More Than Just A Blog, It's a Lifestyle

A blog dedicated to the The Mid Century Modern era, approximately 1945-1975. Posts will feature real estate (residential and commercial) designs, fashion and furnishings from that era. Couture Academy projects will be highlighted at least once a month if not more. Enjoy! 

Podcast Episode No. 10: How to Pick the Perfect Steinway for Your Mid Century Modern Home

Courtesy: Steinway & Sons

Thinking about adding a piano to your Mid Century Modern living room? Listen to this podcast about the Steinway piano that was actually designed during the Mid Century Modern era (1953) by famed designer Walter Teague who designed for Ford, Polaroid and even had his designs exhibited at the World's Fair in 1939. 

Teague designed the Teague 1111 to commemorate Steinway's 100th anniversary in 1953. Steinway is reproducing the Teague with new technology. Listen to Heidi Chamberlain, a manager for Steinway's Hollywood gallery, share her excitement about this reproduction. 



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Podcast Episode No.9: How to Pick a Mailbox for Your Mid Century Modern Home



If there's anything that will make your Mid Century Modern home looked finished, it's a mailbox. Yes, a mailbox. It has the impact that an incredible front door has. A mailbox, especially one that's well-designed and attractive, tells your visitor that you've given a lot of thought to your front entrance. It conveys your pride in your home. It even hints that you'll be sticking around town for a long while because who puts that kind of thought into a box for mail? Certainly not a renter. 

Listen to Rob Baker, founder of Modern Mailbox, share how he came to start his company and how his 1953 home in Boise, Idaho got the prototype. 


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Podcast Episode No. 8: Corporate Historian Russ Banham and the Airstream Trailer



Hear corporate historian Russ Banham share how he researched Wanderlust: Airstream at 75, an annivesary book about the iconic trailer. For his research, he traveled nationwide in an Airstream, meeting other Airstream lovers along the way. 

Banham has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He's also known for his books on Boeing, Ford, Coors and other well-known American brands. 

Listen to this podcast episode to learn more about the Airstream and how landed this incredible project. 

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Illinois Alumni: Sheldon Good, Good Deals


Courtesy: Illinois Alumni 

By Mary Beth Klatt

 American country comedienne Minnie Pearl, best known for the hokey dresses and hats she wore with price tags intact, was affiliated with a chain of fried chicken restaurants bearing her name in the early 1970s.

The Southern Illinois chain was all set to open, down to tables fully set with dinnerware, salt and pepper shakers and silverware, when its parent company went bankrupt

Read more here

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Illinois Alumni: Jim Hankes, Middleman

Few people know what they want to do early in life. Oh some children will say they want to be the President of the United, an astronaut, a professional ice skater, but they forget and soon they're following a completely different career path. Not Jim Hankes. He knew exactly what he wanted to at age 7. He remembers even the exact moment and place when he knew. Here's a clue: Chicago Stockyards. Read more to find out here

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Podcast Episode 7: Updating an Iconic Chicago Mid Century Modern Hotel, the Essex Inn

Chances you know of the Essex Inn in Chicago even if you're never stepped inside the iconic circa. 1961 Mid Century Modern hotel. The hotel's classic "Essex Inn" red neon sign can be seen from the top of the hotel for miles. You've likely seen it while listening to live jazz at Grant Park, felt the spray of water at nearby Buckingham Fountain or even as you walked along Michigan Avenue with your sweetheart after an amazing meal at any of the famed avenue's restaurants. 

The Essex Inn sign continues to shine but now it's now known as the Essex Hotel. The interior has been completely refurbished, the hotel recently reopened to guests. 

The challenge for The Gettys Group - the hotel's interior design firm - was to update the hotel while retaining the Mid Century Modern vibe the inn/hotel was famous for. 

Listen to The Gettys Group's Chris McDonough and Lindsey Pickle share the design challenges and the joy of creating a unique experience for the hotel's guests. 

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Podcast Episode No. 6: How to Start Modernism Week in Your Town


 Alison King, the founder of Modern Phoenix, talks about how Modern Phoenix Week came to life in Arizona. As she tells it, it started when she and her husband were looking for a Mid Century Modern home to buy. They started an online community which morphed into a Facebook group. Their online group led to Modern Phoenix Week. Now others nationally and internationally want to recognize the Mid Century Modern architecture in their cities with their own Modernism Week. 

Listen to King share some tips on how to get started. Get some ideas on how to promote the great Mid Century Modern architectural heritage in your area. 

Share in the comments how you've started a Modernism Day or Week in your town. 

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Growing Your Facebook Following

If you're active on social media chances are you have a Facebook page for your business (real estate, design, fashion, etc.). You're thinking you have to post videos of yourself just to get new followers. But no! Any videos will work and the best ones are viral and already on Facebook. 

Bored Panda Art has a ton of art-related videos in addition to plain silly ones like this on on dogs. Share this and other videos and encourage your Facebook friends to share them to increase your following. 

Watch your following grow with one video of yourself. Easy peasy!  


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Podcast Episode No. 4: Lisa DiChiera, Landmarks Illinois - Saving the Johnson Publishing Test Kitchen

Johnson Publishing Company Test Kitchen
Courtesy: Lee Bey 

Lisa DiChiera
Courtesy: Landmarks Illinois 

How do you save a historic kitchen that's like no other because of its color and design? That's exactly the question that Landmarks Illinois, a statewide historic preservation non-profit, found itself grappling with when historic-preservation advocates asked Landmarks for its help to save the kitchen designed by African-American architect John Warren Moutoussamy. Ebony Magazine Editor Charlotte L. Lyons tested meals in this kitchen before adding them to the magazine's monthly feature, “A Date with a Dish.”

Landmarks stepped in when the building was sold for development and the new owner didn't want the kitchen. The nonprofit bought the kitchen, which included the walls and appliances, for $1. Photographer Lee Bey documented the kitchen before volunteers dismantled it. 

The kitchen is now in a storage unit while Landmarks works to find a new owner....

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Podcast Episode No. 3: Denver Realtor Adrian Kinney, MidCentury Modern Expert


 Courtesy: Adrian Kinney 

About a month ago, I had the great pleasure to meet Denver area Realtor and Midcentury Modern expert Adrian Kinney. He was just so passionate about modernism, I just loved his enthusiasm on the topic.  In addition to selling Denver area MCM homes, he's organizing a Mid Century Modern week, modeled after the one in Palm Springs. 

Speaking of Palm Springs, the Denver area is home to one of the largest collections of Cliff May homes outside of the tony California resort town. Kinney lives in one of them. He's the go-to expert on May in Denver. Tune in to hear this podcast today. 

I'll be adding to some podcast extras as I go along, extras only available to MidCentury Modern 24/7 members. You'll get exclusive access to photos, typed letters, blueprints and more that you won't see else where. You'll simply log into the exclusive, members-only Resources on my website. 

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