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Vintage things that have REAPPEARED in your lifetime?

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,429
Location
London, UK
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.

Mn. Designed well, a level of it can be fine - especially combined living / dining spaces, as so many of us these days (at least over here - houses do tend to be bigger in the US) don't have the space to dedicate to a permanent dining room that is not in daily use. I'm not a fan of a fully open kitchen along one wall of a huge living space (climate also comes into it, I suppose, where it's damp and/or harder to heat). That said - and this does go to your point - a well designed open plan space can give the desired sense of separation with the benefits of multi-use space. I would love to have a house that internally replicated Don Draper's New York apartment - that big living space, with discreet dining and kitchen spaces easily separated. And proper, separate bedrooms (I never cared for the 'loft' style where bedroom areas were visually separate but lacked any audio privacy).

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.

Over here in our part of London, over-occupancy is an increasing norm. Partly cultural; we have a large South Asian diaspora who tend towards mutli-generational living, so houses are often extended or rejigged from the original intent to fit in more bedrooms; open plan reception areas are common to expand the social area to suit a larger family group. The same thing is happening with HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) for private let to young people (and often not-so young; we have friends sharing rental properties well into their thirties). The latter are often very markedly less well maintained. It's especially noticeable in a block of flats like our where a flat designed for two adults and two children of opposite genders would have been a three-bedroom with one bathroom and one lounge. Those in private ownership can be let out to anywhere between four and eight adults, with the bedrooms all turned to doubles and it being common for the lounge area to be used as a bedroom, with the kitchen then the common area. Unsurprising seeing a lot of this in an expensive city like London, especially in a university area, of course. I'd like to hope over time things will create a happy medium between the two extremes, though I'm not exactly keen on the notion of a market crash given that we are hoping to move in the next few years, and need to maximise sale price for that to be viable or worth it (the inevitable intent being to trade up in property against location, by moving a little further out of the centre, from Zone 2 into Zone 3).

Get in trouble for, what, a prank? Sounds like fun to me!

I'm just wary of some plod deciding I 'wasted police time', what with being recklessly in possession of an Irish accent in a built up area and all that already. :D

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.

Oh, yes.... Something like this? https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/876...-with-egg-fairy?ref=pla_similar_listing_top-6
 
Messages
11,467
Location
Southern California
I was thinking more like this:

5SxXkZ3.jpg


Trouble is, the figure in this kit is only about 8" tall. Neither imposing nor funny enough for the size of the recess it would be enclosed within. :(
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,909
Location
My mother's basement
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"?

Straight white walls are great if there’s lotsa stuff put on those walls. The white makes for a backdrop that doesn’t fight with the art and whatnot. It lets it take the spotlight.

I’m more familiar with Leanne Ford than I ever wished to be. She’s a “name” designer with considerable influence in that world. I doubt she’s ever seen a thing she didn’t want to paint white.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,909
Location
My mother's basement
...
We're currently viewing a series on television about a delightfully eccentric (but undeniably talented) British couple who purchased and restored a French chateau as a destination wedding venue. They've renovated one space as their events kitchen, and the gentleman bought a high end range that was so large he could barely get it into chateau. Spectacular looking appliance: evidently among his other talents he's quite a chef. Did a little checking and the price tag is easily above $25,000. Not for their family use-- but they're often serving multicourse dinners for over 100 guests, so that makes it a prudent decision.

They also have a family kitchen for their own use (family of four) that I believe has one of those on 24/7 AGA cookers that are so popular in the UK. Fascinating technology- but I can't see how it could ever be an efficient use of energy.

Yeah, I got that on right now. I like that the couple at the center of it are far from the glamorous types. They’re both on the, um, chunky side. The people featured in too many shows of that genre got the gig in no small part because they’re pretty. Too many pretend to an expertise they don’t really have. It’s acting, is what it is.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,909
Location
My mother's basement
Mn. Designed well, a level of it can be fine - especially combined living / dining spaces, as so many of us these days (at least over here - houses do tend to be bigger in the US) don't have the space to dedicate to a permanent dining room that is not in daily use. I'm not a fan of a fully open kitchen along one wall of a huge living space (climate also comes into it, I suppose, where it's damp and/or harder to heat). That said - and this does go to your point - a well designed open plan space can give the desired sense of separation with the benefits of multi-use space. I would love to have a house that internally replicated Don Draper's New York apartment - that big living space, with discreet dining and kitchen spaces easily separated. And proper, separate bedrooms (I never cared for the 'loft' style where bedroom areas were visually separate but lacked any audio privacy).



Over here in our part of London, over-occupancy is an increasing norm. Partly cultural; we have a large South Asian diaspora who tend towards mutli-generational living, so houses are often extended or rejigged from the original intent to fit in more bedrooms; open plan reception areas are common to expand the social area to suit a larger family group. The same thing is happening with HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) for private let to young people (and often not-so young; we have friends sharing rental properties well into their thirties). The latter are often very markedly less well maintained. It's especially noticeable in a block of flats like our where a flat designed for two adults and two children of opposite genders would have been a three-bedroom with one bathroom and one lounge. Those in private ownership can be let out to anywhere between four and eight adults, with the bedrooms all turned to doubles and it being common for the lounge area to be used as a bedroom, with the kitchen then the common area. Unsurprising seeing a lot of this in an expensive city like London, especially in a university area, of course. I'd like to hope over time things will create a happy medium between the two extremes, though I'm not exactly keen on the notion of a market crash given that we are hoping to move in the next few years, and need to maximise sale price for that to be viable or worth it (the inevitable intent being to trade up in property against location, by moving a little further out of the centre, from Zone 2 into Zone 3).



I'm just wary of some plod deciding I 'wasted police time', what with being recklessly in possession of an Irish accent in a built up area and all that already. :D



Oh, yes.... Something like this? https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/876...-with-egg-fairy?ref=pla_similar_listing_top-6

I met a guy, a friend of a friend, who owns a house in San Francisco right across from Golden Gate Park. I don’t know how he came into the property, but the safest bet is that he inherited it. He carved it up into rooms large enough to accommodate a bed and not much more. He had no difficulty keeping the place occupied with young adults. I got the sense that it was all word-of-mouth, which helped him fly below the radar.

I once lived in a garret. Sink in the room, shared bathroom downstairs. That space, much “improved,” is now a condo, recently listed for $500K. I plainly couldn’t afford to be bohemian these days.

And then there was the converted chicken coop I once called home. And my converted ’47 Dodge school bus, in which a friend resided, alongside my house.

So I clearly “get” how people with few financial resources would reside in spaces most of us would find unacceptable. But if it’s dry and warm, it does what it has to do, be it ever so humble.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,429
Location
London, UK
So I clearly “get” how people with few financial resources would reside in spaces most of us would find unacceptable. But if it’s dry and warm, it does what it has to do, be it ever so humble.

And therein lies the rub: when situation and finances rob you of choice, necessity takes over... Whenever tempted to complain about my lot, I don't have to go to far even in these pandemic times to find people in London sleeping on the streets.
 
Messages
15,879
Location
Central California
I love the old stuff. I love the craftsmanship and the sense that human hands were involved in their making. I appreciate the vintage on its own and for the emotions it evokes. However, unlike some I see it all as mere “stuff” and “things” and therefore not worthy of any real emotional attachment. I can certainly be materialistic, but what one person does with their old stuff (house, fixtures, furniture, flooring, etc.) just doesn’t bother me. I might think it’s a shame that some old features were removed, but I just can’t get worked up over it. It all falls down, rots, burns, or otherwise ceases to be at some point.

I see this tendency manifesting in other parts of my life. I enjoy sports, but I’ve never had “a team” and I’ve never care much about who wins is looses; just that the game is entertaining. I’m not on the team and I don’t have a personal connection to any of the players so why should I care who wins? As a kid in the 1970s it caused me some anxiety as I just didn’t care about the sports statistics and players and who was leading in what league. It’s was just entertainment to me and not worth all the energy my friends put into it. To me it’s related to my lack of interest when some property owner removes some beautiful old elaborate hand-worked feature from a classic house and replaces it with drywall and taupe paint: I think it’s a mistake, but I just don’t care much as it’s not my house. I respect that others feel quite differently.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,909
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^
I understand and respect that perspective. But I don’t entirely agree.

Much of the area near our current abode is “covenant protected” single-family subdivisions or condos. I suppose I could live in such a place if I had no other choice. But I have a choice and I choose not to. I have enough people sticking their noses in my business without voluntarily subjecting myself to more of it.

However, I wouldn’t wish to live in a place with lax zoning and little or no code enforcement. What one person does with his or her property affects neighboring properties. A junkyard next door diminishes my property value and my enjoyment of my property. There oughta be a law against it, and there is.

In the cities I have lived the owners of properties in “landmarked” districts enjoy significant tax breaks in exchange for the restrictions placed on their properties — can’t tear it down, can’t paint it neon colors, can’t significantly alter its outward appearance.

We’re about to get the house painted. No permit required. No restrictions on colors. The place isn’t in any urgent need of painting, though. The paint was maybe a year or two old when we bought the place, not quite six years ago. We just don’t like the color.

My nephew has until October to get his place painted lest he get crossways with his HOA. He has a choice of HOA-approved colors. His existing paint is about in the same condition as ours. He’s more than a little annoyed by it.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,089
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
HOAs are a thinly-disguised mechanism for keeping out "undesirables." They're the same kind of mindset that created racial covenants in deeds a hundred years ago, washed up and sanitized for a new generation by fine-tuning the idea toward just keeping out the people who can't afford to, or won't fall in line with, the ways of the dominant class. They should be relentlessly fought and resisted wherever they attempt to take root.

As for chopping up old houses, you'll still find a lot of old Victorians up here that were chopped into apartments in the early 1940s as part of the FHA's "Homes For Defense" program. Homeowners in communities where defense plants were located were encouraged by easy, low-interest FHA loans to convert all surplus square footage in their houses into apartments or furnished rooms for rental to defense workers. The program was promoted heavily in print and on radio, directing its message to families who "had more house than they needed." "There's only the four of you," a pitch might run. "Do you really need *both floors* of that house? Why not have everyone live on just the first floor and turn your second floor into HOMES FOR DEFENSE?" If you find a pre-WW2 house with an old, rather random conversion into sub units, there's a pretty good chance this is why.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
^^^FHA conversion loans made sense for some and a definite need existed for defense quarters
and afterwards for returning veterans. Same thing happened here in Chicago. A buddy of mine once bid
on a FHA repossession, its owner having deceased and defaulted on the government loan second mortgage
he placed on the property five years earlier. My buddy needed to make some roof repairs to the house,
a typical Chicago bungalow that during WWII had been converted to a three flat, since restored to a single
state bungalow belt regular fit. Then the realtor broker handling the sale called. The FBI cancelled the sale,
no reasons given. My buddy got his $5k deposit back, and the roofing tar papers, shingles, board lumber,
and dumpster rental came later. Story was FBI in Miami had raided a drug dealer's apartment and bank
safe deposit box, finding a will (never recorded in Illinois at a Secretary of State office), writ and signed
by the bungalow owner. It had been presumed valid by the FBI since the document had been safeguarded.
And, to make a long tale brief, the FBI refused an offer of a quit claim deed which would have allowed
good title to pass to my buddy. The roof was never fixed, of course, and in time the FHA put the house
back on the market. My buddy was noticed by the realtor, he looked at the property again, and made
a much lower bid, considered with the cost and damage repair to roof and interior. The FHA declined
his bid, remarking it too low.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,591
Location
vancouver, canada
^^^^^
I understand and respect that perspective. But I don’t entirely agree.

Much of the area near our current abode is “covenant protected” single-family subdivisions or condos. I suppose I could live in such a place if I had no other choice. But I have a choice and I choose not to. I have enough people sticking their noses in my business without voluntarily subjecting myself to more of it.

However, I wouldn’t wish to live in a place with lax zoning and little or no code enforcement. What one person does with his or her property affects neighboring properties. A junkyard next door diminishes my property value and my enjoyment of my property. There oughta be a law against it, and there is.

In the cities I have lived the owners of properties in “landmarked” districts enjoy significant tax breaks in exchange for the restrictions placed on their properties — can’t tear it down, can’t paint it neon colors, can’t significantly alter its outward appearance.

We’re about to get the house painted. No permit required. No restrictions on colors. The place isn’t in any urgent need of painting, though. The paint was maybe a year or two old when we bought the place, not quite six years ago. We just don’t like the color.

My nephew has until October to get his place painted lest he get crossways with his HOA. He has a choice of HOA-approved colors. His existing paint is about in the same condition as ours. He’s more than a little annoyed by it.
but he knew the rules before he bought into it I assume??
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,089
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
The sad part here is that all too often those "Homes For Defense," which for decades furnished affordable housing to local workers are now showing up on Airbnb at obscenely inflated prices as short-term summer rentals for the rich and privileged. And local workers can, increasingly, no longer afford to live in the community they support with their labor.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
but he knew the rules before he bought into it I assume??

Of course, he was a pro. His quit claim deed request was in perfect legal accord and would have allowed
title to pass, roof repairs, and prevented further interior weather damage to the structure itself.
And his subsequent second bid reflected the additional rehab cost. It was never a matter of rules but reason.

The FBI, not being in the real estate biz would eventually lateral the house
back to the FHA pursuant to a default foreclosure process irrespective
of criminal seizure. A quit claim deed would have streamlined the
process and been far more practical. And this particular govt purchase was a singularly odd criminal complication to standard legal sale process with a deceased owner having presumably died intestate, the Bureau's validation of said without notary seal and Illinois record. I advised he challenge said will if it could be done quickly.
Unfortunately, with the government nothing is ever quick-or cheap.
 
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Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
The sad part here is that all too often those "Homes For Defense," which for decades furnished affordable housing to local workers are now showing up on Airbnb at obscenely inflated prices as short-term summer rentals for the rich and privileged. And local workers can, increasingly, no longer afford to live in the community they support with their labor.

Gentrification or Airbnb, rehab or rezone carries change and possible displace, fact of life economic circumstances.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,089
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Not quite at that level, but there was in fact a major resurgence of interest in the 20s and 30s in the early 70s -- "nostalgia" programs were all over radio and television, several magazines dealing with the personalities of the Era appeared, reissues of period films were playing first-run theatres, record labels implemented major programs of 1930s music reissues, and dozens of books dealing with 20s-30s topics appeared. It was a great time to be young and interested in the Era -- until it all shifted suddenly to "The Fifties" around 1973 or so. I still resent that.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,909
Location
My mother's basement
Not quite at that level, but there was in fact a major resurgence of interest in the 20s and 30s in the early 70s -- "nostalgia" programs were all over radio and television, several magazines dealing with the personalities of the Era appeared, reissues of period films were playing first-run theatres, record labels implemented major programs of 1930s music reissues, and dozens of books dealing with 20s-30s topics appeared. It was a great time to be young and interested in the Era -- until it all shifted suddenly to "The Fifties" around 1973 or so. I still resent that.

Gotta suspect that had more than a little to do with the people then getting on in years looking back on their early lives. And their children’s and grandchildren’s curiosity about that not-so-distant past.

After a year’s absence due to the pandemic, the Denver Modernism Show is scheduled for its annual three-day run this August. I’ve attended a couple-three times, and likely will again next month. My anecdotal observation is that most of the crowd and the vendors are too young to have firsthand recollections of the era of the show’s focus — the 1950s and ’60s. Yet they harbor a fascination with it.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,591
Location
vancouver, canada
^^^^^
You’re referring to the displeased nephew, I take it?

Rules are always subject to interpretation. It’s what keeps barristers in business.
I live in a strata with a set of by-laws, I read them, understood them before I bought into the complex. Pretty straightforward to me....no lawyer required.
We have had folks buy into the complex, not bother to read the by-laws and get most upset when they are told they can't paint their 30' of fencing any color they wish. It tends to work itself out as they eventually move.
 
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