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Category Archives: Restorations

Mid Century Tiered Fountain

Mel and I are trying to get our backyard in shape for the summer. One thing we have been looking for is a vintage outdoor water feature. As usual, I was cruising Craigslist when I stumbled across this!

I reached out to the folks who had it, and fortunately I was one of the first to inquire about it. They said the response was overwhelming!

This is in vintage condition and will require sandblasting and powder coating to bring it back to life. I will also have to replumb the whole fountain. Unfortunately, there’s no pump or tubing so I’m going to have to MacGyver it! If any of you out there have done it before please let me know. I would love some suggestions.

This fountain will be a nice addition to the Fibrella patio furniture and the Brunswick bowling benches that we’ve added to the backyard.

It seems to me that these fountains were more prevalent in Eichler and Streng homes. They were a great addition to the atrium in those style homes.

I searched online for any information about the manufacturer of these fountains, but was unsuccessful. The bowls of this fountain are metal, but I have seen fountains where the bowls were made of fiberglass. I don’t imagine there are too many of the fiberglass ones left.

I can’t wait until this thing is up and running. I love the sound of trickling water that fountains emit, it’s so relaxing!

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2017: Year in Review

2017: Year in Review

This past year was about turning the page. If you’ve followed our blog, you’re aware that we recently moved. This was a MAJOR move for us. What some of you may not know is that we had a house in Sacramento and an apartment in San Jose that Mel lived in during the week for work. This move included moving out of both homes, moving out of Midway, selling a house, and buying a house. All of this happened in less than 4 months. For our year in review, we’d like to focus on key events related to our move and cover some of the fun stuff we were able to squeeze in.

Sold 1959 Ranch

People would often say to us that they would hate to be us if we ever moved. Mel and I have been collectors our whole marriage (13 years this coming Feb) and we’ve amassed quite a collection of vintage home decor. To be honest, we probably would have moved sooner if the idea of moving wasn’t so daunting. We began packing in mid-July, and the house hit the market on August 20, 2017. The house went pending a week later on the first day of our open house. We accepted a contingency offer over asking, and the house closed on October 3, 2017.

Here are a few shots before and after we packed the rooms up.

Closed our Showroom 

Once we started packing, the next thing we did was begin liquidating our inventory in our showroom at Midway Antique Mall. We became dealers at Midway in August of 2013. Coincidentally, we closed our showroom almost exactly 4 years later this past August, 2017. Here are some photos of how our showroom evolved over the years.

Moved out of San Jose Pad

In our San Jose pad, we were able to decorate outside our usual atomic fifties style. This was a fun change. Luckily, we were able to keep a lot of this collection. We’re creating a music listening room in one of the bedrooms in our new house, and we’re decorating with a lot of these pieces. Below are some photos of our pad before we moved out.

Photo Shoots

We squeezed in a few photo shoots before we started moving. Our house in Sacramento was decorated in fifties atomic and tiki, while our San Jose apartment was decorated in a more space age, mod style. Below are some photos from shoots that occurred at both locations.

Location: Sacramento Atomic Fifties Ranch

Sadie LaSalle

Publication: Pinup Kulture Magazine, Photographer: Feathered Flash Photography, MUAH: Heather Elizabeth Camacho, Model: Sadie LaSalle

Sadie LaSalle

Publication: Pinup Kulture Magazine, Photographer: Feathered Flash Photography, MUAH: Heather Elizabeth Camacho, Model: Sadie LaSalle

Location: San Jose Mod Pad

Bo Vixxen

Photographer & MUAH: Marilee Caruso, Model: Bo Vixxen

Bo Vixxen

Photographer & MUAH: Marilee Caruso, Model: Bo Vixxen

Kitti Von Paige

Publication: Delicious Dolls Magazine, Photographer: Shogun Photography, MUAH: Brandi Proffitt, Model: Kitti Von Paige

Collection

Even with all the chaos and stress of moving, we had some time to add to our collection and knock out a few restorations.

We added one final piece today to our collection for 2017. Thanks to Christina and Chris Lindquist for thinking of us when they decided to re-home this amazing Frederic Weinberg piece.

Frederick Weinberg

Name Change

When we started our blog about 6 years ago, our focus was on sharing our mid-century home decor collection and restoration techniques. Over the years, we’ve evolved and become more diverse in our collection and we decided to no longer offer restoration services to the public (we’ll still blog about pieces we restore for our collection). Because of this, Hepcat Restorations no longer represented who we were. So, we rebranded ourselves as Hepcats Haven.

Hepcats Haven Designs

I’ve always thought of myself as an artistic person. As a kid, I used to spend endless hours drawing. I decided to embark on a new adventure and try my hand at graphic design. My portfolio isn’t very large yet, but I plan to build this up. You’ll find a variety of designs in my collection including fifties atomic, tiki, seasonal, Panton era, etc..

Currently, I’m using the Redbubble and Spoonflower platforms to showcase my collection. You’ll be able to buy the images I design and have them printed on clothing, books, and home decor such pillows, bedding & clocks. You can purchase my designs on fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap via Spoonflower. Click on the links below to check out my designs.

Hepcats Haven Designs on Redbubble

Hepcats Haven Designs on Spoonflower

Here are some examples:

Our New 1961 Ranch

Special thanks to James Safonov Realty and Brad L’Engle of Guild Mortgage. James actually sold our house in Sacramento and helped us with buying our new home. He drove from Sacramento all the way to the Bay Area every time we had homes we wanted to check out.

We found our new Hepcats Haven in early November. This is what we’re starting with. We’re putting our touches on it, and will show you some after photos once we get our landscaping more dialed in.

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What’s Next?

We’re focusing on getting our new house in order. Getting unpacked and our collection up has actually been more difficult than the move itself. As we get rooms in order, we’ll be sure to share our journey with you. Here’s a sneak peek…

Hepcats Haven

We wish a happy New Year to everyone!

Paul T. Frankl set designed for Kane Kraft

Paul T. Frankl set designed for Kane Kraft

Mel and I picked this set up recently. Paul T. Frankl designed this set for Kane Kraft sometime in the late 40’s or early 50’s. I have always wanted a vintage bamboo dining set and this was the exact style I had in mind.

As you can see, the set was a little grubby from years of use. Most of the filth came off with cleaner, but the backs of the chairs had years of oil and grease built up on the surfaces. I cleaned them and resprayed them with polyurethane.

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I have yet to clean this piece but that is all it should need.

We purchased this with plans to pick it up the following week. When we returned the store owner brought to our attention that there was a matching sideboard if we were interested! Yes please!

The top of this piece is fantastic!

So much storage, and we love those knobs.

The wood used appears to be solid Koa or Narra. The sideboard is solid and heavy. The grain of the wood glows like beams of sunlight in the sun.

I am currently on the hunt for appropriate fabric to recover the seats in.

Rare 1956 Crescent 45 Record Player

Rare 1956 Crescent 45 Record Player

I am a record player fanatic! There were so many makes and styles that the options are almost endless. As usual, I was cruising eBay when SHAZAM, I came across this rare 1956 Crescent 45 record player.

This unit is farm fresh. It needs some cleaning up and a servicing to make it fully functional again.

I love the slanted design with the metal hairpin legs on the front. I also dig the atomic green fabric with the gold diamond accents on the front.

This unit has a speaker underneath. This is what drove the slanted design of this record player.

I will use some light grit sand paper to clean up all the gold accents and paint them with the 24K gold spray paint carried by Michael’s.

The grey material on the outside of the case is in good shape, but will need some freshening up.

I will reach out to my faithful repair guy Justin from Stellar Electronics. I know he will fix her up!

Here is the original ad showing this little gem towards the bottom.

For all of you who noticed the record in the background, it is a Les Baxter 10″  33&1/3 album. This cover is so fantastic and came out at the same time the player did.

1950’s Raymond Loewy Designed Old Forester Decanter Restoration

1950’s Raymond Loewy Designed Old Forester Decanter Restoration

I remember the first time I saw this style decanter. I thought it was soo atomic! Come to find out that they were designed by Raymond Loewy  (Thanks Benjamin Cobb Storck for the info). From that point on I wanted to amass a small collection and make a custom decanter set for entertaining.

This was a straight forward and quick restoration. The good news was that the bottoms and tops separate from the bottle part which made painting them a breeze!

This is the spray paint I swear by. I purchase this paint from Michael’s crafts store. Other gold paint can look tacky, but this one looks period correct.

Another good thing about this paint is that it is quick drying. Seriously, it only took 10-15 minuets for the pieces to dry.

I found a place on eBay that makes custom decals. I thought this light pink with a gold border would compliment the gold body of the decanter. I have managed to find 7 decanters so far and am looking to get a total of 10. 

As you can see, we have Vodka, Rum, Tequila, Cognac…

Whiskey, Scotch & Bourbon!

This set looks really good with the Hager smoking set.

Once I find the other 3 decanters we will be ready to party!

Repurpose of Vintage Department Store Display

Repurpose of Vintage Department Store Display

Mel and I came across this hutch when it was in an antique store called Atomic Living Hayward, which is sadly out of business now. I regreted not buying it when we saw it the first time. Then, I was hitting antique stores in San Jose, CA and BOOM, there it was again! I knew this must have been destiny, so I jumped right on it. Fortunately, there was a sale too!It appears it was mounted in/on a wall. The condition of the paneling on the sides and top was pretty bad. The side lower back corners had delamination and wood loss. As always when it comes to cabinetry work, I rely on my Step-Father Dave. I had no desire to try and replace the panels on each side and the top. We decided to recover the whole cabinet with 1/4 inch plywood to make it look like new. Once we cut each panel to size, we glued it and brad nailed it to the cabinet. Another challenge we had was that we needed to build a base for the legs to attach to. I decided I wanted to use 28″ hairpin legs to prop this cabinet up. Thank god for clamps! With the base built and the cabinet recovered it looked like a new cabinet. With the new plywood attached, we needed to add a trim piece to hide the repair. Here you can see the new trim and paneling. With the cabinet fully repaired it was time to attach the legs to this piece!Now time for paint!I wanted it to match the goldish tan color of our rattan. I took a small piece to Home Depot and matched it. I wanted to paint the striated wood insert a greenish color that would compliment our tiki room. With it painted, it was time to get glass cut for the top and install interior lighting. Ta Da! We are really pleased how it turned out. Melody and I are big fans of striated wood pieces. This doesn’t hold all our tiki mugs, but it adds loads more interest to the room.Now that this is done it’s off to the next restoration!

1951 Lighted Planter and Shelf Unit Restoration

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1951 Lighted Planter and Shelf Unit Restoration

Mel and I saw a really cool formica cabinet for sale in S.F. that matched our office desk, so we shot over there to pick it up. We met a really nice couple who had lived in their home for many years. They had a lot of really cool items they were trying to get rid of because they were moving to Hawaii. Mel and I noticed this lighted planter and shelf unit right when we walked in, and it was love at first sight!

This couple took possession of this shelf unit from an elderly asian lady who used to own the whole building. When she passed, her family didn’t want any of her possessions, so they ended up with it.

Mel and I are big fans of multipurpose furniture. I love the design of this shelf unit and the planters push it over the top. Another cool feature is that the lower planter has a light above it. When lit, it gives the lower planter an aquarium feel.

The first step to restoring anything it to dismantle it. This shelf unit has two mirrors that flank each side of the lower planter. When I removed them, I noticed that on the back of the mirrors they had a stamp and it said…

I assume this fantastic piece was produced sometime around July 12, 1951 because of that stamp. After I broke the unit down, I started the long process of sanding, repairing and painting the piece. Here is the result…

I decided to keep the original black color scheme. I changed the red color of the shelves to aqua because I wanted to introduce more aqua into our decor. I also painted the removable planter bins aqua to help accentuate the curve of the shelf unit.

Thank god for artificial plants! I have tried to keep real plants alive, but never manage to do so. Michael’s sells really nice artificial cacti and succulents!

This lower planter throws really nice light and gives the room a pleasant atmosphere when turned on. Our house is just under 1800 sq ft, and being that we are antique dealers/collectors, we are at capacity. This is one of those pieces we will have to make room for.

Now we have to find some smalls we can place on each shelf.

We will always be looking for pieces similar to this. Not to long ago we found another planter cabinet that we use in our laundry room.

Below is the cabinet we originally drove out to get. I added the hairpin legs to give it a more atomic feel.

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