Tag Archives: rumpus room

More Kitsch for a Mid-Century Christmas


Sorry for this post-holiday entry; life seemed to get in the way this holiday season and spare time was not something I had much of.

There are a just a few new kitschy Christmas things that were added to the ranch this year. Although I am trying to take a more “sparse” approach to decorating, I am obviously unable to follow through.

This vintage Continental aluminum “pom pom” style wall tree found a place of honor in my kitchen. It was made by Metal Trees Corporation in Chicago in the early 60’s. I got it for a great price on eBay in October. It seems this company also made a plain style (non pom pom) wall hung tree that was called the “Holiday”.


I also purchased another aluminum tree from a local resale shop at a price I could not turn down. It is a 7 foot fountain style. It came without the original box, so I am unsure of the brand. I decided to use it this year in my basement rumpus room instead of the pom pom one I had been using. I trimmed it with (mostly) plastic Jewel Brite and Bradford ornaments. The light up Santa head behind the tree is also new this year.


This newly acquired light up lantern was also used in the basement.

101_7491For the holidays it replaced this old AMI jukebox speaker we picked up last summer at a garage sale.


I think I have finally completed my collection of Firestone albums that were released in the 1960’s. Here are 5 of them.


There are also a few new Christmas albums this year to display in the living room.

101_7478We are still using the gold aluminum/ white vinyl tree in the living room. I found out (through a very helpful gentleman in a Christmas facebook group) that it is called a Gold Queen Star and was made by the Stainless Metal Craft Inc. in Chicago.

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments on that sparkly gold beauty:


101_7502 101_7503

The little felt Santa band ornaments were from a kit in the 60’s.


I picked up some great retro wrapping paper this year. I have to admit that wrapping is one of my favorite things about Christmas. Oh, and the food.


This little display was in my hall bath. I have had that Smiling Santa soap box set forever.

101_7482Check back soon for more updates here at the ranch. We have some projects on the horizon for the basement and the original tiled hall bath. As with any retro renovation project, it will probably won’t be simple. But I am up to the task!

Happy New Year!


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?