Retro Renovation http://retrorenovation.com Remodeling, decor and home improvement for mid century and vintage homes Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:20:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Mike and Lindsey gut remodel the kitchen in their 1965 midcentury modern house http://retrorenovation.com/2014/09/02/midcentury-modern-kitchen-remodel/ http://retrorenovation.com/2014/09/02/midcentury-modern-kitchen-remodel/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:30:49 +0000 http://retrorenovation.com/?p=111385 In this sixth edition of the series, Mike and Lindsey have called on the help of their friends at L&D Construction — the same guys that custom built the midcentury modern master bathroom vanity in their first home — to help them gut remodel the kitchen, including making custom walnut kitchen cabinets. Drawing inspiration from fellow Retro Renovators and a photo […]

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L&D-ConstructionHOGT-graphicIn this sixth edition of the series, Mike and Lindsey have called on the help of their friends at L&D Construction — the same guys that custom built the midcentury modern master bathroom vanity in their first home — to help them gut remodel the kitchen, including making custom walnut kitchen cabinets. Drawing inspiration from fellow Retro Renovators and a photo of an original Edward Durell Stone House of Good Taste kitchen, Mike and Lindsey are well on their way to creating the midcentury modern kitchen of their dreams.

kitchen-before

Mike & Lindsey’s House of Good Taste kitchen before.

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Mike & Lindsey’s House of Good Taste kitchen before.

Mike writes:

So here we are, roughly 2/3 of the way through renovations and although we have accomplished a ton so far, we are desperately ready to start seeing the kind of progress that makes it feel like a home. Our beautiful newly refinished floors are completely covered and we are ready to start the kitchen build out.

At this point we are bringing in the heavy hitters, our master carpenters from L&D construction, Joe and Kenny. We have worked with Joe and Kenny on several projects and wouldn’t trust anyone else with this job. Retro Renovation readers should be familiar with Joe’s handy work as he is the one who built the custom vanity for our pink master bath renovation.

We have several inspirations that we are pulling together in order to achieve the specific look and feel we want in our new kitchen. One of our inspirations is actually from a Retro Renovation story that ran long before the House of Good Taste was even a twinkle in our eye, Rebecca and Keith’s Mad Men kitchen remodel. When we saw their amazing walnut cabinets we made a mental bookmark in the hopes that someday we could incorporate something similar in our own kitchen remodel. Our second source of inspiration comes from a photo of the original House of Good Taste kitchen that ran in the September 1964 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine (which we were able to find our own original copy of).

white-dimensional-tiles

Here (above) is sample board of the basic finishes we have selected.

  1. Full overlay slab walnut cabinets stained natural.
  2. Caesarstone quartz countertops in “Blizzard”
  3. Dal Tile 3×9 oval from the Natural Hues collection for the backsplash, to be laid in a stacked format. A far more budget friendly option than the similar style from Heath Ceramics we first came across

Kitchen-cabinet-frames

The walnut cabinets will be the star of the show in the kitchen. We feel that having them against a back drop of the polished concrete floors, white ceilings and walls, and white counter tops and backsplash, will make them a show stopper. But don’t worry, we will have some pops of color mixed in there with Lindsey’s Cathrineholm collection.

building-kitchen-cabinets

We are not making any radical changes to the layout of the modest sized 13×13 kitchen, but simply spacing things out a little bit to be more ergonomic and visually appealing.

  • The double wall ovens will be replaced by a single oven built into the lower cabinetry under a induction cook top. This will free up space for a larger pantry and fridge.
  • The pantry will house the microwave to keep it out of sight, which goes along with our decision to not have any wall outlets cut into the backsplash, but instead the outlets are housed under the upper cabinets to keep a clean seamless look along the backsplash.
  • We will not reinstall a door in the entryway to the kitchen. There was originally one there, but we feel not having one will make things feel more open and not be interfere with the pantry doors

grain-matched-walnut-drawers

  • Lower cabinets will mostly be large drawer units.

new-patio-sliding-door

  • A new 8′ long sliding glass door will replace the current french doors that we assume replaced the original sliding door long ago.

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  • A very strategically sized and placed island will serve as our kitchen table and seat 4 people on three sides comfortably.  The fourth side (near the sink) will have pull out drawers for trash and recycling. Pulling off the island that could do all this as well as allow 40+ inches of walkway on all sides took a bit of configuring.

While the guys from L&D construction execute our kitchen plans we are busy working on some of details items:

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We scored 4 matching vintage perforated cylinder wall sconces by EJS, the company that is famous for their 1959 Stockholm series, which is now commonly reproduced. Sadly these were given a faux “wood grain” paint finish by their previous owner, but with a little bit of elbow grease and gold paint, they should be a stunning addition to the entryway hall.

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We were also inspired by a recent Retro Renovation post about doorbell chimes and decided to reach out to Robert at ElectraChime for more information. We were trilled to discover he also is a collector/seller of original vintage chimes and was able to sell us just the perfect chime. Unfortunately we could not fit a long tube chime, but went with the short tube type commonly referred to as a resonator. We got a Rittenhouse model 8271 in near perfect condition.

cabinet-staining-midcentury-cabinets

We have several other significant projects getting under way in the rest of the house, which should make our next installment the best yet!

Mike and Lindsey — so far your kitchen is looking great! Thank you so very much, Mile, for continuing to chronicle and share your Retro Renovation journey.

Readers, we know you want to see the finished rooms — sorry for tantalizing you! Mike & Lindsey tell us the renovation is in its last phase — the big reveal of all their finished spaces should be coming soon!

Read all of Mike and Lindsey’s stories about their Edward Durell Stone House of Good Taste

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Lori’s DIY insulator pendant lights http://retrorenovation.com/2014/08/29/diy-insulator-pendant-lights/ http://retrorenovation.com/2014/08/29/diy-insulator-pendant-lights/#respond Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:30:02 +0000 http://retrorenovation.com/?p=102043 When we featured Lori’s kitchen recently, we asked her where she purchased her insulator pendants. Well, wouldn’t you know, she’s a crafty and said, “It was a DIY job….  I bought the light kit from Home Depot & the insulators from a local business that sells house parts from houses that are dismantled instead of […]

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insulator pendant lightsWhen we featured Lori’s kitchen recently, we asked her where she purchased her insulator pendants. Well, wouldn’t you know, she’s a crafty and said, “It was a DIY job….  I bought the light kit from Home Depot & the insulators from a local business that sells house parts from houses that are dismantled instead of demolished (Urban Miners). I recommend having an electrician install them and the lights use low wattage candelabra bulbs.” 

Isn’t it cool when folks point at something in your house and oooh and ahhhh, and you can say: ‘I made that!’ Nicely played, Lori!

This reminds me that it’s been a while since we did a story about one of the biggest DIY trends of this decade: Make your own pendant lighting out of — well, ‘most anything. Remember this story: 24 upcycled pendant lights made from vintage treasures We helped friend Susan celebrate the launch of her venture, Original Cloth Cord Pendant and Swag Light kits…. and we even made a video, “Put a bulb in it!” Good times:

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Precautionary Pam’s tale of tiki decorating woe http://retrorenovation.com/2014/08/28/precautionary-pams-tale-tiki-decorating-woe/ http://retrorenovation.com/2014/08/28/precautionary-pams-tale-tiki-decorating-woe/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 08:30:14 +0000 http://retrorenovation.com/?p=111679 Thanks to everyone for sending well wishes and funny captions Pam’s way — it is really helping her stay positive. Now, as promised — the tale of tiki-decorating woe. Instead of just spelling out the catastrophic circumstances that led to her broken arm, I thought it would be more fun to write some precautionary prose. […]

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Astro-SaysThanks to everyone for sending well wishes and funny captions Pam’s way — it is really helping her stay positive. Now, as promised — the tale of tiki-decorating woe. Instead of just spelling out the catastrophic circumstances that led to her broken arm, I thought it would be more fun to write some precautionary prose. Enjoy.

midcentury-colonial-living-room

The scene of the crime.

‘Twas last Saturday when all through the living room
Pam scattered barkcloth samples, unaware of her impending doom

She was planning the pinch pleats for her tiki retreat
and she just wasn’t thinking about what was under her feet

Instead of heeding her own safety advice
She didn’t use a ladder, the end table would suffice

Up and down on the Baker cabinet Pam repeatedly stepped
Draping barkcloth samples over the traverse rod while Astro soundly slept

Then she’d stand back a ways to consider the pattern
And just then she remembered her spaghetti lamp lanterns

So she dashed to the basement to retrieve them from her hoard
And placed them near the window to make a real life mood board

vintage-spaghetti-light-globesThere were a few more barkcloth samples she wanted to test
So she stepped back up on the table to try and see which looked best

Then as she stepped down, she took a terrible fall
Turns out, those acrylic lights are like stepping on bowling balls

As she flew through the air, she stuck out her arm
Trying to make sure no vintage goodies came to any harm

Then with a crash, Pam landed, and let out a yell
Making Astro run away like a bat out of hell

Pam’s fall gave her a really bad scare
while the vintage spaghetti lamp globes were no worse for the wear

Her arm and wrist ended up being shattered in at least five spots
Could it have been worse? Pam thinks — lots!

Now unable to type or do daily basic chores
She reminds us being safe isn’t something to ignore

With the tiki bar on hold and Kate handling the blog
Pam has to listen to Astro — the “I told you so” dog

It may be months before her arm is right as rain
but Pam’s learned her lesson, she won’t forget the ladder again

pam-broken-arm-captionMega thanks to all the readers who submitted funny captions for our impromptu pity party contest so far.  Above, one of the submitted captions that’s on our short list of favorites so far is from reader Robin – who made me giggle out loud with the clever caption above. We are still accepting captions, so keep ‘em coming.

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