Kevin's Riverside Retro Tech Tour

Kevin's Riverside Retro Tech Tour

Gregory Han
May 27, 2010

Name: Kevin, Ana, and Catherine (cats Maddie & Blaze with dogs, Nicky & Rusty)  
Location: Riverside, California
Size: 1,000 square feet

Located in Riverside's Downtown Evergreen Historic District (about 50 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles), Kevin, Ana and their daughter Catherine share a two bedroom apartment with a lovingly curated interior whose foundation of Mid Century modern pieces is balanced by a budget-minded assortment of modern day accessories, thrift store finds and Craigslist scores. But what really caught our eyes were the various vintage-era home electronics and appliances from the likes of Zenith, Panasonic, Osterizer, Magnovox and forgotten brands like Fleetwood, that serve both as decorative and functional elements in their household.

Unplggd Tech Tour Survey:

My/our style: Mid Century and 1950's kitsch.

The inspiration for my home and office/home theater: A lot of my inspiration comes from watching old movies and seeing how people decorated their homes in the 50's and 60's. Mid Century-friendly blogs such as Apartment Therapy have also influenced my design ideas as well.

Favorite element in your space: The original wood floors. They have a very rustic-aged look to them. The kitchen with its original cabinetry and tile are another favorite as well as the original doors. The windows, they open inwards.

Biggest challenge in designing my space: The biggest has to be the living room. The faux fireplace takes up a large portion of the west facing wall. I did not want to have our television over the fireplace so I had to design around it by putting the back of the sofa to the fireplace. The bathroom was a big eyesore when we moved in. It had ugly 90's looking vinyl tiles with floral patters. And the medicine cabinet was dated as well. I put in a new bamboo type floor and installed a new medicine cabinet from IKEA and painted the walls and put up some vintage religious art that had been sitting in the closet with nowhere to go.

What friends say about my space: My friends say it looks beautiful and that I should be an interior designer.

Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: The laundry room. It serves as the kitty litter box station for the cats and it always smells terrible in there no matter how much air freshener I spray. The very squeaky stairs and wood floors make our home sound like a haunted house.

Proudest DIY (do it yourself) project: The bathroom floor and the handmade curtains in the living room, kitchen and my bedroom.

Biggest indulgence with respect to my space: Honestly, we never spend very much on anything. Everything we own cost $130 or less including the 1950's sofa. Most of our stuff is $25 or less. All our furniture is from thrift stores or from Craigslist. My wife is very tight-fisted with our finances. The television is probably the only new thing we own and our computer.

Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home: My advice is if your looking for a vintage piece of furniture be patient and don't overspend and pay someone else's WTF price. I can remember countless times I wanted something and would go to IKEA and buy a replica only to find a Mid Century item if only I had waited it out a few weeks later.

Dream source for stuff: Silica Three..that really cool Mid Century furniture store in Los Angeles! But it's way too expensive for my humble budget.


Home Entertainment Equipment and Furnishings: The sofa maker is unknown. However, the guy who sold it to me believes it was a Knoll because something about it having 6 peg legs instead of only 4. Can anyone identify it?

The record consoles are by Magnavox and the old TV was made by Fleetwood. I drove all the way to Santa Barbara for this television! Dining table is original set from the 60's by Princess Co. Tanker desk was purchased from a friend. Dresser in my bedroom from Goodwill. The cabinet unit in front window is actually a LACK unit. It has served as a kitty condo, a wall shelf and currently I switched it to a Danish type cabinet by adding sliding doors and some legs from an old end table. The 1950's china cabinet is a Craigslist find for $30! I had to drive all the way to Temecula but it was worth it.



Appliances: Stove-1950's Gaffers & Sattler purchased for only 75 dollars on CL. Avocado green blender by Osterizer and Farberware coffee percolator. The roaster is by Westinghouse from the 50's. The 1960's box fan is a Craigslist find and it works very good its made by GE.         


Accessories: All thrift store/junktique finds. I have many vintage radios by Zenith and Panasonic. I have lots of religious art from thrift stores. And no, we're not religious fanatics, we are actually atheists!



Lighting: The blue lamps in the living room were purchased from a friend. The beige tile mosaic lamp is from a thrift store.The lamps in both bedrooms are from target. The hanging lamp in kitchen is from IKEA. 



Paint: Just standard paint from a local paint shop.



Flooring: Original hardwood floors.



Rugs and Carpets: The big blue shag rug is from Craigslist. I think I paid like $40 for it but the previous owner says they had it custom made for over $2000. The beige rug under the dinette table is from Ikea as is dept. It was totally filthy, but for $30 I couldn't pass up a good deal. It took an entire day of rug cleaner, hot water and sweat to get it clean. The rugs in my daughters room are from Target.



Window Treatments: - Living room , my bedroom and kitchen are handmade by me. Fabric from IKEA. Curtains in daughters room from IKEA.



Beds: My bed is from IKEA As-Is department; it's the Malm series.



Artwork: Much of the artwork is made by me. I enjoy photographing mid century architecture here in Riverside. The other artwork is all from thrift stores and a few are from antique junk shops.


Photos by Kevin Fandrey

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