Yankee Magazine spotlights Retro Renovation

retro renovation in yankee magazineWoot! The September/October issue of Yankee Magazine features a six-page spread on guess who’s kitchen … and house … and most importantly, the Retro Renovation tribe. Yes, that is me you spy rockin’ the retro polka dots. 

yankee-coverFor those of you outside of New England, Yankee is the premier regional magazine covering travel and lifestyle — read by 1.7 million readers nationwide. The story — starts on page 48 — is all wonderful publicity for our cause: Cultivating ever more widespread love for the many varieties of (mostly) humble homes built all across America after World War II.

If you are in New England and want to grab a copy, this leaf-peeping issue of Yankee is now on newsstands. For those of you outside the area, Yankee tells me there will be an online feature at some point this month or next. I’ll add a link as soon as it’s up.

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  1. lynda says

    Very nice! I think one of the best things you do is educate people to realize they don’t always have to toss and start over to make things beautiful! Good job.

  2. Mary Elizabeth says

    Yes, it was a fine article and good PR for the website and the goals we all share.

    My DH subscribes to Yankee, so when the issue came, he handed me the article and said, “Aren’t these your friends Pam and Kate?” Funny how it does seem like that, as those of us who comment on this site feel as though we have got to know Pam, Kate, and one another intimately. There’s something about being invited into one another’s kitchens (to say nothing of bathrooms!) to help with projects or admire them that makes us seem like friends. Oh, and people offer one another actual items for their renovations. I’m sure those of you who do social media have all kinds of virtual “friends,” but I don’t do Facebook or any of those things, so you people are it for me. And I’m very happy to have met you and learned from you all and shared our mutual interests and values.

    Keep up the good work, Pam and Kate.

    • Erin in Ohio says

      Well said, Mary Elizabeth!
      It is funny to think of how my husband and I talk about our next house project, and he knows exactly who I’m talking about when I say, “Well, Pam says…” or “Kate just did a story…”. I don’t even have to say “I saw it on RetroRenovation” anymore. Ladies — you’re household names! :-)

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        Oh, and I forgot to tell you that we had a visit from a young couple originally from Iceland on Monday, and as soon as they walked in, they were oohing and aahing over my knotty pine kitchen. So a discussion arose about the Yankee article and the website, and they told me that the pink bathroom/knotty pine/mid-century modern craze is also raging in Iceland. Most of those interested in preserving all things fifties and sixties, as here, are young people renovating their first homes. (Think about how important that is in a country where all the wood has to be imported.)

        Anybody know anything about other countries? I stayed in a B&B in Nova Scotia that was a MCM house–here in New England houses have to be at least 19th century to be considered good B&B candidates. I thought about that place when I saw the little California B&B cottages.

    • Robin, NV says

      Well said, Mary Elizabeth! I’m not on Facebook or any other social media either. But I love being a part of the RR family.

      Congrats Pam and Kate! Hopefully the article will change a few more minds about MCM. A friend of mine said she thought my house should be included in our town’s annual Tour of Homes. She thought it would be good for people to see that you don’t have to live in a Victorian or a blinged out modern house to have great style. I was flattered but I have too many unfinished projects at the moment!

      • pam kueber says

        Thank you, Robin! My house was on an historic home tour here in Lenox, it was a big hit, I think! It was “weird”, though, in retrospect, to have folks tromping through your house. I don’t know if I’d ever go for it again…

        • MCM is Grand says

          Pam – Kudos to the folks in Lenox who recognized that MCM has historic significance and included your home on the tour. (and of course it was kind of you to allow all of those guests). I live in Southern CA, and when I told the president of our local historical society that our 1950’s tract homes were important reminders of the historic post-war growth of the town, he just stood there and laughed. (sigh).

          So happy to have found like-minded folks here on RR! Keep up the wonderful work!

          • tammyCA says

            I live in SoCal, too in a modest post WWII tract home. I don’t see how that historical society President could laugh about the importance of these homes. The most horrific, deadliest World War in history had recently ended…those military men that came back alive were some of the architects/builders of these homes. In my neck of the woods you can see the influence of European architecture detail on the tract houses (those not stripped by flippers!)..a smattering of English Tudor/French/Bavarian/Swiss features that the designers must’ve made an impression on them amidst the War horrors they witnessed.
            Isn’t it unusual that almost all these SoCal desert homes have fireplaces? I grew up in the frigid Midwest and hardly anybody had a fireplace! All these houses have faux shutters and flowerbox shelves, as well..very charming European.
            These might be very modest homes but I can see the varying details to make them more individual and less cookie cutter. I believe there was pride in these homes and for a future that was going to be brighter.

            • MCM is Grand says

              Tammy, I totally agree. :) I know that the Smithsonian was seeking a Levittown home several years ago. I hope some of our So Cal tracts are still here years from now.

              • Robin, NV says

                I attended a refresher course on historic preservation laws a few years ago and the instructor visibly shuddered when I suggested that we will start seeing post war, mid century neighborhoods (tract houses) being nominated for the National Register as historic districts. He told me he didn’t want to live to see that day. Sheesh! Historians should at least recognize the historic significance of the post war housing boom. And as preservation professionals, we should leave our personal feelings at the door and evaluate buildings on their historic merit not on our personal tastes.

                We who work for the military fight this fight every day. Mid century and Cold War resources inspire little love. With a few notable exceptions, mid century military architecture tends to be very function over form. If anyone is interested, the Department of Defense (DOD) funded a really nice guide to Cold War military buildings. It’s a little known fact but the DOD manages more historic buildings than any other federal agency including the Park Service. Here’s the link to the guide:

    • pam kueber says

      That is so sweet! Thank you, Mary Elizabeth. Yes. It all does feel like REAL FRIENDSHIP. I think that means: It is. :)

  3. Kelly Wittenauer says

    Congratulations, Pam & Kate! And to Mary Elizabeth for so perfectly stating how I, and probably many others, feel about this community.

  4. Jay says

    Congratulations Pam! About time Yankee gave you recognition.
    I subscribed for years for travel info but gave it up because it seemed like they were putting everything on their website for free.
    Like others, RR is indeed the only site I follow faithfully. Don’t do Facebook. The comments are just as enlightening as the articles that you and Kate post – along with the reader renovation picture submissions which ooze creativity and ingenuity. Keep fighting the good fight for all things retro 40 – 70s.

  5. Lynne says

    Congratuations Pam! You look fab in the polka dots, by the way. I wanted to chime in with the others in saying what a nice community this is. I too feel as tho I know you and Kate, after all, I have my morning cup of tea with you everyday.
    I think it would be so nice if we had a chat room or a discussion board. A place where we could talk with others “hey, look what I found” or “I need help/suggestions on a project” or other dilemmas. Sometimes a fresh look or a different set of eyeballs can help . Just a thought, since there seems to be a genuine camaraderie amongst us all without a troll in the bunch.

    • Lisa Compo says

      I love your idea about being able to communicate with each other more easily. Sometimes we have to post on here and just hope that our buddy sees it. I seem to talk with Jason quite a bit through the comment boxes, but it would be great if we could send messages to each other or post to a board with their name highlighted or something. We could join a “Members” group voluntarily and maybe put a little profile about ourselves there…like how I am designing my dream house now and starting to collect up items for it. I have often had questions for certain people and had no way to get to them. Great idea, I hope Pam and Kate will consider it and hopefully find a way for us to be able to do it.

      • Lynne says

        Yes, how nice it would be to tell others how excited I am about my new avocado green sculptured carpet and have them all understand.

        • Lisa Compo says

          The Forum is great for posting things, but we don’t have a way of directly addressing someone there. I think what we are trying to get is a bulletin board type of thing or open mailbox where we can directly contact each other. If I wanted to ask Lynne about her carpet…I could click on or type in her name and it would go to a section where I could post directly to her, and everyone could read and comment also. We could sign in and it would say “you have 2 posts” today and we’d know someone was writing to us personally. Lynne’s board would show a message where I entered a topic line such as “carpet” and then I could write to her in there and say “can you tell me where you bought your carpet?”. Then she could respond and others could open the messages if they were also interested in the carpet chat. Is it possible to create a thing like this for us? I think it would take off like wildfire if we could all talk to each other more directly. Thanks if you can figure out a way. :) Maybe one day you could put it as a feature story and see if others are interested in joining a members bulletin/mailbox board. Just a thought. Thanks…then we can love RR even more.

          • pam kueber says

            Lisa, the existing Forum has this functionality right now. You can create threads, and subscribe to a particular thread. Try it.

            • Lisa Compo says

              thanks for the response. I read the directions again and don’t see a way to directly write to someone. Maybe one day I will figure it out.

  6. Lisa Compo says

    I bought the Yankee magazine yesterday at Barnes and Noble if anyone is trying to locate one. I haven’t gotten to read it yet, but I am looking forward to it.
    My DH told me the other morning that he had a dream about metal kitchen cabinets!! It was in great detail, the RR ideas are even rubbing off on him :)…Pam and Kate are household names here, too.

    I love the idea of a discussion board or perhaps a members forum where we could sign up with a little profile to be able to talk more easily to our “friends”. This is a very friendly group or tribe as Pam calls us. LOL I’ve pretty much stopped reading my Facebook stuff (except the RR Facebook page) because this is waaaay more fun.
    Congrats again on the article.

  7. Sarah g (roundhouse) says

    Congrats Pam! I know how exciting this must be for you! You’ve done an amazing job of fostering a such a nice and welcoming blog. I have to agree with the other commenters, I too don’t Facebook much and this is the only site in which I comment. It’s nice to have a community of like-minded folks without all the snarky quips and trolls. Thanks again!

    • pam kueber says

      Thank you, Sarah! Yup: No trolls allowed here. If they try to comment, I delete them. I do so love being queen sometimes.

  8. Kate HM says

    Congratulations. I moved to Connecticut last year from Los Angeles and have been overwhelmed by the amount of colonial design. I knew I would see a lot of it, but this was out of control. When I would tell people that we were looking for original pink bathrooms, steel cabinet kitchens, etc in our home search they would look at me like I had lost my mind. Upon further examination I have found a lot of MCM design and homes here. Maybe this article will help spread the word so people don’t continue to gut these beautiful homes

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        Yes, I learned through a lot of reading and communicating on this site that Connecticut and Massachusetts have a peculiar hybrid, the “colonial ranch.” Pam has one in Massachusetts, and I have one in Connecticut. Once you have the basic ranch, however, you can lean more in the direction of colonial or more in the direction of “California style” ranch. Also, witness one of the latest redos of a house on public TV’s “This Old House.” That couple bought a house in an historic district of Cambridge, Mass. and had to keep the period exterior. But they wanted the interior to be Swedish modern style, and they pulled it off, with a lot of money it looks like. But we on RetroRenovation know how to do such things on the cheap. So you can leave your colonial ranch colonial on the outside, and go all Eames era on the inside. Think about it.

  9. says

    Yaaayyy!! Love it!
    My grandmother used to get Yankee magazine when I was a kid! It used to sit side by side with Southern Living on her coffee table! She was quite well rounded!

  10. Andi says

    Wow! Impossible to say anything that hasn’t been said, so I’ll risk redundancy and say “Congratulations! Pam” and it’s about time a “big time” publication featured something like your amazing kitchen and house.

    My husband also knows who Pam and Kate are. I used to say “Retro Pam” so he would know who I meant, but the Retro got dropped a long time ago. And he knows all about Kate’s new bathroom floor and what grout she chose. Like so many others, I check in with you two every day.

    I will be off tomorrow in search of my first ever issue of Yankee magazine….hope I can find one in this small southern-PA town!

    And yes…redundant again, but the polka dot dress is fabulous on you, Pam!

      • Lisa Compo says

        it’s kinda hard to sneak in new vintage chest of drawers, cabinets to refinish and mid-mod end tables without them catching on. LOL Mine is learning to spot Corning Ware at thrift stores and offers to stop at the ReStore by our house. We have a ball with what I learn on here.

  11. Lauryn says

    WOOT! Awesome news, Pam. As a former New Englander, I’m quite familiar with Yankee Magazine and will have to cajole my mom in to buying a copy for me! You do a fabulous service not only to the retro community, but also to our planet, by encouraging people to be preservations whenever possible. And yes, you both do sometimes feel like family. Congrats and big hugs!!

      • Lauryn says

        Pam, got my copy in the mail from my trusty mom today and wow, what a fantastic spread!! I can’t wait to sit and read it, but even just seeing all the fabulous photos was such a treat. (Flipping through the magazine did, however, make me just a wee bit homesick for New England. In a good way.)

  12. says

    Oh, wow, Pam! Congratulations—I’ll have to pop over to the bookstore and find a copy of Yankee (a magazine I like anyhow b/c of the fab photography).

    Also—cuuuuuute dress! You look terrific!

  13. Kelly says

    Congratulations on this recent success and a job well done from the start! I visit your website routinely and it gives me so much pleasure to see all of the contributions from you and other readers. I have also found great resources for the work we did on our 70’s ranch home we bought 2 years ago. I hope this will allow more people to develop an appreciation for older homes and their wisdom and charm.

  14. tammyCA says

    That’s so neat to be published in it. I’m on the West Coast so I’ve never seen Yankee, but sounds like a cool magazine.

  15. says

    As a Mass girl born and bred, I know that when you’ve made it to Yankee Magazine you’ve hit the big time – congrats Pam! I do love the fact that this exposes the “Retro Renovation Nation” to a larger audience, as it hopefully will make that large readership look at the things that are so dear to all of us (pink bathrooms, knotty pine, formica, “mid century modest” sized houses, etc) in a new light – worth praising and not replacing.

    As a fellow Retro Blogger I also once again take my leopardskin pillbox hat off to you for the hard work you put into your site, not only in terms of quality, but quantity. Always awesome when your efforts are being recognized!

    And finally – as many folks have said – you do give the vibe that this is one big tribe and we’re all “friends” here – I love how that camaraderie comes so easily here.

    Proud to be a reader, and I know that my fam back up in New England will be cutting out your article and mailing it to me :-)

    Beth / Mod B

  16. JKaye says

    I just want to remind everyone that Pam and retrorenovation.com have been in the New York Times too! This article is another well-deserved honor. Congratulations!

  17. J D Log says

    Congratulations Pam and Kate looking forward to the link to read the story. Perhaps you should have a readers upload on polka dot items, but I am biased as I do collect polka dot items.
    In answer to Mary Elizabeth’s question as far as I can work out in Sydney Australia it is popular in the inner city like it use to be in the early 80’s. I purchase 95% of my ebay items in Victoria and South Australia. Saying that and being connected with the old car scene there are many more 50’s car themed shows and the 1950’s show at Rose Seidler house has grown immensely since I attended the 1st show and the new generation of Rockabilly has kept this tradition alive.
    I live the 50-60’s live style and have noticed the younger people at work ask me questions about it with my sideburns and daily driver 1969 Valiant So in summary in Sydney the 50-60’s fashion, music and cars have their following but not many people are preserving there houses unfortunately in my area a lot of 50’s houses are getting gutted or bulldozed on a regular basis. Mostly only original owners are preserving houses.
    I welcome any Australians comments on this issue. It is up to us all to be ambassadors for this era with younger people weather it be the music, cars, houses, lifestyle or history otherwise it will die out and be lost to time

  18. Scott says

    Very nice! Looking forward to the reading and seeing the online feature, the photos look adorable, and perfectly lit too. Was the photographer merely a genius of digital or did they bring in supplemental professional lighting too?

  19. John says

    Congratulations! You put so much work into spreading the word that folks like us who adore 1940s to 1970s design are not alone! Years ago, I thought gee it’s 1990 and I am still using things and decorating with things from the 1960s and I would not have it any other way (and I can tell you that in 1990 people actually thought it was funny and just gave away things to me from the 1960s for FREE!) PS Yankee is a great magazine and being from the NE I have read Yankee for years and I have some issues dating back to, what else, the 1960s!

  20. says

    Congrats Pam and Kate!! I want to get my hands on that issue!!! It’s wonderful how you have made such a difference in so many homes and lives. RR deserves to be a nationally known go-to hot spot!!! I can see in the future – you and Kate on a cool little RR talk show!!!! :)

  21. Angela says

    Congratulations! I would love to see Pam with a show on HGTV. It’s so disheartening to watch some of these shows especially the kitchen makeover shows in which they destroy the most beautiful retro kitchens. It would be nice to see a program that showcases the homes we see on this website and how people are restoring these types of homes.

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