Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Green Carpet Must Go

Finally, it is time to replace the bright green carpet in our house. We have decided to restore the floor to its original 1955 look, which uses a combination of tile and carpet. The kitchen and adjacent dining area and family room will be tiled in vinyl composition tile. The dining area and family room will also have area rugs in curvy 1950s shapes. The remainder of the house, except for the bathrooms, will be carpeted in the same carpet as the area rugs.
Floor in 1955
We've narrowed the VCT selection down to 3 choices. After we make a decision on the VCT, we'll pick out the carpet to match. All of the tile we have picked out is from Azrock's Cortina Classics line.

One possibility is Cirrus, Spearmint and Buff. The tile would be laid out in the same pattern as the original floor, in the order of 3 rows of Cirrus, 1 row of Spearmint, 3 rows of Cirrus, and 1 row of Buff. The carpet would be the color of the Buff tile.

We could also use only Cirrus and Spearmint. Then, the carpet would probably need to be white. Even though I love white carpet (see Graceland post) I know it would be high-maintenance. While these tiles are my favorite, I also worry that they might be too tacky and busy.



The next set of tiles we're considering is Elemental and Brazilia. This tile is a close match to the original tile in the house. We would choose carpet to match the Elemental tile. The only hesitation I have about this is that it might be too drab. With brown wood kitchen cabinets and a large wood-paneled wall, this tile might add too much brown. Maybe living with bright green carpet for so long has distorted my perception of color.
The remaining option is Autumn Haze. What I really like about this tile is that the way that the streaky mottling gives it a more authentic 1950s look. The color is light and it looks good with everything else in the house. Finding matching carpet will be no problem. If we choose this tile, we won't be able to replicate the two-toned pattern of the original floor. While I worry that the first group might be too wild, and the second group too dark and drab, I think this tile might be to boring.
Autumn Haze
To give a better idea of how the tile might look in the room, here are a few current photos of the house with the floors that will be replaced.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Flutex Glass for Cabinets

Years ago, before we bought our house, the original fluted glass in one of the kitchen cabinets got broken. The owners replaced the broken glass with plain clear glass, but left the original fluted glass on the other side. This photo shows the clear glass on front side of the cabinet and the fluted glass on the back side.
Someone who visited our house noticed that the cabinet had 2 different types of glass. He gave us the name of the fluted glass - Flutex.

Luckily for us, Flutex is still available and we were able to match the original glass. We had the glass sandblasted so that it would have the same opacity as the original glass.  Here's how it turned out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Attempt to Renew Vintage Fiberglass Chairs

We have a couple of vintage fiberglass chairs that have very faint water stains. Apparently, the chairs were left outside at some point in their lives. Water pooled on the seats and discolored the chairs. Sorry, I couldn't get the discoloration to show up in the photo. 
In a local hardware store, I noticed a product that is a "polish and rejuvenator" for fiberglass, marble, and acrylic. It claims to eliminate water spotting and staining. I bought the product and immediately brought it home to see if it would remove the stains. The instructions say to apply the gel, wait for it to haze, and then buff with a soft cloth. This sounded easy enough, just like waxing a car. I followed the instructions, and could see some improvement as soon as I applied the product. I was hopeful that the chairs would soon look as good as new.
The water stains didn't come out as much as I hoped they would. The stains are less noticeable, but are still present. Although the cloudy white stains didn't go away, the chairs are very glossy and look better than they did before. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Anthropologie Mid-Century Modern

Here are just a few retro things at Anthropologie that I adore. I think these objects would work well in a mid-century modern setting. I'm crazy about the Roberts radio, but to buy it would be a bit of a splurge. It costs over $300.
Perch Barstool

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reproduction Fiberglass Lampshades

Have a fabulous vintage 1950s lamp with a less than stellar shade? There are a few companies that make custom reproduction shades that look as good, or even better than the real thing. 

Deadly Nightshade offers custom shades in round, square, and rectangular shapes with a variety of colors and patterns. They also sell ready made shades and vintage lamps. 
Moon Shine Lamp & Shade offers huge selection of shapes. They also make exact replicas of the Majestic Z lamp shades. I own a pair of custom shades from Moon Shine and can vouch for their high quality. In addition to reproduction lamp shades, they also sell lacing and trim, George Nelson bubble lamps, supplies for hanging lights, and other lamp parts and accessories, like this decorative sputnik attachment. 
If you're looking for supplies to repair or improve an old lamp, Moon Shine is likely to have what you need.
Meteor Lights also has an equally impressive variety of shapes, patterns, and colors from which you can choose. Like Moon Shine, Meteor Lights also makes replica shades for the Majestic Z lamp. Use their handy Select-a-Shade to see how your custom lamp shade will look. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Flea Market Finds

As usual, I went to the flea market at the fairgrounds on Saturday. I often go home empty handed, but this time I bought a few things. 
First, I found some 50s barkcloth. I love the abstract pattern, plus chartreuse and salmon pink are two of my favorite colors. I didn't have a use for the fabric mind when I bought it. At the price of $3, there was no way I was going to pass it up. When I brought it home, I immediately saw how well it coordinated with the salmon pink chair and unfinished curtains in the living room. This fabric will be perfect for throw pillows. 
Then, I found this Tune Tote for 45 rpm records. It's made by Ponytail, a company that made vinyl teenage themed items such as photo albums, keepsake boxes, banks, and lunchboxes. The Tune Tote seems to have been one of their more popular items. I see them somewhat frequently in antique shops, but they are usually in bad shape. 

There is a song index on the inside. It looks like the girl who originally owned it acquired it in the late 1950s. She filled in the index with the records she kept inside. The carrier once held records by Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon, and Duane Eddy. I actually own a lot of these records. Maybe I should put them in my new Tune Tote.   

I also bought a leaf-shaped goldtone pin from the 1960s. It reminded me of a pin Joan wore on Mad Men. Unfortunately, I lost the pin before I even got a chance to photograph it. Hopefully, it fell off somewhere in the house or the car. 


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