I Think I Am Jane Jetson

I am nuts about 50s and 60s architecture and design.  I love the homes built during this era, I love church buildings built during this era. Even furniture and automobiles were so cutting- edge for their time.  Design during this time is usually referred to as mid-century modern because although we (and I mean YOU) may sometimes consider it old-fashioned, many of the designs were completely daring and modern.  The sleek flat roof lines and walls of glass are the first things that draw me in, and then I get totally hooked and try and figure out legitimate ways to get myself inside.  I haven't taken any dishonest steps, the way my brother did one summer by claiming he was taking photos for a classic car magazine so that he could pose next to people's Corvettes.  

Last month my friend was going to a church social at a neighbor's home that I had always admired, so when I mentioned it to my friend she invited me along.  While everyone else was going ga-ga over the spread of croissants and salads I was staring at the design of the end tables and noticing the rock wall that ran down the entire height of the staircase.  Food, schmood.  I was getting my fill by looking at the decorating in this coolest-of-the-cool house.

I am posting here a photo of another home in my town that I "accidentally" drive past on a regular basis.  Last week I was having a rough day and on the way home from a meeting I drove by as a way of self-medicating.  I must say it helped.  But don't tell anyone.

So, my question to you would be what building or piece of furniture has inspired you? Give me details and maybe I can change my driving route to include your suggestion.  :)


Gideon Burton | August 31, 2008 at 11:09 PM

I guess that makes me George Jetson.

Anyhoo, I also think that architecture can be very inspirational. It's sort of like a promise someone gives to thousands he/she will never know that "Hey, if the material world can be like THIS, it makes life just a bit less mundane, just a bit more of an adventure"

We are spiritual beings in a temporal world, and matter matters. Every place we are, for that moment, is the tabernacle of our soul. You often can't choose the forms of the buildings around you, but you can choose to let some forms speak to you, passing along that promise that some designer just might have made.

I like a building design blog called busyboo.com. Check out this
mod house--it has "flow."

Margy | September 1, 2008 at 9:31 AM

I'm a total architecture junky, too! My secret confession is that I like seeing in people's windows when I'm driving around at night, but not to see people. I want to see what the spaces inside their houses are like.

We happened upon a real estate open house in Park City Saturday for a hillside home built in the 70s and you'd have died and gone to heaven. Two full walls in the living room were solid glass, but the way the ceiling was designed, you could hang out in the room and not feel overexposed. At a cool 2.2 million (mostly because the house was on 4 acres), it'd never happen for us, but it gave me some ideas for the house I'm always designing in my head.

Check out the house on the corner of Canyon Road and Houtz avenue (where you turn to get to Diamond's greenhouse. I even know the woman who lives there, but I've never begged an invitation over. If I ever go, I'll invite you along too.

Kazzy | September 1, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Oooo sounds great!

LisAway | September 2, 2008 at 12:35 AM

I read this post and wasn't going to comment because I didn't have a ready answer, as I'm not really into specific kinds of architecture. I do love art deco. Almost all things art deco, and I'm happy that the latest fashion in furniture (at least in Europe) is art deco-ish, although I know it's not exactly the real thing.

As far as buildings go, we have a two hour drive to church on Sunday's through lots of Polish countryside. It is just beautiful, but one of my favorite things is seeing all the country churches from a distance, often nestled in little hills with the villages sprawling around them. I love those little churches that are each probably at least a few hundred years old.

Then we get to Cracow and go to our "chapel," which is really just a tiny rented apartment in a huge old building. Funny that in so many ways, the beauty of that "chapel" exceeds the beauty of all those we passed on the road to get there.

Kazzy | September 2, 2008 at 8:04 AM

Great thoughts. Thanks!

Graciesmom | September 4, 2008 at 9:30 PM

I have to say that driving down 400 East by Grant School when the leaves are changing is one of my favorite places to drive. It is such a peaceful look for me. Also I love to drive by any old barns. Especially the ones in Mapleton. Really anything that reminds me that we are in a small town.

charrette | September 4, 2008 at 10:45 PM

What a cool house. I want to do my own drive-by!

The building that inspired me most was our old house in Pasadena, and the big church at the end of the block,and all the beautiful homes in the surrounding neighborhoods. There is something so gracious about the Craftsman style and the lifestyle and philosophy it embodies. A return to slowing down, doing things by hand, appreciating excellence in all its forms.

I too am a fan of mid-century modern, when it's done well. I also love the 40s international style, and the New Brutalist architecture of the Art building at the U. (Can you tell my dad was an architect?)

Fun post. Great title!

Luann | September 5, 2008 at 7:34 AM

Craftsman style is what speaks to my soul. To me it feels like the perfect blend of smart modern and warm antique.

Midge | September 5, 2008 at 10:26 AM

To me Victorian with a great wrap around porch with, of course, a porch swing.
Great post.

Kazzy | September 6, 2008 at 12:30 PM

I looked up New Brutalist architecture and really think I would like to learn more. Cool stuff! Thanks, Charrette!