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New Mid-Century Style Appliances Create Authenticity

I’ve been working on some renovations of our little lake house in Hartwell, Georgia for several years.  It’s been a labor of love, and I drag my feet finishing the work because so much of the fun is in the process.  The house we bought was a flat-roofed shack on a spectacular lot that faces the big waters of Lake Hartwell and though initially an ugly duckling, she had a huge stone fireplace made from stones pulled from along the lakeshore, wood ceilings, original cabinets, and an old white enamel cast iron sink with integrated drainboard.   She was mine as soon as I pulled into the driveway.  I could see the swan.

As we waited for our closing date, we talked a lot about how we wanted to feel when we were in the house and what we wanted our guests to experience.  We discovered that our fondest memories were of being kids growing up in the 1960’s when a kid could sleep in the back of the station wagon all the way to Myrtle Beach, when your grandmother made sure to have homemade Jam, fried apples and bologna on the stove when you arrived,  when we looked forward to the annual school carnival with almost as much anticipation as Christmas, when we rolled on shady grass to cool off on a hot summer day, and when eating a piece of salted watermelon with your Dad was a little slice of heaven that could change the course of your day.

So we decided to create a space reflective of those days complete with old pennants found in a trunk my mom kept of my childhood memorabilia, a pair of old gas tank covers we found in a barn facing demolition, a pastel of my mom’s childhood playhouse and even a souvenir plate from King’s Island. With each step it became more clear that our appliances were fighting against our end vision.   There was no black plastic-front refrigerator or stainless steel dishwasher in Granny’s home place.  In fact there was no dishwasher but I wasn’t ready to give up that little luxury.  I just had to figure out how to camouflage it.

And now I finally get around to Elmira Stove Works.   Elmira is a Canadian company that manufactures reproduction antique and 1950’s-style appliances.   Northstar is the 1950’s line of refrigerators, ranges, range hoods and dishwasher covers.  They even offer a keg refrigerator and their own interpretation of a retro microwave.  The appliances are offered in the best of the 1950’s colors:  Buttercup Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Robin’s Egg Blue, Mint Green, Candy Red, Black, Bisque and Quicksilver.


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So Granny would still be shocked by my microwave, even if it is a cheery Buttercup Yellow, and probably confused by my Mint Green dishwasher cover, since rubber gloves were the only dishwasher covers she ever needed.  She might even raise an eyebrow if she knew I had to bypass the gas range for it’s electric equal.   But when she opened that big Mint Green refrigerator and discovered an automatic ice maker…….I daresay I’d hear an “atta girl”!

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Rustic Room Design

Rustic Room Design:  I typically follow a rule that too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing.  But a true rustic interior is my exception to that rule.   To achieve the warmth and comfort of a naturally aged space one has to really think about the authenticity of the finishes and textures.  It’s a great time to have fun with themed pieces and quirky antique accessories!   And keep in mind that back in the day, matching pieces were unheard of in most homes.   Enjoy the collecting and the collection!

To purchase items below or any goods found on included links, please contact me for price quote and lead times at :

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I like this chair because it’s a nice comfortable piece but the natural finish legs, tiny nailheads and the ticking fabric say cozy.     by Halo Styles

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Wonderful Swedish clock.  Comes in several washed colors.  by Halo Styles

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This is a fun diversion.  Regency style front with reclaimed wood frame and zinc-covered drawers.    Also by Halo Styles

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Pine Chest with metal frame.  Great cup-style hardware.  Also by Halo Styles

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Fun Teak stool can serve as a stool or side table.  I like being able to see the naturally occurring imperfections in the wood.   by Interlude Home

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Who can resist a multi-colored southwestern-style Ottoman.  Big enough to be a cocktail table if you used a tray for drinks.   by Interlude Home

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Great Iron legs on this hide-covered stool!!    Also by Interlude Home

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You can always find space for one or two fo this little ottomans!

by Interlude Home

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Iron Scissor Small Dining Table.  Could also be a great console table with a lamp on it.     by The Old Wood Co.

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Beautiful Houdini Expandable Dining Table.  Has 3 leaves that allows it to expand to 96″ long.    by The Old Wood Co

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Monford Cocktail table.   Made in pecky cypress from the florida swamps.  The irregular grain and growth patterns are spectacular!    by The Old Wood Co

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This is where our options have in the past been limited.   So you have a nice rustic space but what do you do with the TV?    Now, The Old Wood Company has created options for media cabinets and for mud rooms.   And these are available in other sizes as well.

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OK, you have to admit these would be fun.  Steel legs and back are formed to create a faux bois look.  Also in bar height.   by  The Old Wood Co

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Wine storage rack with pouring shelf!       by The Old Wood Co

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Couldn’t resist showing this small bar set.  Loved the metal pedestal legs of the stools that form a root pattern.   Also by The Old Wood Co

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Room Design: Nautical Interiors

Nothing spells relaxing like a big body of water, boating, and sunsets.  Why wait for a week of vacation when you can recreate a little of that atmosphere in your own home?  A nautically themed interior space can be crisp, clean and reminiscent of having your feet buried in the sand.  I like to minimize the use of primary colors and instead use shades of blue with natural tones, aged finishes, and antiques in nautical room design

John Robshaw Textiles has some of my favorite printed bedding and Lacefield Designs the most vast collection of decorative pillows.  Go Home Ltd has affordable and stylish accent furniture and accessories to help create that seaside atmosphere.

I suggest keeping the themed accessories to a minimum.  This pillow with an anchor is whimsical and perfect for the space but too much of a good thing is like having to explain the punch line of a joke.  Instead, opt for using unexpected furnishings like a locker-style cabinet or a side table with a chicken wire front to hint at a driftwood finish.  Look to art suppliers like Sugarboo Designs for printed artwork on vintage wood.

Preview Whatever Floats Your Boat

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Farmhouse chic room design

Farmhouse chic room design is one of the most fun and engaging styles of interior decor.  I like to start with a neutral base on upholstery and then add a mix of aged wood elements, metals and quirky accessories.   Bursts of color can come from accessories, decorative pillows, blankets and artwork.   This is a homeowner’s opportunity to hit antique markets and search for hidden treasure.   Almost anything can serve as an accessory or artwork if you have the right spot for it.


Preview of “Farmhouse Chic”

Preview of “Farmhouse Chic” 2

1.  Biscayne armchair by Lostine,  2.  Farm table by Go Home

3.  Rope chandelier by Lowcountry Originals

4.  German beer bottles from Europe 2 You     5.  Barstool by Lostine

6.  Spanish Olive trays from Europe 2 You   7.  Confit Pots from Europe 2 You

8.  Canterbury chair from Go Home   9.  Club Pouf from Go Home

10.  Vintage Luggage from Europe 2 You     11.  Lamp from Europe 2 You

12.  Mirror from Lostine   13.  Easel TV STand from Europe 2 You

14.  Vintage Typewriter from Europe 2 You

 15.  Wire dress form from Vagabond Vintage

16.  Empire chandelier from Lowcountry Originals

17.  French books from Europe 2 You    18.   Slipcovered sofa from Rowe

19.  Costello polished nickel side table from Arteriors

20. Kidney shaped coffee table from Arteriors.

21.  Vintage french newspapers from Europe 2 You

22, 23  Decorative pillows from Lacefield Designs

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Mid Century Mod

Room Design:  Mid Century Modern is timeless and sophisticated

Preview of “Mid Century Mod”

1. Yasmin Floor Lamp by Arteriors

2.  Fillmore Sofa from Thrive Furniture

3.   Tree Ring Paintings by Focus Line Art on Etsy

4.  Vintage Dinner plates from Wool Trousers on Etsy

5.  Custom-designed stereo cabinet by South of Urban

6.  Mimi Chair by Global Views

7.  Pouff by Surya

8.  Colin Gold-leafed side table from Worlds Away

9.  Leopard print rug from Rawhide Company

10.  Custom-designed Z Lounger by South of Urban

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