An interior design post

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:

1950s dinner at grandmas


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.

fabulous loveseat




12 responses to “An interior design post

  1. This is a very interesting post. Several people have been writing about the jobs they used to have recently. I find these stories so interesting. You still have the bent towards design. It’s never too late. Maybe you should get a little part time job. I like the love seat too. I would never buy it for myself because I am too traditional, but I would love it at someone else’s house.

    • Sally, I don’t think I would ever be able to get a job in design. I might, just might be able to get a sales job in a furniture store, but I’m not too sure I would want to work retail hours.

  2. It’s really lovely. I look at that first picture and compare it to the second one, and it seems that we really have changed the way we live, haven’t we? 🙂

    • Very much so, DJan. In the 50s we had furniture that was practical and that we used. Now, much of our interiors are for “show.” Most of us have too much furniture, too. I like an open look to a room, but since my rooms are pretty small, they seem overly crowded to me. That’s why I like small pieces of furniture, which seems hard to find these days.

  3. Gorgeous loveseat. I think you took the right path in your life, I love happy endings!

  4. Pingback: An interior design post | Home stuff

  5. Your first photo truly reminds me of our kitchen in Chicago when we first moved there in the 70’s. I could use an interior designer for our house.

  6. The love seat looks modern. I love love seats. They make much more sense than sofas, except if I want to take a nap, the sofa is better. How much fun you had preparing for your career. Who know what would have happened had you left Fresno. I think we all have these forks in the road and sometimes wonder what could have been. I like what Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Dianne

    • Dianne, I am very short so the love seats work for me for naps. We have one in the living room, and one in the family room and I often fall asleep on one or the other on these very hot afternoons we are having.

  7. The aluminum kitchen chair with vinyl brings back memories!

  8. I love mid century modern and that table and chairs bring a smile to my face thinking about the times back then! Sometimes the dream doesn’t have to die. You can publish a picture book, or travel to different design centers. San Fanciscso has a great one. Even closer is the new Design Center in Las Vegas! Thanks for the great post.

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