Feb 26, 2013

Little things matter too

  Weekend project time. I know what you’re thinking, It’s Tuesday, but I swear I did this last weekend. (Some might say your faithful author is a bit absent minded.)

  The floor in my entry foyer is deep solid black and gleaming gold sparkle tiles. Laid out in a beautiful checker board pattern, it catches your eye the moment you walk in. On a sunny day the gold sparkles are almost blinding. Mostly in incredible shape, only a few trouble spots exist. A few of the tiles had corners coming unglued. They haven’t been tested but they are most likely asbestos based. Between a mild fear of living in a house full of broken vinyl asbestos tiles and my desire to keep them in beautiful shape, I decided they needed repair, sooner rather then later.

  Not much to this DIY, a few dollops of Liquid Nails under the trouble spots, stacks of old college books to keep the tile corners down and wah-la you’re done. Just be careful not to use to much and quickly wipe way any excess that may squeeze out when pushing the tile down.

Feb 21, 2013

The Groundhog was wrong

Here in the midwest we are have a minor snowpocalypse. Nothing to worry about but it sure is purty.

Requisite snow covered house picture

Feb 17, 2013

Chamber of Thrift

 As an avid thrifter, I’m always on the lookout for new places and events where I can pick up some of the random retro junk that sets my heart aflutter. I recently discovered Sidney Street Sales

 They are a fantastic group of people who put together a once a month super sale. Located in an old church, the atmosphere adds to the fun of rummaging for that perfect item. Pictures of new items are posted on their Facebook profile, which gives you a glimpse of the treasures to be discovered. One such picture was sent to me by a friend who apparently knows my taste in odd furniture quite well:

Sidney Street sales original photo

 The picture displayed what was possibly the most loud, gaudy and tacky sofa set I’ve ever seen. That’s coming from a man who owns a set of lime green velvet parlor furniture. The sofa was a gold velvet sectional with carved wooden accents. The love seat was round with similar wooden accents. I decided right then and there that the sofa would be mine. About an hour later I recanted my decision as there was no chance in hell I’d ever get it. 

 Sidney Street had made the photo their profile background and there was a swarm of interest in the comments section. Ever being the optimistic, I noticed that Sidney had an exceptionally large amount of good looking mid-century sofas to choose from and I would be sure to get something I’d love. 

 I made plans with friends, marked the date and time in my calendar and began counting down the days. As time slowly passed, Sidney Street posted more and more beautiful pieces all at incredible prices. For reference’s sake, I’d put their prices above thrift store but well below resale shop. Very affordable. 

 The day of the sale finally arrived. I woke up at what can only be called stupid-thirty and jumped out of bed with entirely too much enthusiasm. Grabbing my requisite crappy breakfast of energy drink and toaster pastry, I started my beat up truck while praying the cold winter night air wouldn't cause me trouble. Luck was on my side and the high millage engine coughed and wheezed into action. 

 Along the way I picked up my friend Adam who as a peruser of random stuff can always be trusted to go along on crazy thrifting adventures. Arriving at our destination we were pleased to see there was almost no one else there. Only two other people where insane enough to get up this early in hopes of being first to enter this chamber of thrift.

 Suddenly, I realized I had a chance to get the sectional that had first led me to this place. I had a damn good chance! All I had to do was locate the sofa and remove its tag before anyone else. This was a tag sale after all, I only needed a simple tag to claim my prize. I quickly turned to my cohort in crime and suggested we update our battle strategy. Our new plan was to casually wait in line, sip our coffee, and at the appropriate moment, meander in buying whatever interesting things we come across. Ok, ok. I know, not what you were expecting, but I do this for fun. I don't resell. I’m just out to have a good time looking through vintage stuff. I can have a good day even if I don't buy anything.

 Thankfully, this day I was able to part with some of my hard earned money. When the time came, we were let in and I did what I always do. I took advantage of my 6’5” stature and scanned the room looking for something awesome to catch my eye. Bingo, there it was... 

 I could see the gold velvet gleaming in the morning sun. Attempting to remain calm, I headed in its direction. I could hear people spilling in behind me. If someone shot past me to get there first, they deserved it. I kept waiting to get pushed out of the way, but it never happened. I continued to causally walk towards my prize and suddenly I was there, tag in hand. The excitement set in and I whipped around to show Adam, only to see a group of strangers, all sad that some beardo beat them to their delicious golden sofa. I felt a little like a jerk. Instead of expressing my excitement to my missing friend, I did a little victory dance for the people I beat out. 

 Attesting to the quality of people you cross paths with here in St. Louis, no one yelled at me or started a fight. They just congratulated me and we began reveling in tales of our thrifting adventures. I count myself fortunate to be part of a community of such kind strangers. I also feel pretty fortunate to be the proud owner of a stellar vintage sectional and love seat.

The sofa and love seat in their new home

Feb 10, 2013

Floor beneath the floor

 I don’t know about the rest of you but sometimes I get the uncontrollable urge to not leave well enough alone. Todays unbridled desire was related to the last thing about my house I can’t stand. The god awful linoleum floor.

 It was at best guess put down in the late 70’s early 80’s and is showing its age. Not to mention it is ugly to begin with. When moving in my fridge I accidentally made a nice little rip in the linoleum. Just big enough to discover that underneath was some wonderful vinyl tile floor. From what I could view through the tiny opening it looked to be in good shape and the linoleum was clearly not profusely glued down. 

 Since I moved in I’ve been thinking about the “floor beneath the floor.” Today in the middle of watching a recently acquired copy of “The Road Warrior” I had the bright idea to peel back the area in my wet bar. If it’s in bad shape I could just cover it back up on the cheap because of its small square footage. 

 The curiosity took over and I stopped the movie. Grabbing a few tool I thought I may need for the process I headed to the bar. 

 Right away I was able to find a separation in the floor between the kitchen and bar, under the door where most wouldn't ever notice. With nothing more then a fingernail I lifted a small piece and throwing caution to the wind I began to peel. Less then 5 minutes later I had a beautiful vintage tile floor before me. 

 I can only pray the rest of my kitchen looks this good. Just in case though I think I’ll wait a little to tackle the rest of the kitchen. I mean they must of had a reason to cover it. Somewhere lurking below is impending doom. I can feel it.

Let there be light

 Round these parts, weekends mean project time. This weekend was no exception, in fact I got a lot of things accomplished. Most of which have nothing to do with my mid century house, so I'll skip those bits and show you all something of interest. My new(old) kitchen pull down light. 

 As covered in a previous post, many wonderful lighting fixtures exist in my house. Everywhere there are things that not only supply light but also some serious character to my surroundings. The only place that was lacking was the kitchen dining area. At some point years ago a disgusting, bland, chandelier was put in. Nothing about it matched the house. I can only hope it was a quick fix for something that stopped woking. 

 Being on a budget I decided I would for now pass on my dream of owning a Sputnik lamp and see what else awaits me on the pickers heaven of eBay. Low and behold with in an hour of searching I found the perfect piece. 

 Like a wood and golden rocket ship this marvel now hovers above my kitchen table. There are lights on the top and bottom. They can be on all at once or separately. I tried googling the tags on the light but Ive come up with diddle squat. Only that the company “Imperialites” who made it also made a bunch of other lights. Thanks internet. Oh well, all I care is it looks awesome and feels like it belongs in the house. 

Feb 5, 2013


 How do I know my house loves me as much as I love it? Because like an adorable girlfriend it leaves me hidden presents to find. Like just now, I was cleaning the main bathroom and tucked away in the corner I found this:

 It’s a Miller Ice Cap. Brand new, never used and still in the box. Next time I suffer a bump to the ol‘ noggin settling a disagreement with my knucklehead friends I’ll be able to soothe the pain away.  

Feb 3, 2013

Light of my life

 While perusing some of my favorite blogs, I came across the impossibly cool 1959 Virden Lighting catalog on retrorenovation.com. Retro Renovation is probably the finest mid century modern blog out there and the curator has recently been posting up a storm of vintage product catalogs. This particular one from Virden is full of drop dead gorgeous lighting fixtures. Many of which hold a striking resemblance to the built-ins of my domicile. 

 Is it possible Virden made some of the lighting that brightens my life? I may never know, but I will enjoy sharing some pictures of the incredible fixtures throughout “The Home of Tomorrow.” Enjoy.

Entry Hallway 
Powder Room


Second Bedroom 

Main Bedroom

Main Bathroom (There are only two, the mirror is reflecting)

Family Room or Den as I call it.

Den (there are three of these total)

Garage Entry


Living Room or Theatre Room as I call it

Built-in hallway night light

Feb 1, 2013


 Sometimes things you don't need come into your life and you can't stop the insatiable desire to make it yours. Last night was one such occasion. I am now the proud owner of a Kodac Deluxe Photo-Hobby Outfit. A completely unused one I might add. The box top has seen better days but nothing on the inside has been opened. It even still has the tag from a no longer in existence photography shop. Extra cool seeing as how much I love St.Louis history.

 The shop was called Bader's Artist Supplies and Cameras. Located at 1113 Locust St, it seems to be a dentists office these days. Besides the tag from a long defunct camera shop the kit includes everything the amateur photographer could need. Paper, chemicals, trays and even an enlarger of sorts.

 It would be so much fun to bust this all out and set up a "darkroom in my own kitchen" as the box says. Sadly, it would pain me to much to break the seals on the unopened boxes. Not to mention the chemicals contained in those bottles have probably found new ways to kill me over their years spent stored in a dingy basement. I'll just suffer and gain what enjoyment I can from letting it sit on display. Smiling when I walk past it.

For extra fun here is a link to an original add for the Kodac Deluxe Photo-Hobby Outfit.