I'm still on a 1958-1959 kick this week. Do you fellow MCM enthusiasts out there agree that this pair of calendar years boast the MOST out there designs of the Mad Men time period? I am continually knocked off my rocker by how inventive, colorful, and just flat out GORGEOUS interiors were in the last gasp of the fifties'. Perfect example? These Celotex Ceiling ads from Life magazine. Check 'em out!
And the hits keep coming! All the Celotex ads from this time period boast similarly jaw-dropping, envy inspiring interiors. Who's even looking at the ceiling, when you have all that delicious Danish modern eye candy to ogle?
Celotex is a British insulation company that opened up shop in the 1920's and is actually still in operation to this day. In the American post-war housing boom, you can imagine that the firm did big business in sound-proof tiling and glitzy sparkles-embedded-in-the-fiberboard ceilings. I remember looking at a house in suburban Madison, outside of Nashville, during the big house-hunting phase that preceded my parents moving in the late nineties' with a very eye-catching ceiling. The tiles were actually pitted with iridescent pieces to the point that the overhead tiles seemed to wink at you as you walked from room to room. Sus and I loved this, obviously...my parents thought it was gauche. Who's to say who was right? The "Vogue" line of ceiling tiles in the first panel seems to be similar.
I feel a little bad for cutting out whatever celebrity couple was featured in the below ad, but I really wanted you, the reader, to focus on what's important-- which, in this case, is that A-line roof, blonde wood paneling, and THE RUG OF MY DREAMS. Look at it! What is it, even! It looks like they've skinned some kind of sci-fi beast to visually tie the room together, and I am ok with that! Beautiful.
I was actually in a house that looked a lot like this out in Donelson last year or the year before, complete with Keane-esque paintings hanging on the wall. I got a bad vibe from the house in question because it was one of those wing ding sales where one of the cashiers was walking around the sale beseeching women to leave their purses in the car. "ABSOLUTELY NO PURSE AT THIS SALE," she kept crowing, as the ladyfolk portion of shoppers instinctively clutched at their handbags like "What? THIS? You mean the thing I keep my money in? How am I gonna pay for things?" There were no smalls or jewelry of value, so it really didn't make sense, but my mom and I dutifully headed back to the Civic, wresting wallets from the insides of our very cluttered pocketbooks. I don't think it's much of a sales technique to insinuate that anyone with a carry-on item must be coming in with the intention of stealing, but, just another real life example of how nutty estate sale companies can be.
That said, I want that enormous owl statuette. Maybe enough to inconspicuously slide it in my oversized stealin' handbag! Lemme at that loot, folks!
Last but not least, one of the best examples of the Celotex tiles, paired with one of the best interiors, coming with a seal of approval from no less of a hep cat than Steve Allen. Do you know the little bespectacled fifties' tv personality? He did one of the coolest interviews I've ever seen of Jack Kerouac on his television show in 1959 (contemporaneous to this ad! See! How fabulous?!) and also did a pretty cute book called Bop Fables, my copy of which is now for sale in the Etsy shop my sister's working for me (thanks, kid!). How perfect is his wife's titian bouffant there? How about that light fixture and the dividing wall with built in bench? I. LOVE. THIS. ROOM.
Which one of these Celotex interiors do you most favor? Had any run-ins with truly mouth-watering MCM interiors lately? Have any rococo wrought iron touches of interior designing in your own house? Let's talk!!
That's all for today, I gotta get gone-- have a great Wednesday, and I'll see you back here tomorrow! Til then.