Photos & fun from Nina, Marisa, Gerry, Taia, Antonio and Connie in this week’s Retro Renovation Reader Roundup. Nina starts us off:

Pam, my summer project is done.  The shutters are done — I painted them from black to a cheery cherry red.  Let me know what you think – next year I’ll get some red flowers for another ‘pop’ of color. Keep up the good work – I’ll be sending in photo’s of my blue bathroom soon (another summer project finished).

Marisa tells us all about her recent bathroom update:

Hi, Pam. I love your blog — it’s really helped me make some decisions on how to deal with (and fall in love with) my period bathrooms. I just painted my swimming pool blue bath a shocking flamingo orange. The tile has a tiny bit of the same orange, and it really makes the tile pop. I thought you might like to take a look. It’s super fun! I’m still scouring your blog to decide what type of curtains to make. I also recently replaced my totally destroyed original toilet. I tried everything to save it, but I ended up having to start over due to a local water system that’s heavy on rust. Let me know if you are interested in my choice — it’s perfect for a deco bath. Anyway, thanks again for all the info on here. It really helps! If you have any ideas for curtains for my two narrow windows, let me know! Notice that I ordered chrome legs for my sink.  The legs were missing, and these worked out perfectly.  The toilet is a Kohler Memoir.  The toilet tank lid was broken upon arrival, so I just plunked the lid from the original toilet tank on the top until the replacement arrives.  I actually like the old one on there.  I’m also going to recover the vanity stool. Let me know what you think!

Coffee coffee coffee coffee. I am nuts about coffffffeeeeeee. Gerry wrote in with a tip regarding replacement seals for vintage Sunbeam Coffeemasters. The vintage Sunbeam Coffeemaster shown above is for sale on by oldtymestore. Gerry’s tip:

I picked up a vintage Sunbeam Coffeemaster C30 vacuum pot at a local antique store because it was so cool looking. My husband remembered his mom had a similar pot, so he knew how to brew with it. We made a pot and it was good, but the rubber gasket separating the top and bottom pots was very hard and so it was difficult to “marry” the 2 sections without spilling. I found a Yahoo group called vacuum coffee pot collectors and read some of their posts and got some information about the history of the pots. One of the continuing problems posted there was about the rubber gaskets getting hard and few replacements were available. Finally someone posted that they had made a replacement gasket and it was available on Ebay and now on the manufacturers website. The man is Lee Day and his site is He sells on Ebay too ( I think seller name there is lee photo or something like that). Anyway, I bought a replacement gasket and it really works. It is neat to be able to use that cool, old coffee pot again rather than just have it sit on the counter! In case you or any of your readers are interested I wanted to share this. I think he is also trying to create gaskets for vacuum pots other than the Sunbeams. By the way, I don’t know Mr. Day nor do I have a financial interest in his business.

Taia rescued her Kenmar chair from being thrown in the dumpster. She told us her story:

Hi Pam and Matt — I’m going to submit my amazing Kenmar Desk Chair circa 1960-ish. I was driving along and I saw a lady carrying this out to the curb! So I stopped, found out it is really two pieces and she even gave me the original instructions…which is in fabulous condition. Unfortunately, the desk part is missing, but it’s still a great piece. Sometimes the things people throw away boggles me…

Antonio nos escribio desde Spain sobre su coleccion de relojes. (Betcha didn’t know I was a Spanish major; however, I am too lazy to look up how to add acento marks in the appropriate places.)

“Hi Pam, I used to follow your blog.  I’m from Spain and want to share with you vintage wall clocks collection. I’ll send you more pictures of my home. I have many vintage finds from Spain.
Hope you like it, Best regards”

And from Connie:

“I’ve been a fan of your site for some months now. Saw some of your reader finds and thought I’d send one in. My husband gets the credit for this one. We live in Chicago and alley finds are fairly regular if you keep your eye out but this was something out of the ordinary. I drop my husband off at the El station in the mornings and then drive to work. Our El stop is on a major street. There are 5 bus lines that go in and out of there so it’s a pretty hopping place. Hubby crosses the street and finds the lamp just sitting there on the sidewalk. He looks around but no one is near by. Looks at the lamp. Looks around again. No one but him. Decides that the decorating gods were waiting just for him to walk by, and so takes it. Its in excellent condition. Now we just need to find a shade for it. Too sweet! And my suggestion has to do with your series of mid century houses to visit. If no one has suggested it yet, the Farnsworth House in suburban Chicago is very cool. Built by Mies van der Rohe in the 50s and is now a museum. Anyway, keep up the wonderful site!”

Dumpster diving — which in my dictionary includes anything found on the sidewalk, next to a garbage can, in alleys, and of course, in dumpsters — is the best. 🙂

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  1. wendy wisniewski says:

    Love love love the clock collection. I can’t wait to get mine out of the storage box and find the perfect place for them once our mid-century remodel is complete! So many nifty things to see this week!

    If you want to check out our remodel, head to

  2. nina462 says:

    Thanks for showing my cheery cherry red shutters. Much thanks to my brother John for showing me how to paint them & then helping me rehang them. & thanks to my sister & mom for allowing me to chatter on & on about being ‘retro’.

    I live in SW Michigan – land of the greenhouses. So next year for sure I’m going with red flowers…I already have plans (geraniums, impatients & begonias).

    Love the blue bathroom shown, as well. I have one too, and it’s almost complete & ready to upload photos. and the clocks—oh, yeah!! what a wonderful collection showplace.

    Pam thanks again for all you do!

  3. Lynn-O-Matic says:

    Wow, great eye candy from everyone. Connie, I nearly bought that same lamp on eBay a few weeks ago but I restrained myself. (I collect lamps, so it’s not like I NEED another.) Now I’m kicking myself that I let that one go. Buying it on eBay is not even remotely as terrific as finding it on the curb, however. Enjoy!

  4. Angela says:

    I have a pair of those exact pink/gold lamps!!! (no shades yet)

    I love the red shutters. It will look awesome when you do your flowers. I love that house!

    that bathroom is gorgeous, love the orange and blue

  5. MbS says:

    I love red with a blue cast underneath he scarlet, which is what a good cherry red is! Next year, a pot so of geraniums are perfect. And, if shady, your front shrubs can be underplanted with Buzzy Lizzie, the lovely Impatiens. You have two choices:

    New Guinea Impatiens (more tolerate of heat and dry conditions) See this version: The color is a bit lighter than your trim color, which is a nice related hue. Lighter colors pop out of shaded spots better than deeply saturated ones.

    Impatiens walleriania Look at this lovely cherry bicolor:

  6. denise says:

    Wowza! what great finds!! each picture had me saying, “oh, what a find!” “oh, look at that!” The bold statement of color in the bathroom? very exciting. The lamp? wish I found it! The clocks? how great do they look? The chair? holy crap that’s excellent! The coffee pot? very cool and the shutters cheery cherry red? much better than black. What a good way to start my Sunday morning. thanks.

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