California Dreaming

“I want to live there,” declared the youngest Blandings as he flipped through the Design Within Reach catalogue. (Do all children scour the DWR catalogue like mine? FAO Schwarz would not get as much attention, though our Lego catalogues look like they have been through combat by the time the new one arrives.) Was it the Egg Chair or the pool or that hazy view? Could be the crisp, clean lines. “Darling, that’s California,” wondering if my tone conveyed the land of milk and honey as he turned the page.

The house above is the Case Study House #22 in the Hollywood Hills designed by Pierre Koenig for the Stahl family in 1960. More information on the Case Study House program here. Image via Design Within Reach.
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7 thoughts on “California Dreaming

  1. I haven't read your blog in a few weeks and it's been a treat to put off the laundry while I scroll backwards. I love the eye candy, but my favorite are the snippets about your boys. " Wrestle til you cry", my hooligans (only 2) call it sumo-mo. I find it painful and mysterious, so I take the dog for a walk. My theory is they won't howl as loudly if I am not there to hear–sort of like the tree falling? I'll never know. As to the hair bands, I'll send you my blond ones if you'll send me your whites–I've embraced my roots.
    Best, Kate (The Hooligans' Mother)

  2. Was this house also used in a TV commercial once? I have a vague memory. Anyway, I, like your son, want to live there. And I'm already in California:).

  3. I remember looking at the famous photo of Manhattan, and exclaiming the same exact words. I never looked back. I came to NY. I love the big apple.
    Funny how as kids, we can find our place in the world in a photo.

  4. Your son is a smart boy! California is a beautiful place to live, both in the north and south, although I'm betting the DWR catalogue was shot after a rainy day in January when the air is clear and there isn't a layer of brown smog covering the city.

    The high income tax rate and even higher real estate prices brought us back home, though.

    Still, we miss it.

  5. I'm sure your voice did convey the wonder of the sunny state, with the special trip hopefully still fresh in your mind. This is like a non-saccharin version of life's great little moments. Love it.

  6. I don't know about other boys but mine loves the Design Within Reach catalog and all things modern. He's twelve and actually told me the other day to stop buying small little gifts on his birthday to go with the one big gift and just buy modern furniture! Out of the mouths of babes!

  7. My almost 11 year old grandson (used to live with me–maybe he caught the bug during that time) became smitten with an "egg" chair (a real one). Alas, Nana could not spring for it; so he went "garaging" and found a folding facsimile for his newly designed room and proudly showed me his version of the not forgotten "egg chair". He also designed his own room and chose the paint colors; we'll se what career path he chooses.

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