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Home Office: 1956

Home Office: 1956

1956. "Hayes residence, Kessler Lake Drive, Dallas. Bedroom to adjoining office." Our third look at car dealer Earl Hayes' contemporary cottage. Photo by Maynard L. Parker for House Beautiful. Source: Huntington Library. View full size.

Wool carpets

As a carpet cleaner in a former life, I recognize that broadloom carpeting as being made of wool. They are super soft and nice to walk on but they do wear pretty badly in traffic areas ( halls and around beds etc. ) Cleaning them is a real delight if it's your first time! The water makes them all stretchy and out of shape until they dry and go back to the way they were. Had to calm down a few customers during those jobs!

Chaise Lounge Chair

Is what that piece of furniture in the immediate right foreground is called. It's too long to be a real chair, but too short to be a real chaise lounge--kind of a compromise between the two that looks like it would be pretty awkward to use in real life--and of course it comes standard equipped with the spindly legs of the era.

[Ahem. Chaise LONGUE ("shez lonzh"). French for "long chair." Over the years misspelled and mispronounced by us dyslexic Amercuns into the bastardized and redundant "chaise lounge chair." - Dave]

Isle of Capri

Close-up detail of the Hayes office - and there's Laura Petrie near the desk, ready to take your dictation.


I’m not loving the wall-to-wall carpeting in these shots. Close up, it looks like scorched earth or the beach. It’s the kind that was fine after vacuuming until someone walked on it.

Every Room Looks the Same

How could they even tell where they were? Did they carry maps with them?

Neatness counts

Like anyone else, I admire neatness, but where do these people keep all their "stuff"? Where is all their mail, newspapers, ads, munchies, dog bed, cat toys, pet treats, house shoes, M & M's, afghan/throw cover, writing implements, phone gadgets, checkbook, shopping lists and the myriad of other necessary stuff that seems to junk up my house? Maybe I really am a hopeless slob.

[They put it all away until the photographer leaves. -tterrace]

A well-equipped home office for its day.

Note the multi-line keyed telephone and the intercom system on the credenza. That is a far higher level of equipage than would be seen in a typical home office in that day. Makes me wonder if he had leased lines to his dealership facility.

The settee and the two chairs peeking up beyond the credenza give a sense that the furnishings of this office were chosen to accommodate business visitors. The keyed mortise lock on the three-section sliding door reinforces this.

Can anyone discern any of the titles in his home library? There's an obvious "U.S. News and World Report" in the magazine rack.

[And a Business Week. -tterrace]

Another great interior

One half expects to see Laura Petrie in capri pants perched on the edge of the desk.

Come out our way, trade your way

Here's a short article on the history of Earl Hayes Chevrolet Co., located at 9th and Lancaster in Oak Cliff. Earl later brought his son Robert into the business, and it became Bob Hayes Chevrolet.

Contemporary Cool

Central air conditioning in houses was just getting good around 1956, which must have been a welcome relief in steamy Dallas, especially after a day peddling black DeSotos.

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