Michael’s ‘traditional’ ranch in Worthington, Ohio

A delicious midcentury home from reader Michael in Worthington, Ohio. I particularly like the kitchen – with its traditionally styled cabinetry.

Reminder to new readers: This blog welcomes Capes, Colonials, split levels, bungalows – and yes, contemporaries – built in the postwar era. There were lots of design influences, it’s not all “modern modern modern” here — we love and appreciate them all! Thank you, Michael, your house seems to be two for two in terms of loving owners!

To read more about Michael’s home…and to see a total of 10 photos…


Attached are pics of our Crane bathrooms that wrote about earlier today. Other than the lights, the only thing not original to both baths is the 12×12 floor tile in the master bath. I wish it still had the original because this stuff is ugly, but it was gone when we bought the house. The kitchen still has the original vinyl from 1962…and it’s in pretty good condition. I could ramble on and on, but i’ll get to the pictures and their descriptions.

Included is a picture of our new dining room light. We tried to use new materials that were MCM appropriate. This one if from Home Depot and was quite inexpensive but has a kind of ‘space age’ feel to it. Also in the bathrooms are new light fixtures. The lights in the green bathroom are from Ikea and the master bathroom lights (the ones with brown lines) are from Lowes. I especially thought these were appropriate. (the original lights were gone when we bought the house)

I couldn’t help but include a picture of our freestanding three sided fireplace…it’s what originally attracted us to the house. It’s great to sit and watch the fire in the living room or kitchen or dining room or den.

The house originally had aluminum shutters that we didn’t like. We hung the clay pots (show in the pic) recently. I got the idea from a MCM house in my home town. Once the flowers really take off, they should droop and hang down nicely to fill in the blank space. Aren’t the originally awning windows a hoot?

I doubt I’ll ever come across a house just like ours as it was custom designed by an architect for the original owners. We are proud to have purchased it from the original owners in November 2006. We are however in a completed 50’s and 60’s neighborhood that does have some repeating or plans with finish changes to mask the repetition. …

I’m an interior designer and I love how MCM homes can go retro or modern or a mix and always look so fantastic.

I can’t tell you how much I love your website! It’s so much fun. Every day I read CNN.com USAtoday.com and retrorenovation-com-staging.enwf9w61-liquidwebsites.com…all the news that gets my day off to a good start!

If anyone is interested, I have tons more pics and we actually have the original blueprints!


  1. mjbraun says:

    I wanted to mention that I’m looking to find a new home for the mirror pictured in the ‘main-bath’ photo. It’s in a chrome frame and the horizontal cabinet section at the bottom is attached. It’s all a one piece unit that simply hangs on two french cleats. Very simple to install. If anyone is interested please contact me at braun.15@gmail.com

    I hope someone can give this unit a good new home!

  2. mjbraun says:

    Holyoke Cindy…
    Trick for the shower tile grout, I never scrub it!
    I spray Clorox Clean-Up with Bleach GENEROUSLY before leaving for work and rinse 9 hours later. It will sparkle!
    The terrazzo base, I’m sorry to say…it had hairline cracks and was leaking just a touch. I didn’t want to replace just yet, so I coated with garage floor epoxy (sand additive for traction) in white. It looks great and doesn’t leak.

    I’m sending more photos soon.

  3. Holyoke Cindy says:

    Michael, Your house is fantastic! The floor plan looks similar to mine with the fireplace open on all sides and the grill built into it on the kitchen side…….
    I’m curious about your shower stall tile and terrazzo shower base….do you find the grout in the shower stall is hard to keep clean given the small tile size (2″x2″?)? Also, how do you clean the terrazzo base? I’m redoing the tile in my shower stall and your photos have given me some ideas….!

  4. mjbraun says:

    Sumac Sue…I agree about the threes…I find that odd quantities are more comfortable than even ones.

    I break all of the design rules….I don’t have a single white ceiling in the entire house. They’re all mocha brown.

    Mid-century design/decorating what all about redefining the ‘rules’ of stodgy styles that came before. Shake things up a little.

  5. Sumac Sue says:

    This looks like a very pleasant place to live. I like the groups of three — three plant shelves by the fireplace, three plantholders on the exterior wall, three panes of glass in the awning-type window, for instance.

  6. mjbraun says:

    The mantel is actually wood painted a grayish brown.

    The black iron railing is just inside the front door, and it goes around the open stairs to the basement.

    They are both wall mounted toilets.

    The cabinet below the mirror in the bathroom is actually part of the mirror. They’re two separate pieces, but the mirror doesn’t have a lower frame section, the cabinet provides that detail. I’m assuming this same setup would have been in the blue (master) bath originally.

    The plant in the brick planter are peonys.

    The brick section the fireplace is in, is actually free-standing in the house. You can walk around all four sides. On the back side, in the kitchen, the oven is set into an opening in the brick as is a barbecue grill with a chimney flue.

    Femme1…ask as many questions as you want!

    1. Tom Wyatt says:

      Hi Michael,

      My wife and I purchased a home in a scenario sounding remarkably like yours. Our house also has the roll-out, Miami-style windows. While we don’t mind their appearance – they go with the 1955 design, after all – they don’t offer wonderful insulation from the hot, humid, Alabama summers.

      I’d like to know if you plan to replace your roll-outs and, if so, with what style of window. Thanks.

      Tom Wyatt; Tuscaloosa, AL

  7. Femme1 says:

    What a great house! That fireplace is amazing. Tell me, Michael—is the mantel limestone or it is stainless steel? And do I spy a wrought iron railing—is that at the entryway?

    The bathrooms are great, and it’s funny—just this week Pam mentioned wall-mounted toilets. Looks like the one in your green bathroom is that type. I’m also hankering after that rectangular mirrored cabinet mounted below the big mirror.

    I could go on, but I have one last question. What is the green plant in the brick planter beneath your flower pots? Is it a perennial?

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