Monday, July 26, 2010

The all-in-one room

[Illustration by James Kingsland. Click for a larger view.]

Mary and Russel Wright:

Our main thesis here is that formality is not necessary for beauty. It shows not less, but more, respect for the good things of life to plan an easier, smoother-running meal in a setting that suits its purpose — and to have more time in which to enjoy the meal and its setting.

We look forward to the day when living room, dining room, and kitchen will break through the walls that arbitrarily divide them, and become simply friendly areas of one large, gracious, and beautiful room. We think that day is not too far away.

Guide to Easier Living (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1950).
The above two-page spread of the “all-in-one room” follows these two paragraphs. Servantless living at its best!

The parenthetical numbers (35, 36, 37) point the reader to an appendix listing manufacturers and distributors. 35: General Electric. 36: Chambers Range Company. 37: St. Charles Manufacturing Company. As I have just learned, old Chambers ranges are highly prized. (Rachael Ray uses one.) And St. Charles Cabinetry is alive and well.

A related post
Easier living with Mary and Russell Wright

comments: 9

normann said...

A friend of mine in college referred to the style of this house as "mod-ern" (pause between "mod" and "ern"), though this kitchen/dining/living room appears to lack true mod-ern touches like a kidney-shaped coffee table, blond step end tables and bullet lamps mounted on poles ( The step tables linked to are not blond, but Formica, which is even more mod-ern! And red Formica kitchen table tops with cream-colored boomerangs (with matching steel-tube and vinyl-upholstered chairs).

Geo-B said...

Let's see, I like the bearskin rug, the "old-folks" corner, the baby digging up the flagstones in the patio, and what must be a pipe organ in the closet.

Michael Leddy said...

Norman, your Formica reverie makes me feel that my kitchen is too new to be truly mod-ern.

George, I wondered about those things in the closet. Tent poles maybe?

Geo-B said...

The book is still for sale on the Russell Wright Design Center web site, $ 18.95 + $ 4 shipping.

Michael Leddy said...

That’s much better than Amazon’s price. Thanks, George!

Elaine Other Elaine, that is) said...

I'd give my eyeteeth for one of those old Chambers stoves! This company was still in business in the early 80's; (my husband consulted with them, so he traveled to Oxford, MS, quite often.)

Michael Leddy said...

Did you notice that the stove in the illustration is carefully drawn as a Chambers? I didn’t catch that at first.

Geo-B said...

I have a friend in Evanston who uses them extensively, stocks his apartments with them. and yes, I noticed the Chambers details in the drawing. I don't know what shipping would be, but they've got them on EBAY.

Other Elaine said...

Yeah, don't think I didn't check them out. However, this house doesn't have a gas line to the kitchen (and it's on a slab) so it was no-go. We remodeled the kitchen, and I have a modern electric range (and I must say they have improved) but I still prefer 'cooking with gas.' It's killing me that our daughter bought a house with a great kitchen, super gas stove....and she doesn't cook.