Monday, November 21, 2011

Make The Holidays More Colorful this Year!

One of the greatest things about living in Charlotte, NC is the beautiful fall weather. The geographic location allows for an elongated season. The leaves slowly change as the temperature carefully drops. This gives plenty of time for the beautiful colors of the leaves to inspire a great color schema of red, orange, yellow, brown and even green. Maybe this is why I tie it so closely with mid-century modern living. These colors are used often in MCM style decor.

7101 Terrace Drive and 7212 Benita Drive both remind me of this color scheme, the nostalgia of MCM and the holiday season with their enticing red doors.

Most often all of the attention of Thanksgiving and the holidays goes to the food, but I find it much more enjoyable when the table settings are decorated with beautiful colors and pristine style. Here are some dinner decor ideas that inspired me! Enjoy!

In the top-left frame is Iroquois Informal Harvest Time by Ben Seibel 1958 a fall collection by Ben Seibel. Also by Seibel, in the right hand pane, is Tamac Pottery in Avocado color 1946-72 from Oklahoma.
Below is Gracetone Orbit dinnerware ca 1959.

When looking for dinnerwares be sure to look up Ben Sebeil. Also, Dansk and Russel Wright. For finishing touches like napkins look up Vera. Great website to find all of your Mid-Century Modern living essentials can be found on eBay, Etsy, Crate and Barrel, etc.

If you'd like to hear more please comment below or shoot me an email! I love discussing my MCM obsession.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Modern mid century decorative concrete blocks!

I know I'm not the only one who drives past the J.N. Pease Building at 2925 E. Independence Blvd. and marvels over the awesome decorative concrete blocks across the entire facade of the building. Either in landscape design or architecture, these stone screens add interest to any building or make an area of your yard private while still allowing light and welcoming breezes to pass through.
The shadows these walls can produce can be just as exciting as the decorative designs!  I sure would like to get my hands on a pallet or two of these fantastic blocks!  Good new is… can still buy them! 

The best source for mid century modern screen block is A-1 Block Corp. Established in 1952, A-1 Block Corp has been making these fantastic screen blocks ever since their doors opened. Without question the best source in the USA for screen blocks.  They are also very easy to deal with.  You can purchase & pick up block at their address in Orlando Florida.  If you are located in a different state: please note that they do not ship block outside Florida but you can arrange pick up through your own freight company.  Here are  just a few examples of the decorative blocks they make.

Decorative patterned concrete walls can be seen all over the US - so keep your eyes open for them!  Here are just a few examples I ran across on my search.  The diversity is just unbelievable!
Decorative cinder blocks, Pecos, TX

Mid century modern apartment complex - Gaston Avenue, Dallas, Texas USA

 Restaurant & aqua bricks - Farmington, New Mexico USA

 First Security Bank Building in Beaumont, Texas, 1963, by architect Llewellyn Pitts. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property in the Beaumont Commercial Historic District, 2008. all know that I have to throw in some retro images to finish things off!  Check out these FAB 1950's architectural exteriors!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Wilson House

Here's something for all  the laminate lovers out there! The interiors of The Wilson House feature extensive use of decorative plastic laminates and stands as one of the best residential examples of the mid century modern style in the state of Texas.
This amazing house is a statement of the many founding principals that remain intact even today - innovation, design excellence and a commitment to the continuous development  of interior surfacing products that, literally, become the fabric of our everyday lives. Wilsonart founder, Ralph Wilson, used this home to test his company's products. Click HERE to watch the video about this fantastic historical home and HERE to see a slide show!
This houses provides a repository for Wilsonart history. In July 1998, The Wilson House was awarded National Landmark status by the Texas Historical Commission and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a significant architectural structure. On the national level, it was recognized for the extraordinary design of the interior which had an impact on the design of subsequent structures; and the employment of cutting edge laminate technology. Tour hours are Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm. Tours are by appt. only and must be scheduled one week in advance. Located at 1714 S. 61st Street. For more information, please contact 254-207-2207 or click HERE to visit them online!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dress it up with Redi-Screens!

Wow! Crestview Doors has done it again!  Check out these fantastic versatile wood screens that can be used in a variety of ways to separate space around the home. Featuring modern patterns inspired by vintage textile designs, Redi-Screens™ are made from an unfinished, stain-grade Maple panel surrounded by an exquisite Maple hardwood frame. 

Redi Screens™ each measure 1-3/8” deep and may be ordered with a translucent resin backing that transmits light yet offers full privacy.  Be creative!  These amazing screens can be installed as sliding doors, pocket doors, articulating doors, room partitions, room dividers, hanging or mounted screens.  Custom sizes are also available.

Here is the inspirational photo responsible for these awesome screens! While attending a lecture during the Heritage Society's tribute to mid-century architecture, David from Crestview Doors ran across a picture of a groovy set of interior sliding wood panels!  

501 W Powell Lane
Suite 204
Austin, TX 78753
Toll-Free: 866-454-6302
Fax: 866-454-6470

Friday, July 8, 2011

Modern Resources for Modern Enthusiasts

Whether you live in a modern home, are a modern enthusiast or just like cool modern stuff, there are modern resources out there available for you EVERYWHERE! I have highlighted a few below that you may want to check into when you have some free time, extra money or just want some modern inspiration. 

Modern Mags!

Modernism is a quarterly magazine about 20th-century modernist design. This magazine ranges from the Wiener Werkst├Ątte to the Bauhaus to Memphis and beyond, covering Art Deco,  mid-century, pop and postmodern design.

Launched in the year 2000, Dwell is an architecture and design magazine that is devoted to the modern aesthetic. As one of the only of its kind, this publication explores the concept of considering both the interior and exterior designs of a home while striving for ultimate harmony. Dwell Magazine has named Modern Charlotte as “The Resource” for mid-century homes in the Southeast!

Atomic Ranch celebrates mid-century houses - from 1940's ranch tracts to 1960's architect-designed modernist homes. With an emphasis on affordable solutions and homeowner renovations, their quarterly magazine shows you how to make your house cool, both inside and out.

Modern Shopping!

Modern Fabrics - located in Charlotte!  Welcome to your single source of discounted designer interior textiles. Their goal is to provide you with the best designer fabrics rescued from the cutting room floor! They collect new fabrics from the finest luxury furniture companies and offer them to you at 50-75% off list price. Reduce demand for virgin materials and minimize waste while staying on top of the latest textile design trends.

DWR - Your Charlotte source for modern design, from iconic mid-century works to innovative items designed today. Located at 4310 Sharon Road, Suite 21 - Charlotte, NC 28211

Crestview Doors - Your exclusive retailer of period-appropriate products for your mid-century modern home, renovation or restoration.  Located at 501 W. Powell Lane, Suite 204 - Austin, TX 78753 
Christiane Erwin -

Click HERE to view Modern Charlotte's updated resource page!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Container homes are popping up everywhere!

It's estimated that 90 percent of the world's trade today moves in containers - containers that crisscross the world's oceans each year in over 5,000 container ships.  After they are used a few times they become used shipping containers that nobody wants so they just sit around taking up space. Designers all over the world are re-inventing the shipping container. They are giving us lots of cool, amazing options and are helping solve some real ecological problems at the same time.

Developers Katie Nichols and John Walker have focused their careers on creating affordable, sustainable, design-intensive homes for creative, urban people. The Cordell House is sustainable in material, progressive in design and vibrant as a habitat.  We hope that the duo at Numen Development see much more business in this direction in the very near future.

Bamboo Groves, a design and construction firm in Costa Rica, has developed 
some great designs for homes made from insulated shipping containers and bamboo.

Another container home designed for on- or off-grid living is the Ecopod
Made from a shipping container, an electric winch is used to raise and lower the 
heavy deck door (power is supplied by a solar panel). The floor is made from recycled 
car tires, and the walls have birch paneling (over closed-cell soya foam insulation). 
The glass is double paned to slow heat transfer. The Ecopod can be used as a stand 
alone unit or with other structures. It is designed to minimize environmental impact.

This home was built in Thailand and is very simple yet effective for a variety of uses. 
I particularly like the roof and simple use of materials.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Modern dwellings for your furry friends!

Forget dowdy carpet-covered cat houses, plain Jane dog crates and ugly animal beds - homes for our pets can be cool, stylish and modern!  I couldn't believe all the cool designs I found!  
Contemporary Cat and Small Dog House Designs are an excellent addition to your stylish furnishings. Your modern home or apartment will look great with this unique, comfortable and eco friendly indoor house for your pet.

Brands like Hepper are helping to bring pet beds and lounges into modern homes with a mid-century aesthetic.  These pods are healthy for the planet in addition to your sense of style.
Stackable Cube-Shaped Fish Hotel!  Give each fish a luxurious private room of its very own with this modern dwelling by Teddy Luong.  The design is stackable so you can even create a fish skyscraper.
Designer Leo Kempf made this modern cat house for his own cat, Olive, saying "she enters through a door in the bottom side and then ascends a ramp, which boosts her to the upper level.  The front wall is plexi-glass, the floor is 2.5 inch thick old sheepskin rug, and my wife made small paintings that hang on the walls".

Mod and comfy, the cat capsule by Christian Ghion bravely boasts an all-white sheepskin-lined design that will make you want a matching human-sized one for yourself!
Cubix Modern Dog House!  This dog mansion is designed to pay homage to the Bauhaus style and is made by the German company Best Friend's Home.
More examples of cool critter dwellings are the egg-shaped Nogg Chicken Coop and the geometrical, futuristic "Lulu's Hideaway".   Ideal places for your modern cat, dog or chicken!
This cat bed called Rondon designed by Christel & Ott Meyer is a simple, clean design for any room of your home.  A bit pricey, but still very cool!