Amazingly Original Mid Century Home Interior

AO rooster

Cutout in the linoleum in the “rumpus” room in the basement.

This week, in one of my design consultations, I viewed the most amazingly original mid-century home interior I have ever seen. I have never done this before but I took out my camera and snapped a few pictures because I know that the house will never be the time capsule it is right now ever again.

The owner, who passed away in her 90’s, had lived in the home since it was built in 1951. Located in one of our city’s posh neighbourhoods, the home interior featured many high end details. Nothing had been changed. The elegant draperies in true retro designs were still in each of the rooms, the quality of their construction evident in the fact that only the linings had deteriorated.

AO light

Original light fixtures throughout the house were made in copper and glass or brushed chrome and glass like this one.

All the light fixtures throughout the home were original. They were made primarily of chrome, brushed and plain, with glass. Some had copper details. The chandelier in the living room, which the new owner had already removed, featured circular tiers of crystals hanging from a band of chrome attached to the room’s ceiling.

AO kitchen

The kitchen has its original cabinetry and copper tiling.

The kitchen was completely original (except for appliances which were in the basement). Oak cupboards with rounded edges and semi-circular drawers, upper cabinetry between the eating area and the cooking area with plastic reeded panels to let light through, copper tiling everywhere, and a white glass light fixture with a bright red design of a teapot and  rolling pin completed the kitchen. There was even an original banquette under the windows with a table whose Arborite top matched the counters. This home’s owners had serious design assistance!

AO floor

This flooring was in the basement kitchen. I love the colours!

What amazed me were the floors, at least the ones that had not already been removed. Apparently they were covered by worn carpeting at one time and when the carpeting was removed, the underlying floor was damaged. However, the floors in the basement were in good condition and also original. The pattern above was in the basement kitchen – a cheery place painted in bright colours to match this flooring. The 1950’s wasn’t a time for the colour-shy.

AO glass

This martini pattern was repeated several times on the floor of the basement’s “rumpus room”.

The linoleum floors in the “rumpus room”, an old term to describe a family room that was located in the basement, were amazingly intact. The center of the large room was dominated by the rooster and martini design shown at the beginning of this blog entry.(I’m not sure why a rooster might be having a drink but perhaps there’s a story there.) Repeated throughout the room were patterns of the same martini glass with bubbles against a marbled background. A deep green border framed the edges of the flooring and around the original banquette seating still in place.

The new owner is somewhat overwhelmed with the project but I’m extremely happy to know that she loves the look of the house and has no intention of changing the style of her ‘new’ mid century modern home.

13 responses to “Amazingly Original Mid Century Home Interior

  1. Hi Johanna, love love the Martini floor, awesome ! Love the colors, wish this would come back.

    • Anna: Actually it has come back thanks to the new version of linoleum called Marmoleum – you can do checks, borders, and other designs if you feel roosters are a bit…unconventional

  2. Maybe the rooster was symbolic of the cocktail “cock”tail… love that linoleum. We had shuffleboard lineoleum in our rumpus room when I was growing up. It was the favorite room in the house!

    • Actually it turns out that people in the 1940’s were crazy for roosters – rooster motifs were on everything just like terrier images in the 1920’s. This makes sense since the house was built in 1951 and the styles (and rooster love) would have been current and in style in this western city in 1951.(It took longer for trends to reach the west). Did your shuffleboard flooring have decorative motifs?

      • It had the functional court with the triangles at each end and we had cues and discs …we actually played floor shuffleboard. ..but no other decorations.

  3. That kitchen floor would be perfect for my existing kitchen. I wish they’d make those designs again.

    • Because of the popularity of mid century homes now manufacturers have begun to offer some very interesting patterns from that time. I did another consultation recently at another mid century modern home and my clients are using a really neat retro pattern for the formica countertop. Move over granite. Formica is on its way back:)

  4. Hi Johanne,

    Loved your comments about the home built in 1951! It took me back to my teen years when my parents built a new home in 1954. We had identical copper tiles in the kitchen. Flooring in the kitchen and front hall were cork. We had a pink combination dishwasher/ sink which was pretty cool and electric burners that flipped up to give more counter space. Also, a wall oven which was quite new in appliances, I think. We had a large “rumpus” room and for years we used that term, still do! No hardwood floors but elegant carved “broadloom” in a modern design. The home is gone now but I wish I had more photos. it was designed by a leading architect at the time, John Rule.

    • Your old home sounds wonderful too. This home had its original pink sink in one room with a full wall of pink and purple tiles surrounding a vanity. An upstairs bathroom still has the green tub. It’s great when the exterior of a home is preserved but I think there’s nothing quite like seeing an original interior.

  5. Amazing! I’m just sorry we couldn’t see more. It’s not often we get to see an old home in original condition. Thank you!

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