From time capsules to toilets to a look at the ’80s — 10 favorite stories so far this year

retro-aqua-bathroomWe toured the amazing 1967 home built for the family that founded A. Brandt Ranch Oak furniture unicorn-people-in-retro-kitchenMythical readers Jenny & Bob share their retro red kitchen remodel — and their sense of humor.
1960-retro-kitchenEveryone went wild for this 1954 magical Martin home in Los Angeles, California retro sofasWe listed nine reasons to love Joybird Furniture — a midcentury modern ‘manu-tailer.’
retro-kitchen-remodel-Sarah showed us her “super economical” kitchen remodel featuring salvaged vintage cabinets.  vintage-green-bathroom-We toured Robert & Caroline’s 1953 home with amazing bathrooms and a St. Charles kitchen renovation.
retro-renovation-We picked our brains to come up with the top 12 reasons to own and love a mid-century home.
toilet colorsToilets galore! Where to buy vintage color toilets in pink, blue, harvest gold, beige, grey & bone.
1980s-design-styleWe reminisced with readers about 1980s decor — which we decided is now ‘vintage.’ retro-steel-kitchen-cabinets-geneva-This 1954 Texas time capsule house has a gorgeous St. Charles kitchen and a pink bathroom.

gonefishinKate and I are taking a little spring break this week. Meanwhile, to make the blog all retrolicious here on the homepage, we’ve spotlighted some of our favorite stories published so far this year. In case you missed them, here’s a chance to dig in. Another idea if you need your fix: Type a couple of key words into the Search box (in the blue ‘laminate’ area up by the header), and see what the Retro Renovation archives deliver. We’ll we back with new stories on Monday.


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  1. Mary Elizabeth says

    A well-earned spring break for the Dynamic Duo.

    Remarking on the 1980s story: As for the 1980s being “vintage,” I was taught that for furniture “antique” means over 100 years old and “vintage” means over 50 years old. A car is “antique” if over 50 and “classic” if over 25. So by that definition, a 1980s design will not be vintage until the 2020s.

    What do you think?

      • Mary Elizabeth says

        Thanks, Pam. I was using the age range my grandfather (the one who was a cabinet maker and restored antique furniture) taught me. A quick online search yeilds different results. Abe Abbas on says 30 to 100 years old. Other sources use criteria other than exact age, such as style and quality. I’m going to have to study on this some more. Seems to me there’s a lot of wiggle room in the way the term is currently used.

        Now go back to the spa pool or wherever you floated in from. 🙂

        • pam kueber says

          I cannot imagine there is any hard and fast rule. At this point, there are 90s things I’d probably call vintage! Yes: I do think there is an aspect to the “style” and “quality” equation. Something that is so OF A PARTICULAR TIME or STYLE MOMENT can likely safely be called vintage…

          • says

            Total agreement here. I’m not inclined to like too much from the 1980s or 1990s, but I tend to think more in eras of things. Just found a chair here where I work (wonder if they’d miss it) with the bones of a rather Danish-looking 1960s chair, but it’s marked on the still attached label “1981!”

  2. Jay says

    Oh No! I feel RR withdrawal symtoms will manifest themselves within 24 hrs. Enjoy your spring breaks you two.

  3. Roundhouse Sarah says

    Have a nice break Pam and Kate! I’ll be missing the great articles all week!
    Yesterday was my city’s tour of homes, it was fun, great turn out but no MCM homes on the list. Next year the historical society will be featuring my house!! They are excited to show MCM and get out of the Victorian and craftsman rut. They are now in a mad scramble to find other interesting homes in my area of town to make the tour work. Should be fun, it also gives me a kick in the butt to get some projects started and finished.

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      Sarah, that is such exciting news! My town is right next to a small city that has houses from every century from the 17th to the 20th. When they have a house tour, they never do the 20th century houses, just the colonials, Federals, Victorians, and bungalows. I’m sorely tempted to get on the historical preservation committee and start activating.

      • Roundhouse sarah says

        Thanks Mary Elizabeth and jay!
        My city is full of wonderful homes from the turn of last century and even a bit earlier. Made mostly by lumberman who came down from michigan to chop down and use up our old growth cypress. We even have a porch column design unique to our town, the ‘lake charles collumn’. And while we do have plenty of MCM they do not show up on the tour often. Ironically the year before I bought my home the tour featured only MCM houses. Next years theme will be ‘women in renovation’ so they will try to find houses from each design era, as a walk through time type thing. Should be fun!

        • Lynne says

          I know this is totally off topic, so delete it if you need to, but I need to thank Round House Sarah for showcasing her parents MCM home and alerting me to Armstrong’s Striations flooring.

          Many thanks, Sarah! I ordered my Striations floor last Saturday.

  4. Eliza says

    I love the colors in Sarah’s super economical remodel, but I have been dying to put red and white checked gingham curtains in my 1965 kitchen, like the ones that Lucy had in her house in I love Lucy when they moved to the burbs. This is such a dilemma!!!!!

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