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! 

Mid Century Modern Homes on the Market: Richard Neutra, Living in Bob Rummer and more


courtesy: Curbed

2019 will be a great year for Mid Century Modern homes on the market. While those in Palm Springs and Hollywood tend to generate the most news, $ and make headlines, there are plenty of overlooked gems particularly in the Mid West.  

  • Richard Neutra isn't known for homes in the Mid West, but rather the West Coast. Here are some homes he designed have been in the news lately. First, there's the San Francisco house that was demolished the city demanded be rebuilt, now there's this 1956 Hollywood House - documented by famed photographer Julius Shulman - that's looking for a buyer. The twist? Buyers must either be content to live in the house or relocate it elsewhere. The residence cannot be demolished.
  • Here's a beautiful 1959 Houston home that's on the market. It's got a pink bathroom, an original stove in the kitchen, the kind of details only a Mid Century Modern aficionado would love. Plus, it's never flooded. 
  • An easy walk into...
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Typewriter Daily: The Power of Memory, a Former Accountant and One 1950s typewriter

California Sunday Magazine/Michelle Groskopf 

Typewriters are powerful creatures in a way that laptops will never be. Take this San Diego resident in the photo above. This is not an office, but a room in the Glenner Center in Chula Vista, Calif., an indoor park for seniors suffering from dementia.

But this senior, Susie Heavlin, hardly looks like she has any health issues. She saw this desk, the typewriter and the desk lamp and something inside of her clicked. She had work to do. Heavlin sat down and got busy doing what she knew best - handling 'invoices' which were quickly recreated by a Glenner Center employee.

“I’m really good with the accounting," Susie told a reporter Francesca Mari. "I keep it straight. Always keep an eye to make sure it doesn’t go under the table. The key is to be honest. If there’s a problem, I take it to the manager, and they all handle it. But we haven’t had anything major, so that’s been good.”


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Mid Century Modern Homes in The News: Brooklyn, New York and the Best of 2018

courtesy: Brown Harris Stevens

The Museum of Science and Industry has celebrated the 50th anniversary of the U.S. putting a man on the moon with a moon room, circa 1968. In keeping with the holiday spirit, it even has a tinsel Christmas tree. But the room won't be around for long, "To The Moon and Back" exhibit ends Jan. 6

Here are some other interesting Midcentury Modern homes with their own spin on that era's decor. These are on the market:  

That's it from the world of all things Mid Century...

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Typewriter Daily: A Book Review: Can You Ever Forgive Me?



This book, originally published in 2008, has new legs thanks to the movie with the same name: Can You Ever Forgive Me?" The book and the movie (which I've seen) are about memorist Lee Israel who turned to forging letters from celebrities when she got desperate for cash. 

I liked the book much better, as I often do. You really get a sense of Israel's writing style. I kept thinking of how gifted she was a writer when she wrote in her voice about her own life. Ironically, of the four books she published, this final book is what's she most known for.  Funny, sarcastic, it's not hard to see why. I kept thinking she would have been a great novelist, but she was a sucker for the advances she got for her non-fiction. (You don't get advances for fiction unless you're an established rain-maker). 

She bought a slew of typewriters from a New York City store that sold vintage machines. She had so many she rented a storage locker, which she filled with old Royals,...

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Voluntary Heritage Protection for Mid Century Modern Homes - Can It Work?

photo credit: Jeroen Verrecht

That's it for today's round-up of Mid Century Modern homes in the news. Feel free to send me information about newsworthy Mid Century Modern homes in your area. [email protected]

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New on Couture Academy: Jazzing Up Your Garments With Bias Binding


Friends, my latest course in the subscriber-only Couture Academy is "Jazz Up Your Garments with Bias Binding." I used Butterick 5473 for my bias binding - interesting because this garment called for facing. I did my own thing with bias binding instead - and it looks great.  I got the floral fabric from Vogue Fabrics, Evanston, Ill.

In this month's technique focus you get to learn how to apply bias binding and embellish it with decorative stitching. The course inside Couture Academy includes videos and at least one PDF. I will likely update this course as I stitch up other garments with bias binding. 

Studies show people feel more satisfied with their sewing projects when they apply their own decorative touches. Let one of those people be you. Here's the link for the subscriber-only Couture Academy - you'll see pictures, how-to videos you won't see elsewhere. It's such a steal because you get multiple course for the price of one. 

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The Ugly Holiday Sweater Grows Up and Becomes Cinderella


                         @ Amy Appel

The ugly holiday sweater. You know what it looks like it  - it's a baggy sweater with little reindeers and elves on the front that's designed to make you look like you're 20 pounds heavier than you actually are. Grandmas and moms nationwide wear them to holiday parties - the ugliest one wins top honors.  

If that isn't misogynist I don't what it is. I might not be the only one, but I won't wear one of those things even to win a gift card. I want something that's in the holiday spirit, but cute and fitted. Is that terrible? Something that's attractive and I'm proud of. Something that I'll wear more than once, rather stuff in the closet until next year's ugly holiday sweater contest. 

Clearly I'm not the only one who feels this way. Women are tired of wearing ugly to holiday soirees. Poisongirrls designed a holiday sweater, the Betty...

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Typewriter Daily: American writer, Catholic priest and Trappist Monk Thomas Merton's Royal

This blog post is to honor the 50th anniversary of the passing of American writer/Catholic priest/Trappist monk Thomas Merton's passing. Whether you like, dislike or even never heard of him, Merton was a prolific writer and typist. He wrote more than 70 books before he died in 1968.  He's most known for his best-seller, Seven Story Mountain. Here's a snapshot of his Royal typewriter which had keys for French characters (helpful since he did live in France). 

This typewriter, along with another Royal, are on display at the Thomas Merton Center in Louisville, Ky. It's not clear if Merton used either Royal to write Seven Story Mountain, which led many Americans to seek out monasteries in the post World War II Europe. 

What's a more interesting question to me is how did the Royal typewriter, especially with French characters, help Merton master French? Did he use this typewriter while at Cambridge where he studied modern languages, French and Italian? There...

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Millennials Love Mid Century Modern Homes - the Mad Men Influence

photo/Deb Porter Hayes 

The original Mid Century Modern era (approximately1945-1975) is long gone, but this is one era that has legs, according to House Beautiful, beyond Baby Boomer nostalgia. As the original homes get old and more expensive to fix, the demand for new interpretations of the style will grow. (Although the tear-down trend is not fully embraced by Mid Century Modern enthusiasts.)

On that note, here's some news from the Mid Century Modern residential real estate market: 

  • a 1955 New Hampshire home, designed by a disciple of modernist Walter Gropius, is on the market. 
  • The Brady Brunch house (which served for exterior shots for the popular TV series in the 1960s and 1970s) was sold in August, will be renovated. The project will be captured on film for HGTV with members of the original Brady clan on hand.  

Need to pick a seasoned real estate reporter's brain on how to get some press for your Mid Century Modern home? Let me help. ...

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Typewriter Daily: George H.W. Bush and Typewriters


 USS Alabama Museum 

 I'm writing this blog post while the funeral for President George H. W. Bush is airing live. It's so cool to see both Democrats and Republicans seated next to each other, although Michelle Obama looks a little uncomfortable. 

Anyhow, this got me thinking of Bush 41's connection to typewriters. Of course, he typed on typewriters as most of his generation did. He likely began typing as a child. He was most certainly using them by the time he was on the editorial board for the student newspaper at Phillips Academy. 

It's hard to know exactly what manual typewriters Bush Sr. might have used while in the Navy on the USS Jacinto. As an aviator, he might have not have used them at all. We do know the military requisitioned typewriters nationwide during World War II. You can find pictures online of Americans donating their typewriters for "The Cause" during that time. For a better idea of what Bush might have typed on while he was...

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