March 2012 Archives - Walker Zanger BlogWalker Zanger Blog

March 2012


Friday Fare…Crab and Avocado Mimosa.

photo by Nina Gallant


Did you really think we would finish the week off without a Friday Fare Mad Men style?

Served by First Lady, Jackie Kennedy at a state dinner in the summer of 1961, this refreshing appetizer was no doubt reinterpreted at many a dinner party of the day. We don’t for a moment think that Betty would have whipped this up at home, although Trudy might have given it a go. No, this was most likely ordered at some posh restaurant in Manhattan during a dinner designed to impress a future client.

Adapted from In the Kennedy Style: Magical Evenings in the Kennedy White House, by Letitia Baldridge, this dish  absolutely stands the test of time.

Servings: 6


2 ripe avocados
1 scallion, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
dash of hot pepper sauce
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
ground white pepper
8 ounces cooked fresh crab meat
2 cups watercress
2 hard-cooked egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Peel half of one avocado. In a small bowl, mash avocado half. Add scallion, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1/4

    teaspoon of salt and hot pepper sauce. Stir until well combined. Reserve.

  2. In a separate bowl, stir together mayonnaise, chili sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and remaining teaspoon of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Reserve.
  3. Peel remaining 1 1/2 avocados, cut into half-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Squeeze excess moisture from crab meat. Add to cubed avocado and gently combine. Fold in mayonnaise mixture until crab and avocado are evenly coated.
  4. Line bottoms of 6 chilled champagne glasses or small glass serving dishes with watercress. Divide crab mixture evenly among glasses. Top each with a dollop of mashed avocado mixture.
  5. Press egg yolks through fine mesh sieve; combine with parsley in a small bowl. Sprinkle yolk/parsley mixture evenly over each portion. Mimosas can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 hours.

Reprinted from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook


The Mad Men of Design.

George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames and Jens Risom Playboy Magazine, July 1961.


This week saw the return of Mad Men and started us on a week long tribute to all that is Mid Century Modern. We couldn’t let the week go by, however, without paying homage  to the “Mad Men of Design” and to the set designers of the AMC hit for their impeccable recreation of this time period, for though they are the silent stars of this iconic show, their voices speak

loud and clear through their timeless designs.

Roger Sterlings office.


Eero Saarinen Tulip Chair


Florence Knoll and Eero Saarinen sourcing materils for the tulip chair.


Tulip side table and the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona sofa


Rodger Sterlings original office.


Florence Knoll sofa


Don Drapers original office.


Jens Risom Chair


Don Draper's Office


Peter Hvidt Orla Migaard Nielsen Armchair 1953


As these era-defining gentlemen stare out at us from the 1961 pages of Playboy Magazine, we can’t help wondering what they would think of how their creations have set the tone for the  fast-paced world of “Sterling Cooper Draper Price”.

Renderings via fabpats




"Mar Men".

Sterling Cooper Draper Price


After 17 months away from all that was Mad Men, we were thrilled to start off the week with a 2 hour visit from Don and the gang.  While still whistling Zou Bisou Bisou in our minds, we started to think about our own group of “Mad Men” who were responsible for the start of Walker Zanger.  As Don and his troupe were smoking and drinking their way into the business

of Madison Avenue advertising, our team of  “Mar Men” were out to beautify the world one tile at a time.

L to R: Back row: John Iberti, Gustavo Rey, Charles Kastner, Leon Zanger, Billy Parker, Ed Fink,Daryl Milstein, Frank Savoca, Jack Peterson. Sitting: Arthur Bodenheimer. Front Row Center: Marvin Walker


In the early 1950′s, not long after Walker & Zanger was born, Leon Zanger saw an obscure two-line listing from a furniture store in The Sunday New York Post advertising glass-topped tables for $39.00 Armed with his sample bags full of marble, Leon approached the store owner directly and proposed that the store sell the same table, only with genuine marble tops, for the same price, at a comparable profit. Amazed, the store owner placed an order for $10,000 worth of table tops on the spot.  When the $39 marble-topped tables eventually went on sale, the store had lines around the block, and sold out its entire stock in 90 minutes. More orders followed, including from Macy’s and Gimbals, and by the end of its first year in business, Walker & Zanger had earned profits of $1 million.


Betty Draper with perhaps a Walker & Zanger Marble table.


In the early 1960′s , yet again, perceiving a need that no one else foresaw- Walker & Zanger became the first company to bring to the American market thin-sliced Italian marble tile. The “Martile” (a name coined by Walker & Zanger) was both affordable and easy to install, sparking a design revolution that continues to this day.


A page from the 1960's WZ tile catalog.



Early Walker Zanger ad.


We can’t help wonder what kind of campaign Don and the boys, (or better yet, Peggy) would have pitched to Leon if they had a stab at his account!


Mosaic Monday… Mid Century Modern.


The Art of Design.


Sketch by designer Albert Hadley


While browsing around Pinterest the other night, I came across this sketch by designer, Albert Hadley and immediately was pulled into image and the warm environment it evoked.  I have always been drawn into the world created by the pen and ink and have envied those who with the stroke of a pen can make the page come alive. As someone who works with clients in our showrooms, I am accustomed to seeing everything from the 2 x 3 images shared on smart phones to elevations and CAD drawings showing the promise of the finished project. However, nothing in our immediately gratifying culture of today can hold a candle to the art of rendering. To render an interior is to project the designers vision when it completed and furnished. The artwork that interprets a room after it has been furnished and accessorized is called a room painting. Either way these are truly works of art. Many of the images below are now in private collections or owned by leading museums, and are some of my favorites…

Living room in a town house, New York City, 1980. Design and illustration: J. Hyde Crawford; Media: Marker and gouache


Dining room in a country club, c. 1960's Design: McMillen Inc.; Illustrator: Robert Martin; Medium: Tempura



Designer Mark Hampton


Mia Corsini Bland in "Sister Parish Design"


Drawing by architect Stanford White for a sofa-back table designed for his personal use in his Gramercy Park residence. C.1901


Furniture for the office of the president of the New York Stock Exchange, 1902. Design and illustration: George B. Post; Media: Pen-and-ink and wash.


In part II of The Art of Design, we will share with you the illustrated creation of our Gramercy Park collection. In the mean time, you can view more of our favorite images on our Pinterest board, The Illustrated Interior.





All photo images and text are the property of Walker Zanger. Please do not use for commercial purposes without permission. You are welcome to repost. copyright 2014.

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