Monday, June 22, 2015

Let's do this ...

The last 2 weeks were spent moving our 17 rooms of country house furniture and living tools into the Mid-Century Modern house on the hill.  I had taken over 10 truck loads (in 'Ole Blue' the 66 longbed pickup - still working hard!) of various 'stuffs' to Goodwill and was planning on using the existing bedroom furniture in the new house so this left the living room, music room, library, den, office and dining room to be consolidated into three rooms of the new house all the while maintaining the commitment to the minimalist vision.

It took 2 trips in the 26' foot truck over 5 days to get everything OUT of the old house (and an additional 10 trips in 'Ole Blue' ), turning the keys over 1 day late but still 7 days before the owners daughter was to move in - whewwww.

We staged everything in the double carports and dining room of the new house planning to be very selective about what went into the house, selling or donating the remainder. The Grand Piano (Steinway 1923 Model A) had been moved over the first day and was sitting in the living room against a backdrop of white vertical blinds and the view to the heritage oaks and Sonoma hills outside.

I could have stopped right there and just lived with the piano as the only item in that room it was such a beautiful sight to walk in the front door and see the piano (lid lifted) creating a black curved form against the white shades, yielding to the trees and hillsides beyond.

The ONE antique we will not relinquish in our pursuit of the MCM aesthetic ...

As we walked through the house we decided we HAD to sell or donate everything and start from scratch if we wanted to change our lifestyle. The furniture and design artifacts that we had acquired were never placed in our new house - we just took them out of the packing boxes to photograph for Craigslist, EBay, etc. or took them over to Goodwill. Kitchen goods stayed for the most part as we would NOT embrace the 'Easy Living' aspect of convenience via processed food but Pictures, Art, Glassware, Furniture, Lighting that all spoke to the perfection of the 18th Century drawing rooms and parlours had to go.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Flatware - Interpur INTP2 (AKA INR2)

I looked at a bunch of different flatware for our new house and since our old stuff was classic patterns I gave the whole lot to Goodwill and went about procurring something to go with our new table cloths and ideas in my head for a future table set with Russel Wright Dinnerware.

I decided on the Interpur INTP2/INR2 Stainless Steel with the composite handles though it was a difficult choice between Stanley Roberts Astro and the Interpur. I thought about cleaning, handle chipping vrs. the cool sleek design of the Astro but in the end it all came down to a set of the Interpur I found at an auction in Sacramento one Sunday morning, available for simply raising my hand at the budget conscience price of $19.50 for 152 pieces.

Stanley Roberts ASTRO
I had been looking at Ebay for a few weeks and most large sets (I needed at least 7 place sittings) of mid century steel was going for $175 or more. This set was beautiful and even had a couple of serving pieces in it, soooo -- these are going home with me!

Interpur place setting

I love the way the flowers on the handles form little hearts! 


Saturday, June 6, 2015

NO CLUTTER (but a little Atomic Table, Please)

My friend says to always remember and never forget the guiding principle of 'Minimalism' as I move into the new house. I think this means no 'Stuffs' as she likes to call the nik-naks, pictures and assorted things placed strategically around our last house; done to cover the ancient green wall to wall carpet and redwood paneling in every room of the house as much as to further a design idea. I have to agree that this house will follow the modern ideals as close as I can do it. To this end, I am either donating or storing EVERYTHING from the past, and only moving furniture and living accouterments into the space as desired.

I have 2 black leather club chairs  that will temporarily fill the need (and act as placeholders) for some kind of matching modern sitting objects in the future. And am thinking to place my iconic Gold and Black lamp and a little 2-shelf glass and metal table I found today between them.

After walking through the Salvation Army and finding nothing of interest I was on my way out the door when I spied a small bundle of metal and 2 glass disks taped up in a corner. I went over to take a look and as I picked up the bundle the store manager walked by and said 'Tell them $5 at the register'. Without checking for completeness or condition I walked over to the register, paid and took my booty home to see what I had bought.

It took a few minutes to sort out the pieces and the puzzle of re-assembly but it turns out the two round glass disks are shelves with gold rimmed atomic looking metal runs around each, sitting on 3 black metal legs. I cleaned the parts, found I was missing only a single brass cap head nut (which I picked up at the local hardware store for $.79), and after polishing the table and glass looks to be something out of a Mid-Century Regency type setup, but will work for us until something better comes along.

It is definitely old-school construction with metal glass holders and brass capped nuts holding the black lacquer painted legs to the gold rings. I think it will look good with the black chairs and gold/black lamp in the sitting area of the dining room.

Atomic Side Table 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The local Goodwill and Salvation Army Stores

Since I am getting ready to move, I have been making a couple of trips a week to Goodwill to get rid of 'Stuff' we have collected over the past 4 years and will never use again. I am also dumping old chairs. side tables, rugs and 'clutter' I picked up that worked great in our 'County Rustic, Americana' design motif but will never fly in our new MCM home. At the Goodwill, after dropping off my load of donations I have taken to walking through the store identifying anything that looks Mid-Century Modern. It has been an education unto itself and today I found a lamp that has a very mid-century feel to it. No markings that I can find but quality walnut and brass indicates it was built with purpose and so I took it home !! Before I left I grabbed a large tan colored drum shade and together spent $7.49
out the door

Walnut and Brass Floor Lamp

Turns out these mid century modern floor lamps have built in tables and designers made them of all kinds of different materials. This one has a base of solid wood covered with a curved brass plate and a thin veneer topped side table. Great for small spaces and accents, these floor lamps have a cool look and dual function and after a little 'Mothers Chrome Polish' and Restore-a-Finish it is ready to go next to the entry landing in our new home.

Many designers created this style of lamp including Gordon & Jane Martz and I think with this design the intent was to provide light and a chic place to set a cocktail, a small picture, or more likely a place to set your ashtray. Gordon and Jane Martz were another married team of designers from the mid-century. Modernism from the Heartland explains when they graduated from university in 1951, they began their married life by moving to Jane's home, Veedersburg, Indiana and took over Marshall Studios, a lamp company founded in 1922 by Jane's grandmother.

Brass Plated Bottom