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's 126th birthday. If you don't know Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the video above gives you a quick crash course, but you should also check out his wikipedia page. Or if you want the super short version of why Mad for Midcentury cares about Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, it's because he's one of the fathers of modern architecture and he designed the Barcelona chair.

It looks like the Google Doodle in his honor

is based on his S.R. Crown Hall building.

Travel Nursery Scratch-Off Map

Here's an interesting idea: Instead of pushing pins into a world map, just having a scratch-off map where you can scratch all the countries you've been to. It's something a little traveler is bound to love.

Mid-Century Austin Estate Sale: 1009 Chesapeake Dr.

There's an estate sale in Austin this weekend that looks to have a few interesting big items, but tons of interesting small items.

Here are the details:
1009 Chesapeake Dr.
Austin, TX 78758
March 23: 9am-6pm
March 24: 9am-6pm
March 25: 9am-3pm

Mad Men Video Game

To celebrate the upcoming fifth season of Mad Men, The Fine Brothers have created Mad Men: The Game on YouTube. Now you can drink and smoke with Don, Pete, Sterling and the gang.

There's at least three layers of retro: mid-century Mad Men, '80s 8-bit games and and old-school choose-your-own-adventure story telling. Rumor has it there's at least three different endings.

An Interest in Pinterest

In case you don't know what Pinterest is, they describe themselves this way:
Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
To put it another way, it's a social photo bookmarking site. And it's becoming very popular. Which means I'm interested in it for two reasons: as a content curator it's a site I think a lot about during my day job, and as a mid-century blog writer I think it could be a great tool for other mid-century enthusiasts, which is why I mention it here.

I know some of you are already using Pinterest because there's a Mad for Midcentury source board (and one from when this blog was called Our Austin Home).

Are you on Pinterest? Has it helped you keep track of you mid-century home decorating wish list?

The Mid-Century Design of Justin Mezzell

It doesn't look like it's possible to buy any of Justin Mezzell's work yet, but if/when you can, you should.

His gorgeous mid-century illustrations would look great in any mid-century home.

World Map Cushions for a Travel Nursery

Ruth de Vos stitched together some of the cutest world map cushions I've ever seen. And you should go see some more photos of them on her blog.

This is a great idea for any travel-themed nursery, even if you don't have the room to leave them laid out all the time. Stacked up in the corner with one of the more recognizable land masses on top still gets the idea across. And they're bound to make playing on the floor with the little ones much more comfortable.

Mad Men Look Contest

The Washington Post is hosting a Mad Men look-alike contest, where contestants submit a mid-century room. Everyone should jump over there and spend a few minutes checking out the five finalists. I'd love to have a seat in any of those rooms.

Cork Board Wall Map for a Travel Nursery

If I had seen this post on ManMade on how to make a cork board world map before we painted our travel-themed nursery, there most likely would be cork on the wall instead of paint. The advantage of cork being that you can pin photos, souvenirs, etc to it — something that we'd love to be able to do with our world map mural.

Cheap Modern Address Numbers

It's become clear that my idea for a modern Eichler address plaque isn't going to happen. I can't find the Plane Numerals I need anywhere. So I've started hunting for cheap modern house numbers again.

If you've been looking for mid-century modern address numbers, then you no doubt know about these guys:

They're the Distinctions house numbers by the Hillman Group and they are the darlings of the cheap modern address number world. These modern house numbers are easily found at most Home Depots, but what you might not know, because Home Depot only carries them in brushed nickel and black, is that they also come in aged bronze

And polished brass

Since Home Depot has the Distinctions house numbers, I thought that'd be a good place to start. And boy was I right. Home Depot has an online exclusive Architectural Mailboxes address number that come in a wide variety of finishes that would be perfect on any modern home.

So right now the main contenders for the address numbers on my mid-century ranch are the Distinctions address numbers, the Architectural Mailboxes address numbers and a Modplexi address plaque.

City Posters for a Travel-Themed Nursery

I first learned about Jim Datz when I saw the guidebook Where the sidewalk ends... How to find old New York.

And I recently ran across his city series of posters at Three Potato Four.

Any of these hand screenprinted posters would make great art for a travel-themed nursery.

Tex Avery House of Tomorrow Cartoon

A little disclaimer to open this post: While mid-century design and mid-century furniture are incredibly gorgeous, some of the values of the time are ugly and sexist. The House of Tomorrow was made in the 1940s and reflects the gender issues of that time. It's is not totally politically correct, but I think it has validity as a comical look into the future from mid-century eyes and a neat look back at mid-century design and cartooning. If you watch the The House of Tomorrow video below, please do so with a gain of salt and keep in mind the period in which it was made. I love all my readers and don't want to offend or disparage any of you (especially any mother-in-laws in the group).

All that being said, if you know anything about cartoons, you definitely know Tex Avery. I was recently trying to track down some of this cartoons that I loved as a kid (specifically The Car of Tomorrow) and happened upon this The House of Tomorrow cartoon.

It comes from a series that includes The House of Tomorrow, The Car of Tomorrow, The Farm of Tomorrow and TV of Tomorrow, all of which are spoofs of live-action promotions that were popular at the time.

There are some really neat design elements to spot throughout, especially: the outside of the house, the rocket ship on top of the radio, the counter and sink in the modern bathroom and the new toaster.

Keep Calm and Carry On App

This story of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster has been floating around the internet this week.

A short film that tells the story behind the Keep Calm and Carry On poster. Its origins at the beginning of WWII and its rediscovery in a bookshop in England in 2000, becoming one of the iconic images of the 21st century.
Barter Books, the store where the poster was found, has also put out a Keep Calm and Carry On iPhone app so you can easily make your own version of the Keep Calm poster.

If you're a graphic designer, you might be interested to know that the font used was hand drawn by an anonymous designer. Back in the Mad Men days of copywriting and design (read: before computers) it was actually easier to hand draw type. However, someone has gone through the trouble of reverse engineering the font, so you can now buy the Keep Calm and Carry On font.

Mid-Century Ranch Exterior Painting in Progress

Here's a hint of things to come. It's supposed to rain for the next few days in Austin, so this might be the only hint for a while. Till things are finished, I just keep thinking about authentic mid-century ranch exterior colors. The mid-century exterior paint color in the photo above is pretty close to the Gray Medium Eames chair color.

Dieter Rams: Less and More

If you don't Dieter Rams, you should. And this video is a good start. Another place to check out Rams and his work is the film Objectified and the new book about his work (which this video is a promo for).

Mid-Century Modern Side Table

Added to the list of things I love but will never own, the Dwell Studio Crosby Library Table. It might be the perfect modern side table for a mid-century home.

The price however, is not so perfect. Maybe one will come up on craigslist in 10 or 20 years.

Done: New Mirror-Side Lights in Master Bath

I took the weekend at updated the mirror-side lights in the master bathroom with some modern bathroom sconces.

Here are the old lights. Not terrible, but a bit too art deco for my mid-century bathroom. And they were beginning to rust.

And here are the new modern bathroom lights.

With some amazing tattoo art by Angelique Houtkamp added in between to complete the look.

Mid-Century Modern Star Wars Tiles

I'm a nerd about a lot of thing. Mid-century homes is one, Star Wars is another. Believe me the list is a lot longer, but I'll stop there.

When I saw these Star Wars ceramic tiles from Flabslab, it was like two worlds perfectly colliding.

The Star Wars tiles include Emperor Palpatine, R2-D2, Boba Fett, the Millenium Falcon, an AT-AT and the Death Star and are limited to 600 sets, which means they're pricey. Too pricey to integrate into any kitchen remodel that I might be contemplating. And finding the exact pattern to match them, because having all Star Wars tiles as a backsplash would be over doing it, would be a giant headache.

So I'll just keep looking at them online and find a more practical tile pattern for my kitchen.

Adrian Pearsall Catalog

I'm a little late to the Adrian Pearsall game, and sadly he passed away in 2011. But I just realized that the curves in his furniture and the lines in his woodwork would be perfectly matched with Broyhill Brasilia furniture.

Can you imagine the curve of this chair

Sitting beside to the curve of the Brasilia pull and woodwork

I'm already redesigning my living room around Adrian Pearsall and Broyhill Brasilia in my head. Luckily there's a great catalog of Adrian Pearsall's furniture that I can flip through.

And how perfect would the globe above be for a mid-century modern travel nursery?