Friday, January 25, 2013

Vintage in the Home {Have You Met Hazel Atlas?}

I've been thinking a lot lately about what vintage goods inspire me and how they serve a purpose in my home.

I have a serious obsession with all manner of vintage treasures.  But, when I first starting thrifting and estate sale-ing in my college days, I quickly realized that I needed to carefully consider what I brought into my home because I had a finite space in which to live (which was a mere 450 sqft back then).  I needed to choose vintage goods which were both beautiful and functional.

Not much has changed in my approach during the last decade (shhhh...I didn't just say decade).  My living space has increased over time, but it's still a finite space and I've tried to be mindful about only bringing in furniture and accessories that will actually be used.  The exception to my rule is decorative hanging on the walls, colorful vases to cheer up a table or bookcase, etc.  If its originally intended use was to be a decorative object, I'm okay with it functioning solely as that.

I know lots of people who love the idea of vintage, but have a hard time envisioning how to integrate it into their homes, offices, and daily lives.  So I thought it might be fun to do a weekly feature spotlighting some of my favorite vintage items and how we use them in our home.  Hopefully, this will offer inspiration to all of you who are vintage novices, as well as the seasoned collectors.  Once a month I will expand this to feature an item from the shop, sing its praises, and offer suggestions for how it could be used in your home or office.

So without further ado...I would like to introduce you to my hands down favorite vintage label...

...please allow me to introduce you to the fabulous Hazel Atlas.

Before West Elm, Home Goods, and many others copied complimented them with reproductions, Hazel Atlas made the El Dorado Gold juice glasses in the early to mid 1960's.

Why have the repro if you can have the real thing?  Or both, even?

I have these in the juice size glasses, and I do also have a set of clear reproduction glass tumblers which I picked up at Home Goods ages ago, before I knew a thing about Hazel Atlas.  However, I've discovered that many of the glasses made today are super thin and prone to shattering.  I really don't know, but I'm guessing this is due to the lower quality of mass-production these days.  All I know is my Hazel Atlas glasses are about 50 years old (Hazel-Atlas went out of business in 1964), are super sturdy, and were made in the USA.

As far as functioning in my much-used kitchen, I love them for juice in the morning or for the inevitable onslaught of prenatal vitamins I down each and every day.  They also would be fun cocktail glasses....and come May I might just have to have a mojito in one!  It probably goes without saying, but I don't let the Kiddo use them.  And, though we have a water softener, our water is still fairly hard so I find hand washing helps them to stay their prettiest.  That said, they totally can go in the dishwasher on the top rack...especially on a china-safe cycle.  They might be vintage (antique really), but they are workhorses these little glasses!

Above all they look cheery in my cabinets and on my table, and they make me smile.  Nothing not to love here.  :)

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