My nest says a lot about me, so sharing its story is a good way for me to introduce myself. I live in a prefabricated, all-steel home called a Lustron, assembled in 1949. It’s a humble ranch built in a Columbus, Ohio, airplane factory and delivered by truck, yet its design was celebrated at the MoMA in 2008. Only 2,500 were made over two years, and very few stand today. I feel like the home’s curator and bodyguard as well as its owner. I give impromptu tours to curious passersby, and I fend off developers who want to build something new on my lot.
After the jump, I share photos of my ever-evolving quest to personalize a home that was literally molded for the masses. All photos except the chaise pic were shot by my husband, Andrea Fremiotti.
I love to decorate and have put my stamp on the Lustron, and it has shaped me in turn. Because of its Atomic Age design, I’ve become a midcentury modern superfan. Hunting for vintage furniture and accessories is now one of my favorite pastimes. The home’s petite footprint has also influenced my view on how much space I need. With some trepidation, Andrea and I bought the 950-square-foot home after renting a loft almost twice the size. We’ve been comfortable for seven years.
Not that Lustron living is pure bliss. Our rust-tinged ranch presents plenty of challenges, like how to hang artwork and curtains—we had to become heavy-duty magnet experts. Our period windows and scanty insulation make wintertime chilly. We look at Dwell together and fantasize about our next house, but the thought of leaving makes us ache. For now, as the children’s book put it, this nest is best. And given the fresh burst of joy I feel every time I change a vase or pillow, I may just be able to stay forever.
Here are shots of how we live in our Lustron. I have some redecorating schemes brewing, so check back for updates!