Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Early response to our blue geometric wallpaper was mixed, but mostly positive. Some people felt it was too loud or busy, but since retro so often departs from received Good Taste, you have to expect this kind of thing (these people have Victorian flats and walls painted in muted colours). MMM felt that one wall should be painted a solid blue, or we'd be overwhelmed. So that's what we did.

We had shipped all my worldly goods from Canada in a container, and one day it arrived: a whole apartment's worth of furniture and whatnot, most of it dating to the 1910s. This was the vintage of my apartment in Vancouver and the vintage I had been used to. My conversion to mid-century modern had only just happened. Now I found that (apart from my books) only ONE THING was of any use: a 1950s L-shaped couch, lightly brocaded and silvery-blue, complete with those little teak legs that are vaguely upside-down conical in shape. That sofa actually makes our living room. But now the house was even more jammed than before, and this time with heavy, dark Edwardian stuff that set us back in our quest for light, airy freshness than you can imagine. The house had an apartment sitting on top of it so to speak. The teenage movers were eager to dump it all anywhere and run away. We had furniture and boxes spilling into the garden. It was a mighty low point in the whole proceedings.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

curtain fever

As many of you retro reno folk know, one of the best ways to invoke mid-century modern is with textiles. And with an abundance of 50s, 60s etc. fabric available on the web, I am in a constant state of temptation. More on that later along with some links.

When we last left our council house heroine, she was still sitting in her council box surrounded by a) the ex's late-80s taste, and b) masses of stuff accumulated by her (my) actually adorable husband. He just thinks those hotel shampoos, free-with-the-paper DVDs, and kooky beer mats might have some life left in them. I know this syndrome, but it all fell away the night I moved out of my one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver. I had been there for ONE YEAR, and I was stunned by the amount of-- we'll call it stuff-- in that short time. I had movers, I had a cleaner, and still I was dealing with piles of dusty whatnots until minight, wit the new tenants furious and camped out in the living room.

One great advantage of the style we call mid-century modern is that it eschews CLUTTER. And now my husband-- let's call him MMM-- and we have allocated him his own room to clutter up as he likes. (Yesterday he surprised me with his pristine new decorating scheme.) One great advantage of this plan is that it frees me from being a minimalist nag: :"Sugar, do we really need this..." Poor MMM, people would mutter. No longer (not on that account, anyway).

We tackled the living room first, going at it with a blue and grey geometric wallpaper (to defeat the brown and orange flower wallpaper that was there. Sound 70s funky, Reader, it was not.)

Here's the best textile place I have discovered so far, based in California: http://www.melinamade.com.