• Tiki Hangover: Unearthing the False Idols of America's South Seas Fantasy Living the Tiki lifestyle once conjured the gentle sound of distant waves and lilting ukuleles, the rustic comforts of a poolside hammock beneath swaying palms. Those drawn to this Polynesian fantasy decorated their living rooms with bamboo furniture and learned the steps to native dances, while cultivating a taste for exotic foods and sweet rum cocktails. In the mid-20th century, such tropical tr…
  • The Colors of Fiesta I started as a collector and I’m a web designer, so I thought I would design a website from my passion. I threw it up there and people just found me and it started to take off. Fiesta is made in West Virginia, and I’m from West Virginia originally. I was a thrift store fanatic in college, and I would see this unmarked colored dishware that just really caught my eye. That was probably Riviera, beca…
  • Eames, Nelson, and the Mid-Century Modern Aesthetic As a teenager, I collected everything from vintage bicycles to Coca-Cola to Victorian stuff. Once I realized some of this stuff contained concepts of art and design, I started looking for vintage objects that also represented art or design movements that could hold my interest. I ran across Art Nouveau and then Art Deco and then Arts and Crafts and then streamline modern. Visually it all led up to…
  • Mid-Century Modern Furniture, from Marshmallow Sofas to Hans Wegner Chairs Mid-century Modern used the technology of mass production to produce good-looking pieces of furniture out of the latest materials. A number of these materials became commonplace after World War II, so the idea was to make things affordable. These were not “custom-made pieces.” When you bought a Tiffany lamp, even though that was a production piece in its day, it was also a handmade piece that cost…