All posts by atomicdesign

vintage aluminum folding chairs

Vintage Aluminum Folding Chairs

Vintage aluminum folding chairs are a triumph of modern engineering and a staple of mid-century outdoor living.  They invoke a strong sense of nostalgia every time you fold one open, too. There were numerous manufacturers of aluminum folding chairs and loungers. Some of the more prolific and popular were from Telescope (who are still around today) and Adams Engineering. We have been collecting, and using, vintage aluminum folding chairs for years, and here are just a few of our favorites.

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mid-century modern desk set

Mid-Century Modern Desk Set

A complete gold anodized aluminum mid-century modern desk set. This stylish and incredibly well-built vintage office desk set was actually manufactured in the mid-1980's by Matel Manufacturing, Inc. who are still around today manufacturing commercial-grade office products (and in no way related to the Mattel with two L's). The set includes a desk blotter pad, a double-tier letter tray, a pen tray set, and name plate bar. The tray, pen set, and name plate are all made of brushed aluminum alloy and finished in an anodized satin gold tone. The blotter has a leatheresque vinyl top and matching satin gold aluminum bar arcoss the bottom. The same matte black vinyl lines the letter trays. The all-aluminum pen set has an envelope stand and various caddies for paper clips, notepad, pens, etc. All of the accessories are heavy and sturdy...the pen set alone weighs about six pounds and the completely solid aluminum name plate could easily double as an improvised weapon. The set was crafted with pride in Los Angeles, California, where Matel continues to manufacture ultra-high quality and highly stylish desk accessories. Here are some more photos of the individual pieces...

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harris strong tile wall clock

Harris Strong Tile Wall Clocks

Owning a Harris Strong tile wall clock is like owning a genuine piece of utilitarian art. Manufactured by the Harris G. Strong Company from the late-1950's into the 1970's, these amazing mid-century modern wall clocks are typically made of walnut veneer wood and decorated with the iconic Harris Strong tiles. Harris Strong tiles have bold and unusual colors and glazes, often with raised embossed images. The illustrated tiles always have a fun, abstract vibe, no matter what varied subject matter is depicted. Harris Strong and his team of artisans, which included artist Bill Chaiken, manufactured these tiles in his Brooklyn, New York facility...a former sausage factory! Harris Strong made a variety of elaborate tile art wall hangings, but these clocks are truly impressive timepieces that serve both an aesthetic and practical function. These are Harris Strong wall clocks from our collection...

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boomerang cabinet pulls

Boomerang Cabinet Pulls

These mid-century modern boomerang cabinet pulls are made of solid cast aluminum and finished in an anodized copper metallic finish.  These are heavy, cold and substantially-cast pulls that have a quality feel and will be a pleasure to use in the kitchen or bathroom. Their retro metallic copper color is an excellent complement to many ceiling  light fixtures of the 1950's and 1960's with the same copper-like finish.

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vintage shag rug

Vintage Shag Rugs

A vintage shag rug ranks high among home decor items as a universally recognized symbol of cutting-edge 1960's and 1970's interior design . Here are some of our Ege Rya shag rugs. As prolific as the shag rug trend was, they are not so easy to come by these days. Vintage shag rugs can still be found on the internet (sometimes in surprisingly excellent condition). This particular vintage shag rug is an Ege Rya rug, measuring 6 feet x 8.5 feet. It has a classic retro color scheme of orange, yellow, red and brown. The dyed wool strands are laid out in an abstract pattern that is hard to define and easy on the eyes. There are no big polka dots or flowers, just tasteful lines, stripes, and scalloped borders laid out in a non-linear fashion. The rug was definitely used, and there are some threadbare spots and areas missing their shag strings. Fortunately, the colors are still bold and bright, and the worn spots really don't detract from the striking visual impact this vintage shag rug will bring to any room.

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This Ceil Heat vintage electric heater is an in-wall flush-mount type heater with an attractive retro chrome grill panel cover and an orange glowing ceramic element. This Ceil Heat panel heater was made in Knoxville, Tennessee and is complete with steel mounting box. A simple black bakelite knob turns the heat on and up, and the heater runs on standard 110v household power. This Ceil Heat was used, but it has been tested and thoroughly cleaned. It is designed to be hard-wired when installed into the wall, but we connected a standard plug to the existing wiring and it worked perfectly. The chrome is in nice and shiny condition with no rust or dents. There are some tiny pitting specks in the chrome, as well as some minor scuffs from normal use and cleaning, but they do not detract from the overall appearance. The panel measures 19 inches x 11 inches, back panel cover measures 17.25 inches x 8.25 inches x 4 inches (which will be the size of the cutout hole needed in your wall to mount this heater.

In-Wall Electric Heaters

Older mid-century homes often had in-wall electric heaters installed in their bathrooms and other smaller spaces. Unfortunately, original heaters can "burn out" from overused heating elements and transformers (that is, of course, if they weren't already removed entirely during a HVAC renovation). However, working vintage in-wall heaters are affordable and easy to replace or install. In-wall electric heaters still make economical and aesthetic sense, too, even if you have central heating in the home. They typically have classic retro styles, featuring chrome or polished aluminum grills and glowing heating elements. They are also perfect if you just need a little warmth in the bathroom on a cool morning without having to heat the entire home. Here are a few examples of some vintage in-wall electric heaters we have rescued and restored over the years.

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vintage outdoor outlet covers

Vintage Outdoor Outlet Covers

   Using vintage outdoor outlet covers on your home's exterior adds a touch of genuine retro style to a patio or porch. Modern weatherproof outlet covers can be bland industrial eyesores and drab blemishes on your house. These Hubbell-Bell outdoor outlet covers have an all-metal construction, finished in a quintessential mid-century anodized green finish that will remind you of your grandpa's toolbox every time you plug in your boombox or electric garden tools. We found a stash of these new old stock outlet covers, complete and sealed in their original packages. We installed some of these on our 1973 ranch house, and they look awesome and work beautifully. They are equipped with modern polarized sockets in a classic brown bakelite-esque finish. The foam rubber waterproof gaskets are still in excellent shape, so these receptacles can be installed and used safely. Foam rubber breaks down in poor storage environments, so even "old stock" vintage outdoor outlet covers may need some updating before installation, but you can purchase inexpensive universal replacement gaskets at your local hardware store.

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vintage blue bathroom sink

Gerber Blue Bathroom Sink

This vintage Gerber blue bathroom sink has a manufacture date of January 12, 1959 and was found with an early Moen brand single handle faucet. Made of vitreous porcelain ceramic finished in Gerber's iconic Dawn Blue glaze, this blue bathroom sink has classic mid-century style, complete with angled corners and mounting holes underneath for attaching optional chrome towel bars. Soap dishes are molded in the right and left ledges, and there is room enough on the shelf for basic toiletries. It mounts to the wall and is designed to use bathroom sink leg supports on the front.

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