Monthly Archives: May 2012

Black Metal Stuff; It is everywhere!


I apologize up front if this post is LONG and full of pictures.  I want everyone to see all that has been accumulated in just a few short years. My point is this stuff is everywhere!

After becoming a Mid-Century convert I noticed that many items manufactured during that era are made of black metal. From the  living room to the basement, inside and out there was some kind of useful item made of black metal.

Was it cheap?  Was it easy to produce?  Was it lightweight and easy to ship?  Did it go with everyones decor? I think the answer to all of these questions is YES!

The items that I have picked up are all as useful now as they were then. Because the purpose of my blog is to encourage those who want mid-century coolness but have a limited budget, I will state the  prices I paid for these treasures. Some are pretty plain and generic looking  but others are REALLY fab!

You can just scroll down to view my inexpensive black metal bargains.

This ashtray/beverage holder/magazine rack/newspaper holder was $10 at an estate sale. It holds my Atomic Ranch books and magazines. The ceramic ashtray has a green swirly design:

This stand was made to hold a portable record player and crooner albums which were necessary in every basement rumpus room. Its sides were made to look like a lyre. This was $22 at a Mid Century booth at an antique fair.

This little vanity bench was a $1 find at an estate sale. The owners daughter told me this was hers when she was in high school in the early 60’s. It is now in our bedroom.

This little shelf  was $1 at a resale shop and hangs above my dryer in the knotty pine mudroom   How cute is that little deer?

I bought 2 of these for $1 each. One is still looking for a home.

This unusual round one was $8 at my shop and hangs in the kitchen. I am still trying to fill it.

This shelf/stand was $1 at an estate sale. I used it in my mudroom for awhile and now have it in my office.  Sorry for the mess; I am getting ready to list some things online to sell.

This end table/lamp/newspaper holder was a birthday gift to Hubby a few years back from a moving sale.  I paid less than $30.

This letter holder was purchased at a resale shop for $1. It was used to hold napkins on the cake table at my youngest sons wedding reception. You guessed it,  I was in charge of the decorating and the theme was “Vintage Hollywood”. Talk about fun 🙂  It is now used in this little phone nook by the front door to hold the mail (incoming and outgoing).

This book stand was bought at a garage sale for $1. It now is useful in the bedroom:

This plant stand is THE coolest piece I have found yet! It still has all the original pottery pieces. I love the hairpin legs! It was $25 at a local indoor flea market.

This magazine rack was also $1 at an estate sale. It held Christmas gifts on the hearth during the holidays.

This piece is a plant stand that is now used in our tropical themed 3/4 bath. I think I paid $12 for it at my shop.

And here is our latest find, this cool wrought iron dining table snagged yesterday at a moving sale for $10!!!! I know it technically does not fit into the catagory of “lightweight” like the rest of these items, but it is black and is sort of metal!

Look at that cool star design on the top. We will either have a new glass top made or maybe make a tile one? We have been searching for a vintage patio table and chairs and this will get us going in the right direction. Now I need chairs 🙂

Well there you have it folks. What do  you think? Is there that much black metal stuff available in your area? How about prices?

The Vanity Light, Mod Cookbooks and more stuff


Just a quick update here on Croydon Place. I am planning a bigger blog with lots of photos in a few days so stay tuned.  Of course we are never too busy to thrift or work on the house.

We finally got around to replacing that 1990’s bathroom light in the main bath. The replacement is a vintage “vanity” light purchased on Ebay. After removing the fixture that was in place Hubby discovered that it was hung with no electrical box. Why would we be surprised? After a trip to the local Ace he got the job done.

I think it looks pretty good; what you cannot see very well it that the white glass cover has a dark grey “crosshatch” design:

Some other items have found their way into the house, too.

How about these colorful “atomic” looking cocktail muddlers:

I think these long forks were part of a fondue set, but I will use them for fruit, meat or cheese trays when entertaining:

This 25 cent ice bucket matches my punch bowl and glasses :

For Mothers Day my oldest son got me a gift certificate to Ebay. (Does he know me or what?).  The clean dinner dishes were barely put away on Mothers Day before I was online trying to decide what to buy!

You know of my recent “re” addiction to cookbooks. Well I could not resist this lot of  mod mid-century ones:

And I saved THE BEST for last! Isn’t it dreamy? Oh the colors on this cover…..

This son does not think these are cool. He is the jet-setting one who lived and worked in France and travels the world. He thinks mid-century decor is…well….ugly.

He says it does not matter how much of it Dad and I buy, it does not change his mind one bit.

Fortunately his opinion does not stop me from trying to change it 🙂

4 Yards of Mulch later……..


This is our second spring here on Croydon and I think the yard and exterior of this home is really shaping up.

Where we live was originally a subdivision called Knollwood, developed in the early 1950’s. Our home was built in 1951 and was one of the first here.  My nephew and his family live around the corner in what was the 3rd addition to the subdivision.  (I found that out on an old map at our county tax office). Their home is a 1959 brick Cape Cod. It is a much more colonial style than our  L-shaped ranch. Most of the homes here have a colonial vibe; only a few are truly atomic looking. Nearly all have lamp posts in the yard. Ours is long gone; that is something we would like to replace at some point,

We are on a “park like” corner lot with big maple trees and sitting up on a little rise. This little stone path was reclaimed from the back yard pond we took out last summer:

Last week Hubby put down 4 yards of fresh mulch ( BTW that is 2 HEAPING pick up trucks full) around the perimeter of the house. It took him the most of 2 days. We pulled out more stubborn perennials and lots of weeds, pruned the 13 (!) rose bushes and cut the ugly yellow leaves from all the tulips. Everything is blooming 4-6 weeks early in our area.

Here is the built-in planter on the front porch. This feature is on nearly every house in the neighborhood in one form or another. Ours is mostly shaded so I used Impatiens, Caladium and a house plant I wintered over.

The side yard is fenced and where our old dog Woody lives.  He came from the farmhouse and was not real happy about the fenced in living arrangements early on.  Four chewed-up dog beds later, he is now happier 🙂

Hubby installed new exterior lighting (more period than the 90’s white colonial lanterns that were here). He also scraped and painted the garage door and all the soffits last summer. Here is a little glimpse of that:

I can see this gorgeous shrub in the back yard from my living room windows; Yes,  the living room located in the BACK of the house 🙂

Of course there is always more to do. We have a big list. A shed. Vintage patio table and chairs. The lamp-post/lantern. Tear out the scraggly evergreens. Move the weeping Japanese maples.

But for now we are now ready for some entertaining outside.

Happy Mothers Day to all!