Retro Summer BBQ Bash: Mid-Century Essentials

Summer’s here, and it’s time to fire for a retro barbecue and up the grill, slip into our favorite vintage summer outfits, and let the good times roll! If you’re like me, you can’t wait to dust off your mid-century treasures and infuse your backyard gatherings with a healthy dose of nostalgia. Let’s dive into some kitschy must-haves that will make your summer BBQ the talk of the neighborhood.

Hot Diggity Dog!

Vintage Lefton Hotdog Head and Hamburger Head Pixieare Condiment Jars
Vintage Lefton Hotdog Head and Hamburger Head Pixieare Condiment Jars

No backyard BBQ is complete without hot dogs and hamburgers, and what better way to serve up your favorite condiments than in those darling Lefton Pixieware mustard jars? These adorable anthropomorphic ceramics, shaped like hot dogs and hamburgers with whimsical expressions, will bring a smile to everyone’s face and add a touch of kitschy charm to your table setting.

Holt Howard Mustard Jar MCM Starburst Franciscan Plate
Holt Howard Mustard Jar MCM Starburst Franciscan Plate

Shake It Up, Baby!

Salt and pepper shakers are a must-have for any BBQ, but why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary? Anthropomorphic salt and pepper shakers are where it’s at! Think cute corn cob couples, smiling strawberries, and even cute corn cob plates with matching skewers! These quirky characters will bring a smile to your guests’ faces and add a touch of kitsch to your table.

Retro Fashion and Summer Memories:

And let’s not forget about backyard BBQ fashion! A fun 1950s novelty border print dress adorned with cheerful oranges perfectly complements the summery vibe, while a stylish harlequin print circle skirt makes a statement as you arrive in your classic 1956 Nash Metropolitan. More summer fashion here.

Let’s Get This Party Started!

With your retro treasures in place, you’re ready to host a summer BBQ that will transport your guests back in time. So put on some swingin’ tunes, break out the hula hoops, and let the good times roll! Remember, it’s not just about the food – it’s about creating an experience that’s fun, festive, and full of vintage charm.

Bonus Tip: Of course, no retro gathering is complete without a vintage Polaroid camera to capture those picture-perfect moments of laughter, delicious food, and unforgettable memories. Don’t forget to snap some photos of your kitschy BBQ spread! Share them on social media with the hash tag #retrobbq and let’s spread the mid-century love!

Let’s Get Kitsch-y Together!

Do you have any favorite mid-century collectibles that you love to showcase at your summer BBQs? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below! Let’s inspire each other to create unforgettable retro gatherings.

Happy Summer, Kitsch-Lovers!


Mid-Century Magic: Portland’s Antique Mall Adventure

Oh, the joy of antiquing! There’s nothing quite like the thrill of the hunt for that perfect piece of the past to bring into the present. My recent antiquing spree in the charming city of Portland, Oregon was nothing short of magical. The city, with its quirky and retro vibe, is a treasure trove for lovers of mid-century modern, atomic, and retro vintage treasures.

My first stop was the famed Stars Antique Mall, a place where the past comes alive. The aisles were brimming with delightful finds from vintage furniture to quaint knick-knacks. I left with some amazing vintage pieces!! Each booth told a story of a bygone era waiting to be rediscovered. I enjoy shopping at Stars for a couple of reasons:

Stars Antique Mall
Stars Antique Mall

The Stars Antique Mall in Portland is a captivating blend of variety, space, and convenience, making it a must-visit hub for antique enthusiasts. Housing a lively community of 200 dealers, the mall offers a rich tapestry of merchandise ranging from Mid-Century Modern pieces of the 1950s-1960s, retro delights from the 1970s-1980s, vinyl records, whimsical kitchen kitsch, ephemeral items, charming figurines, novelties, and seasonal collectibles, among others.

This diverse array of merchandise not only creates a vibrant and dynamic shopping environment but also invites visitors into a nostalgic journey through time. Adding to its allure is the mall’s spacious and expansive layout, spread across two storefronts on the same block. The generous space provides a comfortable ambiance for shoppers to meander through the huge showrooms, making the exploration of antique and vintage treasures an exciting adventure.

Located in the quaint Westmoreland neighborhood of southeast Portland, the mall is easily accessible to both locals and visitors. To top off the delightful shopping experience, the vicinity boasts a range of refreshment options. Just a short stroll away, one can find a welcoming array of food and beverage outlets, from the comforting brews of Starbucks to the savory delights of Pizzicato, catering to every palate and making the antiquing adventure not just a feast for the eyes, but also a satisfying treat for the taste buds.

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Antique Society: A Treasure Trove in the Heart of Sebastopol!

Hey, time-travelers and history hunters! Grab your magnifying glasses and put on your safari hats, because we’re about to journey into an oasis of antiquity – the Antique Society in Sebastopol, CA! This isn’t your typical antique shop; it’s an eclectic community of over 125 dealers under one roof, each showcasing a diverse array of treasures waiting to be discovered.

From the moment you step inside this charming brick and mortar, you’re greeted with an atmosphere that’s as captivating as it is inviting. The air is perfumed with a mix of old wood, time-worn books, and a dash of nostalgia. The sound? Oh, just the soft hum of conversation, punctuated by the delighted gasps of patrons unearthing a hidden gem.

Antique Society specializes in a wide range of categories. Fancy some Victorian-era furniture? They’ve got you covered. On the lookout for vintage jewelry? Look no further. Hunting for mid-century modern decor, retro kitchenware, Pyrex or classic vinyl records? Check, check, and check! The store is laid out in a maze of mini-stores, each dealer curating their space with their unique style and specialty. It’s like hopping between different decades with every turn.

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The Best Antiques Guide Along Northern California’s HWY 101

Gin'gilli's Vintage Home
Gin’gilli’s Vintage Home

There’s something incredibly romantic about the open road. The scenic beauty, the freedom, the adventure. This 4th of July weekend, my sweet hubby Gary and I decided to immerse ourselves in just that romance, exploring the breathtaking Northern California’s Highway 101.

Encircled by lush vineyards and the intoxicating beauty of the wine country, this route is an adventurous blend of stunning nature and charming towns filled with hidden gems in the form of antiques shops and vintage home decor boutiques. Our journey was a fantastic one – the perfect blend of relaxation, sightseeing, and of course, treasure hunting for antiques and collectibles.

Our itinerary included three must-visit places: Gin’gilli’s Vintage Home in Geyserville, Mill Street Antiques in Cloverdale, and Country Porch Antiques in Hopland. So buckle up and get ready for a recounting of our treasure hunt along the beautiful highway!

Gin’gilli’s Vintage Home, Geyserville

Our first stop is the quaint town of Geyserville, home to the delightful Gin’gilli’s Vintage Home. As soon as you step inside this charming shop, you’ll find yourself transported to a bygone era. Its collection boasts an eclectic mix of antiques, salvage, furniture, vintage cameras and vinyl, vintage toys and collectibles, jewelry, vintage furniture, crafted creations, and distinctive home decor that evokes a sense of nostalgia. Every piece tells a story, from rustic farmhouse tables to Victorian-era curiosities and retro-inspired home accessories.

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4th of July Celebration: Mid-Century Outfits & Collectibles

Curvy Nautical Patriotic Style - Yasmina Greco
Curvy Nautical Patriotic Style – Crazy4MeStyle

As we approach the 4th of July, let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore how you can bring the vintage 50’s era into your wardrobe and home for a 4th of July Celebration: Mid-Century Outfits & Collectibles with patriotic, nautical-themed Pinup and Rockabilly outfits and mid-century kitsch collectibles.

Nautical Outfits: Classic American Fashion with a 50’s Twist

Patriotic and nautical fashion has been a quintessential part of American style since its inception. These two themes beautifully blend during the 4th of July celebrations, offering an opportunity to showcase your creativity and love for vintage fashion. I am wearing vintage-inspired nautical themed dresses and skirts in the above photos.

The Vintage Nautical Look

Creating a vintage 50’s nautical outfit begins with understanding the basic elements: think sailor pants, wide collars, and navy-and-white or red-and-white stripes. The 1950s was also an era of full skirts and A-line dresses, so feel free to add a full, pleated, midi-length skirt in a navy blue or red to your outfit.

Top it off with a striped boat neck top for that truly nostalgic look. My t-shirt in the photo above is one of my favorites and one designed for my t-shirt brand that you can find here Seaside Sweetie Nautical Pinup Tee You can read more about the 50s era kitschy fun fashions here 1950s Kitsch at its Best: The Ultimate Poodle Purses, Skirts, and Dresses

Patriotic Color Schemes

The 4th of July is the perfect occasion to experiment with patriotic colors. Channeling the colors of the American flag – red, white, and blue – into your nautical ensemble will exude vintage charm and national pride all at once.

Complement your outfit with accessories like red scarves, blue sailor caps, or white retro sunglasses to add more authenticity and individuality.

Mid-Century 50’s Kitsch 4th of July Collectibles

The 1950s weren’t just a golden age for fashion, but for home décor too. This era saw the rise of kitsch, a style marked by the use of everyday, mass-produced objects as decoration. This quirky, whimsical style is a great way to add a touch of the 50’s to your 4th of July celebrations.

Patriotic Collectibles

Incorporate the stars and stripes into your décor through items like vintage ceramics by makers such as Napco, Lefton, Norcrest, Josef Originals, and Holt Howard. You can also incorporate 50’s era flags, or even mid-century style tablecloths featuring patriotic motifs. These small touches will contribute significantly to your 4th of July atmosphere.

Vintage Josef Originals Patriotic Liberty Bell

As we celebrate this 4th of July, let’s honor the past as well as the present. By donning vintage 50’s era patriotic nautical outfits and decorating with mid-century kitsch collectibles, you’ll not only look the part but also feel it. Here’s to a stylish, nostalgic Independence Day!

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Mastering Mid-Century Antique Shopping in San Francisco

Stuff Mid-Century Modern Furniture San Francisco
Stuff Mid-Century Modern Furniture San Francisco

Today we’re mastering mid-century antique shopping in San Francisco. One of the premier places to find mid-century antiques is “Stuff,” located in the Mission District. This vast 17,000 square foot space is brimming with unique pieces from various eras, but the mid-century offerings are particularly noteworthy. From vintage Eames chairs to Danish teak furniture, you can find stunning MCM pieces that cater to every budget. The rotating inventory ensures a new surprise on every visit, offering you a treasure hunt experience in the heart of San Francisco.

Stuff San Francisco Yasmina Greco Mid-Century Modern Furniture
Stuff San Francisco Yasmina Greco Mid-Century Modern Furniture

You can read my post about Stuff Antiques and see pictures of the treasures I saw in this blog post – San Francisco Antiques and Mid-Century Modern at STUFF

Past Perfect,” another fantastic store located on Union Street, has two locations loaded with mid-century pieces. Their meticulously curated collection ranges from stunning MCM lighting fixtures to stylish furnishings that encapsulate the clean lines and organic curves characteristic of the era.

Flea Markets and Antique Fairs

If you enjoy the thrill of hunting for antiques, San Francisco’s flea markets and antique fairs offer plenty of opportunities to unearth mid-century treasures. The Alameda Point Antiques Faire held the first Sunday of each month, the largest antiques show in Northern California, are must-visits for MCM enthusiasts. Here, amidst the bustling activity, you can find a variety of mid-century items, from furniture and lamps to ceramics and art. We’ve had some amazing scores at this event with finding vintage Freeman McFarlin mermaids, Franciscan Starburst dinnerware, vintage Cathrineholm enamelware bowls, to Holt Howard pixieware and more.

Alameda Point Antique Faire
Alameda Point Antique Faire
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