It’s been a long time coming, but Eric and I finally have started to rehang some of the art and artifacts that used to populate the kitchen walls. Let’s see what’s hanging around! (Warning: This post contains potentially shocking unstaged photos! Yes, and a Lava Lamp.)
Starting on the right side of the sink wall: When we were back in Vermont for Maddie and Holly’s wedding last spring, I snagged this little mirrored door as a souvenir from the amazing, frozen-in-time Pond Store (next to the Victorian B&B where we stayed). Hung on Mother Hubbard’s flank, the mirror is mounted so I can stand at the sink and peek down the street to the west. I get a kick out of this for some reason.
To the left of the sink we’ve hung a collection of antique iron trivets. Some are from my family, some are from Eric’s. It helps to marry someone who can contribute to your stash of memorabilia. Beneath them, our beleaguered papyrus plant which, despite its armored pot, takes frequent abuse from our cat, Fred. Who can resist a plant with tassels?
And above the sink, hanging from the cornice molding, is my collection of egg beaters. I grew up with the one in the center and used it until just recently. Any one of them can beat the living daylights out of their modern replacement. For the curious, they are, from left:
- High Speed Super Center Drive, A&J, 1930
- Turbine Egg Beater, Cassaday Fairbanks Mfg. Co., Chicago, IL 1912
- Hi-Speed A&J Beater, Ecko Products, USA, 1940-50
- Light Running, Taplin Mfg. Co., New Britain, CN 1908
- Ladd Beater, United Royalties Corp., New York, 1908
Over in the corner by the door to the dining room is the wooden phone that hung in my parent’s kitchen for many years. I’m unsure of its origin in our family. Perhaps my dad, a kitchen designer, bought it from a client, or maybe it came from his parents. It’s a Stromberg-Carlson model with a Kellogg mouthpiece patented in 1901. Unfortunately, it’s been gutted—no more working parts—but it makes a cute little stash cabinet for something small. And how can you not love that face … you just know he would never divulge your secrets.
In the breakfast room, the first thing you’ll notice are the two salvaged stained glass panels that hang in the upper portion of our windows. Not only do they look beautiful in the morning sun, but they help block the view of our neighbors across the alley.
Between the windows is an antique candy thermometer, mounted on wood. I know my dad got this from a client, along with this book of handwritten candy recipes. No, I’ve never made any of them. I have plenty to do besides making a huge sticky mess in my kitchen! (Besides, I’d just eat them. Coconut caramels … mmmm.)
I believe this insurance advertisement with a 1901 calendar came from my paternal grandpa’s florist business office in Milwaukee. It hung in my parents’ office when I was a teenager, and now it’s in my breakfast room. It’s framed in a strange kind of pressed fiberboard, painted gold.
On the north wall of the breakfast room is my beloved collection of fruit crate labels. Years ago I found these at an antique show. The vendor was getting rid of his entire stock and I bought a bunch for 50 cents apiece. I shoulda bought ’em all! For over 15 years they languished in a bag until I decoupaged them onto pine boards. No doubt it ruined their collectible value, but they’re mine, so I don’t care. I’d rather enjoy them on the wall than in a bag. I love these colorful graphics. The themes are so American.
Over the stove: I recently bought this rod and hook set from IKEA without really knowing what I’d hang from it. I gathered up a few odds and ends, not necessarily permanent: ice tongs, a crust cutter, a wire whisk, an old sieve, and a spidery gizmo for piercing holes in cookie dough.
The jury’s still out on what to do on the shelf and wall behind the stove and fridge. The shelf is formed by the posterior of the dining room’s built-in buffet. Eventually we plan to install more cabinets there, but that won’t happen any time soon (and maybe never, at the rate we move). Until then, it’s an awkward spot that’s hard to reach and great for catching dust.
My parents received the big aluminum tray as a wedding present (a popular gift item in the 1940s). When I was a little kid, my dad spray painted the tray copper, which has faded to a mellow glow. I’ve always been charmed by its circling flowers (daffodils?), especially the one in the middle that looks like it’s chasing its tail. The tray is the queen of the wall, with her ladies in waiting sitting at her feet: an enamel coffee pot, a flour sifter, an oil lamp, a coffee samovar (from my mom’s family), a venerable wooden Pepsi case (which I may or may not have filched from someplace during college), and a jug found in my crawlspace when I moved in.
“Okay,” you say, “You have a lot of stuff. How’s the stuff in the bedroom coming along?” I’m happy to report the drawers, linen closet, and bedroom closet have been purged, eight bags of clothes donated to charity, and Eric is about to start building our bedframe! More on all that in due time!