Category Archives: Renovation

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!


Filed under Ideas, Our House, Renovation

Melamine On The Walls

There is so much to learn about Mid-Century style.¬† Every day I head over to Retro Renovation, read one of Pam’s posts and think, “I didn’t know that.”¬† Then I go to the local thrift store and I see a cool glass or a piece of furniture and I think, “Wow, that’s new.”

And now, something else that blows my mind.  Vintage melamine panels for the wall.

Marlite Panels

For those of you who, like me, are just discovering the joys of melamine and melamac, here is an ad for baked melamine tongue-and-groove panels¬†for the walls.¬† I didn’t know you could put melamine on the walls. I always thought veneers were either wood or a resin type plastic, but here I am learning something new. I wonder what colors the old Marlite used to come in?¬†¬†If they would have had pink, I would have been all over it.

If you are interested, Marlite planks are still avaliable today.

And for those of you who are old hands at this and are rolling your eyes, bear with me. I’m new.


Filed under 1950s, Ideas, Renovation, Vintage

1956 Formica Ad – Popular Science Magazine

Formica AdThis is a great vintage Formica Ad that I found in the issue of Popular Science that has been giving the instructions for the Mid-Century Showplace Home.¬† The smeared quality of the picture isn’t my fault, I swear!¬† It is printed like that in the magazine, which is too bad.¬† I think it is a great ad – the green bathroom and the reference to the helpless husband!

Leave a comment

Filed under 1950s, Ideas, Renovation, Vintage, Vintage Houses

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….


Filed under Ideas, Our House, Renovation, Tips

Mid-Century Lamp – New Thrifting Find

There are a lot of things I really appreciate about my life.  The first one, and the one that makes the rest of my life possible, is my husband. I could write novels about what a great guy he is, but for today I will just limit it to this one thing:

He loves Mid-Century Modern.

Of course, we do disagree a little about exactly the type we are into. He loves the atomic age with the hard lines and angles.¬† I am more into the organic shapes and metallic colors, but we both appreciate each others’ tastes and styles.

So, when I saw this great desk lamp yesterday at my local ReStore, I thought he would think it was cool. Finally, a lamp we could both agree on.

MCM Desk Lamp

I love this lamp!  I immediately thought of insect antennae when I saw it. Both lamps move back and forth independently and the lamp heads themselves can move whichever way you want them to.

Lamp Head UpLamp head up!Lamp Head Down

Lamp head down!

They work great. One even has a really, really old lightbulb in it. The cashier at the ReStore was very excited about it, because honestly, it is a really cool lamp. 

But hubby wasn’t as excited as I thought he would be.¬† He looked at it skeptically, and then said, “Are you going to repaint it?”

Sigh. Ah well. It is kind of a putty tan color that really doesn’t go with our bright house, so I guess he is right.¬† What do you think, readers?¬† Should I paint this thrifted find, or just leave it?¬† It is scratched up, but I am also unwilling to mess up a vintage lamp, even if it only was $5.

*Update: This post was linked up to SongBirdTiff’s Good Stuff Thursdays post on her blog!



Filed under Renovation, thrifting

Etsy Round-up – Mid-Century Modern

I know everyone uses Ebay for their Mid-Century Needs, but what about Etsy?  As the owner of an Etsy store, I am always first to point out all of the great stuff on Etsy.  But besides the handmade stuff, there is also large vintage section.  And for something to be vintage on Etsy, it has to be pre-1970s, which makes me feel a little better when buying.

Let the fun begin!

The first item is from myohmymaggie.  This totally awesome atomic wall clock.  I love this, and the best part is Рit has been fitted with a battery!

Atomic Clock

The next item¬†comes from Peacock Envy, one of my favorite places to be a Looky-Loo on Etsy.¬†¬†Check out ¬†this totally fantastic lamp:green-lampIsn’t this the most¬†beautiful lamp?¬† I¬† started shrieking¬†when I saw it. It is totally amazing, and that shade is fantastic. I love the speckled mint green body. If I wasn’t on this crazy quest to find a lamp in a vintage store on my own I totally would have bought it.

On a sad note, I believe this lamp has been reserved for someone.  Oh. A little part of me just died. My hat is off to you, Izzy.  You are going to make a great purchase.

For more great vintage, check out Peacock Envy’s blog.


Filed under Ideas, Renovation, Vintage

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¬†, 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!

1 Comment

Filed under Our House, Renovation, Vintage