Wednesday, August 12, 2015


When I look at homes that are decorated by people that want an authentic 1930s, 40s, 50s, etc... look, I often wonder why every single thing is from one decade.

For example...

Have you seen 'this show'?

(Sorry, but I couldn't find the whole thing online.)

After my mother and I had both watched it, I called and asked her if the 1950s were really like the way these woman had imagined it.

In other words, was it authentic?

She started laughing.

I knew she would.

The first thing she pointed out was the way they lived their lives...

To sum it up, she said that it was like they had watched too many episodes of this:

or this:

 Then the way they dressed...

I'm not even going to tell you what she said about that, but let's just say there was a whole soliloquy about their tattoos.

Then it was about the decor...

She said (and I'm summing it up again) that it looked like it was decorated by a set designer and looked nothing like real life back then.

For example, here's an ad from the 50s:

And here's real life:

Now, I'm not saying my mother is an authority on the 1950s, but since she grew up in California back then, I would say that she would have a pretty good idea of what it was really like.

Personally, I think that if they're happy, that's great and I'm not trying to pick on them or be mean, but  if they're trying to emulate that decade as it really was, then I kinda have to agree with her, especially about the decor.

Thinking back on my own 1970s childhood and then looking through pictures of decor ads back then, I can see why people would think that's what every home looked like, unless they were alive then.

By looking at those ads, you would think that everyone's home had shag carpet...

and I can guarantee you that there was only 2 houses I ever saw it in and it wasn't at my parent's house.

By the way and maybe it's just me, but doesn't it look like somebody used the hide of Snuffleupagus to cover those stairs?


If I were to live and decorate like these gals, but instead of the 1950s, I went with the 1970s, it would be like me watching too many episodes of this:

and we all know how realistic that was ;)

So where am I going with this?

Well, although I live a "vintage lifestyle", my life is nothing like what is often portrayed by in tv programs. (There's another example at the end of this post.)

And that's why my home looks the way it does and not from only one decade.

I'm not trying to look or live like an ad or a tv show.

I live a life, surrounded by things that were passed down to me or gathered slowly over time and mixed together. It just happens to look like it stopped somewhere in time, but you're not quite sure exactly when.

A good example would be my living room...

where I can count all the "new" objects on just about one hand. 

Everything else is from before 1960 with most of it being from much earlier decades.

Which, as it turns out, kind of resembles some of the black and white pictures of old living rooms that I've seen in family picture albums.

Same picture in black and white:

And my kitchen...

where even though the cabinets are original to house and the sink is from the 1930s, it's a mishmash of different eras.

There's no way to pinpoint either of those rooms as looking like any particular decade.

In fact, people that come over for the first time, say things like, "This reminds me of my grandparents home" or "I feel like I've stepped back in time". They never say "It looks like a 1930s museum", because it doesn't.

As you can see from the real 1950s kitchens, I showed you above, most homes back then had things were acquired over time.

Which is what I wanted.

Even my grandma Bonnie (that I've mentioned before) got a microwave for Christmas one year and there it sat in her little 1940s kitchen on a tray table from the 1950s like the one I have:

Not that any of this makes me better than those gals.

It doesn't at all.

I'm just going about it differently.

Here's the other show about this vintage living stuff:

Yes, I can relate to some of what they said, especially to that father's confusion about his daughter dressing that way (my mom feels the same). Actually, people in general stare at me when I'm in my vintage clothing, but I've gotten used to it and most of them, that live here, have gotten used to it too.

 But obviously I don't agree on their views about having children, since I have two. And unlike them, I watch regular tv, modern movies, I know who the leader of my country is (lol), I'm not naive enough to think that there weren't problems back then, I don't hide my laptop, and I cope just fine in the modern world, going to restaurants, bars and the grocery store. 

I just happen to like walking into a home that shuts most of the modern world out and living my life there, like they would have in the past.

Like I've said before, it's just me being me :)



  1. You, my friend, are truly authentic. And I'm so glad. It makes you unique and I'm proud to call you friend.

  2. You are you, those ladies are them, and it really all is okay. :)

    p.s. I had shag carpet. In the 70's. And I have a glorious, luxuriously soft shag area rug right now. I wish I still had the 'rake' attachment for my current canister vacuum cleaner that they made back then. Shag area rugs are back in style. :P

  3. Oh my, that shag carpet! My grandparents had some in their house that the picture kind of reminds me of. They might still have something similar in one of the back bedrooms. I'll have to check it out next time I am over there!

  4. Having been born during WW II, I vividly remember the 50s and often laughed at the mistakes Mad Men made in their shows. Why didn't they hire someone of my age to authenticate it?

    This is another delightful and fascinating post, Rue. And you are spot on. I have to admit though that if I have the opportunity to watch these two shows that I will, simply because it is interesting to know why people yearn for those decades. And it has to be better than most reality shows.

    I liked seeing your living room in black and white. You and your house should be the one they choose for a television show! It would have all the charm but the authenticity too and show what one person could do to choose the best of a simpler life without becoming a fanatic.

    Very nice!

  5. Ummm, I was going to say if that chick wanted to live "1950s style" then her tats are going to need to be removed, because I don't think one woman had tattoos back in the day....unless she was or something. ;-) It is our different styles that make us all unique, rather than clones of one another. You are wonderful and beautiful just the way you are and so is your home! Hugs!!

  6. All real homes, however they are decorated have things from different times, different periods don't they. That is what makes them real and what makes them a home! Otherwise we would just be living in an advert and that would be weird! xx

  7. Your home and the mix of eras is lovely. It has warmth, and a peacefulness and I love how it shuts out the modern world when you walk through your doors.

    We never really wanted to be any one style, so became more or less eclectic.

    Enjoy your sweet home and dressing in vintage. You have a graciousness in both.


  8. I love this post! I love how they decorated back then. I love your home!


  9. I totally agree with you! I have a "grandma" home, but my pieces are not period, most of my things are second hand, but they are reproduction. I do have a few new pieces like my bedroom set and dinning room table and hutch that we purchased brand new, but they look old. I have always felt that if I went back in time to the turn of the century and went into a farm house and even if it was a well off person, there would be the modern furniture of the time mixed with pieces they were give from their families. Things they displayed would be things that were given to them or handed down. They would either be things that were beautiful or useful. That's how I like to decorate. My husband doesn't care how I decorate and he does like my decorated style, but I also do incorporate his things like his elk horns and his grandfather's paintings. Have a great day!

  10. I always enjoy your posts Rue and do feel as though you are an authentic lady! Loved all the photos you shared, especially the real life ones! Hope you have a delightful day.

    Hugs, Vicky

  11. Oh Rue, I love that you are you! To me, everything doesn't need to be labeled...people should decorate or dress how they want without being judged by others...but that's not the world we live in, is it? I love to decorate with heirlooms, antiques, and new...blend all together for a minute...and you get me ;-)

  12. Sweet Rue, how I love your fun always put a smile on my face :) Thanks for making my morning extra lovely. Hugs!

  13. You are truly wonderful and authentic, Rue! Love this post! The last picture of the '50s reminded me of a photo of my grandmother and my mother when she was little. In the 70's my parents had that lovely shade of pea green shag carpet in their bedroom. I was so glad in the early 80's they replaced it! Your home is warm and inviting, it is a reflection of who you are, and how unique your style is...just like you! Have a beautiful day! hugs, Christine

  14. Great post!!! I just watched that whole episode of that show. I didn't realize that reality tv was a worldwide epidemic! ;) I found their idea of what life was like back then to be very idealistic. I am sure it's what they think life would've been like, but my mom was born in the 30's and the stories of life were not all rosy, for sure. She was also a nightclub and Broadway singer. She spent a lot of time in jazz clubs and the same stuff that goes on today, went on then as well...and that chick who said it's not safe to raise kids hello, the 40's, London? War?? I love reality tv!! Anyway, your home is lovely, you know I adore your style. As far as that show goes, I think to each his own, but every time period has their issues and someday, even this messed up decade will be the good old days!! ;)

  15. My grandparents home was a mix of older things and restored things and new...perhaps a couch was new, a table was restored, a side table or figurine was from an ancestor; that sort of thing. A few of their formal chairs are much like those in your living room :)

  16. My grandparents home was a mix of older things and restored things and new...perhaps a couch was new, a table was restored, a side table or figurine was from an ancestor; that sort of thing. A few of their formal chairs are much like those in your living room :)


  17. I grew up in the 40's and 50's and to be authentic for that period in home design and decorating it would need to span several decades. My first apartment after getting married at 17 was furnished with mid century modern odds and ends. Our homes growing up were more like the 1952 photo.None of the homes as grand as the ones in the shows.
    Interesting post. I had not heard of those shows.

  18. Rue, I just love visiting your blog! I wish my home looked like yours! It reminds me of a simpler, sweeter, time in my life!

    Grace & Peace

  19. I don't think anyone's house - in any decade - is like what we saw or see on TV! I did have shag carpeting in my bedroom in the early 70's though - green. With hot pink walls. lol And my best friend across the street had red shag carpeting in their family room. They had a black vinyl couch with that red shag carpeting, too...very cool. ;-) My own house now is a total mish-mash of furniture and decor...anything from antique to vintage to modern to somewhere in-between.

  20. I love your world. This is the world I grew up in and those memories stay with you and shape you. I wish we could still live in an old-fashioned world, Rue. I'd take it. LOVELY FRONT ROOM! Anita

  21. I think your home is lovely and so inviting. Most real homes are a mix of different decades. Not too many people can afford all new anyway, and why would you want that? No personality at all.

  22. Unless it was a newly-married upper middle class couple just starting out with all new furnishings and appliances anda brand new house, most homes were a mix of styles and decades.

    In the mid-60s my mother totally redid the living room and it did look like a magazine picture. But the bedroom had 40's and 50's furnishings, and the kitchen was all 30's except for a late-50's-early-60's fridge.

    1. Hi Dawn :)

      I was thinking that maybe a newly married upper class couple might have a house like that, but it all just seems to unrealistic. My mom came from that kind of back ground and she still was stuck with hand me downs, so it makes me wonder. Anyway, I can't say for sure, because I was born almost two decades later ;)

      Thank you for your comment!


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  24. oh good grief charlie brown!
    i'm sorry rue.
    this little comment box is misleading! I didn't mean to write the great american novel! good grief.

    1. sorry. it was just too long. i had to delete it.
      all i needed to say was... there's a little touch of authentic magic in your life. both lovely words.
      i love your kitchen. i would love to just sit there and share memories!
      i was the same age as cathy in father knows best. so i definitely related to that show. loved it!
      and i used to try to get my mother to fix my hair like i love lucy! i just loved her! and that little apartment.
      and it was so sparse! probably when i fell in love with minimalsm! LOLOL!
      i have a feeling you're a local celebrity and you don't even realize it! xoxoxo♥
      i know you're OUR celebrity here! thank you scarlet for this lovely post. xo

  25. are lovely just the way you are...and so is your home. What a boring world we would live in if everyone was alike, or thought the same way. I currently live in a 70's home, that had, when we bought it...lots of rooms of shag carpeting, avocado green appliances as well as bathroom fixtures....and some in harvest gold. All vestiges of the 1970's are gone. But in my accessories, I have things from the 30's, through the current year. It's kinda of how a home is built isn't it? Little of this...little of that. Enjoy your evening! ;)

    1. Awww..... thank you, sweet friend :)

      Your house sounds lovely. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend.


  26. Hi Rue......
    I love your home! and I think a home should be made up of memories and things that hold a story. I have so many pieces from my Great-Grandmother and her mother! some pieces are over 100 years old. And I love to look through old photo's and actually see the pieces sitting on my grandmothers table. Most of my furniture was made by my husband and my maple flooring came out of an old factory in lower Manhattan, New York that we picked up ourselves! Stay true to yourself!
    Lois @

  27. I watched most of that last show (it was LONG!), and I must say I didn't realize living this way was a movement. Very interesting..

    Your kitchen is so very pretty! You must be a local celebrity Rue, you know that?

    I loved mad men, and I really thought it was pretty authentic. In fact, they got lots of awards for just that. It really looked like that when I grew up in the 60's. Not every house of course, but many. But I see I'm in the minority.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  28. I think you nailed it in saying that back then things were acquired over time. Growing up my parents and grandparents would buy an item ie a TV, rug, bedroom suite, linens, dishes, table – anything and everything and it was expected to last…FOREVER. So you ended up with a collection of items ranging over decades rather than a “mono-decade”. Like you I have very few things bought new and have things ranging in age back to about 80-90 yrs ago. I shut out a lot of the modern world too - you know that saying… I live in my own little world, but it’s okay, they know me here! I am intrigued to see some of your vintage clothing you mentioned that you wear – that would be so fun! ~ Kari

    1. "I live in my own little world, but it’s okay, they know me here!" Yup, exactly LOL

      I'll see what I can do about showing the clothing, but I've been avoiding my closet cleaning, so don't hold your breath ;)


  29. I always think that whoever is behind those shows or ads doesn't know women at all. Who doesn't have gifts and heirlooms and impulsive buys all thrown together? I was looking at that pretty ad you posted and thinking that in the 1950s women were given unrealistic models and nothing much has changes in that respect.

  30. Your blog is so amazing and entertaining! I love that film clip and had never heard of that before.

  31. wow just love this post so much! Your house - and being raised in the 50's i agree with what you said your mom said. Oh and that three tiered tray thing in the kitchen near the stove - we had that and one of those cool stools that use to sit in kitchens, with the padded vinyl seat. Maybe you have been there - but in Temecula there is a place called Professor Pennypickle that has a room set up with a kitchen somewhat from the 50's. I had photos I've taken from there. Your posts are always so entertaining - I may get back to watch those videos if I find the time.

  32. You need to put a Warning, on such a post!!! ,-) I totally got sucked into a time warp there. Watching all those videos. Great fun!!!!

    And well, I was born in 1937, so I lived through a lot of "times" and "fads".... I'd not, not, not want to go back to any of them, totally. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt.

    And I'd like to tell those British gals, that having a perfect 50's or 40s or etc. home, would be a lot harder for them, if they started right off with having children!!!!! lol.... :-)

    Mmmmm, and the tats!!!!!!! Quellllle horrroooooors. Tats on a perfect home maker? Are they out of their minds??? -chuckle-

    Again... Warning needed! :-) Such posts are so hard, to get away from!!! :-)))))


  33. I grew up suburbia in the 1950s and 1960s and was a young woman in the 1970s. I had the best of it all. I will say that everyone's parents (except mine) had orange shag carpeting. I couldn't rent an apartment for the next decade without having one with orange shag carpeting. About the 1950s in a town 20 miles north of was idyllic. The women coffee clutched during the day, cleaned, shopped, sat by the pool, hung the clothes on the line to dry, belonged to clubs and almost all of the housewives heads were in curlers beneath a scarf. Even to go grocery shopping in pedal pushers and Keds. An hour before the husbands got home, showers were taken, hair was styled, clean clothes put on, dinner was started and the mail was on the table for Dad. It was exactly like that at my house.

  34. Rue, I admire that you know who you are, and live in a way authentic to that! This post brought to mind... My husband is a vintage american cars enthusiast, and is very knowledgeable on them. It drives him crazy when we watch movies and the right cars are not used in the era setting of the movie, or the cars aren't authentic in all of their parts! Anyhow, I like to mix things up, that's who I am! ...with exception to the 70's and 80's, lol! :) ~Rhonda

  35. Well, I would say that the folks in the reality shows (yes, I watched the American and British versions) are finding a way to retreat from real life into an idealized world of their own creation. Whereas you, Rue, are simply appreciating and enjoying your home and decorating it in keeping with it's vintage. You use objects that have memories and meaning for you rather than buying into the constant drive to acquire more, more more and new, newer newest. I think its lovely!

    I was born in the early fifties, and sometimes I do get sentimental for "simpler" times. But, honestly, I have come to the conclusion that each decade had problems and challenges common to all people. I simply wasn't aware of it all because I was a child. My parents were children of the great depression and the dustbowl, and came of age in time for WWII. They did buy new furniture because they didn't have anything given to them. But it was expected to last.

    Anyway, I hope that the TLC show doesn't make all people who collect and use vintage items look a liitle (or a lot) kooky. Don't let these silly shows get you down, Rue. You are authentic. Just stay your sweet self! :)

    1. As I was checking around for the Wives With Beehives show on the internet, I came across this website: It seems that the ladies in the show are not happy with the way they were portrayed. So shocking...note to self: Never, under any circumstances agree to be on reality TV. Not that I would anyway. Forewarned is forearmed. Sheesh.

    2. Oh, I'm not down about it, but I think people get confused when it comes to this sort of thing. I live very much like my parents, grandparents and their parents before them and so forth, as far as morals, lifestyle, etc. Nothing has changed as far as that is concerned. The problem is they expect I Love Lucy when they come into my home and that's just not the way it is or was.

      For instance, most people think that women didn't have a say and that they were all beaten down dogs that took drugs to stay happy and that's just not true for everyone that lived then. I come from a VERY long line of strong women that were extremely outspoken. I'm not saying that it didn't happen, but not everyone lived that life.

      Another misperception is that people didn't cuss. I've been told that I'm not very vintage (whatever that means) because of my language. They're shocked to hear stories about my great grandmother's mouth.

      People were just like they are now (sans the electronics), with the exception of people being more polite, having manners and knowing how to dress for different occasions. I can only go by my family, but from that, I know that they cursed, they divorced, they argued.... watching these caricatures gives the impression that life was a rose garden everyday. When in reality life is messy, no matter what decade.

      I've seen what they've said about being on that show and I can see why they'd be upset, but the truth is, they were filmed saying and doing the those things. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. And I'm with you... no tv reality show for me! LOL


    3. Agreed, Rue. People were real and very human. And as for the reality shows, well if people haven't watched enough reality TV to know how contrived it is then they have no business signing on to do one.

      One thing about the good old days versus now...My grandmother was born around the turn of the previous century. She lived to be 85. I think about all the changes she witnessed in her lifetime and it amazes me. My sister once asked her if she didn't ever wish for a simpler life such as she experienced as a young woman. My grandma said, "Well, I don't know about that. Sometimes it's nice just to go down to the store and buy a nice box of Tide instead of having to make lye soap over a hot fire." It's so true that we tend to idealize the past. My grandma raised twelve children in Oklahoma during the Great Depression. Not so glamorous and wonderful, I suspect. ;)

    4. Apparently my great grandmother that was born in 1880 and died in 1977, didn't feel the same way. All she did was complain about the modern world. I guess I get it honest ;) But then again, she was living in Santa Monica, California, so I don't think life was as hard for her.

      Every time period is hard, even now, but you know that ;)



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