Each room has developed its own personality Patterson says, and despite the authentic accoutrements, Patterson notes how the modern amenities are designed for comfort, including two full baths, new showers and a commercial water heater to keep the hot water flowing.
Outdoors. From the outside, the “Good Ol’ Days House” is the All-American home, painted a cheerful pale blue, with Stars and Stripes flying, a glider on the front porch and a patio where guests can hold what Patterson calls a “Picnic in the Past.”
Living Room. Guests are first greeted by old family photos and a welcome to the “Good Ol’ Days House,” displayed above a telephone stand with attached seat. Patterson found a treasure trove of authentic, perfect-condition 1960s furnishings, lamps and accessories from model homes that were part of the Columbus Homes store on Route 51 in the South Hills. These are used extensively here and throughout the house. A 1960s television has been retro-fitted to show vintage (or modern) shows.
Dining Room. The 1940s portion of the “Good Ol’ Days House,” the dining room, features an antique dining set and serving pieces, lace tablecloth and curtains made by Patterson’s mother from vintage fabric.
Kitchen. A true showpiece, the kitschy kitchen features a Big Chill refrigerator (the same kind as in Rachael Ray’s TV kitchen, Patterson says), Kromex spun-aluminum and Bakelite canisters, and vintage tableware and cookbooks. On the wall, just above the yellow rotary dial phone, is a framed page from a vintage catalog from her father’s paint and tile store – showing a kitchen almost identical to this one.
The Bedrooms. Each bedroom has a theme and is designed with girls or boys in mind. Everything’s authentic, from the lighting and linens, toys, TV and phones (including a Princess phone). On each dresser is a framed description of the room with its history and stories behind some of the objects.
There are almost too many fun highlights to name, but they include a working 1949 Keeney’s Shuffle Pin Boy Bowling game and 1969 Williams Doozie pinball machine, a built-in bar with glass top (under the glass are lyrics to songs for sing-alongs), an old wringer washing machine converted to hold ice, an unplugged vintage red refrigerator stocked with old board games (including Mystery Date), a working candy vending machine, 1957 phonograph with period 45s and LPs, authentic 1950s dinette seating, an HDTV with a selection of classic movies and TV shows and seating that includes vintage Kohler barber chairs, original seats from the Liberty Theater in Donora and seats from Three Rivers Stadium, one of which (No. 9, of course) is signed by Bill Mazeroski.
The photos don't do this house justice – it's even more of a retro wonderland than it looks. Jam packed with everything from vintage packages in the medicine cabinets to a working free-play pinball machine in the game room. One of a kind.
On the practical side of things, it's a very comfy house with plenty of space, good parking, and a great location just down the road from grocery stores, restaurants, and the highway. Also right across the street from an amazing pair of antique/vintage shops.
This was a fantastic place to stay with lots of great touches to take one back in time and feel like a home away from home. We hope to be able to stay again in the future. Melanie is a fantastic host and made sure we were welcomed and felt like a local. Great experience the whole way around.
The Good Old Days Home is a wonderful place to stay. It is like a Belle Vernon and western PA museum and provided my family with hours of fun discovering the numerous things from the past. Melanie's hospitality was much more than expected. The house, cottage, and yard were immaculate, and there were even baked good from Valdiserri's, a BV institution that was a big part of my youth. I highly recommend this lovely home for anyone traveling to the Belle Vernon area.