RSS Feed

Tag Archives: frank sinatra

1950’s Phone Table Quick Restoration


I really dig this table and think it will be a nice addition to our pad.

Mel and I acquired this table from our friend Vic. I wanted one of these tables so we could set our aqua colored phone on when we get into our new place. I liked the styling of this phone table but the fabric was soo blah that it needed something that would breath new life into it.


Here it is! I think it turned out great!


This phone is made by Bell System Western Electric.


I can just see us chilling on the chair talking to family. It will be a cool experience.

Things That Are In The Works

Right now is a pretty active time for me.  I have lots of projects that are being worked on and will be coming together soon……..hopefully.  Anyway, I thought I would give you a sample of what is coming!

Vintage Desk & Chair


This is what I am starting with.

I have eyeballing this piece for a while because I am a huge sucker for unique Formica from the 50’s.  This was at an antique store we frequent often and it had been there for some time.  The only hitch to getting this piece is there was no chair for it.  After cruising Craigslist for a week or so, I found a chair that when re-upholstered will look like it went to this desk.  The desk is marked but the mark is unreadable :(.  Here are some pics of it before it gets its refresh!


I can’t put my finger on what era this desk is from.  It is either the 40’s of 50’s.  I really wish the makers mark was more legible, but it is an ink stamp that bled out.

I fell in love with this desk because of the tapered leg, and of course the Formica that I just go ape for!


Here is a close up of the Formica.


With my chair upholstery choice, I will have to paint the drawer pulls gold to pick up the gold in the fabric.


The upholstery has to go, but what I love about this chair is the styling.  I will have to paint the wood black so it ties better to the desk.


I searched for a while for fabric I though would look great with this desk and I found this ultra atomic fabric!  I will be dropping the chair off at B&T Upholstery as soon as my fabric arrives.

RCA Victor Stereo Orthophonic Mark XIII


These units were produced in the 50’s.

I found this piece on Craigslist in San Francisco.  I used to own one of these in a cherry finish and always regretted getting rid of it.  I am a huge audiophile and would fill a warehouse with audio equipment if I had the chance.  As you can tell, this unit needs some work.  I am going to refinish the wood on this piece, but will have to re-veneer the top of the lid.  I plan to use the champagne Heywood Wakefield stain to finish the cabinet.  I will need to get it over to my audio guy to get it running perfect again.


As you can see, this unit needs a refinish. I do have the gold metal legs too!


It also needs some detailing and a good cleaning.  My stereo guy said that these have such great sound when working properly, so I can’t wait to get it back!

RCA Victor Stereo Orthophonic Mark III


The next unit I have I got off of Craigslist as well.  I had to drive to Walnut Creek to pick this unit up.  This unit is very clean and just needs a tune up!  I can’t wait to play some Como on this sucker.


The cabinet just needed some oil to bring back the luster of the finish.


The radio has a green “Cats Eye” that brightens as you tune into a radio station.  The dials light up when on as well.

Here is a cool advertisement educating us about the “New Living Stereo” technology of Orthophonic!

Heywood Wakefield M590 China Cabinet


As you can see, this cabinet was well used.  I plan to refinish it to go with the Heywood Wakefield dog bone table and chairs we picked up that I will post later.

This is such a cool hutch when restored.  I have the shelves and glass doors in storage.  The cabinet doors look rough but after sanding, they will look like new.



I have a lot of work ahead of me and I will keep you all up to date on my progress.  We are going to be moving soon to hopefully a mid-century ranch style home, so there will be a whole lot to cover in our new place.

Atomic Bar Quick Restoration


This bar didn’t need a lot of work.  All I needed to do was repaint all the metal, redo the Formica, recover the seats and replace the bumper strip on the top.

Mel and I drove out to Clovis to grab this really cool bar.  As you can see, the bar stool cushions needed to be recovered.  The bar top was warped and curled upwards on the ends.   The metal feet on the bar and the stools had to be repainted as well.


To fix the top of the bar, I flipped it and screwed it down which helped flatten out the top.  Once that was done, I sanded the surface to prep it for new white Formica.


The Fabric matches the bar really well!


I added simple little details like gold tips to the bar and the bar stool feet.

I had to recover the stools because the fabric was so old that it was brittle and cracked.  I used some of the cool aqua colored frieze fabric that Bill from B&T Upholstery gave me from a couch he stripped (THANKS BILL!!!!).  The frames of the stools just needed a quick repaint.


I think the fabric really goes well with the bar!

 After a long search at Lowes, Home Depot and local cabinetry shops, I was unable to find a replacement bumper strip (t-molding) that goes around the bar top.  I had to jump on eBay and order a strip of it to replace the worn old strip.  After a few days it arrived and I popped it on and BANG! The bar is done.


This quick little freshen up brings this bar back to its former glory.  This will end up in our booth at Midway Antique Mall in Sacramento.


As you can see, the top is as good as new.


On a side note, we finally found a total of four super atomic “Old Forester” decanters.  These will stay in our collection.


Mel and I hope whomever ends up with this bar will enjoy it!  On to the next resto.

Telefunken Sonata 5183 WK


Hey all,

I was sitting around and remembered that I had not blogged about this great little 1960’s German unit. I found this on Craigslist sometime back for about $60. It was a part of a cluster of items a younger man was selling that were part of his late mothers estate. I was surprised to see everything worked when he turned it on. As usual it had that really rich and deep sound. I couldn’t get the $60 out of my pocket fast enough.


The great thing about these units is that they are small but still give the rich sound like the larger units. Also, one person can move them. The sound of these units can get even better if you buy a pair of satellite speakers to play through. I have a pair sitting around that need to be restored so I guess I should get on that.


Here are a couple of photos of my grandparents. The picture of my grandma Troxel is of her in England sometime around WWII. The picture of my grandpa Troxel is soo cool, he looks like a gangster or something. The frames are really cool. I plan to blog about Art Deco frames, there are soo many cool ones out there.

This unit can play all the variety of speeds (16, 33 & 45) including 78! I have a mess of 78’s including about 15 binders like the one below full of one of my favorite crooners Bing Crosby. I must have every song he sang or even hummed.


Since I am on the subject of 78’s let me take just a moment to express to you what a lost piece of treasure these records are. I have seen people throw these records away because they are not in demand anymore. These records are also brittle and can break with very little effort. This is why they need to be appreciated and in some instances there are some really rare recordings on these records. I love sitting around listening to records that range from early Perry Como to country western. Do yourself a favor, get a player that can play 78’s and just kick back and let the music wash over you (stepping down from soap box).


Check out all these cats listening to 78’s! How can all these guys be wrong!? On a side note, this would be a cool way to sample your music, why don’t they do this anymore?

So, if you get a chance to pick one of these units up I would say go for it, especially if space is an issue.


Frank Sinatra’s House

I was watching one of those reality shows a while back and they did an episode from this fantastic home. I remember thinking I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when he threw his big parties. I have always loved this style of home. Built in 1947 and designed by E. Stewart Williams it is a landmark steeped in modern architecture history that influence the designs of many houses that followed. Through two tumultuous relationships, Sinatra would live in Twin Palms for seven years before selling it. The estate was named after the twin palm trees, located poolside; at the time they were the tallest trees in the valley. This spectacular home was located in the famous Movie Colony neighborhood, just around the corner from residences once owned by Al Jolson, Jack Benny and Cary Grant.


Here are some great images of Sinatra’s home.

I stumbled across this great clip about Twin Palms…..enjoy!

Oh, and you can rent this sweet home for around $2,600.00 a nite!

The home was also used in a movie called “The Damned Don’t Cry” staring Joan Crawford.

%d bloggers like this: