Saturday, December 17, 2016

1950s Blast to the Past ~ Christmas Home Tour

Mid Century Modern 

Have you noticed?

The 1950s are back in vogue!

A recent holiday home tour in Georgetown, Texas

featured five homes built in the 1950s.

Aluminum Christmas trees,  Shiny Brite ornaments, and

other throwbacks to the 1950s were the style du jour.

Period cars such as this 1957 Chevy Belair

were also featured at each of the homes.

One of the homes belongs to my 

niece, Samantha and her husband, Michael,

a couple who are passionate mid century design enthusiasts.

Samantha and Michael have furnished their home

with authentic mid century furniture,

some of which belonged to my parents.

As such, I admit, I'm not as 

enthusiastic about the relics of this era.

"Been there, lived it!", as they say.

That's not to say that I can't appreciate it though.

I have much respect for my niece and her passion

for this period of my childhood.

The mid century console is from Michael's parents.

It's fun and refreshing to see her confidence

in developing a style esthetic all her own.

I remember her joy and excitement when she found

this period dining room table and chairs at a shop in Houston.

The dining room mirror hung in my bedroom when I was a teen.

Samantha inherited the "dish" gene from her aunt.

She's definitely a girl after my own heart when it comes

to setting a table with a collected vibe. 

Placemats ~ Target

Tartan Charger ~ Arita, c1960s

Old Curiosity Shop Dinnerware ~ Royal, c1950s

Salad Plates ~ Southern Living 

Star Napkin Ring ~ Z Galleries

Flatware ~ William Sonoma

Glassware ~ Vintage

I admire the way she mixes vintage

with an unexpected contemporary twist.

The updated kitchen is an open concept

and truly the heart of the home.

Samantha loves to cook and

carries on the family tradition of baking

cut out cookies.  The cutters are ones that were

passed down from my mother's kitchen.

Glass front cabinets feature

some of the dish habit I referred to above.

 Colorful Vintage Pyrex 

produced from 1947 to the late 1960s

mixes with vintage 50's Santa mugs for a holiday touch.

Vintage Pyrex Snowflake

adds a winter motif.

Franciscan Atomic Starburst 

dinnerware from the 1950s.

More of the Franciscan Atomic Starburst

with a vintage ceramic tree.

Contemporary Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

platinum-trimmed dessert set by Lenox.

This set of mid century acrylic candle holders

were found in a shop on Galveston Island.

The master is an addition to the original 1950s home

and includes a spacious, modern bath.

The added space is large enough to accommodate a king bed,

a size that was first introduced in the mid 1950s.

It's also large enough for a full size Christmas tree.

Isn't that romantic?

Retro pillows by Catstudio

add a festive mood to the bed.

The original layout provided three bedrooms and two baths.

This was the original master that included a small bathroom.

 Samantha's collection of Mc Coy pottery marches across the top 

of a vintage wardrobe that had been in Michael's family.

Vintage glass Christmas tree ornaments are nestled into 

the vases and planters produced in the 20s and 30s.

The mid century swivel bucket chair 

was from my childhood home.

Santa is a hot water bottle from the 1970s.

Down the hall are two more bedrooms and a bath,

Michael's home office and a second guest room.

The vintage Christmas stockings were stitched by one of my aunts.

Samantha rescued the blue stocking from my aunt's estate sale.

The pink one belongs to me, authentically from the 1950s,

it is my cherished childhood Christmas stocking.

A covered deck was added across the 

back of the home at some point.

It offers a wonderful outdoor space to relax 

or for entertaining friends and family.

A small table at the far end is perfect  

for alfresco dining for two.

Tell me, are you a fan of mid century modern,

or are you like me, "Been there, lived it!"

All photos by Michael Walton

Click here to view a previous post on this home.



The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Sarah, this is so wonderful! The best thing about how Samantha and Michael live in their retro home is just how very well they appointed all the details! It's incredible that they still have some of the finer wood furnishings, but the textiles too?! That swivel chair and your stocking - how cute! The dish gene - love it (I had that green Royal 1950s dinnerware when I was first married, purchased from a garage sale, and I didn't realize the Arita was 1960s). So very well done, Michael and Samantha.
    We had a large home with all my siblings - 4 picture windows - and we aluminum trees in three of them, complete with their color wheels, and a live tree in the LR. There are certain 1960s design aesthetics I really like, although I must say, of all the decades I've lived, the 70s home furnishings was, I think, the one decade I'd really not want to see again.
    Thank you for taking us on this tour, Sarah.

    1. Well, I am right with Rita. I will never, ever, appreciate a 1970s house, but the 1950s was great. Michael and Samantha's house is fabulous and I love her dishes and furniture. I remember when my grandmother got an aluminum tree and I was a child aghast at the cold, modern feel. She quite liked it and its revolving color lights. What really struck me is Michael and Samantha's love of family and their artistic eye. They are my kind of people.

  2. What a beautiful home, I enjoyed my visit! Merry Christmas to all!

  3. Oh Sarah what a fun tour! I lived it too but I find mid century so much fun and I love seeing pieces that my Grandma had in her home. I know the antique malls are full of mid century furniture and accessories now and it's a great look for lots of young couples. My sons like that era too. The dishes are some of my favorites and of course the shiny brite ornaments have never been out of style to me. This tour just made me smile..thanks for sharing and letting me go down memory lane!
    Merry Christmas Sarah!

  4. Sarah, as you said be there, done that. Lovely photo's, but it brought back so many memories of my parents home, dishes, furniture, etc. Your neice did a terrific job of finding and decorating with the retro items.

    When I went shopping on of the high end stores had nothing but those retro trees in there and every color you could think of. Should have save mine.

    Thanks so much for sharing and have a Merry Christmas.

  5. So much here to like!

    The exposed brick (rocks), that fabulous blavk and white headboard, and we had that same a tabletop tree when I was a child! Now I have broken into the song "Memories!" Misty water-colored memories. It's not pretty.

    Also...mid-century modern was from the era before they invented dust and clutter!

  6. Hi Sarah. I'm with you, been there lived it! As much as I can admire the look, I don't think it was a very good era for design, but your niece has done an excellent job of puling it off. Merry Christmas 🎄

  7. I also lived it, and some of it brings back such warm memories! It was a clean simple look and that's what I love about her home! She has truly offered us a quick walk back into time! Love the dining table set!

  8. As a seventy year old baby boomer, I have lived it but I have to admire what your niece and her husband have done to their house. They have not cluttered up the house with too much "stuff" and allow the treasures to really shine. Actually, it's a nice departure from some of the blog design we see now.

  9. What a fun fun niece..a chip off her auntie:)
    Great taste throughout..even the updated kitchen is perfect.I see so many things you love and I expect to see ..Father Knows Best on the TV:)Or Leave It to Beaver..some items..could be the 70's too? Because I see The Brady Bunch too..
    Thanks for this refreshing tour!

  10. I lived it, too, Sarah, but I sure loved seeing how Samantha and Michael have decorated their darling home. What fun it was to take a tour of their home all decked out for the holidays. It's so nice to see that Samantha has inherited your dish gene. It was also so refreshing to see something other than "farmhouse" style! Thank you for sharing, Sarah!

  11. LOVE IT!! I lived it and I love seeing it and my daughter Sara & her husband are big lovers of mid-century modern design. I know they would love this home.

  12. What a delightful tour. I lived through that era...and my daughter loves mid century. She bought a new sofa and it has the same lines as my grandmother's 1950-60 sofa. Long, lean, and angular.
    She wanted to buy a mid century house...but ended up with a nineties house that they are tweaking to look midcenturyish. 😊

  13. Sarah, I love how Samantha and Michael have recreated the mid century modern style. Such amazing pieces in their home, the dining room furniture and the swivel chair from your childhood home are such great additions. I see a few things I remember from my childhood home, the ceramic tree, pyrex and santa mugs.I love that others love this style now, it brings back memories and wow, what a blast from the past. I think I'm a lot like you, a little French country and antiques fill my home. I spied your stocking right away, it is delightful Sarah Jane :) Thanks to Samantha and Michael for the tour, they have a lovely home.

  14. I love & live mid-century modern, so I love this blog post. I'm sitting here looking at my own vintage aluminum Christmas tree, lol. Their home is wonderful. Fabulous Heywood Wakefield dining set, I believe. Thanks for sharing it all with us.

    Merry Christmas Sarah!

  15. Dearest Sarah,
    thanks most sincerely for this truly wonderful home tour in the past, if it is true that I'm so in love with the Victorian age, I think that the 1950th were so magical years, they were so elegant and charming, I especially love cars dating back to that period, and the one in the shot you share is simply stunning, thank you !

    Wishing you all my best for your Holiday Season,
    may it be Peaceful and Joy-filled as never before,
    with much love

    Xx Dany

  16. What a delightuful blast from the past!! I'm thrilled to see all the stuff I grew up fun! I still have some of those items, too. They do bring back fond memories, especially at this time of year, when our childhood memories seem all the more in the forefront.
    Thank you for taking us on this wonderful step back in time. Please tell Samantha & Michael how much I/we enjoyed being invited into their lovely home?

  17. Samantha and Michael's collection of MCM furniture is cool! I love the clean lines from this period. Thanks for the tour, Sarah. Merry Christmas!! Cheers

  18. How fun! That is so cool that they are so appreciative of family things, and search for authentic vintage pieces from that era. Some of the things remind me of my MILs house. Your niece has quite a knack for incorporating the old with newer things, and I know you're thrilled she loves dishware. Happy holidays Sarah!

  19. I agree with Rita (who really knows her stuff), the seventies were not to my liking. The sixties...well I was born in 1960 and strangely, I do have memories of our furniture, the floor tile, the appliances, the tweedy sofa and console. I think Samantha and Michael have done a great job in replicating mid century modern home and they certainly have a lot of family pieces upon which to build. How do you feel seeing so many familiar pieces and possessions from your childhood? I have Somehow I feel I was caught in the midst of being a middle child and somewhat overlooked. I wish I had some tether now to those fleeting memories...still, I'm not into that style. I prefer cottage and simple.

    Thanks for a great post to inspire thinking.

    Jane x

  20. Sarah,
    I am definitely, "been there, lived that." I wasn't too fond of the 50s style even in the 50s. One of the nice things is your niece is cherishing things from the family. Everything in her home looks authentic. It looks like the home tour went well. What a great way for the two of you to spend time together.

    Merry Christmas,

  21. Well, to each her own. I am with you -- I didn't like it much the first time around, and the style doesn't excite me this time either. A neighbor's estate sale in our old neighborhood would have been just Samantha's cup of tea. I remember walking in, and it was like nothing had changed since the 50's, and everything was in mint condition! I bought a little keepsake to remember the neighbor, but I had to pass on the furnishings. However, the younger customers seemed to be in heaven! I guess that's how it goes. My own mother did not like antiques because she said everything they had was old when she was growing up, so she always wanted the shiny and new. I can appreciate the fact that this is very well done, and it's cool that they have stuck to their own aesthetic.

  22. Hello Sarah Jane! I love your stocking! I grew up in a house built in 1956 and furnished true to the hot styles of the times! I couldn't wait to create my own colonial/georgian house, but now my daughter is fascinated with the clean lines and colors of the 50s too and is taking some of my mom's furniture! I now have a new appreciation for the style after seeing it through her eyes and interpretation. Samantha and Michael have gathered such interesting pieces and put them together so well--it looks like a happy home and a wonderful place to spend time. Thank you to them for sharing their space! Linda

  23. I love seeing the mix of vintage with modern and your niece's flair and design sense! A lot of the furnishings remind of my MIL's home before they remodeled and bought new furnishings 20+ years ago. I love your childhood stocking. ♥

  24. Love seeing the different looks. If I could own many houses, they would all be different. Love the blast from the past post. having different taste makes life interesting. Thanks Sarah for sharing at DI&DI. Merry Christmas.

  25. Your nieces house is amazing! I love to tour houses and see the true personality and loves of the homeowners. It's much more fun than seeing house after house that look alike.

    Merry Christmas!

  26. Thanks for sharing your niece's home. Love, love the car and pyrex. I adore the turquoise color from the 50's as seen in the car and dishes.

  27. I grew up in the 50's 60's so I am very familiar with the decor. Cute house.

  28. What a fun home! Thanks for sharing at Dishing It & Digging It! :)

  29. What a gorgeous tour Sarah! Just like your niece my daughter favors this style but I am of your same mindset. I am hoever VERY thankful she saved that stocking from the estate sale! Have a wonderful holiday and a very healthy and Happy New Year!

  30. I love Mid-Century but in small doses... I've been incorporating some into my home. Thank you for sharing your neices home! She sure has a way of mixing old and new and it looks beautiful!


  31. What fun to see your niece's home with all its midcentury touches. I'm glad that young folks are drawn to that period as there are some pretty wonderful pieces, bot old and reproduction. Merry Christmas, Sarah.

  32. Sarah, I am more like you when it comes to mid century. But now and then there are some things that pull at my heart strings. Oh my those stockings are precious! I don't really remember what mine looked like as a child. I do love some Pyrex too. Loved seeing their home and what they have done with it. Really fun!! Thanks for sharing with SYC. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

  33. Dearest Sarah,
    Thank you for taking me back to that era again but no thanks, for living with that style of furniture I would not swap.
    Your niece has a lovely home and I love that she inherited some of your skills and genes!
    Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  34. This was fun, my mom was early American, but my very favorite auntie was a true homemaker of the 1950's...with starburst lampshades turquoise and pink. I so clearly remember her house and the triangle ashtrays and formica with 'sparkles' in it. So this was fun--- to see. And Danish modern was so in everyone's homes and brings a pretty price in Chicagoland now.
    Merry Christmas, loved your post, Sandi

  35. altho everything is pretty here, like you, I've lived it and not wanting to live it again. I do love the old fashioned bedspread, that we pulled up over the pillows and minus all the decorator pillows people use today. After the first of the year, I am buying a king size BEDSPREAD and donating all those silly pillows....Thanks for the tour of her lovely home...o, and the house we lived in for 40 yrs was built in 1954

  36. I think Samantha's home is fabulous and she's done a wonderful job with making it period but homey. I would kill for that kitchen -- mine is so very, very small! I appreciate mid-century modern and some of it I really like. But I lean more toward a different style -- a little more cottage-oriented, combined with early American, I suppose. Probably because that's what I grew up with and loved. Still, I see some of this and it does make my heart sing!

    I send you beautiful post holiday wishes and those for the new year. I always enjoy my visits here and look forward to many more in 2017!

  37. Hi Sarah! Thank you for this tour in true mid-century style! Those pastel felt stocking remind me of the ones my mother had made for us when we were little. So cute. Wishing you and your family a very happy, healthy new year.
    Love to you sweet friend!

  38. How awesome is that! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home! Happy New Year!

  39. I love your pink stocking Sarah! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home and Have a Happy New Year!

  40. My appreciation and taste for MCM has been growing over the past few years and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, Sarah. Pinned. Thanks so much for sharing your niece's home with us at Vintage Charm. Wishing you and your whole family a Happy New Year!

  41. Come and see this post featured at Monday Social. I see they have the coveted Atomic Starburst pattern. My sister lives in a Mid Century house in San Antonio and she would love to have some of that pattern. It is all so adorable. I love it.

  42. I loved the tour so much! Your niece's home looks very authentic. Thanks for the tour! I love mid century modern homes. I grew-up in one, and I would love to live in one today. I'd paint everything inside white and go with a more shabby chic look with a tiny little bit of modern.

    I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

    Ricki Jill

  43. Oh my, how I enjoyed your post. Having grown up in Houston during the '50's this brought back lots of memories. Like you, once is enough but Samantha and her husband, Michael, have certainly done a great job with their decor. It is nice that some of the pieces are from family members.

  44. Well, I have been there, lived it too but I have to say their home is lovely! It sure brought back memories!!! Happy New Year, Sarah!!!

  45. This was such an interesting post! I have service for 8 of the Old Curiosity Shop dinnerware. I had no idea is was from the fifties!

  46. Just like you, I am not enthusiastic about this era but your niece decorated her home beautifully. Love how she kept to the theme. It's perfect! Happy New Year, Sarah!....Christine


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