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January 19, 2015

Meet The Talented Bella Street And Her New Novel, Mid-Century Mayhem!

Hey, everybody! RetroRuth here, bringing you a really fun post about our newest sponsor, Bella Street, the author of the novel, Mid-Century Mayhem. If you are looking for a fun read set in the mid-century, make sure you check it out! Ms. Street was kind enough to chat with me recently about her novel and her vintage collections. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

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1. Tell us all about your book!

Modern day Nashville and 1950s Detroit clash worse than an IKEA futon and a plaid Barcalounger when a free-spirited interior designer and a strait-laced automotive engineer find themselves in another time. TOMS-wearing Olivia Haugen and Madras-shirted Kyle Daniels have no idea why they’ve ended up in 1954 Michigan, but it’s probably not because of all the swank mid-century furnishings. Discovering the reason might have something to do with a wily salvage warehouse owner and her not-so-little shop of secrets.

2. Your book deals with time travel AND mid-century Americana. How did you come up with the idea?

I thought it would be fun to explore the link between design and culture. Every era seems to have a distinct look to it–so what influenced it? Does culture affect design, or design, culture? What were the politics and social mores of the time? And what would happen to an interior designer’s point of view if they found themselves in another era that they’d only perceived in the abstract?

3. Do you have any vintage or retro collections?

I’m into mid-mod Christmas, especially (all those beautiful mercury glass ornies and vintage bottle brush trees!). I’m also a huge putz house fan and have boxes of the things. I buy lots of vintage Christmas cards from ebay, and using putz patterns I’ve found on the ‘net, make these things by the dozen. It’s like a sickness I can’t control. Of all mid-mod decor I love the best–it’s Christmas.

putz house

4. Have you always loved mid-century?

I grew up in a Harvest Gold and Brady Bunch world (admittedly more ’60s than ’50s), so it’s nostalgic to me now. I just bought a ‘granny ranch’ home and it’s been fun to add mid-mod elements to the decor. The rooms are separated, and after living in an open concept, I actually find the separate spaces more cozy–especially with the cool bi-fold doorways!

5. What was your best vintage score ever? How did it happen?

I found a vintage silk scarf from Paris that I love so much. I used the colors as the palette for the interior of my home. It came from a flea market and looks to be from the early sixties. I wish I could say I brought it home myself…alas, Paris is till on the Bucket List :

Parisian scarf

6. What does your house look like right now? Be honest!

I have several children, so no heirloom quality furnishings here! My house is a mixed bag of influences–such as a tiki swag lamp and sunburst mirrors. But I’ve also had the old sparkle linoleum countertops in a previous ranch home and I’ve found there are limits to my love of mid-mod. LOL My current kitchen is stainless steel appliances with granite countertops, but against a vintage palette of wall colors, vintage decor, and wide wooden blinds.

sunburst mirror

7. What is your favorite vintage possession? What is the story behind how you came to own it?

I really love my tiki swag lamp. It wasn’t terribly expensive, and I got it on eBay, but it makes my den a happy place. It’s so kitschy and beautiful and fun.

tiki swag lamp

8. What would you rather have: An Eames lounger or an enormous pink vintage sectional?

Definitely the pink vintage sectional! I tend more toward kitschy than classical. Plus I’d probably have to put a child up for adoption if they spilled soda pop on the Eames. LOL

9. If you could have anything to eat right now, what would it be?

Hmmm..I’m thinking something with aspic with green olives, perhaps. How about Knoxapocalypse II, otherwise known as Pickle and Pineapple Salad, from a recipe from Mid-Century Menu!

Thank you, Bella for a great interview and for the plug for the Pickle and Pineapple salad. For more fun mid-century decorating and time travel, please check out Bella’s book Mid-Century Mayhem, and if you want to read more about her writing, check out her website!

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One Response to Meet The Talented Bella Street And Her New Novel, Mid-Century Mayhem!

  1. bellastreet Reply

    March 31, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for the write-up. I’ve spent many happy hours perusing this site!

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