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.
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.
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!
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.
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.