When and why did you become interested in MCM?

Burlesque beauties, pinup girls, vintage fashion, swanky suits, go-go boots, hairdoos,
cocktails, recipes, dancing, nostalgia and random retro lifestyle that a Space Age Atomic Age Bachelor might need to know about. Post War movies, television, broadway shows, music... exotica, lounge, cocktail, vocals, standards, space-age, swing, tiki, Modern Transportation, 1950s 1960s classic cars, monorails, scooters, trailers and trains, oh my...

Moderators: I_LUV_POWER!!!!, Joe, moderns-r-us, Tony, Futura Girl, sean, nichols, Java, Matt Deckard

User avatar
scowsa
Modern Guru
Posts: 1366
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:47 pm
Location: Culver City, CA

When and why did you become interested in MCM?

Postby scowsa » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:18 pm

The Board is fairly quiet these days, maybe because its summer or because few folks have projects going -- and Joe's bath is nearly finished.

So I would like to start a new thread on when and why folks became interested in MCM. Here's my story to kick it off.

My wife and I purchased our first ever dining chairs and table from a Terrance Conran “Habitat” store, in our hometown of Liverpool, England. They were white Bertoia side chairs and a Saarinen-style dining table. In our early twenties, we had no knowledge of mid-century design -- we bought them simply because we liked them.

As our life together progressed, with a move to Ireland and then to the US, we became more appreciative of mid-century design, later owning chairs by Breuer and Mart Stam, and also a Bertioa Bird chair.

When we moved to Palo Alto, CA in the 80's, we had our first exposure to MCM homes, even considering an Eichler as a possible purchase but deciding we wanted something closer to downtown Palo Alto.

Now we are in our seventh home, which we believe will be our last, an MCM inspired design we had custom built.
scowsa

User avatar
Futura Girl
Lotta Living Hostess
Lotta Living Hostess
Posts: 4161
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2002 11:54 pm
Location: Las VEGAS babay!
Contact:

Postby Futura Girl » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:24 pm

hi scowsa - i think people are getting overwhelmed by the demands of social media these days. i know i am.

but great topic. it was really nice to hear your story and i look forward to reading others.

I was indoctrinated in Modern style from my earliest memories. Looking back at childhood pictures, mom and dad had Danish modern furniture for their 40s San Fernando Valley rancher that they bought back in 1963. Nothing with a "name," just everything was in that general style. My first dollhouse was a modular MCM thing called the Imagination Dollhouse by Marx (there is a whole thread here on modern dollhouses here that mentions this house) complete with Eames and Herman Miller knock-off pint sized furnishings.

In the 1970s my parents decided not to move to the OC and add on to their Valley home. Dad designed the layout, mom served as unofficial foreman and they doubled the square footage of the house. Dad's design included cow's eye and bullet light fixtures, a streamlined brick fireplace and an ATRIUM in the middle of the add on. As a kid, I just thought it was kinda cool, but then I realized some 20 years later - he had been reading and studying up on the same Sunset Home books and magazines that I now collect. And he was definitely looking at pictures of AQJ and Eichler homes when he designed that add-on.

Also, we were an electronic organ family (Thomas, NOT Lowrey, NOT Kimball). I was editor of the Young Organist Association newsletter. We went to all the free organ concerts we could and my bro won scholarships for playing organ. He even got a tv commercial playing the organ! This was orchestrated after he met Bob Ralston (from Lawrence Welk fame.) And yes, we were glued to the every Sat night to watch Welk. So "high camp" was also being bred in me all the way.

By the 80s my folks eventually phased out the MCM and transitioned to oversized couches. The 3 piece - orange turquoise and white - resin cylanders dining room chandelier was doomed to the garage (which later thankfully I rescued along with a few other pieces of Lane.)

I did not know what had seeped deep into my blood until the late 1980s when all of a sudden I didn't want them to tear down the S. Charles Lee designed La Reina Theater that I grew up with. And darn it - now that Hawaii in the Valley was closed - I sure hoped that someone would save that outrageous late 40s neon sign. BTW, that is what got me introduced to John English, the Society for Commerical Archeology and of course, the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee. Throw in the fact that sometime along here, Cary had discovered these dusty postcards in a local liquor store that showed Fantasyland (Disneyland) and the old Skull Rock waterfall. Wow, we could see what things USED to look like - when they were still cool???

MCM is an obsession that took half a lifetime to cultivate and will take another half to work itself out.

***
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.
If I wind up broke up, well, I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time

dapperalen
Modern Groupie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:49 am
Location: Texas 76082

Postby dapperalen » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:22 pm

for me it was watching crime story, with Dennis Farina. The style was just too cool. then I started listing to Sinatra. One thing lead to another and now I'm doing my pad in MCM. I call it the Launch Pad.

hiltiki
Modern Fan
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:41 pm
Location: Reseda, Calif.
Contact:

Postby hiltiki » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:36 pm

My husband and I moved to our house in Reseda in the 80's. We bought the house from my brother who did not want to live in the Valley. He made me an offer that was too good to pass up, so We bought it. Neither my husband or I were crazy about the house. It was too small; the bedrooms were little, and we had just one bathroom. The backyard was small.

After moving in and living here for awhile, we started to appreciate everything about this house. It was so functional and comfortable and bright and manageable.

Our neighbors on both sides and across the street were mostly older, widowed ladies who had been living in their homes since they were built. They told me all kinds of nice stories about when they moved here in 1949 and 1950 and how Reseda looked then and where the stores and theaters were and I stated to get interested in changing my house to the way it might have looked in the 50's.

My husband grew up in the 50's in Burbank and Sun Valley and had great memories of his childhood. So, with his help and with some research, we changed all the furniture and we changed the feel to a 50's house. I am very happy here and I won't be changing anything anytime soon.

User avatar
Futura Girl
Lotta Living Hostess
Lotta Living Hostess
Posts: 4161
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2002 11:54 pm
Location: Las VEGAS babay!
Contact:

Postby Futura Girl » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:05 pm

hi hiltiki!

you are the perfect example of what everyone should do with their homes. live in it for a while before you take the axe to it. think of the money you saved, not to mention the hassle of remodeling, by learning to love your darling ranch house!

hope you are doing well.
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.

If I wind up broke up, well, I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time


Return to “Everything Else and the Kitchen Sink”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests