Category Archives: Renovation

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.

Keeping Retro Style in the 3/4 Bath

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Two posts in one week? I know, I can’t believe it either.

The LONG 8-month reno is finally over. The last project to be finished was the 3/4 bath, located off of our kitchen.

The toilet and sink in this bath were Universal Rundle green dated 1953. We feel these fixtures are original to this bath, although it was updated at some point, probably in the 70’s. With an older home, I guess sometimes we will just never know everything about its’ past.

These are photos of the bathroom when we were considering buying this home:

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Because this bath was fully functional and in good working order, we simply painted the room a pale gray, spruced it up a bit and added accessories to better reflect our style.

DSCF1532DSCF1530DSCF1533peach bath master bedroom 020The black and white ceramic tile floor was added shortly before we purchased the home, sloppily installed for resale.

When it came time for the renovations of the kitchen and baths, it was decided that the door to the bathroom would be better located around the corner in the mud room. This helped to give me more space for the kitchen layout and made more sense visually. I also wanted closer access to this bathroom from outdoors and the garage.

101_2002Here is the beautiful new door, stained to match the original knotty pine in the mud room. We used Amber Shellac by Zinsser to finish the door. It took 3 or 4 coats to get it dark enough to match the original knotty pine walls, which I am sure has darkened over the years.

101_3137Since the vanity was not original, we did not keep it. It was handmade, of poor quality and not the style we wanted. I was unable to source a vintage one in the correct size or style to accommodate the original sink and also fit the dimensions of the room.

Unfortunately for us, our area is far away from any Craigslist. We don’t have a Goodwill, Habitat Re-Store or building salvage business anywhere close by. After pricing a custom-made cabinet, it was decided that we would buy a new vanity from IKEA. White was the color of choice since this bath is dark with only one tiny window. The new vanity also matches the adjoining kitchen cabinets.

Since this IKEA vanity would not accommodate the original vintage green sink and Huddee ring we purchased a new sink top. Without the green sink there was no point in keeping the green toilet.

Sadly, both are sitting in my garage. I have listed them for sale (cheap) on several vintage sites online. It seems not many appreciate mid-century mint green bathrooms or fixtures.

When removing the 70’s vanity to install the Armstrong VCT commercial flooring, we found the ghost marks of a smaller vanity. We were right, the vanity had been changed at some point.

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We did keep the original angled shower (with groovy etched swan door) intact.

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We painted the walls Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray (from the Suburban Modern collection). I used vintage atomic window valances I already had. The original lighted medicine cabinet also remained in place. The simple chrome faucet was from Lowes.

101_3134101_3133This retro travel poster has been following me around for years. It brought in some much needed color to the otherwise clinical looking room.

101_3135We needed a bit more lighting in here too, so DH rewired an inexpensive IKEA table lamp and made it into a swag for the corner. I love the way the light shines through the perforations onto the walls and ceiling.

It feels so good to have all of the messes gone and a clean, organized home again. Two functioning bathrooms and a kitchen! Yay!

I was really getting tired of take out, having to wash dishes in the main bath sink and trying to make the refrigerator part of the living room decor.

Stay tuned. My next post will tell you what I learned (and what I would have done differently) in this remodel.

Christmas Decorating Mid-Century Style

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Sorry I am late showing you my Christmas decor this year. Our reno was finished just a few weeks ago.  We got the 3/4 bath completed just in time for a mid-mod party we hosted the weekend before Christmas.

We do have a few new Kitschmas things this year!

I purchased this vintage aluminum/ vinyl tree last summer for $8 at a garage sale. The original stand and box were both missing. I was told it belonged to the sellers grandmother. I had planned to sell in my Etsy shop.

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Come Christmas, I loved it too much to let it go. I think it looks fab in our living room. That new color wheel is from Vermont Country Store. I purchased an LED floodlight for it and now it would light up a runway.

I have searched and searched trying to find information on that gold and white tree without much success. I was told it is probably Canadian.

Here is our living room lit up the evening:

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And the kitchen:

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I also have some new Christmas LP’s framed. I was given many of these for free at a garage sale a few months ago. The seller just wanted to get rid of all of her record albums and cases and told me to take as many as I wanted!

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I was also able to find a slender 6 foot aluminum tree for my new kitchen this year. I got it on eBay; I was the only bidder! It fits perfect near the sliders.

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These candy dishes were thrift store finds.  I love the Holt Howard one.

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Here are a few displays in our new retro kitchen. The aqua and coral bottle brush trees are new from Target. The Christmas Pyrex promotional casserole was also a thrift store find.

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We recently purchased a Silvertone Hi-Fi for the living room. Here it is ready to play some vintage Christmas tunes.

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We still have a large aluminum tree in the basement family room.

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This shelf has bounced around a bit; it ended up in the entry this year, loaded with smalls.

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Now it’s time to take it all down, quit eating chocolate and hit the gym.

Hope you are all having a Happy New Year!