Daily Readers, this one’s for you: Win a custom Love the House You’re In Collage

collage of a blue mid century house

Update: Random number picked; winner has been sent an email; comments closed. Thanks, everyone, for playing. Remember — new contest every month! Kara was the winner of our January contest to win a Love The House You’re In Collage — and that’s her mid-century cutie, above — as immortalized by collage artist extraordinaire Mel Kolstad. To win our February contest, all you have to do is:

Leave a Comment answering the question, “What year was your house built?” If you want to leave a tidbit on its style, that would be cool, too. Please read all the rules here before entering, they all apply.

This month’s contest rewards DAILY readers — I’ll pick a winner late Friday night. Yay on all of you who check in daily!

Mel explains this collage:

“I just love Kara’s house!  She was very thorough – she included “before” photos as well and you can see how beautiful her house is now!  I used real wood veneer for the fence and wood grain paper for the door.  The tree was done using tiny punched circles and the sky is actually handmade paper.  I did the house in a paper I found that was the PERFECT color!”

Thanks, Mel! Read more about her work on her cool blog, Ephemeraology.


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  1. says

    I love these stories! Last year we purchased a 1956 ranch. It’s in an older neighborhood with mostly all other homes of the same time period. I don’t know a lot of the history of this house yet, but I can tell that sometime in the 70’s the original garage was converted to a sunk-in living room complete with a rock ledge half way around the room and a space ship looking wood burning stove. Due to this and another garage being added on the end of the conversion, our house seem to go on for miles. Def the longest house on the street. We love this house and would love to have it memorialized the way it looks now, because we will be “working” on it.

  2. says

    Last year we purchased a cabin on the Lake Michigan shore. The cabin was built in the mid-40s and had not been rehabbed until 2000. To our dismay the house had been rehabbed with typical modern day additions such as a boring finish, laminate tiles and carpeting. Oh and to top it off popcorn ceiling a textured walls. One beam at a time we are renovating this 650 square foot cottage back to it’s mid century glory. Our cottage is a work in progress, but one season in we have already added a kitchen, spruced up the bathroom and cleaned the acre surrounding the house.


  3. punkrockmartha says

    my fancy trailer was built in 1981. it may not look mid-mod on the outside, but i’m cramming as much style as possible into the inside!

  4. Pat says

    I live in a brick ranch that my late husband and I bought 5 years ago. The house was built in 1953, one of the 7 (!) houses built as the Nimke Subdivision on a small loop of street called a “court.” The Nimke houses are all brick or stone and all but one are single story. Our house has many original components: light fixtures, aluminum windows, doors and hardware. The bathroom has its original tan, white, black, gray and yellow tiles and the finished basement area has wood paneling and an asphalt tile floor. There are shuffleboards painted on the cement floor in the long basement laundry room!. Each year my husband and I lived in this house we felt more strongly that it was the perfect place for us, and I feel that way now, too. I check Retrorenovation every day first thing, as a way to get “up” for reading the daily newspaper.

    • Pat says

      Gosh, must correct my weak writing: aluminum windows, but wood doors and brass hardware! and punctuation: ! and no period there…. Haste makes embarrassment.

  5. says

    I live in a roomy 1956 ranch – typical of it’s age, but in a neighborhood of mostly older homes built in the 20s and 30s. We are (we think) the fourth owners of the home and bought it from a family who had lived here for 28 years. What I love most about our home is its abundant light (in spite of our typical gray winter days here in the Portland, OR) due to the presence of many large windows. Coming from a three-story Foursquare, we find this house easy to live in: everything is so accessible. We’ve been here since 2008, and are loving it more every year!

  6. Ann-Marie Meyers says

    My realtor just called. My little 1962 split level in Western Wisconsin is all mine.
    The emotional story of the house is a bit more interesting than the physical to me, at the moment.
    My husband, my life, my heart, died this past September, and I decided I needed to leave Texas where we had been living for the past 13 years.
    I figured the world was my oyster, well, as long as the world included a mid century home, in a part of the country in which I could afford to buy a home. So I searched online for several months, knowing I would recognize my house when I saw it.
    The moment I saw the first photo, I knew this was my home, and I could not believe where it was. Back home in Wisconsin, only 2 hours from my family!

    The moment I stepped into the front entry, I looked at the realtor, and said, “I hardly even need to look at the rest of it. I am home!” At that point, I didn’t even know its history!

    The the original owners of it, the Janskes moved in in 1962, and Mr. Janske died one month later. Mrs. Janske lived there alone until 1991, when she sold it to a woman who was going through a divorce. She lived there without a husband, until she retired and moved to Madison, when she sold it to me.
    It is almost as if this home is a safe haven for women who lose their husbands and are fragile. This is its role in life. It called out to me, and I heard it. I think I am naming it Skylark, after the song by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer,

    That’s our story. I will take pictures in a couple of weeks, and put them on Flickr.

    • pam kueber says

      Ann-Marie, I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s death. Congratulations on the new house — it sounds like it will be happy to have found you.

    • SAS says

      Congratulations, Ann-Marie!

      I am sorry about your loss, but am glad you have been able to find a home that will take good care you. May you make many great memories in your new-to-you home.

  7. hillary says

    Our house is a 1948 ranch, sort of a toned down cottage-style with a big picture window in front and little wavy details on the interior window frames. Most of the houses in our neighborhood were built in the same era, by a handful of builders working in the neighborhood. We’re the third owners. The first owners had it built or bought it brand new from the builder in 1948 and lived in it until 1984, adding on a family room and expanding the back bedrooms in the early 70’s. The second family lived in it from 1984-2008, raised their children here, and basically didn’t change a thing. We bought it in 2008 because we appreciate its quirks and unusual layout.

  8. Michele Vance Hehir says

    We moved into our 1950 bungalow (Alberta, Canada) in 1990. We’ve changed a few things here and there. But now…we are redoing our upstairs bathroom and we are going with mid-century modest! Courtesy of Pam’s website I’ve been tuned into the beauty of the 1950’s. I’ve scoured the Restore’s, an architectural clearinghouse and a great little store that has old building supplies, doors, lights etc. I’ve bought a wall mounted sink, chrome legs ($4!) and I bought a cast iron shower pan online…just waiting to get started on installing everything…

  9. Jenny says

    Our house is a 1 1/2 story Cape Cod built in 1953. Our Northern California neighborhood was originally an orchard and the fellow who built it also built the house across the street in the 40s and later built the house kitty-corner from us in the 60s. When we rehabbed the windows and saw the way everything fit together, we guessed it was probably built from a kit. And when we had central heat and air put in, they found over a dozen empty whiskey bottles hidden in the walls! Cheers to you sir, whoever you are, and thank you for the great house!

  10. Cristin Bock says

    I live in a 1936 cream city brick Colonial, with original pink and turquoise bathrooms intact and original light fixtures in place. Love, love, love.

  11. Tracy says

    Our house was built in 1962. It’s a brick ranch and still has the original knotty pine kitchen (Pam put pics of it on the blog a while back when I was asking for help to make it brighter). Our neighborhood is called Charlotte Park and all of the mid-century ranch houses here were built for employees of the now defunct Ford glass plant.

  12. Joellen Jeffers says

    1984! I know, not quite retro but my furnishings and accessories are ALL vintage. My dream home is a new modern pre-fab set on a pine forested chunk of land. Some day…….

  13. Jennifer says

    Our 1954 ranch is our home sweet home in Connecticut. We are the 3rd owners. Not much updating has been done so we still enjoy most of its original charm.

  14. says

    We have the original act of the sale from the only other owner in 1948. I’d say 1940’s possibly 45…I posted a picture of my house in the photo forum of the Facebook page. White stucco, striped awnings, original green tub and sink, mini tile floor and white tile walls…Went through Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and took 2 years to redo. I love New Orleans…

  15. JKaye says

    Ours is a ’59 brick ranch. We love everything about where we live but the house. We love our neighborhood and the side of town we are on, the distance from work and from the grocery store, the nice sidewalks for walking our dog, and the variety of birds we see because there are lots of trees and some ponds in the area. There are a couple of houses I keep hoping will go up for sale on our street so that we can move into one of them, and stay right here without being right here in this house. (No, I don’t expect to win the collage, I just wanted to participate!)