Category Archives: Mid Century

Our custom splashback – a performance review

Happy Monday! I’m writing to the sound of a lawnmower somewhere down the road, and I like it! Even though lawns need mowing most of the year, it does feel like a summer sound still.

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I’ve had a few readers ask about our custom splashback, so I thought I’d do a post on what I think of it, a couple of years down the track. Do I still like it, and how is it holding up to cooking mess, and general wear and tear?

Just a quick heads up on what we chose, and why…

I wanted something here that would make an impact, as it is the only real area of colour in the kitchen. Our cabinets and benchtops are all white, and the open shelves (which I love!), as you can see are timber. So the splashback needed to make something of a statement, to make this kitchen ours. Ideally, I wanted a glass splashback so it would be very easy to clean, especially because we have the extraction system set into it. I have heard tiles, which can look amazing, can also be annoying to maintain.

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A quick check on prices for printed glass splashbacks (where a pattern, or photo is applied directly to the back of the glass) put that option out of our reach, but there is nothing like a budget challenge to make me get my creative hat on.

I then rung around for prices on a clear glass option, explaining that I intended to fix it to the wall in front of some wallpaper. I already had my eye on this mid century patterned wallpaper (although I shopped around for a significantly cheaper price).

It seems the standard way to fix glass splashbacks to walls is by smearing glue all over the back of them… so I had quite a few adamant replies of “No, we can’t help you with that sorry lady”. But I had a plan, and when I have a plan it’s hard to throw me off it (for better or worse!) so after talks with Andre and his dad we figured out a way to do it, giving me a comeback for those doubting splashback manufacturers!

We had the glass cut with screw holes in each corner, and used some capped screws to fix it to the wall. One thing we learnt in the process was to cut small crosses in the wallpaper, so it didn’t tear when drilling/screwing into it.

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Then the key to making this work is to silicone around all edges. As soon as possible!

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The one regret I have is leaving a couple of edges without silicone for a few days, because this happened:

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Bugs. Little, tiny, irritating bugs. Somehow they made their way in and there they stay to this day! I initially thought they might shrivel a little and drop to the bottom, but actually, they haven’t budged.

I must admit, despite our best efforts at siliconing everywhere pesky ants etc might get in, the original few fruit flies have recently been joined by a couple more. We have both an extraction fan grill, and a power outlet set into this splashback, and I’m pretty sure we sealed around the grill, but for safety reasons we didn’t seal around the outlet. Perhaps this is where the two or three have got in?

They do annoy me, I’ll be honest, but having exactly the splashback I had in mind makes me forget those bugs most of the time! We get so many comments about it, and I’m very glad I persisted with those doubters and I do feel like I’ve proved them wrong for the best part. There were predictions of doom and gloom and ants nests!

There are no ants nests. Just awesome mid-century pattern which adds personality to our kitchen and makes me smile while I cook!

The thing is, even if things do get worse from here on out, it’s a simple matter of slicing off that silicone, removing the glass and wiping away the bugs. Put the glass back, redo the silicone and it’s as good as new.

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You have the look of a fancy custom printed or tiled splashback, for far less cost!

A couple more posts planned for the week… I’ve taken way too many photos of our less than perfect but I love it very much Christmas tree, and some long-awaited deck progress updates!

Small Spaces: Caravanning in retro style

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It’s that time of year (down in the summery south) when we’re all dreaming of sand between our toes. And caravans get dusted off!

I had the pleasure of a coffee catch-up with my cousin yesterday, who was bemoaning the idea of heading off on a caravan holiday soon… in very retro style. However, not just retro in style, but rather retro in condition apparently!

Because it won’t be me putting up with less than comfy conditions and a leaky roof, I’m just excited for her at the potential… Maybe next year it’ll be looking more like some of these beauties I’ve been ogling this afternoon…

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Love Vintage Caravans offers these pretty ladies (they have names like Mary-Lou and Lola and Polly!) for sale or for event hire.

If you’re lucky enough to have yourself a caravan already, these guys also have the perfect wares to make retro condition magic into retro style!

They say “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy caravans and wares and they are kind of the same thing” – cute!

Lounge-o rearrange-o

The sun hit again this afternoon and it sent me off on a rearrange the lounge frenzy. It’s been in cosy mode for a few months and I’m excited to try it back the other way again (although I’m not tempting Murphy by taking that kindling box out just yet!).

Pictures, pictures… here they are: 0920_8160 0920_8161 0920_8163 0920_8165 0920_8166

And one little bonus shot of the sun streaming into the dining area –

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Hey did you spot those dreamy new curtains in the lounge?? I’m just going to whip the rest of the house into shape so I can get some photos of them up in the master and spare bedrooms too. Enjoy the weekend, and I hope to be back next week with those bedroom curtain photos for you!

Pin of the day: My favourite midcentury pattern

Evoking little antennas from old timey black and white TV’s, Charles and Ray Eames created this timeless mid-century pattern in 1947.

First spotted during my wallpaper search, for our custom kitchen splashback, this midcentury pattern is my favourite!

According to Pinterest, it’s inspired by tv antennas, and created by Charles and Ray Eames in 1947. Now that’s timeless.

I enjoyed an hour or so (and could easily have spent longer!) at the California Design exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery at the weekend, and came away so inspired and excited. Really excited! It’s been far too long since I immersed myself in design and my head hasn’t stopped buzzing since. Now to turn all those ideas into something a little more tangible…

DIY Retro Style

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I’ve had an amusing and enlightening half hour this afternoon listening to Miss E chatter in her cot instead of sleeping… browsing through a decades old Reader’s Digest Do-it-yourself Manual!

This wardrobe is what I was looking at before I got distracted by all the other “projects”.

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Andre pointed it out to me the other night (he regularly flicks through this manual…!) and I was keen to have another look, to see if it might be an option for our master bedroom wardrobe.

I’m not a huge fan of lots and lots of bare timber so my pick would be the white doors, with timber trim (bottom left).

But that’s a whole post for another day, so here’s some more midcentury project inspiration:

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Adore the tiled (tiled-look at least) splashback and the hardware free cabinetry. Fresh baked bread – that too!

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These stacking beds are good for a smile! And they’re actually a bit ingenious don’t you think?

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This plant table has potential… I think I’d make a succulent version for outdoors.

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Speaking of outdoors… if you have a large tree in your backyard how fun would this little hideaway be?! I love the striped canvas “roof” rather than a more permanently built one.

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This telephone hall table brings back memories of a childhood friend who had one in her big wide villa hallway… envy! Home phones might be somewhat obsolete in the near future but it wouldn’t be wrong to perch on one of these for a chat on your smartphone would it? It would put a stop to pacing up and down or trying to fold the washing while holding a meaningful conversation – that’s got to be a good thing!

The previous generation (or two) were smart cookies, with style. And they even left us manuals to prove it. Hooray for them!

 

 

Consoling myself

It’s not that bad. I’m just feeling bad for the shelves I mentioned yesterday. But I’m cheering myself up with this eye feast of midcentury hall tables:

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Clockwise from top left:

Senkki hall table with hairpin legs
Danish walnut console from Etsy
Swedish jacaranda console
Twotone conole from Ovo Home
Worlds Away skinny nickel console

Feeling some DIY with hairpin legs coming on. Can’t believe I don’t yet have any of those in my house… Wouldn’t those timber and leather shelves look awesome above one of these consoles?!

Inspired colour

I’ve been working on a little (or not so little actually) mid-century inspired project. And it got me all excited about the colour chaos of the period.

Back in my design student days, my favourite project of the entire four years was entitled “Zeitgeist”, which means “spirit of the time”. The assignment was to create ads for a chosen product in three different design decades. I did shoes in the 30s, 40s, and 50s.

Here is a little excerpt from the accompanying essay on Fifties Binge culture:

“The friction between the two vastly different cultures (*Casual American pop and NZ’s staunch God Save the Queen ideals) caused an explosion in the fifties of what is now known as binge.

This over-the-top culture embraced the new middle class affluence, caused by a booming economy, and introduced it to mass consumerism.

Relative to the period, the fifties brought huge technological advances. New, completely synthetic materials were developed, and alongside them, the ability to dye the material in a whole range of ‘new’ colours.”

This binge culture was the beginning of what is generally termed “mid-century modern”.

I love it.

In a world of such extravagant use of colour it can be a little hard to pick out a few that might work in a contemporary mid-century inspired interior. I had some fun giving it a go.

First up: Decadent Design. Starting with a cool hue of baby blue, add in rich layers of navy and dark magenta, and the obligatory wood tone in uber dark.

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Number two: Coastal Charm. Natural timber is a big deal, with lots of white and light, accented by a moody sea blue and some zesty lime green. 0611_MidCenturyColour2

Third on the list: Nearly Neutral. Grey, and a bit more grey, then some rich wood and golden brown to liven things up. 0611_MidCenturyColour3

Last but far from least: Pretty Pastel. Starting with a base of grey keeps this one from getting a little crazy, but as long as you get the balance right, you can add as many colours as you like. I’ll do flamingo pink, duck egg blue (of course) and lemon. Mmm mmm!0611_MidCenturyColour4

I think the last one is my favourite (I love a bit of colour) but I’d just as happily grab any of these and run with them, depending on the location and furnishings I was working with.

Interiors images via Pinterest.

Warning: I may not stop at one post on this. I had too much fun!