Open thread: Does your significant other share your retro pursuits?

1948 GE Kitchen Lighting Ad 1948-1949-ge-kitchen-lighting.jpgGroup Therapy: Is your significant other into retro renovation and all things vintage as much as you are — or is your life a retro battleground? Has this interest strengthened bonds — or do you have to compromise (or finagle) to make it work? (Example: Like the couple in this 1948 GE advertisement, David and I juggle pretty well, but I admit, I have the estate-sale bug very bad and the number of things I constantly squirrel into the house is a source of conflict, to say it nicely…) Share your stories and tactics! This should be fun!

  1. Candy says:

    My husband and I were watching Mad Men, when he happened to comment, “Hey, maybe we could do this house in this style”…and the floor dropped and my mind exploded into glittery stardust. How could I have missed it? I had planned each of our preceding 2 houses with what was considered “desirable” and “normal”, a French rustic type of decor, but would always slip in MCM pieces without even knowing that is what they were. The style I had always loved, as a graphic designer, artist and lifestyle in general. I may have been born the day Elvis died, but my parents sought the entertainment from their youth, which enveloped my life.
    Now, in our 7400 sq ft disaster fixer upper of a Pennsylvania mid century modern home, my husband regrets the day he set this in motion…or does he?

  2. Tim says:

    Currently, my sig other is a 1963 Ford Falcon that I daily drive. I’m 19 and single and will be purchasing a fixer in a few years. My parents joke that my future wife will put all my collectables in the garage and I will be stuck in some new house.

    Sorry, but my baggage is my 3 cars (’62-63), 4 fridges (’46-55), and my mid century home. If my wifey can’t embrace my passion, I’m brooming her lol. It’s a shame my peers don’t see the beauty and the history of mid century items. My friends would call me “Old man Tim” b/c of my infatuation with this lifestyle. Youngsters are usually glued to snapchat and insta and here I am on retrorenovation 😉

    Few years back, my parents bought a small 1958 ranch. My mom wanted to legit bulldoze the surviving kitchen. I fought and came to a compromise (to include French),a year later the ’90s appliances were replaced with a ’63 GE wall oven and cooktop, ’54 Frigidaire fridge, grey and white pct floors installed, pink counters cleaned, cabinets painted white, copper drum lights buffed, and some French sprinkled into the mix all for under a $1k. This home was slowly becoming modernized and I stepped in and turned the clock. All the previous homes I grew up were always brand new and turn key. It wasn’t until I saw Back the Future and heard Mr. Sandman in hs that changed everything.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Awwww, it’s only Monday and already you have made my week:

      Youngsters are usually glued to snapchat and insta and here I am on retrorenovation ????

  3. Wendell says:

    My “significant other” are my two cats. I got my folks’ midcentury modest home when they passed — and boy, has everything aged well — so the cats have enjoyed having minimal disruptions to their lives on renovations. Fifty years of cats have lived in this house, and *none* of them have been able to mess with the original jute carpeting.

    My siblings, their (human) families, cousins, etc., get a kick out of it and find the vivid colors in all the rooms to be a nice trip to the past. Meanwhile, I can’t imagine ever again living in an antiseptic home of differing shades of eggshell. Meh, different strokes.

  4. Carolyn says:

    I’ve only discovered in the last few years that DH & I shouldn’t have gotten married since we are so unevenly yoked. I have gotten to an age where I “finally” heard what he’d said decades ago “A house is just a place to store your (barnyard term) in”. He doesn’t completely “get” the excitement of the details of a really cool ranch house but I put it down to his being an air force brat as a child combined with his parents didn’t buy homes until they married someone else in their 50’s. He was raised that you are frugal until the money comes in and then you hemorrhage cash to impress people who don’t know you and really don’t care. There are no such things as antiques, it’s all just “old junk” and it’s probably dirty.
    It does NOT help that he works in a big box store (luckily a smaller one!) for 15 yrs and gets distracted by shiny things.
    But, having gone thru a half-fast reno of a travel trailer, I now know that I’ll have to take the reins in decision making and let him pout until he relents and says “That looks pretty cool, I guess” and leave it at that.
    The closest I could say he was into retro is if something was his mom’s or grandma’s – then it was of value.
    WE DO agree on snow and Christmas…and cats.

    1. Carolyn says:

      Sneaked a discussion in with him: he wouldn’t want to live in a time capsule which is mostly the upholstery of the LR furniture. Wishes TV was still regular screen instead of wide-screen so we could have a console TV. He, too, has a collection of vinyl but it’s mostly music that needs tuners & woofers & sub-woofers & tweeters with concert speakers but wouldn’t mind a console stereo HiFi. We both wish we could’ve saved our pendant lamps, which in hindsight, was foolish of us to part with.
      Yet this is the guy who has the blonde bdrm suite while I have more antique furniture in my room (I snore like a chainsaw going thru a tunnel, he walks & talks all night).

  5. Teri W. says:

    When we bought our 1957 mid-mod home two years ago, it was in terrible disrepair. We spent a year on renovation/restoration before it was even inhabitable. My husband did all of the demo and much of the restoration himself, and I’ve been playing GC and designer.

    I think his sweat equity in the restoration has given him a greater appreciation for the “bones” of the house. He mostly likes (or at least appreciates) the décor. His only real requirement is that the furniture is comfortable.

    I’ve been a mid-mod admirer and collector for years. I’m also an estate sale, thrift store, auction and on-line searcher for mid century treasures. Some of it for our home, and much of it for resale. Every so often I’ll bring home a piece and he’ll say “you can’t sell that”. Usually those are the pieces that become part of our home.

  6. Joe says:

    I suppose one’s partner could be dragged along for the ride, but in most cases, I believe it’s part of the soul connection.

  7. Nora says:

    My husband goes along with my design choices cheerfully, if somewhat reluctantly. His natural style is probably closer to transitional. He does really love the sleek lines of MCM, but our home is a 1947 colonial revival Cape Cod, so MCM is not a great fit. ‘40s colonial revival is a bit flowery for his taste.

    A few years ago he reluctantly took me antiquing for my birthday, and ended up being surprised at all the cool things we found. He suggested coming back with a truck!

    Over the years he’s expressed sceptisim when I describe a design project I want to do for the house, but then is impressed with the end result. Probably the best thing for getting my way design-wise has been going back to school for interior design. I’m making straight A’s and I’m a bit of a teacher’s pet, so he finally sees that I might actually know what I’m talking about.

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