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Category Archives: Restorations

WITCO “Throne Chair”

As usual, Mel and I were cruising Craigslist and came across this fantastic WITCO throne chair! The seller was unaware that it was WITCO and just listed it as a throne chair. We shot over to Elk Grove, CA and with some haggling, we snagged it for $400 because she just wanted it gone! Once we loaded the chair in our truck we shot over to our upholsterer Custom Upholstery.

We are sooo excited to add this to our other pieces of WITCO.

It is is rough shape, but when the upholstery is done and I oil the hell out of it, it will look like new.

The armrests are so wide. This will make them great as a work surface for my laptop. I think we have a new blog chair!

There are a lot of cool tikis carved into this chair.

These two upper tiki heads are detachable.

The heads just mount on these studs.

We can’t wait to get this restored.

Finding the original tag when we flipped the chair over was an extra bonus!

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (minus Sneezy)

As I blogged in an earlier post, I have been in the process of restoring these vintage Disney concrete garden statues. We have all the pieces except Sneezy who was too busted up to restore. Fortunately, we found a replacement that is shipping from the east coast.

One thing I noticed when trying to stay faithful to the color scheme of each character is that there seems to be a lot of conflicting info online. I did my best to match any images I found online from the original movie. Also, I wasn’t digging just a white beard. I tried to add more detail by adding gray and white to capture a more realistic look. Here are before and after photos of some of the characters.

These pieces have started to be reproduced. They come in three different sizes: small, medium & large. Our set is original and would be considered the large set. We will be happy to complete the set once Sneezy arrives. Onto the next project!

Excuse the landscaping, we still need to work on the backyard.

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!

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!

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