Happy Halloween!

My mom, October 1950

Wishing everyone a very safe and happy Halloween!

And for those of you in an Eichler home here in town, hope the ghosts and goblins are able to find your front door :)


My grandparents, 1951

This week marks the one-year anniversary of our falling in love with our Eichler Home. I still remember the first time I walked into the middle of the estate sale and being overwhelmed with how wonderful it was. I only bought a $2 vase that day but the house haunted me and we made an offer on it a couple of days later.

This week also marks a sadder anniversary -- two years since my sweet grandmother passed away on November 1st. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday (one of my grandmother's favorites too) but when I light the pumpkin candles I now also light at yahrzeit candle in her memory.

My grandmother and me, 1965

My grandmother primarily raised me and made my childhood happier; we were very close. She and I shared many Halloweens together. She always made it a point to put together a special treat for the neighborhood children. This tradition continues at our house.

Hope all of you have a very happy Halloween!

Locally and family-owned appliance repair shop gets it done

Zajic (rhymes with magic) Appliance Sales and Service has earned another loyal customer after fixing our 49 year old TradeWind double oven at the wacky ranch. And they did so after several other companies said they couldn't, wouldn't, or that I should buy a new one. While I could buy a newer double oven I'm reluctant to send a fixable one to the landfill.

The technician, Richard, was prompt, pleasant and thoroughly competent. Went right to work on that old TradeWind without hesitation or complaint. I made a mental note that they also specialize in working on old Thermadors like the original ones installed in our Eichler Homes.

If you have an appliance in need of repair, I highly recommend them.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Part III

Even though we're not quite done, we celebrated our master bed/bath remodel at the wacky ranch last night. It feels great! Especially when I look at the "before" and "during" pix :)

Interior architecture/custom cabinet design - Curtis Popp
Project construction - John DiDomenico Construction
Walnut paneling on cabinets and doors - Grass Cabinetry
Metal cabinet fabrication - Fusion Cor
Illumination - Sean Rollins, Lumens Light + Living
Interior/decor - us.

Is anyone else as giddy about lighting as I am?

Ah, lighting. I am drawn like a moth to a flame when it comes to anything related to lighting and always have been.

One of the things I fell in love with immediately at our Eichler home was the set of lamps by E.J.S. Lighting Corporation in the living room, which I've discussed at length here.

I'm also fairly certain at one point the original owners had George Nelson Bubble lamps at our home. George Nelson is one of my favorite furniture and lighting designers. His light fixtures were produced by Howard Miller. I've been lucky enough to find two catalogs of his lamps and wanted to share these with you and the MCM community on Flickr.

Check out these awesome mid-century Lightolier lights from another catalog I recently found. I wish I knew the name of the designer of these lamps. If anyone knows, please leave a comment below.

Do any of you collect lamps/light fixtures? Certainly I can't be the only one who's been bitten by the lighting bug!

It's a Small (MCM) World After All

I thought I'd share our Craigslist story about a great lamp we bought -- and a cool discovery we made when we met the sellers.

Last Spring we had been trying to find a suitable lamp for one of our bedrooms, which had no built in lighting. I found this "Mid Century Modern Wall Mounted Hanging Light" on Craigslist and decided to go take a look.

The sellers, Ken and Katie, had a ton of MCM Danish teak furniture and some cool accessories. We piled into the car, not quite sure from the pictures whether we'd like the lamp or not.

We talked with them for a while about the state of mid-century modern in Sacramento, where they had found their items, etc. One of the ways they find a lot of MCM items at a reasonable price is attending estate sales. I asked if they had attended any sales in our Eichler neighborhood and discovered they had been to our house the previous Fall -- and had bought the curtains from one of our bedrooms. I instantly recalled walking up to our Eichler for the first time and seeing Ken and Katie walking out with those curtains!

We had the lamp rewired, added an on/off switch to the cord, and it looks as if it always has lived in our home.

If you're looking for vintage goodies and don't have time to scour yard, garage, and estate sales, I recommend checking out Craigslist. Craigslist has posted some recommended safety precautions -- check 'em out. See also Leah's story and recommendations on her blog. Fortunately, we've had some great experiences and have met some nice people along the way.

Fall Maintenance

Adorable print by Jenn Ski, available at her Etsy.com shop!

Fall is here, busy squirrel feet are skittering across our flat-top roofs, and we should be getting ready for cooler, wetter weather! Time for gutter cleaning, furnace maintenance, and fireplace cleaning at your Eichler home.

Extensive gutter system and flat top on our Eichler home requires regular cleaning

Just last week I had the gutters cleaned on the Eichler and our MCM ranch. Sacramento is renowned for its trees which naturally gunk up our gutters. If you're in need of someone who does a great job at cleaning off your roof and gutters, look no further than Justin Kemper of Castle Gutter Cleaning. Justin and his crews have done an excellent job and clean-up every time -- very conscientious and meticulous work. You can reach him at (916) 988-1825.

What was left of a Likeler in Palo Alto that exploded in a fireball after a gas leak

Sadly, a flat-top home, possibly a Stern and Price, in Palo Alto was severely damaged after a gas leak caused an explosion this last week. There had been reports of a strong gas odor before the explosion; a mother and her baby had just left the home. The father was still inside when the explosion occurred but miraculously was not severely injured. The blast literally blew the roof off, the windows out, and reduced the house to a charred frame. Reportedly, neighbors said the homeowner had recently complained of smelling gas and had called inspectors to the home.

I recommend you print out PG&E's recommendations for when you smell gas odors on your property and post them in a handy place along with relevant phone numbers. Do regular maintenance such as changing your filters and having your furnace inspected by a qualified professional. I recommend Brent McCully of California Heat & Air. I've been most impressed with his work. You may reach him at (916) 355-9900.

Finally, a clean fireplace is a safer fireplace. We prefer not to use ours (the smoke aggravates our allergies) but the original owners had used it A LOT and had extensive records of what had been done to the fireplace and chimney. I decided to stick with the same company, Chim Chimney. I appreciated their professionalism -- they even offered to give me a written record of the previous work that had been done over the years. I highly recommend them.

Hope the referrals to local services are helpful. Here's to a healthy and safe season!