Tuesday, January 29, 2013

TV Center Showplace (Kroehler, 1954)

Good morning!

I was flipping through Google Books this morning and got my socks knocked RIGHT OFF by this September 1954 four page ad in Life magazine for...well, a myriad of products, all of which I wish were belonging to MEEEEEE:

Under the banner of "TV Center, the new 'show-place' of your home", Kroehler, Glidden Paint, Admiral Television, and Mohawk carpet all got together to promote their combined services in one, GORGEOUS living room set up. I really don't even know where to begin-- this is pretty much exactly what any vintage loving, mid-century mad, red-blooded American male or female would like their living room to look like on its best day. The furniture is obviously SPECTACULAR (I never met a mod couch I didn't like), but the details are also worth spotting! Do you see...

The arrangement of pictures of famous monuments flanked by atomic age sconce lamps? Not the two rectangle, two square format. Note the quickening of my pulse as my tiny heart tries to beat out of my body for these light fixtures.

The PAIR of pyramid shaped knickknack shelves? PAIR? The weird sculpture and head on the credenza? The credenza? Pinch pleat drapes?

Oh my goodness, oh my GOODNESS LOOK AT THE COFFEE TABLE. Circular? Brass tipped? Glass? Two tiered? Ladies and gents, please be on a lookout for this in the tri-state area for me...I think I'm in love for the first time, more than ever before! The floral arrangement, ashtray, and cigarette box aren't half bad either.

But wait! There's more!

On the facing page, you can see that the wall across from the sofa is MIRRORED, the tv is just as boxy and sharp in design as everything else, and there are porcelain, lute playing Japanese musician figurines atop it. Yes, sir! And YES! Admiral, Kroehler, Glidden, and Mohawk-- you are ok in my book.

I don't think these sofas come covered in plastic, but boy I wish they did. I wish I knew who would still be able to plasticize my chairs, in this, the year of our Lord 2013. Yes, I will take my Joan Crawford-isms from here to the end of the world-- think about how many years it would add to the life of my already far-older-than-me furniture pieces!

GOLD. PEOPLE. GOLD. This forest green is the same color I eventually want for the flooring of the den-- it's a finished garage with a concrete floor, so I think we may end up going with some kind of tile. Just like ye olde 1950's tile, but without the asbestos (and, in my secret hope of hopes, WITH the shuffleboard court design).

There's that head again! See it under the bookshelf on the right? Ceremonial tribal objects are probably not the first thing you want next to you as you sleep on your Kroehler Sleep-or-Lounge sofa...who knows what kind of angered ancient spirits might come out of it as you sleep? I'm not saying but I AM saying.

The powder blue and tweed, I love. Also, that paper lantern.

So THESE are the people who paint over wallpaper! Do you have any idea how difficult it is to remove painted-over wallpaper?! Fifties' Laura Dern and her twin fifties' Laura Dern sister need to cut it out!

PS: Did you know how to pronounce the word of the day, Kroehler? I'm embarrassed to say that I've spent a lot of my life avoiding saying this word around other people. Or substituting "Broyhill" even when I know better. Well, no more!

Which part of this fifties' living room is your favorite? Would you adopt/have you adopted any of the vintage color schemes like this in your own home? Do you know better than to paint over wallpaper, unlike Laura Dern? Let's talk!

That's all for today-- see you guys tomorrow!


  1. I actually really like the wallpaper 50s Laura Dern is painting over. I have (once) painted over wallpaper. My bedroom at my parents' house was originally the nursery and it had bear 'n' blocks wallpaper. Naturally, that's not the wallpaper a pre-teen girl would prefer. So--we completely redid my room but the wallpaper wouldn't come off! We painted over it.

    Don't you wish we had replicators already? You could just plug in old ads and the replicator would spit out a midcentury modern couch or (as I would be tempted) 20s & 30s do 18th century pieces.

    1. That wallpaper being painted over IS cute, now that you mention it. After spending something like 10 hours painstakingly dampening and scraping this hideous 90's dark green wallpaper off the entire kitchen when I moved into my house five years ago, I have vowed never to use this particular form of wall decoration-- but it's hard when there are so many huge-patterned, neat options out there.

      AND HECK. YES. ON THE REPLICATOR. Oh, the glorious, glamorous things I could have. Le sigh.

  2. I'd love any of those living room sets. Our sofa set is almost two years old and is already starting to break down. Not like vintage furniture that lsts practically forever.

    1. Right?! I'm always surprised by how well pre 1970's pieces hold up, and what special care of them people took back then, too! It's a constant regret of mine that I can't buy ALL the vintage couches of the world...

  3. That first room...I want to go to there! Also, I am now embarrassed to see that I have been pronouncing it Kroh-ler instead of Kray-ler for years...my bad. This has been a rough week for me and pronunciation as I discovered via "Top Chef" that I had been boldly and inexplicably mispronouncing the word quinoa.

    Ah, painting over wallpaper. It never ends well--either the moisture in the paint causes the paper to fall right off the wall or bubble up in icky-looking ways, or it cements the paper to the wall forever and ever and ever. I actually saw a house yesterday that had the most magnificent green flocked wallpaper in all of the main rooms of the house, including the two-story entrance with curved staircase. I think you would have liked it!

    1. It blew my mind when I first saw that first room. OH, THAT RED. Also, I totally had been saying Kroh-ler up until yesterday, and qwah-noah up until a few months ago. The world is full of treacherous-to-pronounce words!

      Good LORD to "green flocked wallpaper" and "two story entrance with curved staircase". I swoon. Bet it was gorgeous!

  4. ALL OF IT!!!...particularly the color and obviously nubby texture of the upholstery. This is exactly what I am looking for - contemporary but not sterile and overly modern. It looks formal but livable. I'm moving in!!!

  5. Love the first one-- what a great use of the space. I think furniture arrangment was better back then! I agree-- will Laura please stop painting over wallpaper??

  6. I love the first living room... If only i could find great furniture like that here (sigh)



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