Q. What’s the very first vintage item that you remember buying for yourself? Do you still have it?
The very first vintage item that I bought for myself was a glass coffee carafe made by Indiana Glass. It all goes back to my all-time favorite TV show, The Dick Van Dyke Show. I had seen this very sexy carafe on the stove as Laura was serving Rob his breakfast. For years it was etched into my memory, and since this was long before the Internet I thought the chances of my ever identifying or finding it were slim to none.
Q. For your personal collection, do you like to have a lot of the same type of thing or same era, or are your tastes more eclectic?
While I do have my carafe collection and a deep-seated love for Pyrex, for the most part I prefer to collect and decorate with things from my favorite era of 1955-65, with ‘59-‘61 being my absolute favorite period for jet age design. I prefer to capture the essence of a mid-century home as opposed to having collections of things from the era sitting next to furniture from today. I’ve never paid more than $10 for any piece of furniture in my living room. I was acquiring my mid-century modern furniture before it became highly desirable, so I was able to get everything for what would today be considered a steal! The exception being my beloved low-profile aqua sofa with silver icicle-like thread woven through the material -- it was a whopping $100 back in 1997. It has since aged badly and is in need of reupholstering. I’m just waiting to find the perfect material.
|1965 chalkware wall plaques by Miller Studios|
My mother still lives in the house in which I grew up. It is a 1961 Dutch Colonial ranch (which means they just slap cement window boxes and a small bit of scrolled wood on the front of a generic box ranch and call it “Dutch Colonial”). This wonderful home features a room divider just inside the front door, Terrazzo floors in hues of fleshy-pink and browns very similar to Daltile’s “Pink Champagne,” fabulous aqua GE cooktop with a pushbutton control panel that my sister and I used to love to play with as children, aqua GE wall oven, Hudee rings on every sink, and a breezeway with a cool redwood privacy wall that connected the carport and the dining area’s glass sliding doors.
My memories of growing up in that home from the late ‘60s through the early ‘80s combined with my love for vintage women’s magazines and, last but not least, the book Populuxe by Thomas Hine—these are the things that inspired the “look” of my Etsy shop.
|1960s Butterick pattern|
Although I try to have a “poker face,” I am known for wearing my emotions on my sleeve. I’m sure my eyes light up, my face flushes, and I try to play it cool. But alas, I’m probably fooling myself and it’s really all a dead giveaway. This is pretty much the way it unfolded for my acquisition in Question #1.