We moved about a month and a half ago, and apart from ordering (and receiving) our stove, we’ve yet to start decorating the house. Last weekend, we moved up into the loft room – currently named ‘The Cocoon’ – in readiness of preparations. I’m not sure what Aidan’s got in store for us this weekend; possibly pulling up carpets and stripping wallpaper.
We really want to bring mid-century style to our 1890′s house. We’ve got a stone exterior and lots of original features, which will definitely be staying, so it’s going to be a tricky task to merge the two style together successfully. Luckily, we’ve got a few magazines featuring just the kind of style we’re after.
I adore the sofa in the picture above and I’m pretty sure that the crockery set in the sideboard is a Midwinter one. There’s something about mid-century design and style that seems to have lasted well; thankfully, more and more people are starting to appreciate it. Unfortunately though, this means that prices are going up as well.
Woman’s Own, Thursday March 15th 1956 featured a pull out booklet on Home decorating ideas. Some of the fabrics, wallpapers and furniture are fantastic:
Some of the prints are just amazing. I keep scouring Ebay but to no avail. I’m either going to have to be prepared to part with the money for something authentic, or grit my teeth and get something more modern. There are some good contemporary wallpapers and fabrics which offer a very similar style, in keeping with the true mid-century style. We’d just rather have the real thing, then we could look like this couple:
Hopefully, by keeping our eyes open and taking our time, we’ll be able to put all of our inspiration to good use and find the perfect pieces, wallpapers, paints and curtains to put our mark on our new house. Lots of fun along the way, too!
Massive apologies for the sporadic nature of my posting recently. We’re in the process of buying another house, and trying to sell ours. Consequently, with the usual work pressures and trying to get our current house ready for market there’s not been much time for anything else. After several weeks of sorting, charity shop trips, vising the local skips and selling like demons on Ebay, the house is looking more like a home and less like a dumping ground for ‘hoarding tramps’, as I called us on one frustrated afternoon.
Most of that on top and underneath is for sale… still, it’s quite a lot to be greeted with when you come in through the front door. Hopefully buyers won’t be put off by it.
We’ve got so many old lamps around the house now. We keep hoarding them to use in our new, bigger house; trying to find convenient places for them in the current one can get quite tricky though! Parting with any of them though… not really an option.
The kitchen has also had a big tidy up and general sprucing of paintwork and bits and bobs. Our little terrace has been redesigned at some point in the past, so we get a titchy little dining area which, naturally, we’ve filled with other things too. Mostly, my books.
That’s a retro, board-backed big eyed girl print on the wall and a fantastic Mari Simmulson bowl on the table. We bought the print in Germany, the bowl from an auction in New Mill. Pottery up the top is also for sale – and mostly filled with other smaller pots!
After the living room, our main bedroom is my other favourite room. Especially now that we’ve sorted it out and I can actually get into it. Again, still lots of pots - too many – but I love the feel of it in there now.
I’ve deliberately not taken any from the other angle, as the other corner is still a West German Pottery overload. We’ve got fiver lamps in this room in total! Not all of them light up… actually, we only ever use an Anglepoise I’ve got down my side of the bed to read with. Maybe the lamp collection is becoming more of an obsession.
Hopefully, the next ‘house shots’ I’ll be taking will be of the new one. In the meantime, I’m glad that we’ve sorted this place out so much. It makes the last few months of living here much more enjoyable.
To see just how cluttered our house has been: More West German Pottery for Sale
One of the trends of the 1960s and ’70s appears to be that of the gypsy lady. Gold hoop earrings, dark hair and eyes, busty and a bit saucy of eye… these ladies are exotic and enticing.
If ‘Carmen’ by Turino looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen ‘Ilonka’ by H. Walter:
Similar to the duplication of ‘Tina’ and ‘Nina’ by J.H. Lynch and Van der Syde, there appears to be some kind of plagiarism going on here as well. We’ve had a few copies of ‘Ilonka’ now, which makes me believe that could be the original ‘gypsy lady’. I must say, I prefer ‘Ilonka’ to ‘Carmen’. I like the background and her face more; bit daft as they’re so similar!
Possibly the most hideous picture we have is this:
This one’s an actual oil painting as opposed to a print. I can’t quite read the name: it looks something like ‘A. Rauch-akers’. It brings up zilch on t’internet though, so I’ll have to keep guessing and searching. Aidan brought this scary lady back on his last solo trip; she lived in the car for a few days as we couldn’t bear to bring her indoors. Having said that, things seem to have been going well in the J-H household since she arrived. Perhaps she’s the antithesis of the infamous crying children portraits…
Something a little bit different is this:
Our house is fit to bursting with women of different ethnicities in varying states of undress… this is a refreshing change, really. It took me a while to realise it was even a face! We do not have a sausage dog of an idea of who this is by, but it is so funky and simplishly stylish. I love it!
Last but not least… how could a Tretchikoff wait til last? Well, it’s probably the piece de resistance of Tretchikoff ‘s work – in most people’s eyes, anyway. (My favourite is either Zulu Warrior or Balinese Girl, but I digress…).
Every single trip without fail we’ve brought back a retro print. ‘Chinese Girl’ was found on the last trip and – for once – by me! Usually I walk past everything but I actually found this buried in a cellar room of pictures in a charity shop. The most we’ve ever paid for a Tretchikoff, but they’re always worth it.
Which is your favourite? Of these, it’s the Tretchikoff. It has to be. Although the blue face could sway me…
- Tretchikoff at the Iziko Gallery (minutesofmayhem.wordpress.com)
The field of West German Pottery is ever-expanding. Now it seems that the vibrancy and vividity of the glazes, forms and colours are inspiring people far more talented than me to create some beautiful artwork.
Germany based illustrator Elisandra has created some fantastic digital artwork, based on the West German designs.
Her blog, Sevenstars Images, is lovely – not only are her West German and Fat Lava prints gorgeous; her other illustrations are equally as eye-catching.
Looking at some of these, I really wish I had a more artistic nature. I can make things and create arty stuff to a certain extent, but nowhere near to this level. I wouldn’t even know where to begin!
I think Kevin (@Spritzdekor) commented on the Facebook group for West Germany Pottery that he could create the previous picture in real life. Imagine that!
Magprint Original Prints
Margaret is based in Toronto, Canada and her prints couldn’t be more different from Elisandra’s – both in production and style.
My mum actually has this pot! Might be a good idea for a present for her.
This last one is my favourite, for obvious reasons:
I love the pictures that Margaret has put on her Etsy page which show how she makes the prints.
Again, I really wish I was a bit more capable of making something like this. I’ll have to reconcile myself to the fact that I can’t and just desire after other people’s work instead.
Not only are my vintage Woman’s Own magazines gorgeous to look at, many of the short stories are illustrated by various well known people. I’ve been surprised by each name that I’ve looked up so far; the sheer amount of work these men produced is staggering!
According to AmericanArtArchives.com Jon Whitcomb gained particular popularity for capturing the essence of couples on love. Perfect then, for a pre-Valentine post.
He was also good at capturing cars, planes and other objects; meaning he produced quite a few posters and advertisements as well as his illustrations for stories.
I actually can’t find the magazine I had out originally with a Jon Whitcomb illustration! I’ve got many grand intentions to catalogue them somehow, or at least take some colour photocopies of the best pictures to frame up.
These last few pictures aren’t of couples, but I thought they were too good not to share.
Is that Marilyn Monroe, perhaps?
Possibly my favourite one.
There are hundreds and hundreds of his pictures all over the internet. These are just a few of my favourites of the ones I found. There’s also a lot of information to be found on Whitcomb: