Category Archives: Our House

Our Foyer – Pink and Tan Marble

Our FoyerHere is the magnificent view from the foyer in our house.¬†ūüôā¬† Well, magnificent in my opinion, anyway.¬† I love the mosaic marble flooring¬†that greets you straight from the front door.¬†It is¬†unique to our area in that the color of¬†the floor is a pink/brown rather than the white and¬†blue in other houses.¬†¬†On our first walkthrough of the house, I thought the marble was exceptionally¬†pink, but then we repainted the hallway with a lovely dark tan color (Sherwin Williams Sycamore¬†Tan from their Suburban Modern Collection), and the floor mellowed considerably and really became a¬†symphony of¬†browns and pinks rather than just a pink floor. ¬†I also picked the color because, in my newbie decorator opinion, the foyer is rather large and wide and I didn’t want it to be the focal point after you walk through the door. I wanted it to kind of blend into the background so that the eye was drawn into the living room, and the person coming in feels a pull to walk towards the next room rather than lingering in the foyer.

foyer-beforeHere is the before shot of the foyer. I know the angles are different, but the new, darker walls of the foyer make it difficult to photograph with the backlighting from the door.  I like the color change, and if I decide differently in a few years, I can always repaint it!

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Filed under Ideas, Our House, Renovation

I Hear You – Pictures Of Thrifted Sidetables

Just to let you know that I am listening to you, oh clamoring throng, here are pictures of the two side tables I purchased the other day.  It was $15 for both, so I consider that to be a pretty good deal.  The only bummer is one of them had a sticker on the front that looked like it said $3, so these were probably rummage fodder at one time.  If I was more clever, I could have gotten them cheaper. Alas.  Oh well, I got them from the Salvation Army, and they can always use the money!

Vintage SidetablesThe one in the front needs to be cleaned off, but I still think they are respectable tables.  As you can see from the one in the back, they are perfect for little TV stands in odd places, so they may get to stay on the first floor yet!

Table Close Up

I think they are cute little things.

Gold Flecked TopHubs is of a different opinion.¬† He thinks they look 60’s without looking MCM, which I disagree with. He also thinks that the cute, gold flecked tops look stained, which¬†he may be right about.

Ah, well. The joy of marriage is compromise, so I will let these be used in the basement or as TV stands.¬† I think part of his dislike stems from jealousy – that he didn’t get to come with to pick them out!

But there is a good side to all this.  He proclaimed the other night that he wants the three season room to be decorated Tiki style.

Let the trumpets sound!¬† He has proclaimed it, so shall it be!¬† And don’t mind me, I will just be back here hiding all the Tiki pictures and printouts I have been leaving around the house….

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Filed under 1960s, Ideas, Our House, thrifting, Vintage

Spraypainted Lightswitch Plates – Easy Idea

As with most older homes, our house has been treated to a lot of room painting since its original construction.¬† Some was done by professional painters, and some was…welll…not. Oddly enough, it is the painting of the professionals that got me steamed this time.

I am not sure what exactly you get when you hire a professional painter, but I assume that the rule is, “If it’s on the wall, we paint it.” At least, that is what I gathered from the lightswitch plates in our kitchen. Some of these are in their vintage glory, chrome plates that are just as pretty as the day they were screwed on.¬† Others aren’t doing so hot, having been subjected to at least a few coats of paint.¬† They must of have been the plates the previous owners forgot to take off the wall before the painters came.

We threw around a few ideas while painting our kitchen ourselves (all plates were off, thank you!). My first instinct was to just replace the painted plates with new ones. But there were a few problems with that. Metal switchplates are expensive when you have to replace more than a few, and since we just bought the house we were on a budget. New also wouldn’t match¬†the shape of the originals, even if the metal matched.¬†Especially the springloaded switches, which I don’t even know if you can buy plates for anymore! So we came up with an alternative solution.

Metal spraypaint. Krylon Premium Metal spraypaint, to be exact.  It says it resembles metal plating on the can, and I would have to say it comes pretty close to doing just that.  Take a look at our finished products:

Silver SwitchI do have to say, I think this switch turned out the best.¬† This is from the master bedroom, and all the switches had been painted, so we weren’t sure what color they originally were. However, they all have this great, wrinkled tinfoil pattern.¬† I think the chrome paint really brought out the details in this cool switch.

Springloaded Gold SwitchThis is the gold from the set of switches in the living room. The texture underneath is from the painting over of the switch, and it does show under the gold, but only if you are really close to it.  Otherwise, I think it turned out well. The gold switchplates are an unexpected pop on the Porcelain walls.

The process was relatively simple, as with most spraypainting. We laid down a plastic tarp on the floor of the garage, laid out the plates and sprayed them down well. We also sprayed the screws for the plates, since they had been painted over as well.

Ta-Da!¬† New looking plates for under $10. We bought two cans of paint (one Chrome and one Gold) and had enough to do all the plates in the house!¬† Now I am seriously thinking about spraying some of the 1980’s light fixtures over the fireplace….

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Filed under Ideas, Our House, Renovation, Tips

The Easiest Post Ever – My Vintage Kitchen

So, hubby and I have just purchased a 1956 brick ranch home in Michigan, and afterwards found out that we were some of the luckiest people on the planet. When we first walked into the house, we were shocked at how vintage and fun everything looked. There were marble accent’s everywhere, a lot of original light fixtures and tons and tons of built-ins.¬† But what floored me the most was the spectacular kitchen!¬† It was full of the original metal cabinets from when the house was built, and I fell completely in love with it. Within days we had an accepted offer – and a completely new style that we didn’t even know existed!

Mid-Century Modern.

And now, everything we do is influenced by it. And why shouldn’t it be?¬† Our house is a picture-perfect vintage testament to how quirky and fun the 1950’s were, and how all of those great ideas shouldn’t be changed out or thrown away for something modern, but saved. By starting this blog, I will try to follow what my husband and I consider to be¬†an important part of our lives now: restoring our vintage home.

The first¬†thing was, of course, our fabulous kitchen. The first place we looked for information on where to start our restoration was the internet. A quick google of “Vintage 50’s Paint Colors” let us to www.retrorenovation.com¬†, and all of Pam’s great advice. So much information can be found there! We found our paint palette in a snap (Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern Palette) and had some great leads on how to replace the filthy carpet in the kitchen and dining area. And it was something we had never even thought of: commercial flooring.

We ended up going with Armstrong’s Standard Excelon Imperial Texture ¬†in Blue Cloud and Soft Cool Gray. It looks fantastic, as you can see from the picture.

Our New Kitchen Floor

If you are interested in more pictures of our kitchen, check out my flickr photostream. Also, Pam recently did an entry about our house and kitchen here. Please check it out!

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Filed under Our House, Renovation, Vintage