When I was in college I fancied myself one day working for a furniture manufacturer or real estate development company. I was a marketing major because I wanted to work on the sales and promotion side of a business, not the actual design, but I knew the importance of understanding all aspects of an industry so I also took an interior design class at the university. The instructor was a very well-known local interior designer with her own firm. She was pretty intimidating. I did learn some basics, one being that it was important to know the right people, no matter what business you went into. She often talked of the Ice House in San Francisco, the forerunner to the San Francisco Design Center, and even lead a field trip there for her advanced class. I was so envious of those students but I never took the advanced class realizing I didn’t have the artistic bent to be an interior designer. At that time you really had to be able to sketch room designs.
I did, however, still have the desire to work for a furniture company so when Levitz Furniture opened in Fresno, I applied for and got a job in the front office. I worked there all through college, but when I graduated, they had nothing to offer me. I also worked for a real estate firm out of San Jose who was developing some properties in Fresno, doing research into consumer buying patterns. They did offer me a job after graduation but I decided to stay in Fresno and continue dating Terry as we had become pretty serious and he had no desire to leave Fresno. This company ended up developing most of Foster City. If there is any regret in my life, it’s that I didn’t take that job and let Terry decide to follow me or not.
As you can probably guess, there were no furniture manufacturers in Fresno. No real estate research jobs. No design centers. So, that career dream vanished. I went to work for a publishing firm, farm magazines, then on to another agriculture-related business and finally the teaching career. I still love interior design and looking at magazines and walking through furniture stores, though few in Fresno have anything close to my style, but that’s another story. Yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle Magazine was devoted to the San Francisco Design Center and it brought all of these memories flooding back. If I could turn back time…
But, speaking of interior design and furnishings, I have two pictures I want to share with you. One is from the mid 50s, now called mid-century vintage:
This photo is courtesy of Cowbird and is the kitchen of the writer’s grandparents. It’s style is the same as the kitchen in the house of my friend who died a few months ago. This was a traditional scene from that time period.
For a more up-to-date look, here is a young friend of mine seated on a love seat at the Santa Cruz museum of modern art. The love seat would be perfect in my living room or family room. Everything about it–size, style, upholstery-makes me swoon. I would like to find one just like it, sans the purple throw pillow. I am not a throw pillow person.