Inspiring Archives: House and Garden Magazines from 1959-1964

by Chris Gardner
Inspiring Archives: House and Garden Magazines from 1959-1964

Amy Shutt from Day-Lab DIY shares her recent find: mid-century issues of House and Garden Magazine.

"[I pick up] older issues when I come across them at an affordable price and in reading condition:



This particular group contains magazines from 1959 through 1965. And even though I have only had time to flip through them and just scan articles...I am already in love.

Articles can be found on:

-Amazing design and architecture, (house and...

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DIY Mid-Century Modern Tree Ornament (for under $1.00!)

by Chris Gardner

I came across these charming ceramic ornaments a few weeks ago, and I instantly fell in love with there playful spacey-ness and simple elegance. $35 for the pair isn't prohibitively expensive, but as usual, I reckoned a DIY attempt was worth a shot.

DIY Mid-Century Modern Tree Ornament (for under $1.00!)

Total cost: $0.73, plus a bit of spray paint.

Materials 

  • Ping pong ball
  • Small nail and scrap wood or cardboard
  • Electric drill or drill press
  • Varying drill bits
  • White gloss spray paint
  • Craft knife, such as an X-acto
  • 4-inch length of string

1. Locate a colored ping pong ball, or white if you prefer. 

2. Make a painting rig by hammering a small nail into a piece of scrap wood or cardboard, and drill a small hole the same diameter of the nail into the ping pong ball. Set the ball on top of the nail.  

3. Spray the ball with three coats of white, glossy spray paint. Spray evenly, and watch for drips. Let dry completely in warm place, to minimize stickiness.

4. Once the ball is dry, drill several holes with bits of varying sizes. Begin with the largest one, and then work your way down. Use light pressure to embed the circular shape, and then press down to the complete the hole.  

 

5. Lastly, drill a tiny hole in the top of your ornament.

6. Use a sharp craft knife to clean up the holes, gently running the blade along the perimeter to shave away the excess plastic.

7.Make a loop in a piece of string, and tie a large knot at one end. Then, thread the loop through the small hole on top, using another hole to push the string from the inside. 

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Adventures from the Design Within Reach Warehouse Sale

by Chris Gardner

 

Every four months or so, modern classic purveyors Design Within Reach offer DWR Warehouse and Sample Sales at their four warehouse locations across the country. (San Francisco; Secaucus, New Jersey; Estero, Florida; and Cincinnati/No. Kentucky)

The DWR storage facilities are filled with overstocked and discontinued items, customer returns, and damaged pieces and opened to the public. My mom recently moved to Northern Kentucky, and as the...

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Get the 50s and 60s Scandinavian Look for Your Ikea Furnishings!

by Chris Gardner

The Bemz Metropolis Collection are Scandanavian modern furniture covers designed specifically for Ikea products.

Scandanavian Modern? "Warm, luminous gold tones and cool, winter hues of blue and green are paired with earth neutral colours to evoke memories of classic Scandinavian design during the 1950/60´s. Bemz´s new Prisma Stripe in Moss Green is the signature design for the Metropolis collection which invigorates the retro, moody atmosphere...

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Intro to Hipster Houseplants.

by Chris Gardner

I'd be cool if I never saw another African violet in my life, but that certain doesn't mean I don't love a little in-home foliage. None of the species below cost much, and all can be grow large enough to fill the grandest of empty space


Intro to Hipster Houseplants.

Dracaena Marginata. “Dracaena.” It’s leaves explode like fireworks, and are a must have in your tiki-themed patio.  Keep in bright, but not direct, sunlight; mist leaves regularly, and keep soil moist. (Photo courtesy of solverde.com.ar)


  
Odontoglossums. “Butterfly Orchids.” Orchids require only a small container, but can grow up to 24” within weeks. Water once a week, but never allow them to sit in water, and drain excess moisture often. When well cared for, they will flower yearly. (Photo courtesy amazonfoliages.com)

Sansevieria Trifascita Laurentii. “Mother-in-law’s tongue.” “Snake plant.” It’s familiar sword-like leaves suggest danger and exoticism, and works well in mid-century and Asian decors. Keep in indirect light, watering weekly during the hot season, and monthly during winter. (Photo courtesy of botanical-online.com)

Agave Americana. “Century plant.” It ain't just for tequila anymore. It’s symmetrical leaves suggest hi-tech

precision, with an enticing curiosity. Store in a contemporary container to increase its industrial feel. Water sparsely (it’s a cactus, after all). (Photo courtesy of crateandbarrel.com) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyperus Albostriatus. “Umbrella Grass.” It’s soft leaves serve as a self-contained contrast to its tall, straight stems, and almost screams “put me in a loft.” Keep the soil thoroughly moist, in a bright room. (Photo courtesy of ask-alex.dk)


Monstera Deliciosa. “Split-leaf philodendron.” A classic in every respect, which suits every page of a Herman Miller or Knoll catalog. Everything about it is cool, from its Latin species name (sounds enough like delicious monster to me) to its Greek genus: "Love Tree." Be sure to check out The Monstera Deliciosa Illustration Gallery for a houseplant send-up only Monstera Deliciosa deserves. Also check out his friend, the Swiss Cheese Philodendron, for a little more tongue-in-check. Grow in medium light, and water well in summer, allowing the soil to dry in between, and spraying the leaves. Transplant as necessary. (Photo courtesy of monstera.jp)

 


 

 

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Check out: Mid-Century Mania!

by Chris Gardner

Scour your local library for a (VHS-only) copy of Mid-Century Mania, an entry from A&E’s series, House Beautiful. This 50-minute docu-showcase looks as if it was completed in the late 90’s (was that REALLY 8 years ago!?), and includes a bit of the basic cable non-fiction cheese and a generic blonde hostess, but the footage makes it more than bearable.

Highlights Include:

Profile of Case Study House #22, "Stahl House":

Check out: Mid-Century Mania!

  • Interview of original architect...

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Build A Mid-Century, Noguchi-ish, Spaceship Table

by Chris Gardner

 

Build A Mid-Century, Noguchi-ish, Spaceship Table

With very minimal woodworking know-how, I built a mid-century-ish, Isamu Noguchi-inspired “spaceship” table for under $80. The top is similar to Noguchi’s 1948 “Noguchi Table” and the legs are inspired by Noguchi’s Akari series of table and floor lamps.

[When I first made the table, there was no Curbly.com, so I didn’t think to take step-by-step photos. However, I decided to remake the legs to adjust to the height of my new sofa, and...

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