Mid-Century West Figural Planter

We had this little planter sitting around the house for a while.

It was a Goodwill find from about 10 years ago. I picked it up because it was just odd enough to fit in my decor at the time (less mid-century, more eclectic).  Eventually the succulent I had in him died and my wife took him to her office, where she put rocks in him because she can't keep plants alive either.

I forgot about him until I was reading through some older Rhan Vintage posts and saw that they had a similar one for sale and a magazine ad for them from the '60s.

I've just been referring the planter as the "gnome planter", but apparently his name is Simon and he was made by Stoneware Designs West of California. All three of the planters are commonly called West figural planters, if you happen to be in the market for one now that you see how cute they are.

Mid-Century Modern and The Jetsons

I don't think I've ever mentioned The Jetsons on this blog before, which is odd because I love retro-futurism and cartoons, and I think I've seen every episode. The Jetsons turned 50 and NPR did a little story about that.

After listening to it, I checked out the Smithsonian Paleofuture blog that was mentioned in the story. And you should too, it's a pretty outstanding dissection of the show, it's politics and futurism in general.

I can only hope that a future post will focus on the architecture of the show, because it's pretty outstanding too.

And any mid-century fan will notice some pretty big similarities between The Jetsons buildings and Brasilia, both the city and the furniture.

Mid-Century Modern Color Palette Trends

I came across the the 2013 Dunn-Edwards color chart and design trends report (warning: pdf link). The report is broken into four categories: RE-invented, RE-newal, Re-imagined and RE-vival. The RE-vival section is pretty much a cheat sheet on how to use mid-century modern colors.

The inspiration is, "A re-birth of midcentury modernism is simmering in the Southwest" and people like A. Quincy Jones, Donald Wexler and Joseph Eichler all get name checked. And there's the required hat tip to Mad Men as well.

Once you get past the philosphy you can dive into the actual mid-century modern color palette, which "showcases a sense of play that pervades the historical senses of the Bauhaus to Mid-century to Memphis."

First there's, the full set of the 2013 mid-century modern house colors

Then an smaller interior mid-century color palette

And a few mid-century modern home exterior paint colors

They're all pretty standard as far a mid-century house colors go, muted tones as a base, in this case mainly earth tones, with a nice big pop of color as a highlight. My favorite combination – white and gray with a pop of blue – even makes an appearance in the mid-century color palette on the first page.

Abandoned Mid-Century Homes

This photo set of abandoned mid-century homes on Flavorwire is gorgeously sad. I, and probably most of you reading this, would move into any one of these homes, even in their current state. It's sad that they got to this point, but hopefully they found someone to love and restore them.

Mid-Century Art: Wayne White

Last night I happened to watch Beauty is Embarrassing. Or, honestly, just part of it because I happened to flip to it halfway in. But I quickly realized that Wayne White is one of those artists who's been in my life forever without me ever knowing his name.

I grew up on Pee-Wee's Playhouse. I have long proclaimed "Tonight Tonight" as one of the best videos of all time.

The Bruce Campbell Old Spice ad he worked on is one of my favorite commercials ever.

At this point, I am far behind the Wayne White curve. His work is no longer (what I would call) affordable, but you should definitely watch the movie and also check out his art. And if you have the coin, put a print on your wall. If a poster or affordable print ever becomes available again, you'll find one on my wall too.

Travel-Theme Nursery Wall Decal on Etsy

Travel-themed nurseries are definitely more popular now than when we put together our travel nursery. The main reason I started talking about it here is because the only thing I could find years ago was a single forum post on a housing blog, and even that started diverging more into planes, trains and automobiles than truly travel themed.

And the only reason we hand painted our world map wall mural didn't use a simple wall decal like this giant one on Etsy was because I couldn't find any to buy back then. This one even comes in 31 different colors so it should work in almost an nursery color scheme.

Take it from a guy who spent three days painting a world map on a wall, do yourself a favor and just buy a decal. Not that I don't love our wall art, I just wish I had those three days back.

Vintage Neon Sign for Sale

You may remember the Park Avenue Motel from the giant collect of mid-century American of Martinsville hotel furniture I wrote about. Some items have sold but Joe says there's still mid-century furniture available for those still interested.

As part of selling the estate, the Park Avenue Motel sign is now also for sale. It's big – 8' tall by 9' wide – so you're going to need to have some room for it, and a love of neon. But I don't know how you couldn't fall in love with the colors and that silhouette of a woman with a poodle.

Everything Vintage is Modern Again

My day job is an advertising copywriter, so I read Ad Age pretty regularly. It's where I found out Belize just received a new logo and identity, based in part on vintage travel posters. 

I went in search of the new Belize travel poster above, but I can't find it anywhere. Hopefully as the new brand rolls out this poster will become a thing of reality because it'd make a great addition to our travel-themed nursery.

Mid-Century Modern House Numbers Project

I think the actually numbers used here are wrong, but this modern address plaque would make a nice addition to any atomic ranch. It looks like a pretty easy project and you can get the full directions for it here.

Mixed with a mid-century modern color palette and better modern address numbers or even cheap modern address numbers, you could have a really slick looking set of house numbers.

Mid-Century is Hot in Austin

Three mid-century neighborhoods in Austin got name dropped by RedFin in their 2013 Hottest Neighborhoods list. Of course, if you've been reading this blog, you already know that those are hot spots for finding your own slice of mid-century. However, after making the list they might be too hot to buy.

Here's what RedFin had to say:
People love Rosedale because of the charming '30s and '40s era homes, close proximity to many medical services, the Capitol, UT, and downtown, in addition to many of central Austin's attractions, including Ramsey Park and the Shoalcreek Greenbelt. They also love the nearby unique restaurants and shops like Central Market. 

The residents of Brentwood/Crestview support the gardening efforts of Urban Patchwork, a nonprofit organization that plants crops in yards and shares the fruits of volunteers' labors with homeowners. It's close to eating and shopping, yet far enough from the center of downtown to be affordable for many.

Easy World Map Mural for a Travel Nursery

We love the painted world map wall mural in our travel-themed nursery. But it was admittedly a pretty large effort to get it all painted. Between outlining with small brushes, letting it dry and filling in with bigger brushes and painting it all twice to make it look even, the world map mural took over three days total.

Burlap & Denim has a much simpler method to get nearly the same result.

Painters pens, if I had only known.

Mid-Century Modern Color Trends

The first time I heard the name Doty Horn was in this episode of Off Book.

Doty was the Director of Color and Design at Benjamin Moore for seven years but has since moved on to open her own color forecasting and color marketing company, ColorVoyant. Two years ago she had some interesting things to say about the resurgence of mid-century desgin and space age that hit right on the head of mid-century modern.

For 2013, ColorVoyant is predicting something they call "Modern Primitive" which is a bridging of old and new, of traditional craft and modern technology. It's a trend I really hope is true because I've been dealing with that for a while — trying to fit modern speakers into a well-crafted mid-century cabinet, finding traditional media center that my modern TV will fit on, etc.

List of Great Architects

Here's a fun little film with, The ABCs of Architects. It's nice to see some mid-century staples like Niemeyer and Wright make the list.

In case the letters go by too quickly, here's the full list:

Alvar AAlto :: Säynätsalo Town Hall :: Finland
Luis Barragán :: Satellite Towers :: Mexico City
Santiago Calatrava :: Lyon - Satolas Airport Railway Station :: France
Luís Domènech i Montaner :: Antoni Tàpies Foundation :: Barcelona
Eduardo Souto de Moura :: Paula Rego's House of Stories :: Portugal
Norman Foster :: London City Hall :: England
Frank Gehry :: Guggenheim Bilbao :: Spain
Herzog & de Meuron :: Beijing National Stadium :: China
Arata Isozaki :: Palau Sant Jordi :: Barcelona
Philip Johnson :: The Glass House :: United States
Louis Kahn :: National Parliament of Bangladesh :: Dhaka City
Le Corbusier :: Villa Savoye :: France
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe :: Barcelona Pavilion :: Spain
Oscar Niemeyer :: National Congress of Brazil :: Brasília
Joseph Maria Olbrich :: Secession Building :: Austria
César Pelli :: Petronas Twin Tower :: Malaysia
Giacomo Quarenghi :: the Smolny Institute :: Russia
Renzo Piano + Richard Rogers :: Pompidou Centre :: France
Álvaro Siza :: Ibere Camargo Foundation :: Brazil
Kenzo Tange :: Tokyo Olympic Stadium :: Japan
Jørn Utzon :: Sydney Opera House :: Australia
William Van Alen :: Chrysler Building :: United States
Frank Lloyd Wright :: Guggenheim :: United States
Iannis Xenakis :: Philips Pavilion :: Expo '58 in Brussels
Minoru Yamasaki :: World Trade Center :: United States
Zaha Hadid :: The Pierres Vives Building :: France

Mid-Century American of Martinsville Hotel Furniture

About once a week or so, someone will email me a question about mid-century furniture. And more often than not it's about pricing mid-century furniture. But it's not every day someone emails and says, "I am dealing with the estate that owns the Park Avenue Motel in Herrin, IL. This is a 20+ room complex built in the late 50s and the all the rooms were furnished with American of Martinsville pieces. Is there a market for American of Martinsville hotel furniture?" But that's exactly what Joe emailed.

I told him that there's definitely a market for mid-century American of Matrinsville furniture, but I wasn't sure what qualified something specifically as American of Matrinsville hotel furniture. So I asked for photos in hopes to help, and because I was really curious what the pieces looked like.

Boy, did Joe provide.

If anyone out there is looking for anything like this, Joe is your man. He has 20+ rooms of it. You can email him at jviterisi950@comcast.net for details, etc.

And if anyone from Texas is thinking of making a trip up to Illinois with a big truck (I'm looking at you Mid2Mod and Uptown Modern), let me know because I'm calling dibs on one of the benches and that coffee table. And maybe a headboard. And maybe a desk or two. And maybe those lights. And maybe that mirror.

VW Bus Fire Truck Wagon for Kids

Not too long ago I wrote about a VW bus wagon that I happened to see at a local park. I was too busy drooling over the VW wagon to ask the important questions like, "Where can I buy one?" Luckily the person who made the wagon happened to stop by Mad for Mid-Century. And that person is Dan Coulbury of Coulbury Design, a custom furniture company in Austin.

Dan made a second VW bus kids wagon for his daughter for Christmas, which is an amazing Christmas present. This time the VW bus wagon was also a fire truck, which is adorable.

Sadly, Dan doesn't sell these VW bus wagons. At least not yet. He said if there was enough interest he might start making them for people other than his super lucky kids. So if you're interested, get in touch with Coulbury Design. And then your kid might just be the coolest kid on the block.

Taubmans Mid-Century Paint Ad

I'm falling in love with vintage ads by Taubmans paint. First there was the Taubmans Revelite Festival Pink paint ad and now this one, which has more copy than any other paint ad I've ever seen (and I know a few things about copywriting). I'm still amazed that paint companies advertised so heavily in black and white media, but I guess that's what all the content tries to make up for.

Mid-Century Modern Christmas Decorations at JCP

I think our tree looks great with our mid-century modern star tree topper, but every now and then I wonder what a glass finial would look like on top. Our Modern Mess has me asking the question again with their find of mid-century modern christmas decorations on clearance at JCPenney.

There are a few glass finials and a box of glass ornaments still available online.

It's hard to argue with the price, so I might just have to pick one up and see what it looks like on top of the tree.