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This 100-Year-Old Kitchen Design Looks Better than Ever

Almost 100 years ago, in 1926, a team of architects set out to design the home of the future. In the wake of the first World War, Frankfurt, Germany experienced a huge housing crisis, and the team, headed by Ernst May, was tasked with creating 10,000 new units of worker housing. It was the perfect opportunity to show off the new ideals of modernism, and to create a home that was a shining example of minimalism and efficiency. The perfect modern home needed a perfect modern kitchen, and for its design May turned — unusually at the time — to a woman.



Posted on Oct 19, 2017

A New Exhibit Explores The Modern History of Apartment Living

Since its opening in the 1980s, The Tenement Museum has provided a wealth of information on the origins of urban apartment living. The incredibly preserved building on 97 Orchard Street features multiple well-researched tours that cover different immigrant families who occupied the tenements in the past, offering you a glimpse into working class urban life up until the 1930s (Full disclosure: the Tenement Museum is my favorite place on all of planet earth. All of it). Next month they’ll open up a new extension of the museum at 103 Orchard Street that focuses on families settling in the neighborhood after World War II, to the current day.



Posted on Oct 14, 2017

Halloween Decorating Hasn’t Been Around As Long As You Think

You’ve probably noticed that Halloween decorations have seen a definite uptick in recent years. When I was a kid, the decorations in our neighborhood were limited to jack-o-lanterns on front porches, and maybe the occasional skeleton or creepy spider web. Now, it’s not unusual to see entire neighborhoods decked out in black, with witches, faux graveyards, and even Halloween lights. How did we get here? Let’s take a look back at the interesting history of decorating for Halloween.



Posted on Oct 8, 2017

Our Treasured Family Heirlooms, In My Grandparents’ House and Now in Mine

I recently wrote about my grandparents’ former home in St. Francis Wood of San Francisco. Though the house is no longer in our family, I inherited several pieces of art and furniture that are now part of the backdrop of my own family’s stories. Here are some beloved pieces, then and now.



Posted on Oct 7, 2017

“Pittsburgh Potties”: A Real & Very Mysterious Thing

Ever wandered down into someone’s basement and seen a fully functional toilet in the middle of the room? ‘Pittsburgh Potties’ are just that —common commodes installed in your average unfinished basement, without walls or doors —and so named because of their prevalence in Western Pennsylvania. Why, you might be asking, is this an actual thing in this area? I’m glad you’re as curious as I was.



Posted on Sep 19, 2017

Recommended Reading: Hollywood is really mad at Rotten Tomatoes

Attacked by Rotten Tomatoes
Brooks Barnes,
The New York Times

The film scores tallied by Rotten Tomatoes are what many moviegoers use to decide how to spend their money. As you might expect, this doesn’t make some folks in Hollywood too happy. In…


Posted on Sep 9, 2017

The New Look For the Kitchen is More Classic Than Ever

Lately, new designs for the kitchen look more and more like old designs for the kitchen. There’s a certain style of British kitchen — vintage-style appliances, Shaker-style cabinets, a bit austere but with very traditional accents — that’s becoming very popular. Looking at these kitchens, I am struck by the fact that they look remarkably similar to some of the 1920s kitchens I came across while researching this series about the history of kitchen design . Everything old is new again — and in this case, what’s particularly old is particularly new.



Posted on Sep 3, 2017

For This Brief Period, Kitchens Went Totally Wild — 100 Years in the Kitchen

The kitchen many not seem like the most adventurous room in the home (especially today as we gravitate toward all white kitchens), but there was a time when it was bold and daring. You see little hints of this in the ’60s, but it’s in the ’70s that the kitchen started to get really wild.



Posted on Sep 2, 2017

Quiz: Can You Match the Bathroom to the Decade?

Ah the vintage bathroom: it’s either loved to the point that tears are shed upon hearing that someone ripped out an authentic 1950s space (the original tiles — nooo!!), or loathed so much that it’s the first thing someone renovates upon moving into a fixer upper (white subway tiles, here I come!). Whichever side you fall on—as there doesn’t appear to be a limbo between those two stances—you’re still likely to have fun making your best guesses in today’s quiz featuring bathrooms from the ’40s to the ’80s. “Mamie pink ” tiles, wall-to-wall shag carpeting (yes…in the bathroom), embroidered dividing walls…can you match the bathroom to the decade? Share your results in the comments below!



Posted on Aug 31, 2017

How A Decade of Domesticity Changed Our Nation’s Kitchens — 100 Years in the Kitchen

Pink everywhere! It must be the 1950s. This kitchen is a design from 1958, spotted on Midcentury Living .

(Image credit: Midcentury Living )

It’s the 1950s. The war is over, and the United States is enjoying a wave of unprecedented prosperity. Millions of GIs returned, eager for the comforts of home that they had been missing, and everyone settled down to a kind of nationwide nesting. Record numbers of homes were being built in the newly developed suburbs, and the center of all those homes was the kitchen.



Posted on Aug 25, 2017

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