Who was nice enough to show us around: Rosemary Milich
I met Rosemary at Erin and Stefan’s yard sale and I instantly knew that she was awesome. Clearly, I was correct!
What they told us about their home: A lovely 1200 sq ft, 2 bedroom/ 1 bathroom unit that is part of a fourplex. It was built in 1906 as a single family home and it was split in the 1970s. As you can see in the photos, the original hardwood floors are in excellent condition. They were covered by carpet until the early 90s.
Where is the home located: Curtis Park, Sacramento, California
When was the home built and when they moved in: The home was built in 1906 and Rosemary moved in 2006 – 100 years after the home was built.
Why they chose this home: Her best friend lived in the back unit and told her when it became available. Rosemary loved the fact that it was on a tree lined street and the darling light fixture that she could see through the window. She rented it and three months later the trees were removed for being diseased.
What attracted you to MCM design? It’s all about the lines for me. I like things to be streamlined, but not stuffy. Mid Century design emphasizes the natural beauty of the products and in my opinion the use of beautiful quality wood. I rarely like furniture with ornate details so MCM made sense to my tastes. Of course, some MCM design, that of the more atomic 50’s style veers from that. Growing up we had a few MCM pieces in our home and my mother always empasized good quality in furniture and I think that it rubbed off on me. Or so I like to think ;)
Favorite Designer and biggest influences on your style? I don’t think that there’s one designer that I can pin point that influences me. As you can see from my house it’s a hodge podge of different styles that don’t necessarily dwell on MCM as the main theme. I have always loved George Nelson’s iconic bubble lamps but being a renter in a much older home, there’s been no option to hang one above my dining room table as I dream to do one day. Hans Wegner definitely has a few chairs I covet with the wicker that I abhorred as a child I now pretty much love. Saarinen tables with the wood topped tulip tables with the white bottom integrate a more atomic feel for me with the nature not lacking in it’s sensibilities.
How do you feel about reproductions? They’re just not as good as the originals…I think making design within reach (gulp, I said that) is not a bad thing. It allows appreciation to span the masses and then allows the originals to be that much more special.
Furniture wise, what do you think you should invest in? Couches and a bed, of course. I believe the next big investment will be replacing my couches. Considering they get the most wear and tear in my house with the amount of guests who lounge, durability and quality is key.
Where are your favorite places to shop for home décor? Thrift and antique stores are a must, estate sales and craigslist. I also love a good garage sale! Otherwise, I do collect a lot of artwork found on etsy and my friend Jen Pearson (of jenpearsondesigns.com) has furnished me with my light box and lamp on my widow sill. The painting above the fireplace she did about 9 years ago. I also have a knack for crafting so I’ll find something where I like the lines and refurbish it, for example my black wicker chair with the grey and yellow fabric. I made my headboard a few years ago and when I get bored of the fabric I will change it and most recently with the remnant fabric I made a matching bedskirt, that I like to think, doesn’t look like a bedskirt and hides my junk under the bed well!
What are some of your best finds? From where? My German made Telefunkin credenza stereo cabinet. I found it on craigslist after years of searching for the perfect sized credenza. This one was gutted of it’s electronics and was in horrible condition because it had lived in a barn for years exposed to the elements. My mother and I refurnished it to be a beautiful piece and I couldn’t be happier with it. I also love my round Lane Acclaim coffee table, however, even after refinishing this piece the damage from the original owners couldn’t be fully repaired. Regardless, I love it and have yet to find another round one. And at $40, it was a steal. I also love my two letter press prints that are in gold frames. They’re from an estate sale of a MCM architect who resided in Carmichael, CA. His home was not only incredible but the art for sale was amazing. Unfortunately we cannot decipher who the actual artist is and can only see it’s dated 1969. Oh well.
Greatest achievement in the home? Greatest challenge? I love the living room. Having nine of the original window in the living room plus the sliding glass doors to the backyard makes my living room a light-filled beautiful space. However, filling this room was a challenge as it was large. I went years without a coffee table or a credenza, and slowly I have made it feel like a real “grown up” space. The greatest challenge of my home is the layout. Walking into a huge entry room/ small living room and dining room is terrible to me. I hate dining in that space, even though that’s where the table lives. In turn my living room doubles as a dining room without a table to use.
Future goals/projects? I suppose it would be tending to my yard. I wanted to pull out the invasive ivy for the longest time, we’ll see if that happens. Recently I did make my fireplace area a little more cozy with a rug and the elm logs with lights due to my non operating fireplace.
Do you have any home inspiration recommendations for our readers? I’ve read ReadyMade magazine now for years (R.I.P. as of a few weeks ago) which has given me great ideas. I also love perusing places like Urban Ore in Berkeley for reclaimed objects. I read Dwell magazine for years, but more often then not I was finding myself frustrated at the lack of ideas for renters. Of course blogs like Apartment Therapy can sweep me away for hours on end with inspiration. Also spent time last fall in Palm Springs, the land of amazing antique stores and architecture! Go there if you haven’t been, you won’t be disappointed.
Advice and last words? Don’t stick with one look. That’s boring and you’ll grow out of it. I like my house to be warm and welcoming, rather than stale museum quality that some MCM homes look. In the past I held back on some purchases and will always live to regret it. Just buy them, and if they don’t work you will be able to sell them since there are so many MCM enthusiasts today.
Thanks to Rosemary for chatting with me and sharing your fantasitc home. <3
If you’re interested in having your home featured on the blog, shoot me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org