Tammy is poised to launch an exciting new chapter of the American Dream: She’s quit her job, scheduled an estate sale, and this week put her meticulously restored 1961 Seattle house on the market — all so that she can travel the U.S.A. in “Nellie,” the 33′ Newmar Ventana RV that she bought last month. Tammy has lived in her beloved midcentury modern ranch home for 13 years, and her renovations and decorating — impeccable! Let’s take a look — and also hear about her plans to hit the road!
Tammy is a reader of the blog — we first met her when we spotlighted her GE Partio Cart last year — so she reached out to us with her story as soon as her house hit the MLS. We asked her to tell us more about the house and the changes she had made to it over the years. She wrote:
The house was built in 1961 and had one owner before I purchased it in 2002. They aged in place, so the home was in a bit of rough shape at that time.
I built the backyard cabana and remodeled the kitchen in period style with updated modern appliances.
I also took out a wall between two bedrooms to create a master suite, and converted the MIL downstairs into a wet bar.
The furniture is all mine – not staging furniture. Most pieces were estate sale, Craig’s List and Ebay finds! (Although I must admit the Philippe Starck Bubble Club outdoor furniture was purchased at Design Within Reach, and the turquoise outdoor furniture was purchased at Dazzles in Palm Springs.)
And of course, you know about the Partio Cart!
My friends and I named the house “The Atomic Abode.” I have loved living here and throwing parties, but I am in the process of selling all my worldly possessions, jumping in an RV, and traveling North America.
Thanks for your interest in my place. It makes my heart happy.
Gorgeous house!!!! But…. tell use more about your new quest! The “sell everything and hit the road” quest. Wow!
Q. What made you decide to leave your gorgeous home and hit the road? We read on your blog that wanted to leave your job as an attorney, but was there a specific moment/catalyst when you decided to take it from a dream to reality?
A. As much as I enjoyed collecting my “curated hoard,” for the last couple of years my possessions weighed on me, and keeping them meant continuing in a career for which I was no longer passionate. I decided that living more simply also meant more frugally, which gives me the freedom not to work and to do the one thing I love most of all: travel!
Q. I see you mentioned that you started collecting midcentury furniture and decor back in 2002 after you bought the house — have you noticed a big change in the market for such furnishings in your area since then?
A. I actually started collecting back in the 1990s, with 1940’s/1950’s dresses, handbags, hats and shoes, because I was swing dancing back then. That morphed into 1950’s vintage, which then morphed into Danish Modern. The good stuff is getting much harder to find (I don’t even try thrift stores anymore, which used to be one of my go-to places back in the 90’s/early 2000’s), and when you do find something, sellers generally greatly overestimate value (especially on Ebay!) Estate sale tips are the best, especially in the Pacific NW – big MCM collectors in Oregon and Washington.
I owned a 1955 canned ham vintage trailer, “FiFi,” depicted in the photo above. I recently sold her as part of my quest. It was hard to let her go!
That must have been the cutest vintage trailer ever!
Tammy, you and your story are inspirational — especially since I’ve been reexamining my own relationship with stuff recently. It is obvious that you have impeccable taste and you seem like such a fun person, who I am sure will have some great fun out on the open road. Kudos to you for having the bravery to make a change in your life and begin an exciting new adventure.
Tammy has agreed that she’ll send us periodic updates about her travels so we can keep up with her journey. You can get all the updates on her journey via her personal blog, The Lady is a Tramp.
Mega thanks to Tammy for sharing her story and to realtor Craig Blackmon, R7 Photography and Lance Wagner at Seattle Retro Photography for letting us feature this fantastic property and wonderful photos on RetroRenovation.com.
- Follow Tammy’s journey via her blog, The Lady is a Tramp
- View the property listed by Quill Realty
- Alternative brokerage Quill Realty’s blog
- House photos courtesy of Ryan from R7 Photography
- Photo of Tammy courtesy of Lance Wagner at Seattle Retro Photography
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