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Vintage things that have REAPPEARED in your lifetime?

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,904
Location
My mother's basement
Home renovation TV shows are all the rage these days. Literally scores of them are on the tube ’round the clock. A couple of cable networks are devoted exclusively to the genre.

With the exception of just a few of those shows — the ones with an emphasis on restoring the structures in a manner in keeping with the original architecture — what I see are essentially unpaid hour-long ads for new appliances and flooring and windows and ...

It pains me to see original tile work and flooring and such torn out and replaced with lesser stuff (and at a tremendous expense), not because it’s worn out or in any way unserviceable, but because it is “dated.” Any variation on that word — “outdated,” “updated” — in reference to residential real estate is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.
 
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belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,578
Location
vancouver, canada
We went induction when we got our new hob last November. Less out of choice, more because it's what was available and we didn't want to risk going *another* six weeks without one during a lockdown. We did have to buy a new set of pans, but we were planning to do that anyhow. We got rid of the microwave about eight years ago. We've never missed it, but the speed of induction is really something.

I'd love to have an Aga for the pure aesthetics. That said, when my parents were building a house back in 1990, we stayed for a Summer in a rented house which had a wood-fired range. Nice as it was, I wouldn't want to rely on it to cook regularly. A gas-fired option (or, indeed, one with an induction tech hob) would be a nice balance of convenience and aesthetics for me. I'm not a big fan of the separate hob and oven set-up we've got on the one hand, though on the other it *does* at least mean that if one goes down, the other isn't automatically lost. Then again, I'm also attracted to the idea of a standalone which requires no more fitting than to be plugged in and rolled into place, avoiding any hassle and cost of paying a fitter... My washing machine works that way, and when it was delivered it was a joy - they had it plugged up and running in ten minutes. An absolute joy, especially as the old one died right at the start of the first lockdown and we ended up handwashing everything for six weeks!



Makes you wonder why they left it behind. I'm guessing they split and neither one wanted it... Could the photo be changeD?
My only resistance to the induction was having to get new pots....but the company offered new top quality pots as an incentive so I boxed and stored my beloved life time warrantied Lagostina that I have cooked with for 45 years. Luckily my 50 year old cast iron fry pans work on the induction otherwise I would not have gone that route.....it would have been a bridge too far.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,904
Location
My mother's basement
...
I'd love to have an Aga for the pure aesthetics. ..

As mentioned earlier, “retro” kitchen appliances have become fashionable. And I gotta admit that some have caught my eye. A friend, a wheelchair user who remo’ed his recently purchased condo’s kitchen to be more useable for him, bought such a fridge. It looks good. But it’s still a new refrigerator and I’m guessing it will be scrapped in 20 years or so, while our Ms. Maine’s 1945 model will still be chugging along.

There’s more than a few quite handsome “traditional” looking stoves on the market, too. Some are waaay expensive, though.

As I recall, I’ve bought only one major appliance new in my life. This was a decade or so ago, at the Sears store. It was a gas stove, 700 and some bucks, if memory serves. The feature that sold me on it was the removable cast steel grating which covered the entire surface at the same height, so that pots and pans could be slid across the surface rather than lifted. “Continuous” grating, they call it. It also made for more working space, as the pans could remain on the stove, but off the burners, and not on a trivet on the countertop.
 
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LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,073
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Home renovation TV shows are all the rage these days. Literally scores of them are on the tube ’round the clock. A couple of cable networks are devoted exclusively to the genre.

With the exception of just a few of those shows — the ones with an emphasis on restoring the structures in a manner in keeping with the original architecture — what I see are essentially unpaid hour-long ads for new appliances and flooring and windows and ...

It pains me to see original tile work and flooring and such torn out and replaced with lesser stuff (and at a tremendous expense), not because it’s worn out or in any way unserviceable, but because it is “dated.” Any variation on that word — “outdated,” “updated” — in reference to residential real estate is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

I've lived in my house for twenty-two years now, and the main reason I bought it in the first place was that it was "dated." It had been owned by an elderly working-class couple who did next to nothing to "upgrade" it since they moved in in 1937. I've done a few things to repair wear and tear, like replacing the kitchen tile floor, but the "datedness" is the whole appeal of the place as far as I'm concerned. It would look ridiculous with a "professional level stove," a giant stainless steel refrigerator, and a hunk of granite shoved into the pantry. It'd be like dressing up your grandmother in hot pants.

When I die the Kid I'm passing it on to vows to preserve it as a museum, and I warned her if she flips it to an HGTV remuddler I'll haunt her forever.
 

Old Mariner

One of the Regulars
Messages
260
“Distressed” denim is in a class with fake antiques and breast implants. If that’s what you want, well, go on ahead, but don’t expect any cheers from this quarter.

I like faded blue jeans, and patched blue jeans. In my late adolescence and early adulthood, which coincided with the “hippie” era, I patched my Levi’s red tags (aka 501s) until the original fabric wore so thin it just wouldn’t hold the patches anymore. And that took a whole lot of rough wearing, and washing in hot water. Years of it.

Honest wear is, um, honest. Genuine. The real deal. “Distressed” jeans are anything but.

"Neon" clothes and acid washed jeans, can be thrown into this category. A few years ago, I went into a mall's anchor store, and it was like a trip back into the 1980s. It felt really...strange.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,904
Location
My mother's basement
I’ve spent the five-plus years we’ve been in this generic 1977-built suburban rambler undoing the previous owners’ “improvements.” Their kitchen in particular was a waste of materials (due to their typically amateurish installation) and an affront to anything even loosely defined as aesthetic sensibility. But you know, it was all because they determined it needed “updating.”

This house is of a basic style dating from the 1950s (earlier than that, really, although the style really took off in the post-War building boom) and, with minor variations, is still being built today. You’ve seen this house, even if you haven’t seen this house.

Among my mantras is “don’t fight what you have.” The only changes we’ve made to this place that you wouldn’t have seen in a similar house half a century ago are the modifications to the main floor bathroom to accommodate the wheelchair-using member of this household.

This is not to say that this place is a time capsule. It is furnished in pieces from various eras, although I like to think all those many and varied elements talk to one another. Eclectic and “maximalist” as it is, there’s nothing haphazard about it. We spend most of our time here (especially over this past year or so), and I’m quite visually oriented, so the look and feel of my surroundings matter a great deal.

And popcorn ceilings, in their natural habitat (read: generic suburban rambler), aren’t all bad.
 
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tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,904
Location
My mother's basement
I've lived in my house for twenty-two years now, and the main reason I bought it in the first place was that it was "dated." It had been owned by an elderly working-class couple who did next to nothing to "upgrade" it since they moved in in 1937. I've done a few things to repair wear and tear, like replacing the kitchen tile floor, but the "datedness" is the whole appeal of the place as far as I'm concerned. It would look ridiculous with a "professional level stove," a giant stainless steel refrigerator, and a hunk of granite shoved into the pantry. It'd be like dressing up your grandmother in hot pants.

When I die the Kid I'm passing it on to vows to preserve it as a museum, and I warned her if she flips it to an HGTV remuddler I'll haunt her forever.

A friend lives in a modest 102-year-old house. His loving (truly) missus put peel-and-stick vinyl tiles on top of the ’30s(?)-vintage sheet linoleum kitchen floor. I wanted to cry. That old floor was still in presentable condition! It had a great pattern and colors! Don’t people recognize gold when it’s put right in front of their eyes?!?

But then it occurred to me that maybe it’s the way God wants it to be. Maybe it’s like all that elaborate original siding on old Victorians that got saved from the elements by the faux-brick asphalt siding some long-since deceased previous owner slapped on it 80 years ago. Maybe in a decade or two a subsequent owner will lift those vinyl tiles and find the treasure hiding beneath.
 
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Inkstainedwretch

One Too Many
Messages
1,025
Location
United States
Like when the drop ceiling installed to "modernize" a turn of the century building is stripped off to reveal the beautiful pressed tin ceiling installed 120 years before. There are several buildings like that near me. Decorators for themed restaurants and bars prowl around here trying to buy those ceilings.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,904
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^
I’ve mentioned how 40 years or more ago I was part of a crew that cleared out an old hotel building that had sat mostly vacant for at least a couple decades. It sickens me to think of all the wonderful things — from bedsteads to floor lamps to dressers to fancy glass light globes — that got THROWN AWAY, in the name of expediency. It’s all to the worse that the value of those discarded treasures today would easily exceed whatever the property owner (a relation of mine) ever netted from the venture.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,423
Location
London, UK
I've lived in my house for twenty-two years now, and the main reason I bought it in the first place was that it was "dated." It had been owned by an elderly working-class couple who did next to nothing to "upgrade" it since they moved in in 1937. I've done a few things to repair wear and tear, like replacing the kitchen tile floor, but the "datedness" is the whole appeal of the place as far as I'm concerned. It would look ridiculous with a "professional level stove," a giant stainless steel refrigerator, and a hunk of granite shoved into the pantry. It'd be like dressing up your grandmother in hot pants.

When I die the Kid I'm passing it on to vows to preserve it as a museum, and I warned her if she flips it to an HGTV remuddler I'll haunt her forever.

Looking at houses on sale here in East London, the current trend is to take a Victorian Terrace and make the ground floor completely open-plan. Terraced workers' cottages with the front door opening straight onto the Street. Open the front door, you're in someone's front room, the kitchen is just the other end of the room, and you can see right up the stairs. Ugh. Open plan is cute for a city pied a terre or a holiday home, but to have to live in it all the time? I guess a sense of privacy really is a dying cultural concept. I'd possibly have loved that sort of thing when I was a student, but these days.... I can't help but wonder how many of those houses in the next twenty years will see people buying these houses only to rebuild walls in the place of the originals...

This house is of a basic style dating from the 1950s (earlier than that, really, although the style really took off in the post-War building boom) and, with minor variations, is still being built today. You’ve seen this house, even if you haven’t seen this house.

It's interesting how styles are perceived. My notion of "50s" style is very much influenced by the American mis-century style that was hip then. Here in the UK, though, what I - under a US influence - would think of as the "ideal suburban home of the fifties" would typically be seen much more as Sixties, presumably because post-War austerity Britain didn't have that post-war boom until the early sixties.

But then it occurred to me that maybe it’s the way God wants it to be. Maybe it’s like all that elaborate original siding on old Victorians that got saved from the elements by the faux-brick asphalt siding some long-since deceased previous owner slapped on it 80 years ago. Maybe in a decade or two a subsequent owner will lift those vinyl tiles and find the treasure hiding beneath.

I've always had the urge to leave a 'surprise' for future residents to find many years hence. Part of me wants to paper a wall in our flat, but before I paper it to paint, two feet high across the entire wall, something like "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID" or "I WILL KILL AGAIN". Knowing my luck, I'd get traced and get in trouble for it, though...

^^^^^
I’ve mentioned how 40 years or more ago I was part of a crew that cleared out an old hotel building that had sat mostly vacant for at least a couple decades. It sickens me to think of all the wonderful things — from bedsteads to floor lamps to dressers to fancy glass light globes — that got THROWN AWAY, in the name of expediency. It’s all to the worse that the value of those discarded treasures today would easily exceed whatever the property owner (a relation of mine) ever netted from the venture.

I do wonder sometimes how much of the value comes from the fact that there are so many "if onlys..." rather than saved pieces, but all the same I always struggle with how much perfectly functional stuff gets thrown out nowadays just so people can have "new". Second hand furniture, unless it has a very specific collectability angle, is impossible to even give away often. I was lucky recently - the wife wanted to upgrade our kitchen with an island / raised tabletop, which meant passing on the table and three remaining chairs I've had for twenty years. At £100 new for the lot, they owed me nothing, and were all very solid (the long-gone, broken chair aside). I ended up putting them out on our landing one Sunday night, the intention being to move them to a collection point in the morning. By bedtime Sunday, someone had taken the table (presumably one of the buy to let landlords in the block or their new tenants), and the chairs disappeared from downstairs a day or two later when several local people who pick up discarded bits and pieces for resale came through. It pleased me a lot to see that happen. I'd never have been able to sell the bits, but it hurt badly to think of binning them. I've never been materially short - my parents clawed themselves up from the working classes to give me a comfortable, bourgeois upbringing, but they also instilled in me a strong sense of not wasting or just dumping something that's still good and somebody else might need or be unable to afford to buy new, even if I am giving it away for free it still has value. Unfortunately I went too far at one point which is why I'm a recovering hoarder, but it's not a value I regret having.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,073
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I still ache over what was done to my grandparents' house by the present owner -- that same "open plan" mindset led to its gutting. All the classic dark woodwork and wainscoting, the walled stairway, everything that made that house what it was, torn out or painted cold, dead white. I have to go down that street when I visit my mother, and I have to turn my head and look the other way when I go past it, or I get very upset.

Of all the places I've ever lived, that's the only house that ever shows up in my dreams, and I guess that's because it doesn't exist anywhere else.
 
Home renovation TV shows are all the rage these days. Literally scores of them are on the tube ’round the clock. A couple of cable networks are devoted exclusively to the genre.

With the exception of just a few of those shows — the ones with an emphasis on restoring the structures in a manner in keeping with the original architecture — what I see are essentially unpaid hour-long ads for new appliances and flooring and windows and ...

It pains me to see original tile work and flooring and such torn out and replaced with lesser stuff (and at a tremendous expense), not because it’s worn out or in any way unserviceable, but because it is “dated.” Any variation on that word — “outdated,” “updated” — in reference to residential real estate is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

I have to admit I enjoy watching some of those shows, but basically only the ones you describe about trying to preserve the original architecture and details as much as possible. One of those is shot a little down south of me in Galveston, TX, and they focus quite a bit on the Victorian homes from the late 1800s, what they call "survivors" (houses that survived the Great Hurricane of 1900). I appreciate they try to keep detail as much as they can, or even sometimes recreating those details. I realize a lot of the show is the same nonsense you see on all of them, but there is still an appreciation for the period, and I enjoy seeing that.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,904
Location
My mother's basement
...

I do wonder sometimes how much of the value comes from the fact that there are so many "if onlys..." rather than saved pieces, but all the same I always struggle with how much perfectly functional stuff gets thrown out nowadays just so people can have "new". Second hand furniture, unless it has a very specific collectability angle, is impossible to even give away often. I was lucky recently - the wife wanted to upgrade our kitchen with an island / raised tabletop, which meant passing on the table and three remaining chairs I've had for twenty years. At £100 new for the lot, they owed me nothing, and were all very solid (the long-gone, broken chair aside). I ended up putting them out on our landing one Sunday night, the intention being to move them to a collection point in the morning. By bedtime Sunday, someone had taken the table (presumably one of the buy to let landlords in the block or their new tenants), and the chairs disappeared from downstairs a day or two later when several local people who pick up discarded bits and pieces for resale came through. It pleased me a lot to see that happen. I'd never have been able to sell the bits, but it hurt badly to think of binning them. I've never been materially short - my parents clawed themselves up from the working classes to give me a comfortable, bourgeois upbringing, but they also instilled in me a strong sense of not wasting or just dumping something that's still good and somebody else might need or be unable to afford to buy new, even if I am giving it away for free it still has value. Unfortunately I went too far at one point which is why I'm a recovering hoarder, but it's not a value I regret having.

There is intrinsic value in, say, a chair, or a table. People need a place to plop their rumps. But a chair that can be had free alongside the road might suit that purpose as well as an authentic Miesian Barcelona chair, which runs something north of six grand.

The cliche that an item is worth what a person will pay for it got to be a cliche because it’s largely true, especially in regard to vintage and collectible stuff. I just shelled out 20 bucks for a copy of the Feb. 9, 1962 issue of Life Magazine. Most old mags like this can be had for a buck or so, and rarely more than five, but I’m among many who want that particular issue, hence the price.

I’ve mentioned before how more than 20 years ago I was tasked with downsizing a publishing company’s office. Computers had made obsolete much of the old equipment and, alas, some of the personnel. I discovered that I couldn’t even give away the steel desks. Had to pay to be rid of them. But today such desks might bring a few hundred per, depending on locale. Maybe in another 20 years they’ll be worth even more. And maybe they’ll be scrap.
 
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tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,904
Location
My mother's basement
I have to admit I enjoy watching some of those shows, but basically only the ones you describe about trying to preserve the original architecture and details as much as possible. One of those is shot a little down south of me in Galveston, TX, and they focus quite a bit on the Victorian homes from the late 1800s, what they call "survivors" (houses that survived the Great Hurricane of 1900). I appreciate they try to keep detail as much as they can, or even sometimes recreating those details. I realize a lot of the show is the same nonsense you see on all of them, but there is still an appreciation for the period, and I enjoy seeing that.

Yes, Michael and Ashley Cordray. They’re my fave, too. They and that Nicole Curtis up in Detroit are all about reusing rather than replacing. And they save old structures that might otherwise have just been torn down, often having to replicate architectural features that got lost over the decades. Hence all those garages of theirs filled with doors and windows and old furniture and such, waiting to get reused. I imagine you’ve seen the scenes with the two of them driving around the island in their golf cart on junk days, picking up doors and old building materials that others would send to the landfill.

The Cordrays’ affection for each other shines right through the TV screen. Their second baby is now in the oven. They project an appealing sort of ordinariness. They’re not unusually attractive, nor glamorous, nor full of themselves. And they do great work. I don’t know what help, if any, they get with the design elements of the projects, but the end results are just fabulous.
 
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Haversack

One Too Many
Messages
1,192
Location
Clipperton Island
I've written before about my dislike/disdain of the trend of painting polished wood interiors all white. This recently happened to one of the prettiest houses in San Francisco. Built in 1914 overlooking the bay, this Tudor Revival had carved inlaid wood gothic wainscoting cabinetry, and beams. They're still there but now under glossy white paint that would be prohibitively expensive to remove. To add insult to injury, they left one room alone.
94a732b8b0d934526236aad0e54ae5bdl-m328557990od-w1024_h768.jpg
94a732b8b0d934526236aad0e54ae5bdl-m3168463747od-w1024_h768.jpg
94a732b8b0d934526236aad0e54ae5bdl-m2885402568od-w1024_h768.jpg
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,904
Location
My mother's basement
Looking at houses on sale here in East London, the current trend is to take a Victorian Terrace and make the ground floor completely open-plan. Terraced workers' cottages with the front door opening straight onto the Street. Open the front door, you're in someone's front room, the kitchen is just the other end of the room, and you can see right up the stairs. Ugh. Open plan is cute for a city pied a terre or a holiday home, but to have to live in it all the time? I guess a sense of privacy really is a dying cultural concept. I'd possibly have loved that sort of thing when I was a student, but these days.... I can't help but wonder how many of those houses in the next twenty years will see people buying these houses only to rebuild walls in the place of the originals...



It's interesting how styles are perceived. My notion of "50s" style is very much influenced by the American mis-century style that was hip then. Here in the UK, though, what I - under a US influence - would think of as the "ideal suburban home of the fifties" would typically be seen much more as Sixties, presumably because post-War austerity Britain didn't have that post-war boom until the early sixties.



I've always had the urge to leave a 'surprise' for future residents to find many years hence. Part of me wants to paper a wall in our flat, but before I paper it to paint, two feet high across the entire wall, something like "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID" or "I WILL KILL AGAIN". Knowing my luck, I'd get traced and get in trouble for it, though...



I do wonder sometimes how much of the value comes from the fact that there are so many "if onlys..." rather than saved pieces, but all the same I always struggle with how much perfectly functional stuff gets thrown out nowadays just so people can have "new". Second hand furniture, unless it has a very specific collectability angle, is impossible to even give away often. I was lucky recently - the wife wanted to upgrade our kitchen with an island / raised tabletop, which meant passing on the table and three remaining chairs I've had for twenty years. At £100 new for the lot, they owed me nothing, and were all very solid (the long-gone, broken chair aside). I ended up putting them out on our landing one Sunday night, the intention being to move them to a collection point in the morning. By bedtime Sunday, someone had taken the table (presumably one of the buy to let landlords in the block or their new tenants), and the chairs disappeared from downstairs a day or two later when several local people who pick up discarded bits and pieces for resale came through. It pleased me a lot to see that happen. I'd never have been able to sell the bits, but it hurt badly to think of binning them. I've never been materially short - my parents clawed themselves up from the working classes to give me a comfortable, bourgeois upbringing, but they also instilled in me a strong sense of not wasting or just dumping something that's still good and somebody else might need or be unable to afford to buy new, even if I am giving it away for free it still has value. Unfortunately I went too far at one point which is why I'm a recovering hoarder, but it's not a value I regret having.

In some ways, the nicest place I’ve ever resided was an open-plan built in 1992. It was half a duplex — each side a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath, 1,500-square-foot unit. Very spacious. Lotsa big windows, couple of skylights. But that place was designed from the git to be an open-plan house. It was organically that.

Over on this part of the English-speaking world we've seen a growing prevalence and acceptance of accessory dwelling units — aka “mother-in-law” units, aka “granny flats” — in “single family” districts. My view of it is favorable, on balance. In this neighborhood, houses built for four to eight human inhabitants now are home to two or three, or maybe four, or maybe only one. Population density in this generic suburban subdivision is less than it was 40 years ago. Turning basements and garages into separate dwelling units, or constructing 400-square-foot “studios” in backyards, makes more efficient use of existing infrastructure and puts more housing on the market, which (in theory, anyway) helps hold rental prices in check. And it helps the property owners make their monthly nut.

Downside? More cars, more traffic. And it does change the “character” of the district. But, unlike some, I mostly favor those changes. More young adults, more single people — that’s what you’re gonna get. And you get the commercial services and whatnot that cater to that population. Fine by me.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,904
Location
My mother's basement
I've written before about my dislike/disdain of the trend of painting polished wood interiors all white. This recently happened to one of the prettiest houses in San Francisco. Built in 1914 overlooking the bay, this Tudor Revival had carved inlaid wood gothic wainscoting cabinetry, and beams. They're still there but now under glossy white paint that would be prohibitively expensive to remove. To add insult to injury, they left one room alone.
View attachment 327321
View attachment 327322
View attachment 327323

That’s a crime scene.

Anyone got a rope?

BTW, I now have my own copy of “American Shelter,” which you recommended a few weeks back. It’s been an education.
 
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I've written before about my dislike/disdain of the trend of painting polished wood interiors all white. This recently happened to one of the prettiest houses in San Francisco. Built in 1914 overlooking the bay, this Tudor Revival had carved inlaid wood gothic wainscoting cabinetry, and beams. They're still there but now under glossy white paint that would be prohibitively expensive to remove. To add insult to injury, they left one room alone.


While I agree with you that painting over original stained wood work is a crime, and all white walls/cabinets don't look "clean and fresh" to me, they look tired and boring, I have to say that I do NOT like the look of the room they left alone. All of that mural-like inlay is way too busy and a huge turn off for me. It reminds me of the trend these days to paint words all over the walls..."gather", "family", "live, laugh, love"...since when is graffiti on the walls some sort of design element? It just screams low-brow to me. Why not "Kilroy was here" or "Frodo lives"?
 
Messages
11,463
Location
Southern California
...I've always had the urge to leave a 'surprise' for future residents to find many years hence. Part of me wants to paper a wall in our flat, but before I paper it to paint, two feet high across the entire wall, something like "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID" or "I WILL KILL AGAIN". Knowing my luck, I'd get traced and get in trouble for it, though...
Get in trouble for, what, a prank? Sounds like fun to me!

I grew up in the house my wife and I currently own. Built in 1951, it has a full bath and a half-bath. Both bathrooms had the traditional "medicine cabinet" on the wall--a recessed rectangle four or five inches deep with horizontal shelves and a mirror on the door. Long story shortened a little, by the time my wife and I took possession of the house the medicine cabinet in the full bath had been replaced by a 3' x 4' mirror on the same wall. Because it was hidden by the new mirror, the recess for the old medicine cabinet hadn't been covered over, so it's still there. If I can ever find the right plastic skeleton about 18" tall, I'm gonna' put it in that recess, include chains to make it look as if it has been held prisoner there all these years, and put the mirror back. At the very least, it might give someone a laugh.

...since when is graffiti on the walls some sort of design element? It just screams low-brow to me. Why not "Kilroy was here" or "Frodo lives"?
Hmmm, Kilroy...we have a rather bare wall in the garage that could do with a little artistry...
 
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Haversack

One Too Many
Messages
1,192
Location
Clipperton Island
The room in the San Francisco house that has the intarsia trompe l’oeil panelling is part of the turn-of-the-last-century aesthetic where Arts & Crafts met Art Nouveau/Jungendstil. You can see examples of it in wealthy house interiors from Austria to Finland to Scotland, (think Charles Rennie MacIntosh). Some made it to this country as well. These in turn were inspired by the same sort of work seen in the Italian Renaissance. One of the best examples of this is the Gubbio Studiolo at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This 15th C. interior is from the ducal palace in Gubbio, Italy.
stview1.jpg
If I am remembering correctly, the San Francisco room above is the man’s dressing room and the inlaid words are a crib from Juvenal about a healthy mind in a healthy body.
 
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