Happy new year! I always overdress for the holidays, and last night was no exception. I wore a beautiful lipstick-red vintage silk gown from the 1950s. It’s got a Frank Starr label and was apparently made to measure in a Washington, DC, dress shop.
Not long ago I got a very pleasant note from the people who run Sin in Linen, a Seattle-based home textiles company inspired by vintage, pinup, rockabilly, punk, tattoo, gothic, and related aesthetics. Since 2004, owner Sandy Glaze has offered bedding, kitchen goods, and bathroom decor suiting a variety of alternative tastes.
From their main line, you can choose sheet sets, duvet covers, curtains, baby bedding, aprons, oven mitts, and other useful home items in a variety of exclusive fabrics. They kindly sent me one of their signature kitchen aprons and an oven mitt and potholder set in the mid-century modern-inspired “Atomic Dreams” print, a fabric specially designed for them by artist Ragnar of Ragnarama.
Yeah, that would be me. In the last two weeks I got two more (yes, these make three) vintage Heywood Wakefield M308G “step” side tables in the “Champagne” finish and the M320 “kneehole” desk in “Wheat.”
I seriously love this side table model. If I could be a piece of furniture, this is what I’d be. steppy second level and the sweepy legs are quirky, yet graceful. The inward-upward taper created by the legs and the smaller upper step take a page straight out of classical Greek architecture. This is the freaking Parthenon of end tables.
While this particular style was only in production for about six years (1948-1953) and they don’t come cheap, there are enough M308Gs out there to populate your own modest-sized mid century furniture planet if you really wanted to. I got these from a knowledgeable collector who had a nice HeyWake buffet project in the hopper and didn’t have time or space to deal with them now.
Now for the desk and chair. I picked them up from a nice couple who needed to make room for their baby’s crib. The wife’s grandfather had purchased the set new, which made me a little sad to think that such a nifty piece was leaving its original family. That said, I will give it a very nice, loving home, so no one has to worry.
Heywood Wakefield produced this iconic kneehole design from 1950-1965. Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky – the 20th century Russian-American industrial designer known for his streamlined, modernist style – created it. What makes the desk extra-nifty is the very wide upper drawer. And the left-lower double-high bottom drawer, which makes it perfect for storing file folders. And the fully finished desk back. And…well, pretty much everything.
My plans for world domination through mid century birch furniture are becoming reality! Craigslist, I couldn’t do it without you!
So I’ve been in my house for over a year, and I’m only just now getting to the end of my long list of intended improvements and additions. Most of the work has been in the back yard, but I’ve also collected some home decor items I’ve been craving!
First, my preciouses; new vintage furniture!
My new (old) mirrored shadow box is stamped 4-30-62, a year before builders completed my home! I’ve filled it with my great-aunt Alice’s knickknacks, as she’s the first person I knew who had a mid century shadow box in her home.
I have a summer of home improvement planned. I want to paint my bedroom, kitchen, and upstairs bathroom. I want to shop for more vintage furniture at Midway Antique Mall in Sacramento. I want to fix up my back yard.
How’s this for an oxymoron? I’m always on the lookout for new vintage! This spring, I’ve found a perfectly pastel beaded cardigan in Easter yellow, a gorgeous late 1940s A-line dress with an illusion bodice and keyhole detail, and a cute pair of white porcelain kitten bookends by Lefton Japan. Who needs bunnies when you can have cute little white kitties on your bookshelf? Continue reading “Spring Vintage!”