Category Archives: Exterior

Mid-Century Reno: 8 Months Later

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As promised, I wanted to let you know how I felt about my new kitchen (and baths) after the long remodel was over.

It has been 8 months so I have had plenty of time to reflect on our choices and live with the results.

I am pretty much in love with everything. My kitchen is the largest and most efficient I have ever had. Both bathrooms turned out great. I love having the laundry in the hall bath, close to the bedrooms.

Here is a condensed rundown:

We used IKEA Ringhult Thermafoil cabinets in white. I have had many guests comment that they look like the old-time steel cabinets. They are so easy to clean (just wipe them off with a damp cloth) and the options I chose are perfect for us. I cook and bake daily and needed a functional space that would also work for entertaining. The uppers all have horizontal doors that swing up. The lowers are all 2 deep drawers with the top drawer having a hidden drawer inside. I have a place for everything now; no digging or moving things aside to get at what I need. I also used 2 corner base cabinets with double pull out trays. These are great for heavy pots and pans, canned goods and small appliances. No getting down on the floor to reach anything. I was thinking ahead since we plan to be live here awhile.

We also purchased all appliances, sinks, faucet, hardware, bathroom vanity, medicine cabinets, under cabinet lighting and drawer and cabinet organizers from IKEA. So far I am happy with everything except the kitchen faucet. It seems to splash everywhere and I am constantly wiping up behind it. I will soon be getting a different style.

I am super happy with the Wilsonart Betty laminate.

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And the Practical Props ceiling lights:

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The Jonathan Adler bow tie sconces look great flanking the sink.

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The silver starburst decals were from Etsy. I have received many compliments on them.

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The ceiling tile was a special order from Lowes. The original was no longer made and had to be replaced.

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The NOS fabric was also an Etsy find. By the time we were ready for drapes, I was tired of the remodel and it was nearly Thanksgiving. I paid a local seamstress to make them.

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The floor is Armstrong VCT in 3 colors, special ordered from Menards. The installer helped me with the pattern.

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My advice to anyone contemplating such a huge endeavor, plan for it to take much longer and cost more. There are so many surprises lurking in an older home.

We have spent most of the last few months working on the exterior of this mid century ranch. The new roof is green, which we thought seemed appropriate.

With the new green roof the original wooden garage doors needed a face lift.

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We are in the process of getting new gutters and downspouts and a mid-mod front door. Check back soon to see what we ended up with!

I also will be sharing a few of my recent thrifted finds.

Finally: The New Shed

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Yes, we finally have the new shed in our back yard.

What took so long, you say?

The answer is this: purchasing the shed kit and all building materials, the building permit application, drawing a site plan, borrowing a 150 ft. tape measure, reviews by the zoning department, borrowing some of the concrete forms and finishing tools, delivery of the stone, forming the concrete pad, pricing concrete delivery with different companies, pricing concrete finishing, delivery of concrete, lining up another person to help with the finishing, and then waiting a week for the concrete to cure. All while working mid-nights. It took all summer.

The concrete had to be wheelbarrow-ed from the street because it was in a fenced portion of our yard:
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This is the concrete truck in front of the house. At 7:45 am. Luckily we have nice neighbors.

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Here is the pad finished:

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While we had the mess, DH added on to our patio and sidewalk. Here is Nash, who was warned to stay off the wet concrete:

101_0278After waiting a week for the pad to be ready the shed actually went up very quickly.

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It sure came in handy to store all of our garden and patio items.

We are now beginning our inside remodeling. Kitchen, 2 baths and mud room. IKEA has just delivered most of my kitchen.

Stay tuned!

Outdoor Spaces, Thrifted Finds and a Mid-Century Sectional

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I hope you like photos because this post has lots of them!

Updates on the interior of our home have been pretty minimal lately. We have been focusing on the exterior after the long cold winter. Here was our front yard in January:

100_8914It finally warmed up in May, so we headed outside. A few plantings and small trees died but most of the roses did come back after a merciless cut back from me:

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As you know, we are on a tight budget, so for the outdoors we have worked with what was here. This spring we splurged and purchased 2 Pom Pom Spruces for the front and side landscape. We shopped all over our area for the best deal and found 2 perfect ones at a local home improvement store and waited for them to go on sale. Aren’t they just so cool?

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We also had 4 yards of dark mulch delivered. It is from a family owned nursery nearby and they delivered it for free. I just love the way it tidies things up.

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We have also purchased a shed for the fenced in portion of our yard.  It will go where the old fish pond was, in the corner here:

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The garden is coming along great:

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My atomic hairpin leg plant stand came with its original pots and made its debut outside this year. I planted it with tiny petunias and think it looks great with my retro turquoise hoop chairs from Big Lots:

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Here is my pretty granddaughter sunning herself in one. Her dress has all of my favorite colors!

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This vintage bird bath top was found in an old shed. It was missing the base so I used it for a planter on the front porch. It is a pretty aqua green.

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I just love colorful coleus. It gives a little tropical feel to our Midwest landscapes:

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Here is a new addition to the patio. For those who have read my past posts, you may remember Nash as dear Woody’s friend who occasionally came for a sleepover. She is ALL business and would rather herd you than play. I try to keep my mooing to a minimum so she will leave me alone.

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Even with all that is going on outside, I have squeezed in a little thrifting. Here are some recent finds:

This adorable winking snowman tree skirt was $1. The groovy flowered case is full of Barbie and Dawn dolls and accessories. The Gurley Thanksgiving candles and light up Christmas candles will go in my Etsy shop.

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This Pyrex was purchased from a friend who is always on the lookout for items I am interested in. It all matches the tablecloth, which was a gift from another friend. It had belonged to her grandmother. Oh, and these are my first black snowflake and pink Gooseberry Pyrex!

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Another great tablecloth from her grandmother:

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This pretty pink and blue pitcher was $3 at a local indoor flea market. Swoon….
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This lid was a mystery find. It is unmarked and fits a Pyrex 403 bowl. I cannot find another one like it online. Does anyone recognize this piece?

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I saved the BEST for last. The elusive mid-century sectional of my dreams has finally been found! It is a wonderful champagne color with sparkly silver threads. AND….it was kept in its original plastic furniture covers until just a few weeks ago. It is pristine. All I have to do is add some pillows!

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My son messaged me with a photo of this beauty, which was listed on a personal FB page for sale. It was a leftover from a garage sale so the price had been lowered. We got it for $200. I about fainted.

Here is a closeup of the great Frieze fabric:

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Now we need a boomerang, guitar pick or round coffee table. The hunt is on.

Well folks, what have you been doing outside now that summer has arrived?

Did your plantings survive the crazy winter?

Have you been finding any great vintage bargains?

Please share!