Vintage Revival Art Co and Jason’s Ultimate Mid Century Getaway

by Lee Franklin July 25, 2019

A little over two years ago Jason Franklin (no relation) began a journey to make his basement in Canton, Ohio into a Mid Century retro getaway. He wanted to create a place where you could transcend in time back to a different era and it was through this journey of restoration and construction that he developed a love for atomic age and MCM decor. So much so that he began designing and casting aluminium starbursts and other MCM inspired decor to share with other vintage collectors. This then turned into the Vintage Revival Art Co …. We got talking to Jason about his mammoth restoration project and the fabulous business that was born out of it …

Jason's Mid Century Lounge. House Tour on The Inkabilly Blog

First up Jason, please tell us about your home. What made you want to create a Mid Century world in your basement?

My love for Mid Century and atomic age actually began when I was remodelling our main bathroom. I was looking for some vintage cabinets and came across some Youngstown Kitchens all metal wall shelves on Craigslist. After doing some research on them I found that they were built beginning in the 1940’s in Warren & Salem Ohio. Once I saw some old brochures and ads featuring them I fell in love with them.

I started collecting as many Youngstown cabinets as I could from all over and pretty much designed my whole basement around the kitchen. Everything else just snowballed from there as I would find new things from thrift store, estate sales and online.

Jason's restored Atomic mid century kitchen. The Inkabilly Blog

How long has it taken you? And have you done it all yourself?

It took me about 1 ½ years from start to finish and all of the work was done by me.

Renovating a mid century kitchen. The Inkabilly Blog

Building and restoring Jason's Atomic Kitchen. The Inkabilly Blog

Restoring an original 1950s kitchen. The Inkabilly Blog

Is the rest of your house retro in style?

 I refinished our main bathroom in retro style and my office is all vintage, Mid Century style as well. Our main kitchen has modern appliances but everything else is retro style especially our 1950’s chrome and Formica table.

 You obviously enjoy renovating and making (and are rather good at it!), is this something you have been trained in or are you self-taught?

 For the most part, I’m self-taught. I worked a little bit in home remodelling right out of high school but have always been hands on and wanting to learn new crafts.

Jason's restored mid century bathroom. The Inkabilly Blog

 

Restoring a 1950s bathroom. The Inkabilly Blog

Your basement is full of totally fabulous pieces. Do you have a favourite piece? And can you tell us why?

 This is a tough one! I would have to say the Youngstown cabinets would be number one on the list. They are kind of like an old classic car. Solid, well built, and tons of style that you just don’t find in modern stuff. And for the insane amount of time I put into them. I have a vintage tension pole lamp that I bought from an estate sale that is one of my favorites and a 1950’s Naugahyde chair that has the coolest pattern ever.

Where does your love of vintage come from?

 My grandfather and father were both into vintage motorcycles all my life and I was turning a wrench and tinkering with them as a toddler. I was always the one to take things apart and build something different.

Building the mid century getaway - before and after shots. The Inkabilly Blog

How would you describe your own vintage style?

 I would say my style is more atomic era than Mid Century. In the late 40’s and through the 50’s a lot of things were made from steel and I feel a real connection to that era.

 What is your favourite era / maker?

 The 1950’s would be favorite era for sure. Just the style of homes, furniture, cars, appliances etc.

Jason's Restored Mid Century Getaway Lounge. The Inkabilly Blog

Where do you source your vintage items?

 I constantly look on Craigslist, Letgo, Facebook marketplace, estate sales, flea markets and garage sales. I also have a couple friends who kinda know my style and send me pics of things they find. I don’t necessarily know what I’m looking for until I see it most times. The stuff finds me!

 Do you have any other big restoration/creation projects planned?

 I would love to do a vintage travel trailer eventually.

Vintage Revival Art Co logo and products. The Inkabilly Blog

Moving onto your business, how and why did you start Vintage Revival Art Co?

 It actually started with the tension pole lamp I mentioned. I had picked up a whole stack of 1954 home builders catalogues from an estate sale. In one of the catalogues were several ads for starburst door escutcheons. I ended up hand fabricating a large starburst as a decorative piece that sits against the ceiling at the top of the tension pole.

 I got to talking with my friend who owns the foundry and we discussed making a couple rough castings of several different size starburst just for the heck of it. They came out really nice and I posted a couple pics on Instagram. People went nuts over them and I had many inquiries on where I got them and if there were more. I saw an opportunity to fulfil a need in the market and took it.

Decorative Atomic Star Door plate and doorbell by Vintage Revival Art Co. The Inkabilly Blog

Atomic Starburst door knobs by Vintage Revival Art Co. The Inkabilly Blog

Do you make all the pieces yourself? If so, I am guessing you have some kind of training in, or have previously worked (or still do!) in a foundry?

I design and make all the patterns myself and from there I take them to the foundry where they are cast for me. I work part time at the foundry a couple of evenings a week. Prior to this I had no experience in casting or foundry work. I’ve been fortunate enough to work at the foundry and learn all the steps necessary to make this happen. Once I get the rough castings back I do 100% of the finishing processes myself.

Behind the scenes at Vintage Revival Art Co. The Inkabilly BlogBehind the scenes at Vintage Revival Art Co.The workshop. The Inkabilly Blog

Behind the scenes at Vintage Revival Art Co, Sketchbooks and stencils. The Inkabilly Blog

What does the future hold for your shop? Where would you like to see your shop heading?

The future of Vintage Revival Art Co is looking fantastic! I have recently added some new equipment to my shop to help beef up production. I have many other ideas and designs that I want to make a reality and eventually see my work all over the globe.

Atomic Starburst Towel Rails by Vintage Revival Art Co. The Inkabilly Blog

Do you have plans to expand into many more products?

 I do have some other starburst designs currently in the works and many other products I want to get out there. The beauty of sandcasting is that anything you can dream up can be poured in aluminium if you have the skills to make the initial patterns.

Atomic Starburst Bathroom accessories by Vintage Revival Art Co. The Inkabilly Blog

Are there any specific pieces that you are dying to make?

 I have a couple ideas with boomerangs and Mid Century shapes that I want to incorporate into some larger wall pieces.

 You were recently featured in Retro Renovation, that’s pretty big, how was that for you?

 That was really exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised at how well my towel bars were received by everyone. It took me awhile to catch up after the article was released. I’m so thankful that Pam saw my work and added it to her blog.

  Any closing remarks?

 Making this type of art has been a dream come true for me! It’s not very often you meet someone who can truly enjoy their work and make a living at it. As well as provide some really cool stuff that cannot be found anywhere else.

Jason from Vintage Revival Art Co. The Inkabilly Blog

You can shop all of Jason’s fabulous atomic homewares at https://vintagerevivalartco.com/  and see more of his vintage finds and restorations by following him on Instagram 

Photo credits: All photos kindly provided by Jason.

 





Lee Franklin
Lee Franklin

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in The Inkabilly Blog

It's Kitschmas! A Mega Collection of Kitsch Christmas Decor

by Lee Franklin December 12, 2019

It's Kitschmas on The Inkabilly Blog

On The Inkabilly Blog this week I thought we should create an ode to those who are absolutely rockin' it in the kitschmas department. A smorgasbord, if you will, of festive kitsch in all it's many splendid forms. You might want to grab a cuppa and get comfy ... this is a mega collection!

View full article →

Thinking outside the (Gift) Box … Creative Eco-friendly Christmas Gift Wrapping for Retro Fans

by Lee Franklin November 28, 2019

Gift Wrapping with retro scarves | The Inkabilly Blog

This week on the Inkabilly Blog we are super excited to have a guest author! We are handing over the reins to the fabulous woman behind More Pretty Things (home to gorgeous gifts and gift wrapping). Jo has written a fabulous post for us while being amazingly creative with our retro bandanas ... Just goes to show what you can do when you think outside the (gift) box  ...

View full article →

Retro Christmas Gift Guide 2019

by Lee Franklin November 14, 2019 1 Comment

Retro Christmas Gift Guide 2019 on The Inkabilly Blog

Struggling to think of a fabulous gift for your vintage loving nearest and dearest? Fear not, we have been working our little butts off to compile a Retro Gift Guide from a whole host of vintage-inspired independent makers so you can sit back and relax, and do your retro Christmas shopping from the comfort of your sofa, knowing your well earned cash will be supporting small businesses and real people (rather than big corporations, yay!) 

View full article →