Friday, June 29, 2012

The future is here

I think the reason I love mid-century modern as much as I do is because at its height in the late 50s and early 60s it reflected the openness and daring of going into space. Take a look:


( Don't these houses look like they could take off? Don't they make you look up?

And wouldn't this wallpaper, art, and decor make you think about space and the future as you vacuumed (in pearls) or fixed the family's station wagon?

Vintage chrome Sputnik wall clock, (

Sputnik starburst vases, (

Sputnik style lamp

1950s Sputnik chandelier

Well, guess what? We are in a new space age. Remember Space X and the private-public rocket to the International Space Station? It's just the beginning. Richard Branson already has Virgin Galactic and the Spaceport America, space terminal, in New Mexico.

Architects and interior designers are already being challenged to develop styles that will work in zero gravity. A race is on to put space hotels in orbit. As yet, the designs are uninspiring and utilitarian, and down right ugly and uncomfortable looking.

We miniaturists, however, are not constrained by the problems of zero g, or waste disposal in outer space. We recreate buildings and decor from every era, and we can create the buildings and decor of the future, whether on Earth or Mars or in orbit.

I know that I would love to build a miniature, futuristic space-hotel or space RV; I even have started to take apart a broken, tower space heater that will be perfect for the task:

This summer, the Domus Academy in Milan is hosting a conference on "Zero Gravity design, products and micro environments for space hotels." The brochure for the conference states:

"As the race to open up the space frontier to tourists revs up, so will opportunities for designers and architects. The participants of this course will design products and microenvironments for living aboard future Orbiting Hotels. The Space Tourists, will have to, after all, eat, drink, sleep, cleanse, exercise, work, play, improvise, relax, move, stay still, contemplate, congregate, seek privacy and look out of the window. These everyday tasks, and more, open up an infinite range of design possibilities."

The key faculty at the conference is Susmita Mohanty, a scientist and space expert, as well as a protege of the late, great Arthur C. Clarke. According to her:

"I wouldn't draw a line between space and Earth. Space is not removed from Earth, we are actually living on a planet! We live on a spaceship." Well, Buckminster Fuller said it first, but we ARE orbiting through space, and we ARE on a planet in our solar system. What ideas do you have for miniature buildings and/or decor in this new space age?

Wishing you only good things, Neen

Update on give away

Well, all the give away packages have been mailed and should be with those followers who have provided me with their addresses. If you haven't given me your address, please email it so I can send you your prizes!

Wishing you only good things, Neen

Friday, June 22, 2012

Since we were talking about the 50s.....

I thought that, while we discussing the 1950s (you remember, Mrs. Cleaver, kitchens, pearls), you would appreciate seeing pictures of a gift I received from my best friend Nick. He decided nothing would cheer me up like a . . . wait for it .... Dollhouse! (How did he know?) I'm not a big fan of the old metal dollhouses, but I absolutely love this little, four room ranch made by T.J. Cohn in 1957. It is cozy and stylish. Look at the kitchen floor and the bedroom wallpaper! I have filled it with vintage Lundby, except for the bed which is Sylvania, with a mattress and bedspread made by me from a satin cellphone pouch.

Details: Mostly vintage Lundby furniture and accessories, with a few, miscellaneous eBay and hobby store finds (except for the plant stand in the living room which is part of an old, chess set found at a thrift store). (The bedroom poster is a quote from Picasso, "Anything you can imagine is real." The art work in the living room is also Picasso. (Also gifts from Nick.))
Wishing you only good things, Neen

You have to wear pearls when you cook in this kitchen

My samples of various "atomic age" wallpapers arrived today from Bradbury & Bradbury, and they are gorgeous! I promise to show you all of them soon, but this one is my favorite.

I paired it up with a kitchen made for the Topper dolls,

You must wear pearls when working in this kitchen (or so says Wally and Beaver Cleaver). And you must live in black and white

Wishing you only good things, Neen

Monday, June 18, 2012

Update on giveaway

Hello, I have received some lovely emails from the followers of this blog and I have reminded a few followers about their prizes. Because everyone is so nice, I am giving everyone who was a follower of this blog on Father's Day three items! Please send me an email, or post a comment, letting me know which three you want. Thanks again for being such a nice bunch of people!
Wishing you only good things, Neen.

p.s. There will be another give away for followers of this blog in July

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

In honor of Father's Day, I am giving away a gift to 10 followers as a thank you for following my blog. Please send me an email, if you are a follower when this post is published, and let me know which of the following you want. That's all you have to do. Please choose three in order of priority and I will try to send you your first choice. In any event, you will receive one of your three choices.

A CB2 chair (please choose a white or red chair) or LED reading light (please choose clear, red, blue or green)

A Concord Sugar Bin Table

Timeless Minis Wine Bottles

Timeless Minis Vegetables

A wooden armoire from Eye Candy

Miniature tin cans

Some time ago, I purchased a DDR Vero dollhouse off of Craigslist. There is a lot to be done to it, but I thought you might like to see a few experimental rooms. In a few of the pictures, I have used the LED reading lights that are part of the give away.

Details: Anime and Buffy action figures, vintage JFK salt and pepper set, fireplace from MOMA furniture set, vintage German and Debbie's Dream House furniture, decorations from Toob sets, dollar stores, and eBay, motorcycle and white egg chair are Lil Bratz.

Wishing you only good things, Neen

Friday, June 15, 2012

Let's talk, . . . . it is a big whoop (paraphrasing Mike Myers)

I love the modernist movement in architecture and design. "It's like buttah" (Mike Myers again). There is a lot to love, it has been around since at least the 1920s. Art Moderne, Streamline Moderne, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, Modernism, 92 years!! Nine decades! Not a fad! It really shouldn't even be called modern because it is not new, it has been deeply rooted in our culture for almost a century. So why aren't the toy stores full of "modern" miniature houses and furniture that mirror the houses and furniture all around us? Google "dollhouse" and pink plastic castles and gothic Victorian houses are the vast majority of images retrieved. These are fine toys, but why aren't there more choices?

We, as a culture, have been graced with modern architecture and interior design for almost as long as we have been graced with the automobile. Google "toy cars" and you get MODERN toy cars like these:

Why do the large toy manufacturers assume that most children like modern toy cars, but not modern dollhouses? What message is being conveyed?

To me modernism in architecture and interior design represents hope in today and the future. No limits!

Ok, thanks for listening, you have been very polite. You deserve a give away, which I will announce on Sunday; it will be open to followers of this blog, and there will be five gifts for five people.

Please enjoy this small sample of images of modern architecture and interior design from the past 92 years. It is by no means complete.

1960 to today


1940s (most photos below are of displays at the Fantasy House furniture store that once existed in Los Angeles)


(above is a building designed by Raymond McGrath)

(The Architectural Review award winner for 1930)




(Interior of Schroder House).

Wishing you only good things, Neen