Friday, May 14, 2010

Retro Revamp

The influence for my love of all things retro is very easy to pinpoint. My Grandpa Johnson built a fantastic home with his bare hands in a style that is now considered "Mid-Century Modern". At the time he was certainly not attempting to be modern though. He was simply trying to move his family from a small row house in "The Bottoms" of downtown Columbus, a section of the city which continuously flooded whenever the Scioto River would over-flow it's banks, to the country. The home was very typical of the time, minus several interesting details added by my ever creative Grandpa. Details such as the secret compartments in the basement stairs in which to hide valuables, a reaction to Depression Era distrust of banks, as well as a large built in bench in the main bath that could be lifted to reveal a laundry-shoot which dropped to the basement. The shoot later lead to the accidental death of many, many Barbie dolls. Off the main part of the house was a large side room with a sunken living-room, a flagstone fireplace, and a home bar built out of various materials who's original purposes had become lost as a result of my Grandpa's inventiveness. This room became the future location of simple wedding receptions consisting of homemade cakes, pastel colored mints, assorted nuts, and heartfelt toasts made with milk-glass goblets. In the center of the home sat the kitchen with it's mauve-pink oven and range, as well as linoleum flooring that often became a dance-floor where my Grandparents Jitterbugged. The living-room in the main part of the house was entirely decorated in dark avocado green, this included the carpets, velvet sofas, draperies, and of course a swag lamp. In the summer the house was always hot, not because there were not air-conditioning units in the windows but because we were never allowed to turn them on and our last ditch efforts to catch a cool breeze through the windows were often thwarted by my Grandpa hiding the cranks that were required to open them. The smallest details of the home are engraved in my memory and remain vivid even though it has been almost twenty years since I have last walked through it's halls. I don't just enjoy today's revival of retro aesthetics due to their bold lines, fun colors, and whimsical charm, but they also allow me to relive the favorite moments of my childhood and more so the memory of my Grandparents.

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1.  "Hedged" by Leah Giberson- Etsy Shop
2.  Retro Basin Tap by Lefroy Brooks       
3.  2005 Kathryn Area Rug by Chandra Retro Rugs-
4.  Atomic Tiered Fiberglass Lampshade by Meteor Lights
5.  George Nelson Sunburst Clock in Gold-
6.  LG CRT TV (Only Available in South Korea, So Sad)

(Click On Image for Larger View)

1.  Diner Chair-
2.  Bullet Planter-
3.  Smeg "50's Retro Style" Refrigerator
4.  Over-sized Spoon and Fork Wall Decor-
5.  Broyhill Brasilia Reproduction Buffet-
6.  Wilkerson Flat Panel TV-


  1. love the pink retro refrigerator. There is nothing better than nostalgic kitsch.

  2. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Reading your story is so similar to mine each time I visited my grandparents home, especially the avocado velvet couch, which my cousin and I acquired when we room-mated together. Looking forward to looking around your blog more.

  3. Kimberly, I am constantly kicking myself for not thinking to take certain key pieces when my grand parents passed away. I was a bit young at the time so I am afraid I did not choose very wisely. However, I am not sure their avocado sofas are on the list! haha It is funny though how I can still remember how cool the fabric was to the touch :) Thanks for reading!

  4. Hello, How do I get in touch with you? There is no email or contact info listed .. please advise .. thanks .. Mary. Please contact me maryregency at gmail dot com