Their first report on their new Retro Renovation journey
Mike and Lindsey — known here as the careful caretakers of two vintage pink bathrooms — have started a new Retro Renovation adventure: The couple recently closed on their new home, a 1964 mid-century modern adapted from a famous “House of Good Taste” design by architect Edward Durell Stone for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. The house needs some TLC, and Mike asked us if we’d like for him to document this new, labor-of-love project. Heck to the yeah, we said! Here’s his first report on this jewel of a house… some historical photos we dug up… and their epic restoration plans ahead.
Images above: From the New York Public Library’s Digital Collection
Shortly after moving into our current 1950’s ranch four years ago, we became enamored with everything mid-century. While we love our current home, it’s definitely more mid-century “modest” than mid-century “modern”, and previous renovations done by various different owners removed most of its original character (except the two pink bathrooms of course). We decided that one day we wanted to renovate and restore a authentic mid-century modern home.
Looking for this “dream” home became a sort of hobby and obsession of ours. We didn’t have any real NEED to move, but thought if just the “right” house came along, we might take the plunge. Owning a special mid-century home soon became a “bucket list item” for us to hopefully fulfill one day. In the meantime, we continued to love our current house, always in the midst of one project or another, while keeping our eyes out for the “one.”
We would go to open houses and search the MLS, and every once in awhile, something would grab our attention only to be eliminated due to location, size, being “updated”, or one of the other million reasons. Again, we did not need to move so we were super picky about our dream mid century home. It seemed nothing met the requirements of our list.
When we saw the post on Okie Mod Squad about “The House of Good Taste possibly coming on the market, we were very interested, but had experienced enough “dead ends” to know not to get our hopes up. We decided to get the contact information and emailed the owner. The owner, who had been there for 25 years and truly knew the value of the home, wanted to make sure the next owners appreciated and would take proper care of it. In our minds, this probably wasn’t the one, the location was a little suburban for us, but what could it hurt to look right?
[Editor's Note: The Okie Mod Squad article by Lynne Rostochil provides lots more great into about this history of this exact house -- take a look! Thank you, too, Lynne, for giving us permission to feature some of your photos!]
Long story short, we were wrong. This was very much “the one.” It checked almost every item on our “dream home” list. While the location wasn’t a complete slam dunk, the fact that the house backs up to a private park quickly canceled out any location reservations we had.The house was not technically on the market yet, so we knew we had a chance to snatch it up before others caught wind.
We took a deep breath, took the plunge and recently closed on our new home. We are now the proud owners of a “The House of Good Taste”.
The house has been cared for and protected the last 25 years, but it’s in need of a little Retro Renovation love! So we are diving in with both feet and have a complete renovation planned over the next few months. We are excited to share the entire process with the Retro Renovation family…. who knows, there might be some original terrazzo floors hiding under all of that carpet?