Recent Posts

Friday, July 5, 2013

What did you find cool as a child?

via Pinterest.

When I was a wee designer (age 5 or 6), I thought the chicest thing ever was a Dutch door. I don't remember where I saw my first one or what about it so caught my imagination. But I had to have one and dreamt of my first house which was pretty much amorphous except for a red Dutch door. Red!

What decor or architecture intrigued you as a child?

31 comments:

Jane Kilpatrick Schott said...

We had one inn my home as a child and I felt the same way you did. I try to use them still when I can on a project. I guess the next thing was a lamp we had in our den that you could pull up and down...then it was a convertible.

An Urban Cottage said...

Honey, where I grew up, houses came in two styles. Single-wide and double-wide. Double wide was my favorite.

Debra Phillips said...

built in bookcases, they held treasures and were meant for exploration.
yes, this old house has built-ins

PP@pimpmybricks.wordpress.com said...

The derelict mansions built in Queen Victoria's reign that studded the island I grew up on - featuring ballrooms with their black and white chequered floors, staircases that ended in precipitous voids, and animal skulls set into the walls of carriageways. It all haunts me still.

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

Oh yes! Dutch were very cool to me too. Also alcove beds and turrets. I still would like a slide. I have yet to live in a house with any of those things and my list has expanded to include rather grown-up, boring things like extra storage.

priscilla said...

Built in breakfast nooks. The ones that looked like two church pews facing a table. I just love them.

Interior Design Musings said...

A murphy bed. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. M.

home before dark said...

A library in one's own house.

margot said...

Raina, I'm totally with you on the Dutch doors -- my Dad had one as the door to his workshop in our basement -- no idea why (he was the first DIYer in our fam. so he may have just seen it as a project and decided to go for it). Anyhoo, also on my list: (elements I experienced at my great aunt and uncle's house): 1. turret. 2. giant bathroom with clawfoot tub (the kind of room in old houses where they added the indoor plumbing but was never "designed" as a bathroom -- just a room with cupboards, a sink and tub. 3. Back stairs. Love back stairs! (have a set, too). On my current wish list: an entry large enough for a centre hall table.

Jessie said...

I love secret tunnels and courtyards! I thought these are very, very cool!

Happy weekend!

Jessie
www.mixandchic.com

Meg said...

I always wanted a secret passageway from my closet to the attic, with a ladder to go up and a fireman pole to go down. Supposedly my parents were into this idea - but then again we moved every year or two and wow, they just never had the time to make it happen. Hmmm...

chanda said...

weird, a dutch door in red was on my list too! i think this is what inspired me:
http://museum-go-round.tripod.com/fredx.gif

also i had a an obsession with 70's mod yellow campaign furniture (which my parents graciously indulged)

last but far from least, a house full of soap bubbles though which one could tunnel.

Simply Grand said...

Back in the 1950s, my grandparents had a high-style MCM ranch--well, what passed for high-style in Danville, anyway--with a liquor cabinet that had a revolving back built into the wall that separated the living room & the kitchen, so that dirty glasses & bottles could be replaced with fresh ones & ice could be replenished without the help every coming out front--the 'help', at parties, while my grandparents lived there, being me and my little brother. Our job at their cocktail parties was to empty out any half-drunk cocktails, wash the glasses and send them back out front for another round. Except we didn't actually empty out the leftovers in the glasses, we drank them, which was OK with us, because it was the era of sweet cocktails with fruit garnishes. It was a sweet gig for a while, until my klutz of a half-tanked brother dropped a tray of glasses. Anyway, one of these days, I'm going to have--or build--a cabinet like that of my own.

Raina Cox said...

chanda - Maybe that was it!

David said...

"Sunken" rooms. My mom's friend Mary-Margaret lived in this huge kind of Regency-ish house with a sunken living room. I thought it was just the coolest thing (and still do today).

It also stood out in my mind because it had two full size sofas that faced each other with a big cocktail table between. Nobody else I knew had a living room big enough to hold more than one couch.

gmjl said...

I always wanted one of these beauties:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Retro-mineral-oil-Swag-Table-Lamp-Nude-Rain-Shower-Greek-Goddess-1970s-vtg-wow-/181168419591

Raina Cox said...

gmjl - I visited someone once when I was young who had one of those. I perched myself on the edge of their sofa and stared at it for what must have been 20-30 minutes.

Big Rock Lanterns said...

I loved the kerosene lanterns. I still do love them, but the whole kerosene thing is scary to me. Today I renovate and repurpose them using electricity to create lantern lamps and custom ceiling and wall fixtures. Now folks can enjoy them anywhere and everywhere. Check out BigRockLanterns.com

The Pink Pagoda said...

I was intrigued by the Chinese Chippendale fretwork on furniture in our house -- not a surprise!

The Down East Dilettante said...

Such a good question, such good answers. I can't narrow it down to one. Dutch Doors also, and good old toile (brick red on cream with lots of architecture), window seats, Turrets, Stickley rugs, googie coffee tables.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh, and the former ambassador who lived next door to my grandmother had a neoclassical giltwood and crystal neoclassical chandelier that he'd brought back from one of his European posts. I often thought about how well it would go with the toile :-)

Unknown said...

Yes, absolutely Dutch doors for me too.
Inglenooks, for sure. We would stay at a cabin in the summer with built in beds in cunning little rooms.
I grew up in a house with an arbor of lilac bushes, it wasn't tall enough for an adult but perfect with kids. So I would say a Secret Garden of some sort.
My aunt and my grandfather both had a built in cabinet with glass doors between the kitchen and the dining room. Put the newly washed china and crystal on one side, and unload it in the dining room for setting the table.
Once my family took a hike/picnic in Idaho and happened upon a Basque sheepherder's cabin. We looked in the little window in the door and could see the cunning little bunk and built in shelves, cupboards, etc. all painted in glorious primary colors.
What never appealed to me was my dear parents' modern (now post modern) minmalist furniture.
Maybe it's because we are little: craving detail and hidden aspects and attention to details.
Your picture and questions brought back memories and joy. May we include embracing trees with a comfortable spot for reading books?

Terri Polick said...

When I was growing up I wanted to live in a house with a kerosine stove in the living room. I know that sound pretty strange to most of you, but that's what my grandparents had in there house. The stove gave off a cozy heat that I appreciated especially when the winds kicked up and it was -20F outside. I also had a fascination for old Hoosier cabinets and my grandmother's oak secretary desk.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

I was obsessed with balconies! I think it's because my grandmother's house in the Bronx has a tiny, Juliette balcony off her bedroom. It was only wide enough for a plant, but I somehow decided it was amazing.

I was also in love with huge, spiral stairs after visiting my mother's best friend in Georgetown. She had a three-story house there with a large, sweeping spiral staircase that went from the bottom to the top. It was amazing. She has since moved and I kind of mourned for the loss of those stairs. :)

Matters of Style said...

I would love to sound as sophisticated as your other readers, but as a child of the 80's I will be honest and say I thought that separate ice makers, central vacuum systems, intercoms, and trash compactors were the "peak of chic." Quelle horreur.

Raina Cox said...

Matters of Style - And don't forget DustBusters. Those dumb boxy beige things that would pick up about 3 M&Ms before running out of suction.

Nancy {at} powellbrower at home said...

I loved dutch doors too and am enjoying a resurgence. I remember animals. We had dogs, puppies ( my mom raised bassett hounds), a pony, a mexican burro; I had ducks, a chameleon-anything we wanted, my mom supported it 100%. I sure miss her! I liked my neighbors modern ranch home, FL Wright-ish, and to this day, that is where I got my love of contemporary styling.
Xo Nancy

A said...

We had a Dutch door in the walk-out basement to the side yard (clothes line and trash). Can't say it particularly intrigued me. It struck me as being ugly (along with the swinging saloon-style shutters to the kitchen pantry). Come to find out, Dutch doors are incredibly easy to break into, and not a safe outside door.

What intrigued me was the notion that "The Borrowers" would somehow live in our walls, and I could finally have domain over bad decor in their quarters (or at least order them to be my friends).

Bethany [at] Powell Brower Home said...

i thought dumbwaiters and laundry shoots were the stuff dreams were made of as a child! everytime i went to someone's rich grandma's house with a dumbwaiter, i wanted to see if i could ride up and down on it!

jason said...

Oh dear!
Where to start? Anything that was Louis-ish....especially the plastic Home Interiors plaques my mother had on the wall.

Campaign furniture with the brass and such.

French doors

Glass door knobs

My Notting Hill said...

My first memory of a dutch door was from the tv show Mister Ed, the talking horse. I love them too.