Greatest hits: The 50 most popular stories about renovating a 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s house

1946 pyrex kitchen

Measuring the popularity of stories on the blog is a very inexact science. What makes for “popular?” The number of comments? The number of views? The amount of time readers actually spend reading the story? And how do I adjust these for growing readership? Heck. For this first scannola, I’ll make it easy, and spotlight the top-50, most-clicked-on stories since 2007. What lures you in? Paint colors. Vintage drainboard sinks. Bathroom tile. Vintage wallpaper. Curb appeal. Oh – and Nora and her time capsule house 🙂 .

The posts with the most views, by category:

Readers’ Houses & Time Capsules:

Retro Paint Colors:

For Kitchen Renovations:

For Bathroom Renovations:

Vintage-style Wallpaper and Accessories:

Other Rooms:

Improving Curb Appeal:

Mid-century Architecture, History, and This ‘n That:

Readers, do you remember the exact first story
you ever found and read on Retro Renovation?
What were you looking for, that brought you here?





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  1. Ellen says

    My first time? I Googled period-inspired fabric for kitchen and bathroom (pink, of course) window-coverings for a 1956 2-story duplex, which I own and decided to move into after one of the apartments became vacant. And I somehow stumbled on Retro Renovation. I’m in the camp of those who need to send you some photos, because you helped me embrace my pink and maroon bathroom tile, and in fact, play it up. I also learned about period plumbing fixtures and hardware, floor coverings, and potential colors for an eventual outdoor paint job. Having grown up as a child in a new home built in 1957, and having just moved from a restored 1912 Portland (OR) four-square, I wasn’t interested in going back to the 1950s, so I credit your site and its readers for pointing me in the right direction to enhance all the original features, including a hued ring for a new bathroom sink! What a helpful community of dedicated people!!

  2. sandy retroSpective says

    Can’t remember exactly… but I have googled lots of stuff on ‘retro’ and ‘mid-century modern’. This one is, for me, by far the most interesting blog on retro style. I love Pam’s style of writing, and feel like I can hear her speaking to me / us. I find the various stuff Pam posts so interesting, love her various finds, that I spend way too much time on here!

    Hate to disappoint all of you pink lovers, though… I HATE pink anything, I will never be caught dead wearing pink, and certainly wouldn’t have a pink bathroom! My parents had a split level I lived in from when I was 12 (until I went to college), that had, in the guest bathroom, beautiful sandy-brown coloured fixtures. Now, THAT’s a colour I could happily live with! And we had a mint green in the main bathroom. And now, I will continue to visit some of those ’50 most popular stories’,: right now, am enjoying one on MCM sofas and where to get not-so-expensive ones.

  3. Taylor says

    My first visit to this site was the result of a Google search. Our house was built in 1956 and has an ugly knotty pine kitchen and den AND a pink bathroom. In the hopes of figuring out a way to decorate and revamp our house to our tastes, it’s not looking promising. I specifically am searching for ways to paint or otherwise lose the knotty pine for minimal effort, but the post that came up in the google search was Eartha’s kitchen.

    • pam kueber says

      Hi Taylor, Welcome, but you may not be in the right place. Here at Retro Renovation, we love da knotty pine. No no no, we do not allow the *u* word here, when it comes to talking about k.p. or pink bathrooms or hudee rings or push button stoves or, well, most all of the loveliness in postwar houses. Cruise around the site a bit. Maybe we can change your mind.

      • Taylor says

        Oh, I don’t mean to offend anyone who likes it. It’s just not what I would have preferred, and it makes the rooms so orangey-dark and cabin-like. I can tolerate knotty pine in small doses, but our kitchen is big, and everything is knotty pine except for the floors & countertops. I actually really like vintage homes, but the k.p is a challenge for me. My husband likes the idea of painting it all, so we still might paint the den for him, but I can understand the historical aspect of restoring a home to it’s former glory. I’m actually contemplating (thanks to your site!) how to restore the kitchen. It has a 40″ oven, k.p. crown molding, and the original black hardware. As for the pink bathroom, I don’t think it’d be as pressing of a project if we liked the pink and the plastic tiles weren’t falling off the walls. 🙁

        Thanks for this website – it’s a very helpful resource!

  4. Holley says

    I happily stumbled across your site when I “GoOgLeD” something like ‘old 1940’s kitchens,’ ‘time capsule houses,’ something like that.. so happy I did!! Awesome site — Thank you so much!

  5. Ted says

    Found this site today after a friend sent me a link to the story about that guy Cullen and his amazing apartment. Neat site. I’m not sure what is more amazing – all the great photos of stuff I like or how everyone who comments seems to be named Sarah, Heather or Betty. =)

  6. Helene says

    I found Retro Renovation because I’m researching my parents’ belongings. They both passed away in 2009 & I want to find new loving homes for their retro stuff (a 1959 bedroom set, a 1970’s avocado/green glass hanging lamp, vintage Drexel furniture, lots of kitchen stuff & more). I’m happy to see so many people love the stuff & value its history… finding good retro homes for their possessions is more important to me than the money!

  7. MCM is Grand says

    OK…personal confession time…I came across this site because I was planning to GUT the pink bathroom when we purchased our 1955 home…but soon realized that was neither a wise nor affordable option (and still is not), so instead I decided to replace some of the chipped tile……I googled “pink tile” and VOILA! Up pops retrorenovation and along with it, a new appreciation of all things MCM..

    Now, three years later, I am bragging about our pink bathroom, and of course this site is my first stop when I check my favorite blogs each day…(PS I will share more once I finally complete the period-appropriate renovations…..)

  8. Melissa says

    I found this site while looking for ideas for renovating the kitchen in my 1938 home. The first article I read was
    I love the way this kitchen has been done up. I still have no idea what I am going to do with my own kitchen, mostly because I live in Newfoundland, Canada and am not able to get most things I need to remodel the kitchen. The kitchen was renovated at some point since it has gold painted cabinets and a stainless double sink with laminate floors. I would love to use a deep blue as the main colour in my ‘new’ kitchen with white cabinets but it may be a while yet before I get that far.

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