Posted on 8/6/2012 6:56 PM by Grace Jeffers

When you read the last post did you wonder why art director Caroline Alder asked me about the paneling in the 1950s house? Because I know a thing or two about the historic preservation of mid-century structures!

In 1998 I was lucky enough to be visiting the Wilsonart Laminate company in Temple, Texas. It was lunchtime and one of the executive assistants said “They are gutting the founders house today. You should take her over there. There’s lots of old laminate, it’s a real hoot!”

Not being one who likes to miss out on a real hoot I ran over there – and what I saw just about knocked my socks off! The interior was slathered in candy colored 1950s laminate. Having written my masters thesis on 1950s laminate I knew the significance of the house and I knew that a piece of history was in peril. Luckily the company agreed to listen to my argument and they purchased the house and let me restore it. No one had ever conserved mid-century laminate before. The result still stands today. 

Enjoy the embedded video to see a little bit of just what a material can do for an interior.