Open thread: Happy 8th Birthday Retro Renovation!

retro renovationToo much fun, we almost missed it: October 26 is our birthday — has turned eight. In addition to shaking up a Shark Bite, we want to celebrate by asking all our dear readers:

  • What would you like to see more of on the blog?
  • What burning questions do you have that we might be able to get all Brenda Starr about?
  • Any other suggestions… comments… encouragement?

Proceed to the comments section, then go find a cake, cookie or cuppa and join us in a toast to more fantastic years ahead!


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  1. ali says

    Happiest of Birthdays! Boy am I glad I found your blog, and right in the nick of time. We were searching for a home, and I immediately found myself at odds in a community where the majority of people my age were building new homes in new neighborhoods, I felt like the odd one out for wanting an old home. I have since found my people and my wonderful neighborhood and your blog, and it has given me the courage to do what I truly love with my home and not feel like I have to do what everyone else is doing. Keep the eye candy a-comin’! I love the time capsule homes, but I too would love to see more reader homes. Thank you for creating such a wonderful blog!

  2. Charlotte says

    Time capsules! Furniture! and of course home tours, before and afters…the best part of the site is the inspiration I get after seeing someone make a 1930s bathroom or kitchen look fresh while preserving the classic elements of these utilitarian rooms!

  3. Kim says

    I think the best service y’all provide is letting folks know where they can get authentic items to renovate with. If folks are remodeling and want a retro look, or more importantly, to refresh or replace a vintage items they already have it is almost impossible to find what you want. Just going to a tile store takes some digging when all of the “modern” world wants granite counter tops, and shower tile that looks to me like you’re in a cave. Highlighting original or close to original in style or quality is what y’all do best. AND GOD BLESS YOU FOR IT! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  4. Jan says

    Yay! Happy birthday! I love all you do, anyway. But my favorites are the articles on time capsules, DIY mid-century (like Kate’s putz houses, the wreaths, the bullet planter, etc.) – especially those that are inexpensive, and design ideas for mid-century living. As an historian, I also crave all of the articles on any mid-century history.

    Keep up the great work, and on to number 9!

  5. Linda in Tomball, TX says

    RETRO ENCLAVES: I’d like to see more pictures and history from readers about their own communities around the country, neighborhoods that still have intact mid-century houses and homeowners who like keeping them that way. For example, as shown on the website,, “Modern-Spotting: The Lost Eichlers of Rockland County, NY”. Besides Abraham Levitt’s Levittown, there are overlooked neighborhoods by lesser-known architect/planners also produced dozens (if not hundreds) of post-WWII developments for veterans, like Frank Sharp who conceived Houston’s Oak Forest and Sharpstown. I love learning about their history… how it once was, and how (sometimes) it’s honored today.

  6. John and Karl says

    Miss your “Ebay finds” and I know I’ve asked this before but wish there was a way to meet other Mid Century minded people to share ideas, see each other’s homes, socialize, etc. in the states/towns we live. Let’s face it, most people just don’t get it and we’re few and far between!

    Happy Birthday!

  7. Sue says

    Alas, no cake in the house but I celebrate you with some Halloween candy. (On that note, how about some articles on shopping in the 50s, 60s, 70s?)
    LOVE everything you do. Happy Birthday and cheers to many more!

  8. Cindy says

    Your site is amazing, and definitely a source of inspiration (especially since I recently purchased a 1958 post and beam home, all original, including the pink and mint green bathroom)! My only suggestion would be to source more Canadian products/websites for your Northern neighbours. 🙂

  9. Amanda says

    Hi Ladies –

    Congrats on the anniversary. This is the only site I look at every day. In general, I’d say just keep the same stories coming. Every day is a treat.

    My only request is selfishly colored by the home we’re in the middle of purchasing. It would be great to see more stories about infrastructure and how to fix problems without ruining the decor of your house.

    The house we’re buying has been in the same family since it was build in 1926 and almost completely untouched (one kitchen faucet and fridge are the only updates) since a remodel in 1959. It is our own modest time capsule. However, we’re terrified that some of the problems we need to fix – update the electric including an inset glass wall panel radiant heat system and mold remediation will ruin the decor like the original wallpaper and knotty pine that we love so much.

    It would be great to hear some more stories about people’s success saving their houses from these systems and structure challenges.

  10. carla says

    Congrats on the anniversary! I have been reading for three years now, and have gleaned many useful tips and tricks for repairs and renovations from the other readers whose homes you feature. More of those, please. The source information is also incredibly helpful. I also perk up when you feature styles, how-twos and features that are pertinent to my own 1938 cottage, whose architecture dwells somewhere in the nevernever land between WWars and the concommitant swings in prosperity and design approach. My least favorite subjects on the blog are the craftsy stuff. The vintage ornament thing was kind of fun, but I don’t feel much relevance, especially since the wreath-making phenomena has made it harder to affordably source these beauties for their original purpose-decorating a tree! Halloween and turkey wreaths seem more applicable to a craft blog, not one on saving midcentury homes. But it’s yr blog, and you and Kate should write about whatever floats your boat (but since you did ask…). I just tune out more quickly when it’s a craft blog, and not something more related to maintaining an older home…FWIW, and a BIG thank-you for for all yr very hard work and dedication to helping owners be good stewards of our modest, sustainable homes.

  11. Annie says

    What a great eight years of RR. Thank you. I’ve been along for the wonderful ride since the days of Fifties Pam in 2007. Love at first site.

    Keep saving the pink bathrooms, ladies. Don’t change a thing about RR.

  12. Susan says

    Many mid century houses in Memphis have the washer and dryer in the kitchen. I’d love to see ideas on how to keep the design of the kitchen intact with modern washer dryer equipment.

  13. Hildy Miller says

    I love your web site–it was an enormous help when I was redoing my kitchen and bathroom. Thanks to you I found some Mississippi deco faucets that I enjoy every day.

    My style runs more to 20s, 30s, 40s than it does 60s. I don’t know if other readers are the same, but, if so, it would be great if you could include material on some of the previous decades.

  14. Christa says

    Keep on keepin’ on. You have offered so much great advice and many resources for older homes. I love to see the renovations. I’m interested in seeing more regional architects like we see in the time capsule posts. It’s so fun to see these gems from places I’ve never been. I get a kick out of seeing collections and collectibles, and reader’s photos, even though my own tastes are more modern/minimalist, I like to see the creativity and variety.

  15. Jennifer says

    I’m late to the party, but congratulations on this landmark. RR has been a great resource for me in the last few years. I have to admit that I started out wrinkling my nose at some of the vintage pictures–the decor didn’t appeal to me. But I’ve become a true convert. And I even like the look of wallpaper now!

    I love seeing readers’ homes. And I’d selfishly like to see more on ceiling (light) fixtures for living rooms with 8 foot ceilings. The ones in our living room are situated such that I can’t do pendants–they lights wouldn’t line up over coffee tables or sofas 🙁

    Thanks for all of the hard work. I check your website daily for new posts and probably visit several times a week searching the archives.

  16. Karen Shoop says

    Hi girls and congrats on 8 fabu years! I am also late to the party — been crazy at my teaching job.

    Maybe you have done this already, but I have looked around the site and haven’t seen it – would love to see a tutorial on how to create those great “virtual decor” mockups I see on RR that show what rooms would look like with various decorative elements in them, so that I could create these myself. If there some way to do these online, or is it just a cut and paste with paper images type of thing?

    Congrats again and looking forward to more than 8 years more!

    • pam kueber says

      Alas, Kate is a professional graphic designer — she creates these using Photoshop; requires skills.

      When I do mockups, I cut and paste and put things on Powerpoint…. not nearly as good but that’s the best I can do…

  17. leslie says

    I so miss ebay finds.
    but I am so grateful to know about ur great site– if not for anything else, to reassure me that I’m not alone in my taste and passions!
    thanks guys.

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