Thursday, February 25, 2010

Digging Midcentury Modern

 La Jolla Shores
La Jolla Shores

Kiki, here..

To say I dig midcentury modern design from clothes to architecture is to say I dig breathing.  It's a big part of who I am.  It's no wonder I gave birth to iCafe Woman Moderne in an Art Moderne Midcentury home from architecture, decor to entertainment.   

The Ontario Tweed Home above is the kind of architecture you'll see in areas throughout the U.S. and in Canada. 

Midcentury Modern is a simple, geometric and linear design with a hint of mystery.  It also has a close connection to the outdoors through atriums and extended patios.  That's the mystery of it all, why this simple design has such a cool effect on people.  My favorite is the architecture.  I love the flat and angled roof designs.  Architect Joseph Eichler is one of the masters of the latter.

Marin Modern Real Estate Blog - Eichler Homes in Northern California



Eichler Updated Kitchen

In the 1950s, you could buy an Eicher home for $3,000 now they cost over $500,000 and are mostly found in the San Francisco, Northern California regions.



Eichler Homes History

Developer Joseph Eichler and his Eichler Homes, Inc. built nearly 11,000 single-family homes in California, beginning in the late 1940s.  Eichler became engrossed with building communities of homes characterized by both flair and affordability.  

Their house designs confused the traditional masses -- emphasizing boldness, change, and optimism through indoor-outdoor living, walls of glass, atriums, and radiant-heat floors.  

A strong proponent of fair housing and deeply opposed to racial discrimination, the liberal Eichler was the first large, tract builder to sell to minorities, and even built a home on his own lot for an NAACP leader. 

He resigned from the National Association of Home Builders in 1958 in protest of racial discrimination policies and, according to reports from long-time Eichler owners, offered to buy back homes from those who had trouble accepting their neighbors.

"If, as you claim, this will destroy property values," Joe once told some disgruntled Eichler owners, "I could lose millions...You should be ashamed of yourselves for wasting your time and mine with such pettiness."

It was HGTV that first turned me on to midcentury design when I first started watching the network over ten years ago.  Before then, I was more into Art Deco design.  

This year, HGTV aired a new series called, Sara's House.  Sara, a successful Canadian interior designer purchased a midcentury home, where each week she invites viewers inside to watch her renovate one room at a time.  I love it!  This is my someday dream.

But I'm not the only one in this fan club.  Most of our iCafe Woman Moderne divas dig midcentury modern design.  Since I'm the president, I've got dibs on showing off my favorites.

Willie Mays Hillside Home

 Before and After 1956 Dallas Home





Moderne Philadelphia

Louis Kahn

 Architecture from Louis Kahn
homes in Montgomery County, PA

1947-1950  AIA gold medal winner (above)
This home is at the beginning of Kahn's use of materials to help define the structure. The checkerboard window pattern could be adjusted with the large panels sliding up and down in the living room wing.  The home has a 'bi nuclear' floor plan with the bedrooms well segregated from the entertaining wing

Cliff May Architecture - Below
"Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House" (Rizzoli; $60) charts the career of the designer and builder who popularized the postwar Western ranch house and its influence on California's penchant for indoor and outdoor living.

It shows how May expanded the building lexicon for home developers who relied on stock house plans that were old-fashioned and rigid, and also comes at a time when contemporary prefabricated, greener versions of the ranch house are on the rise.

Midcentury Modern Office
1950s The Little Black Dress

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What 's Your Handbag Saying About You?


This clutch says you love chocolate.  It should, it's made of dark chocolate.  Yes, the eating kind.  If only it could be our everyday purse.  Big sigh! 

"Every woman should have her own purse."  Susan B. Anthony


What's your handbag saying about you?  

Kiki here, no you can't tell it to shut up.  Your handbag can reveal your personality without you realizing it.  We'll look at four handbags and describe the personality or lifestyle of the diva behind the bag.  

A woman's purse is more than an accessory, it's a big part of her everyday life.  How many times have you heard a girlfriend say, "My life is in this bag.  I can't live without it!"


 (Luxe Link 2)

Uh-huh ... that often?   Most women keep daily essentials in their handbags:  comb, brush, mirror, makeup, cell phone, iPhone/Blackberry, iPod, moisturizer, medicine, candy ... and the list goes on.


Poll a hundred women, you would find at least three items they all had in their handbag (maybe a few more): tissues, a pen and candy.  

Here are four personalities behind four handbags:

Cramming Caroline Travels Light
1. A bulging Vera Bradley Wristlet not zippered all of the way.
Cramming Caroline can't help herself.  She crams her essentials into this, slightly bigger than a cosmetics bag, clutch.  She loves traveling light, but she's not fooling her over-packing mentality.   

Her Vera Bradley wristlet is bulging at the seams.  Because she crams into it:  a pen, keys, medicine, candy, tissues, business and supermarket cards, no checkbook or debit card.  If she could only fit a paperback.  She tucks it tight under her arm and goes about her daily business.

She's one of the few women who uses it as her everyday purse, instead of dropping into a larger handbag.  A container of pepper spray attached to the wrist loop tells us she may have been mugged at some point in her life.  Or, perhaps she just wants to lighten her load and stay safe.  It may be a combination of both.  Bold colors and patterns say that she's energetic, a risk-taker and feminine.  

I must confess, I'm Cramming Caroline.  And yes, I was mugged years ago, that's why I only carry a wristlet under my arm.  I no longer keep my life in my handbag.

Party Girl and Planner Portia
2. Faux Leather Giraffe Satchel from Sarah's Boutique
You want a party?  You call Party Girl Portia to plan or help with the details.  She's the life of the party and always at the top of a guest list.

Fun, confident, stylish and entertaining best describes her.  She loves trends and setting them.  She never leaves the house without her look complete.  This bag suits her life because she can fit a big cosmetics bag inside,  along with an iPhone, hair spray, perfume and more "can't do without" necessities.  If only she could permanently attach her iPhone to her body.

Timeless and Traditional Tracey
3.  Coach Pleated Patent Leather Tote
Tracey breathes elegance and grace in everything she does.  She's a book editor, teacher or librarian.  She enjoys classic designs that never leave the fashion scene.  If she could pick a style mentor it would be First Lady Michelle Obama and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  

Trends are not her thing.  She has no problems with rules and is patient to a fault.  Talbot is her store of choic.  And she shops online at J Crew.  Sweater sets are her absolute favorites.  You'll also find pearls, a broach, pumps, trench coat and a black sheath or two in her closet and jewelry box. 

Soccer Mom Samantha   

 4. Vera Bradley Ditty Bag
In a pinch, Soccer Mom Samantha can stuff a soccer ball in her bag.  Don't be surprised to see her with two handbags -- one on her shoulder and another slung across her body. 
This Tiganello Hobo has pockets on the inside and outside, a definite must for a busy mom.  A long strap lets Samantha go hands-free, so important when you're carrying a caravan of kids to soccer practice, ballet and karate classes.
She carries a cosmetic bag too.  But inside hers are band-aids, a purse size bug spray and hand sanitizer, safety pins, cotton balls, cue tips, spot remover, etc.

Sure, you'll find a brush, but she uses it on her kids.  A quick application of lip gloss and eyeliner at the crack of dawn carries her to sundown.  This keeper of the snacks, fruit and candy would know what to do with a third handbag.   Jeans, yoga pants and dockers are a mainstay in her wardrobe.

Like what you just read ... want more?  Visit Joan B. Average, Scriptwriter.  She's just around the cyberspace corner.  Check out her adventures into the creative world of possibilities.