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Entries in Charley Harper (2)


the little things

Eileen Pressler in her (our) laundry room circa 1967. Love the barkcloth curtains which were long gone by the time we bought the house!

They say it’s the little things that make a house a home.  And then there are the things that make a home so very livable.  For me, as lame as it sounds, it is our laundry room.  Every time I think about downsizing, I realize that I would have a very difficult time giving up this important transition space located between our kitchen and garage.  Back in the 1950’s when our house was built, the first floor laundry room was a brand new concept.  For the first time, homes were being designed to make life easier for the homemaker.  I must admit, architect Fred Pressler hit a home run with this one that he designed for his wife Eileen!  We did a quick refresh when we bought the house in 1997, and a more major upgrade (lighting, flooring, cabinetry) last winter, but the basic format has remained the same since 1956.  And after living here for almost 20 years, I still enjoy doing laundry :)

Replacing track lighting and a large fluorescent fixture with hanging globes with LED bulbs added a retro AND progressive touch. And way better light!

The center peninsula two sided cabinet/coat closet is a genius original detail. We added an Ikea cabinet on the end for even more storage. The room formerly had indoor/outdoor carpet which we replaced with hardwood in the hall area and solid vinyl tile in the laundry area. Love a white floor!!

This part of the room has seen the most changes. We added the sewing table and cabinetry (all from Ikea) and the kelly green Eames chair from Modernica. Hard wired LED under cabinet lights also added much needed task lighting.

A built in wine rack from Ikea filled the odd sized space next to the sink cabinet. And we just happened to have enough Daltile tile from our kitchen to do a matching backsplash here. The faucet is a larger sized copy of the Arne Jacobsen Vola faucet purchased for a fraction of the price on Amazon.

A new Ikea sink with built in drainboard is very functional for a laundry room!

The back side of the built in peninsula is a great place to showcase our prized Charley Harper "Wren" print from the Ford Times series.

This compact and well utilized space also houses a powder room and kitchen pantry!




vintage photo of the harper house by architect rudy hermes. photo courtesy of janet and ed hermes.

We were so happy to see the article about the Harper House in the current issue of House Trends Magazine.  This iconic Cincinnati Modern home was the personal home of artists Edie and Charley Harper and their son Brett for 50+ years and is now home to the Harper Art Studio, where art and nature live on in harmony. 

vintage photo of the harper house by architect rudy hermes. photo courtesy of janet and ed hermes.One glaring omission to the article, however, was the designer of the home, architect Rudy Hermes.  Like the Harpers, Hermes was a local boy with a modern vision who was, perhaps, a bit ahead of his time.  The Harper-Hermes collaboration resulted not only in this striking home (seen here in these vintage photos) but a fun assignment for Ford Times Magazine in 1959 entitled ‘A Wonderful World of New Fords.’  Modern dwellings that defied gravity and logic were placed precariously in, over and around natural wonders of the USA – all to showcase the NEW 1960 Fords! 

If all this leaves you wanting more Harper, be sure to visit their booth at the 20th Century Cincinnati Show this Saturday and Sunday (11-5) at the Sharonville Convention Center.  Prints, originals, books, cards and other Harper merchandise will be available for purchase.  Feel free to shop first, for Harpers, furniture and other vintage items – but don’t forget to stop by and say ‘hi’ to us, too.  We’ll be there all weekend!

vintage harper house photo by architect rudy hermes. photo courtesy of janet and ed hermes.vintage harper house photo by architect rudy hermes. photo courtesy of janet and ed hermescover of the Nov. 1959 Ford Times featuring architectural concepts by Rudy Hermes and drawings by Charley Harper.more hermes-harper fantasy homes - ford times november 1959recognize the setting for the top home? it's on the banks of the ohio - right about where 'Hooters' is now!

oh, and don't forget to notice the NEW 1960 fords in the drawings! yowza!