Anne and Gary's
Mid-Century Modern Home

Archive for the 'Retro Purchases' Category

We Try Our Hand at Designing Windows.

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Floor Tile

As we mentioned in our previous post about our master bedroom/bathroom remodel, we are having two new windows installed.

One is for the new master bath and will go where there has never been a window.   The other will replace the vinyl window in the original bathroom.    Both windows face west and are adjacent to each other in the back of our house.

Since the original bathroom has a vinyl replacement window, we have no idea what the original bathroom window was like.    This left us with no template for our new windows.

We had to get creative and design new windows based on the appearance of the original windows we still have.

The top picture on the left is of our original kitchen window.    One of the things we love about our house is the rather unusual windows which combine a casement window with a fixed sash.    We wanted to replicate that look throughout the house.

After a lot of thought, we decided to design our own windows based upon the style of the original windows.

We did a rough drawing of a casement window with a small fixed pane designed to fit in the rough opening of the original bathroom.

We then worked with Versatile Sash to turn our drawing into finished windows, one of which you see at the bottom left.

Though there are some minor differences due to changing technologies, the windows are remarkably similar.    We are quite pleased.

As you can see, Gary has already primed the windows and they are ready to be installed.

Once the ice melts that is making it nearly impossible to do anything, we are going to have both of the windows installed.

At Last! We find a dining set!

Friday, December 28th, 2007
Dining Room Table
The living/dining/area of our home is a long open space. We’ve been looking for a dining room table big enough to have company for dinner but not so large as to diminish this open space.The set couldn’t be too formal. The black vinyl composition tile didn’t seem to call for a classic teak set.The set couldn’t be too informal. Chrome dinette sets are too kitschy to be part of our living room.

We didn’t want to buy something new. Modern dining room furniture tends to be over-sized. Plus, we’ve found that furniture from the era tends to settle in and feel just right in our home.

And, we needed to find the set in Eastern Oregon so we didn’t have the challenge of how to get it home.

We finally found something!!!

We were so pleased when we found this mid-century dinette set at Classic Consignment Furniture in Baker City. It fits the space perfectly, has an extra leaf, only cost $125.00, and the whole thing fit in the back of our station wagon.

The chairs have the original Virtue Brothers label (Chair 674) on the bottom. They were a large manufacturer of metal dinette sets including the classic red, green, or yellow marbleized sets with chrome legs.

We’re glad they also made a few sets with black metal legs. Actually, we wonder if the table and chairs are parts of different sets. The table has gold metal in addition to the black and seems to have a slightly different style. Our table is similar to the one in this ebay posting , just rectangular instead of round.

If anyone knows more about the table or chairs, please comment!

And, if you live in the Eastern Oregon area we would strongly recommend checking out Classic Consignment Furniture in Baker City. Their prices are very reasonable and they often get in mid-century modern pieces.

A vintage couch pulls the living room together.

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Our New Couch
We recently had the good fortune of buying this wonderful mid-century couch at an estate sale for $35.00.

It was custom made for the owner in 1964 and was kept in a part of the house where is got little day to day use. The cushions have springs and are really comfortable to sit on.

The couch is in really good shape and we couldn’t believe we got it for that price.

When we got the couch into the living room, it looked as if it belonged there. The scale and style of the couch are just right for our new home.

With the addition of the couch the living room is really coming together. It feels more like home all the time.

We love sitting on our new couch and looking out over the Grande Ronde Valley from our living room.

Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Thrift store heaven

Monday, May 7th, 2007

New Lamp and Table
We love looking at thrift stores and garage sales for things for our house. We like the idea of reusing (as in reduce, reuse, recycle). Thrifting saves a lot of money, and there is the thrill of the hunt!

We drove over to Baker City to check out the furniture consignment shop. We didn’t find any furniture, but we did find the Salvation Army store.

We looked hard for something we needed; we just didn’t find anything. We were about ready to leave when we remembered to check out a little back area behind the children’s toys.


There is a George Nelson-type bench!!! We had thought months before that a bench in front of the windows would be nice for plants.

And look!

Right next to it is this amazing retro lamp. The wood veneer is coming loose, and a tiny piece of it is missing. But the sculptural shape is wonderful.

For $12.90, we’re in thrift store heaven!

Dishes to match the floor

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Dishes to Match our Floor!

Place Setting

We may not have much furniture but we now own a wonderful set of mid-century modern dishes.

We were poking around in Deco to Disco, an MCM shop on Hawthorne Boulevard. in Portland, when we spotted an intriguing set of dishes.    The black-on-beige pattern matched our living room floor!

Well, you gotta start somewhere

The set must have originally had service for 16 as there are 16 bread and butter plates.   We are fortunate there are still 12 dinner plates.

We love the arty shapes and the heft is wonderful

The dishes are "Ebonette" from the Edwin M. Knowles China Company, 1954, the year before our house was built.   A piece of this glazed earthenware is in a collection at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Three Tiered plate

We have rounded out the set with several black pieces from Goodwill.

We especially love the little teapot.

Three Tiered plate

The set has this wonderful 3-tier serving tray.

Time to make canapés.