Cul-de-sac Shack is dedicated to all things mid-century. From my house, to interesting things I find, all will be shared here!
Follow along as I restore my small Ranch House to it's 1958 glory!
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So, I made it home from my Federal Programs Conference. Lots of information that stresses me out. Oh well, cross one bridge at a time and everything will be fine! The resort that the conference was held at was beautiful, and my room was right on the Lake of the Ozarks. I had a hard time tearing myself away from the beauty of the lake and the nice cabin to go to the meetings!
I managed to find some time to go to some antique stores and flea markets while I was away, and on my drive home today I found a great little antique store that a couple privately runs at their home just outside the little town of Macks Creek, MO. It is in a small building in the side yard (they live in the country, so they have a large yard). Most of the items were out of my price range, but I found this great Montgomery Wards catalog (or as I fondly remember them "Monkey Wards"). I opened it up and was amazed at the things inside. Not only did it have clothing and curtains, the type of things that you still find in a JCPenny's catalog (or at least those little ones they mail out) but there was a little of everything in there. Vinyl floor covering, window awnings, heaters, washing machines, vinyl wall tile, and the list goes on. I haven't had a chance to really sit down and look through it yet (it's so much work to come home from a conference and get things done at home), but I am sure that since it was published just a little over a year after my house was built that it will be a great resource in finding period correct items for the house.
For those of you who haven't run across their site yet, even though Montgomery Ward's declared bankruptcy and closed all of their stores, they are back. As far as I know, they are online only, but it's great to see they are building up again. Check them out here: http://www.wards.com/home.jsp
I will be out of town at a Federal Programs Conference at beautiful Tan-Tar-A Resort (http://www.tan-tar-a.com/) in Osage Beach, MO this evening through Tuesday evening. All comments, should any be posted, :) will be put into moderation until I get home. There will be no new posts while I am gone, as time has not allowed me to write them ahead of time. I will try to have a new post on Wednesday. Have a great week!
This weekend was our town's Fall City-Wide Garage Sale, a hectic day which finds me zipping all over town to try to snatch up vintage mid-century finds. I got some great treasures this weekend, which I am sure you will see more of over time.
The first find that I am going to share is a set of 12 plates in the Golden Meadow pattern by Sheffield. I don't think these are probably from the 1950s, most likely from the late 1960s or 1970s. I love the golden design on the white background. I found these plates at a sale hosted by our local Lions Club. They used these plates for club pancake feeds, before they started just serving on paper plates. These just might become my new everyday dishes. $3 for 12 plates, not bad!
I picked up this vintage platform rocking chair this past June at an estate auction held for a woman who had passed away nearly 20 years ago. After her passing, the son closed up the large Victorian house that his mother lived in and walked away. Now, that once beautiful house is on the verge of being condemned, so all furnishings were sold at auction. I was fortunate enough to purchase several items at this sale. One of which I did not feel fortunate about was this chair. They couldn't get a bid on it, so the auctioneer sold it with an antique radio that I purchased. Now, I am one that really dislikes when people leave items behind after an auction, even if they got stuck with some things that they didn't want. Therefore, my feelings of guilt took over as I loaded up all of my other purchases and prepared to leave this chair behind. Guilt won out, and the chair came home.
When I purchased the chair it was nowhere near the condition that it is in now. It had been reupholstered many times in the past, and the last time that it was reupholstered, it was covered in bright green corduroy with blue designs flocked onto it. Not only was the fabric hideous, the arm had fallen off the chair and the wood needed to be refinished. I decided to try my hand at restoring this chair. I felt like I wouldn't be out much if I failed (I got the chair and radio, which I also restored, for $2). I stripped it down to the frame, finding along the way several live spiders and lots of old nylon stockings which had been used to fill in where the original padding had gone bad. I also found a lot of straight pins and a few needles. This must have been her sewing chair. Once down to the frame, I sanded and refinished the wood (I love Minwax Polyshades), reattached the arm, put the original padding back on along with new foam padding, and reupholstered it. I really like the fabric, which I got at Walmart for $5/yard. Yes, it is upholstery fabric! I trimmed out the edges with brass upholstery nails and it was finished! I also got a matching footstool that somebody did leave behind and I refinished it as well. It is really comfortable! The only thing that I still need to do is replace the springs in the rocking mechanism, as they allow the chair to lean back too far.
So, who is Missouri Michael, you may ask? Maybe you know me from elsewhere on the web as "white_chevy" or most likely not. Please allow me to introduce myself.
I live in a small town of approximately 4,500 residents in South West Missouri. I graduated from high school in 2000, and went on to study Elementary Education at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS (www.pittstate.edu) GO-RILLAS!. I graduated with my degree in Elementary Education in the Spring of 2004 and stayed at school for another two years as a Graduate Assistant where I earned a Master's Degree as a Reading Specialist in the Summer of 2006. One of my biggest passions in life is reading a good book, and being able to share this passion with my students to encourage them to become life-long readers. I am currently in my fourth year teaching at a school in a small town of approximately 1,000 residents 25 miles from where I live. I love teaching in this small school. My first year I taught Kindergarten, and I can say that that is a once in a lifetime experience! My second year I taught Title I Math, working with students who need a little extra boost in their Math skills. Last year and this year have found me following my passion, I am teaching Title I Reading. I get to help students boost their reading skills and find a love for books. I am truly blessed to have found myself here. I am also our school's Federal Programs Coordinator - making sure that all Federal Programs are run correctly. When one works in a small district, one must wear many different hats!
I have been drawn to 1950's design and item since I was little. I always loved watching I Love Lucy re-runs on Nick at Nite. I started collecting things from the 1950's when I was in middle school. This interest in 1950's culture has not diminished over the years, and when the time came for me to purchase my first house, the Cul-de-sac Shack, I found myself searching only through listings of houses that were from the 1950's. Owning this house has deepened my interest in the era, and I am finding that when I find a great item from this era at an estate sale, I generally try to pick it up. This awful habit has led to a very crowded house! Yet, it is one filled with items that I really like.
I am sure that as I post more items on Cul-de-sac Shack you will get to know me better, but I hope that this gave you a quick introduction into who I am.
One of my favorite features in my house is this great Colonial hurricane style pull-down light in my dining room. Although I have found many downsides to living in a former rental house (especially one that spent 48 years of it's life as a rental), one of the upsides is that nearly all of the original light fixtures are present throughout the house. The only rooms that do not still have their original fixtures are the bedrooms, which had ceiling fans installed at some point.
My house features a very open floor plan, making the house seem larger than it really is. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are really just one big room with wooden half walls defining the different spaces. This light matches the light in the kitchen exactly, except that the light in the kitchen isn't retractable. These retractable lights have become yet another item on my list to keep my eyes open for, or in the words of Pam at RetroRenovation.com my "Retro Radar". I have one that I picked up at the nearest Habitat for Humanity ReStore earlier this summer. Now it's in storage until I can find a use for it.
Last week's estate sale (auction) find is this incredible working RCA console stereo with am / fm / fm stereo / phonograph. It also features a tape input, which I can use to hook up a small DVD player to and play my CD's through the stereo. A sticker on the back of the unit shows that the previous owner paid $324.95 with tax for it. I got it for $6! It looks great in the dining room. This was another find that I couldn't pass up, yet I had no idea where I would put it. Stay tuned for more posts on my vintage radio collection! Visit my Flickr Photostream by clicking on the photo to see more pictures of this incredible find!
The above photo is of the house the day that I looked at it the first time.
My little mid-century ranch home of 960 square feet has a colorful history, at least in my mind. It was built by a lady around town known as Granny Medlin, and she built it to be a rental house. The home consists of 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The house actually feels quite spacious for it's small size. My main bedroom is 12'x 14' in size, and my living room is 12' x 20' in size. These rooms are as large or larger than you would find in many houses with more square footage in this town. The house has only had one owner until my purchase in August of 2006. It spent nearly 48 years as a rental house. To say that it was showing it's age would be an understatement. It was originally pink in color, but at some point in the past 10 years or so it had the beige siding added. I added the shutters after purchasing the house. I have also installed new windows, which I had custom ordred with grills to match the original windows (look for a future post covering my windows), a new roof was also added to complete the transformation of the outside. The inside of the house also has been a constant project since moving in, and since I have nearly finished the outside, I have turned my focus to the indside. I am currently restoring the bathroom. It will have some original elements and some modern elements to link to it's past but still be attractive to a more contemporary person. I have most of the elements picked out for the kitchen and it will be restored hopefully next spring. The house has original hardwood floors under the carpeting and that will probably be my last project in the house, getting them restored. Once the restoration is complete, my plans include a bedroom/bathroom addition, an expansion of the garage into a 2 car garage, and the addition of an office and utility room behind the new garage. The extra space will be great. This sums up my 10 year plan for the house. Look for many more posts on the house in the future!
This weekend found me once again enjoying one of my favorite activities. While reading through the local weekly classified paper this past week, I discovered an estate auction with a vintage Heywood-Wakefield bedroom set. To say that I was curious about the set would be a great understatement. Saturday morning found me at the sale to discover a beautiful bedroom set in the Encore style. Included in the set was a Heywood Wakefield M524 Encore Group Mr/Mrs Dresser with large mirror, a Heywood Wakefield M522 Encore Group 5-Drawer Chest, and matching full size bed with headboard, footboard, and side rails. The set also included a mattress set. When the time came to sell the set, bidding started at a measly $50. I jumped into the bidding immediately, after a brief battle with another bidder who also desperately wanted the set, I was able to purchase it for only $220. My next-door neighbor wanted the mattress set and offered me $50 for it, and as I have a good set already to use on it, I took her up on the offer. This boils down to a price of only $170 for the set! What a bargain. My next problem was that I really had no place for it. I didn't want to get rid of my beautiful solid oak bedroom set, and it is too large of a set for my second bedroom. So, it was moved into my living room and dining room until I could figure out what to do with it. I was excited when my parents wanted to use it in my old bedroom, as it still has no furniture in it after I moved out. Problem solved! I appologize for the pictures, I took them of the pieces just after getting them home. I will post better ones when we get it all set up in it's new home!
I would like to welcome you to my new blog. From this page I will be bringing you updates on the restoration of my 1958 Ranch home in small town Missouri. I will post pictures of the house as it progresses, as well as pictures of estate sale finds (I love a good estate auction), and information on vintage electronics that I have acquired (a hobby of mine). I am sure that there will be other vintage themed things that I add on here as well, so please check back to see how things develop!