A House for Entertaining
Have you seen HippyKitchen.tumbler.com? I was introduced to it through Twitter last week and browsing through the nostalgic pictures of vintage 60’s and 70’s kitchens I was reminded of my grandparents house on Westchester Park Drive in Springfield, Ohio. Don’t get me wrong, they were anything but hippies – you couldn’t get much more establishment than my grandfather. It was just the vintage quality of the photos that brought it to mind. Their house was a big inspiration to me, and I still find myself referring to it when I work on design projects. I pulled together a few photographs of it to share here, and as I unpack and find others I may share them as well.
Here’s the long, low wall that divided the living area into two different levels (one was two steps lower than the other.) The wall was covered with an ever growing collection of objet d’art. Notice the Asian symbol on the door. It was a feature throughout the house and coordinated with the symbols set into the poured terrazzo floor. I love the Hollywood regency hardware on the cabinet doors!
Here’s another photo of the living room, looking the other way. That’s my grandmother, by the way. The two white poles in the background are actually the chimney for a fireplace. It was never used because it smoked up the house. In the background over grandma’s shoulder you see an Eames lounger, and to her right, the base of a Saarinen chair – their dining set. That far wall was warmly paneled in wood.
Outside was a terra-cotta tile patio that took up the whole yard. It was surrounded with a low concrete block wall that was plastered and painted to match the terra-cotta. The yard was lit with all sorts of colored flood lights in bullet shaped fixtures. Grandma is standing in front of a sun screen that my mother made panels for. The design she used was one of my drawings of a boy fishing in a stream – why I chose that subject, I have no idea…
Set into the patio was a kidney shaped pool. My grandmother used to swim the breast stroke in it every day, all summer, careful, of course, to keep her hair dry. That’s my grandfather on the left. Behind him were three red wood cabanas with corrugated green fiberglass roofs. One was for the filter equipment, one for pool toys and the last was for changing. They had sliding wood doors with primitive style figures of bronze depicting hunting scenes on each one.
I think this is where I got my love of MCM and Hollywood Regency. It was a glamorous house and my grandparents entertained a lot. I still have some of the things from that house, and I was pleased that on a visit to Springfield, when we drove by, it looked like the new owners appreciated the mid-century style of the house.
It’s fun to revisit old photos. They can help you detect how you became you! Why not dig into some of your own?