Authentic Mid-Century Doors

I've been taking random snaps of authentic mid-century doors when I come across them.

This vintage screen door is one of the best I've ever seen. A nice modern blue door behind it and it could really pop.

This mid-century door is a little unassuming and it's on an small, unassuming mid-century house that just went up for sale in my neighborhood. I wanted to take a pic because I'm assuming one or both will be torn down by the next owner.

Another neighborhood door captured during a nighttime run.

I've mentioned before that the glass on authentic mid-century doors tends to be a little bigger than their modern door counterparts. This door is proving the rule. And the vintage screen door is proving to be a showpiece itself.

This screen door is a little more modern, but I love the simple look to it. If I were to put a screen door on my place, it'd probably be something like this.

I'm hoping to capture more shots of mid-century doors in their natural environment (instead illustrated mid-century doors). When I do, I'll be sure to share.

Mid-Century Modern Kids' Books: Shag: A to Z

Shag: A-Z might not be the most kid appropriate mid-century modern kids' book, but you can never introduce your little one to Shag too early. 

Shag: A to Z is filled with the amazing mid-century inspired art that you expect from Shag, and the typical amount of tikis you would expect.

Mid-Century Door on Mid-Century Modern Freak

Mid-Century Modern Freak has a fantastic image of a blue mid-century door. The window is a little more exaggerated than you'd expect, but for what I've seen of authentic mid-century doors, the glass is almost always larger than you're expecting. A mid-century modern door will take those elements and make them a little smaller and more fashionable, but when these doors where being made for the first time the designers were just seeing what they could do and what they could get away with.

If you're looking for an authentic mid-century door look, bigger is almost always better.

Kai Kristiansen Mid-Century Desk with a Bar

One of my fantastic readers was kind enough to tell me the name of my white whale: the Kai Kristiansen Model 54 desk. This Kai Kristiansen desk with bar was made by Feldbellas Møbelfabrik in Aarhus, Denmark in 1955 and 1956.

The Model 54 bar desk is 52.5" wide, 28" deep and 29.5" tall.

The top three drawers on the left are each 10.75" wide, 15.75" deep and 3" tall, and the bottom drawer is 10.75" wide, 15.75" deep and 5.5" tall.

The bar in the desk is 17"in diameter and 13.25" high. It's divided into four sections, one tall enough to hold bottles. I've also seen this Kai Kristiansen desk with the bar on the left and the drawers on the right; perhaps a right-handed/left-handed variation.

And the rotating drawer on the right is 17" in diameter and 3 7/8" tall.

The larger bookshelves on the front are 29" wide, 7" deep and 17.25" tall and the smaller shelves are 11.5" wide, 7" deep and (from what I can tell) have an adjustable height.

There are two versions of the Model 54 desk: teak with wood legs and handles and walnut with capped legs and brass pulls. I prefer the teak myself, but they're both gorgeous.

It's amazing how much you can find out once you know the name of a piece.

Vintage Views: Remixologie

Remixologie is one of the newest vintage stores in Austin and it’s quickly becoming a favorite of all mid-century modern furniture fans in town.

This time on Vintage Views, we talk with Dini and Amy, owners of Remixologie.

Tell us a little bit about Remixologie. Do you have a specialty or do you sell anything that's mid-century modern?
Dini: Remixologie specializes in mid-century modern furniture and accessories for the home. Our goal is to make everything ready to go into its new home. So we refinish, reupholster, polish and clean each item depending on what it needs. We try to stay away from kitsch, even though it can be really fun, and stick with beautiful vintage items that would suit a modern home as well. One question we ask ourselves when editing is, "Would we have this in our own home?" If the answer is no, it doesn't go in the shop.

Our store is really a reflection of us. We fill it with things we like, we welcome and speak to customers as though they were coming into our home. We want it to be a friendly and comfortable place to visit.

Amy: We also have some new items to round out the mix. We carry Modernica products. The're the manufacturers of the George Nelson Bubble Lamps and the original Eames-style fiberglass shell chairs. Not knockoffs, but the real deal; made on the original molds and machinery. We also have a well-edited selection of jewelry and gifts, and some kids items too.

Remixologie is fairly new to the vintage scene, opening in January of 2013. Tell us about the path to opening your own MCM store.
Dini: Well, Amy and I met on Craigslist. I bought a couple pieces from her for my house. We both love MCM and we hit it off, so I held onto her email address.

When a friend of mine mentioned that he had a booth at the Austin Antique Mall, I thought I should look into doing that myself, but I was nervous to go it alone. So I contacted Amy and she was up for becoming partners. Our one booth quickly turned into two and we had gained such a following in a such short time, that we thought maybe we should look into opening our own store. We casually started browsing retail locations and within a week had signed a lease. Then we were like, "OK, there's no turning back now. Let's do this!"

Amy: Actually the first piece that Dini bought from me just made it into the store earlier this year. It was a crazy cool lounge chair that needed a makeover. It had been in her garage for a couple years waiting for rehab. It turned out great and ended up going to a nice couple in Brentwood.

How often do you get new things in?
Dini: All the time. We have a small shop, so it's important for us to keep the flow going so we can offer new pieces to our customers. There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes too, refinishing and bringing things back to life, so there are always pieces in the process that will soon be placed in the shop. And we're always looking for the next piece, so sometimes even we don't know what items may come our way.

Amy: I would say that we probably add 10 pieces of furniture a week. We just added a "new arrival" section to our website to make it easy for customers looking for a specific piece. As soon as a piece comes into the shop it hits our website.

And where do you find the items you sell?
Dini: We get this question several times a day and the answer is: Everywhere. There is not one big MCM warehouse where we go to shop. (I wish!) We are constantly on the search. It's not easy. And it's important to note that when we do find furniture, it doesn’t look as beautiful as when you see it in our shop.

Amy: I have dreams about that mythical MCM warehouse.

Have any tips for people doing their own hunting at estate sales every weekend?
Dini: I would just say to relax and have fun. There are diehard shoppers who line up, throw elbows and race through the house trying to find that deal. To me, that takes the joy out of the treasure hunt.

Amy: Oops, I have been one of the elbow throwers.

If you see a piece you like, don't think too long about it, otherwise someone else will snap it up.

Have you seen a trend in vintage items people in Austin are looking for, either designer, style or type of piece (desk, dresser, etc)?
Dini: We love our customers because they're like us, just people looking for functional furniture for their home, but with mid-century style. So our best sellers are usually everyday furniture, like dressers and dining tables. Oh, and people are always looking for a nice piece to put their TV on.

What's your favorite piece to come through Remixologie so far?
Dini: We had this absolutely gorgeous extra-long, walnut, tambour door Danish credenza. I think it was in the store about 2 days before one of our favorite customers snapped it up. She sent us pictures of it in her dining room, which made me happy because I could tell it found the perfect home.

Amy: That question is a hard one because there have been several pieces that I’ve gotten attached to. If I have to choose just one: We had a very rare Raymond Loewy triple dresser. It was blonde wood with black drawers and had vanity built into the top middle drawer. I almost cried when it sold. A sweet young couple bought it as an anniversary gift to each other. That made it easier for me to see it go.

And what's your favorite piece in your home?
Dini: I have a Jens Risom slipper chair that I found and recovered in striped Paul Smith fabric. I almost don't want anyone to sit on it, but have to remind myself that it is actually a chair.

Amy: I have an unmarked walnut wardrobe that has a cubist feel to it. I have had it for years and still love it as much as I did when I first found it.

Do you have a piece that you've been looking for, but haven't been able to find yet, either for yourself or the store?
Dini: I like to be zen about it and let things come as they may. If you put too much pressure on yourself looking for it, you'll never find it. And you find other things that you never expected. That's part of the fun.

Amy: I would love to find another Raymond Loewy triple dresser. This time it would live at my house.

5701 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78756

Sunday: 12pm-5pm
Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm

Mid-Century Art: Matt Mills (again)

I've mentioned Matt Mills before for his mid-century furniture art, but he also has some pretty amazing travel art that would look good in any mid-century home or travel-themed nursery.

Broyhill Premier Mid-Century Furniture Ads

As I was hunting for any information I could find about Broyhill Facet furniture, I came across a few vintage Broyhill Premier ads that I had never seen before.

This mini-brochure for a Broyhill Premier and Air France cross-promotion with some great illustrations of the Saga, Invitation and Trianon lines.

And this two pager which includes the Broyhill Sculptra, Saga and Cerama lines. 

The Broyhill Cerama line is another one of those mystery lines that I've never heard anything about before, but it looks like an interesting collection. The only time I've seen the Sculptra triple chest / platform before now is the illustration in the Broyhill Sculptra brochure. To me, it looks a little out of place with the rest of the Sculptra line, with rounded squares instead of the hard corners.

Broyhill Premier Facet Furniture

David over at A Modern Line recently came across and rehabbed a Broyhill Premier Facet dresser.

He couldn't find anything about Broyhill Facet furniture online, so he asked me if I knew anything about it, and he was kind enough to send along some pictures.

I'd never even heard of Broyhill Facet furniture before, but I really like the look of it.

My guess, based on the design and details, is that it was made sometime in the '60s. David mentioned the the glides on the drawers are steel, not wood, which further points that direction.

But other than that guess at a decade, I've got nothing. If you know anything about the Broyhill Facet collection, please leave a comment with what you know.

Removing Paint in a Mid-Century Home

I took on a small weekend project, getting some paint off of the floor in the hallway. It wasn't a lot of paint, just a few spots here and there. The type of thing a house guest would never notice (we didn't  when we bought the place), but you see it one day and then you can never un-see it. You're always catching it out of the corner of your eye and eventually you break down and have do something about it.

Not knowing exactly what to do, I took to the internet to find out how to safely remove paint from a wood floor. And after spending a day trying all of the non-chemical options, I picked up some Goof Off Professional Strength Remover and decided to give it a try.

I will say a few things:

  1. I used it sparingly, literally using a Q-tip, keeping contact to the wood at an absolute minimum.
  2. I wiped it up immediately after the paint was gone, keeping the time of contact as short as possible.
  3. I had to crack a window even though I was in an already well ventilated area.
  4. I gave the entire area a good clean and polish afterward just to be safe.
All that said, I got almost all of the paint off without a problem and it didn't hurt the wood in the slightest. There are one or two very small dots of paint that if you get down on your hands and knees you can still see, but everything else is gone. 

Which is my final point, if you are using Goof Off to remove paint from your wood floor, don't lose perspective while working. Make sure that last stubborn dot is actually visible from a height higher than six inches before you keep working at it.

Mid-Century Art: Arthur Secunda

Sometimes there's just something about the simple use of color and shape, and that's the case for the mid-century artwork of Arthur Secunda.

He's been at it since the '50s and from what I can tell still at it today. I like his landscapes the best; I think they'd fit in any mid-century room perfectly, especially if you were leaning more towards the '60s and '70s with your look.

 But his more modern abstract artwork is interesting as well.

Mid-Century Modern Toy Cars

Recently, we were browsing at a local toy store, letting the little one pick out a few things. The grandparents were in town and doing what grandparents do, spoiling the kid.

As we were wondering and making important decisions ("You don't need two yellow balls. Pick one yellow ball and we'll get something else too.") I caught a glimpse of these really cool modern car toys. The weird thing was they were in a glass case; none of the other cars were protected from little fingers. I figured they were a little more expensive, but they're really well-designed, modern-looking car toys so I thought a little extra expense might be worth it. Then I saw the price tag and quickly moved away from the modern toy cars before the kid saw them and feel in love with them too.

But these Playforever cars are fantastic eye candy so you should still give them a look.

Enzo Motorbike in Gun Metal

Mini Speedy Le Mans Red 

Bruno Roadster in Metallic Blue

 Mimmo Aeroplane in Atlantic Blue