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Happy 10th birthday, Retro Renovation!

Yup, today is the 10th birthday of the blog. My first story was, predictably, about a toilet. Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll be doing some looks back. But for today, well, I’m gonna think about everything. And hey, I’ll welcome some well wishes! 

  1. Rick G says:

    Pam, you provide such an important role with what you’ve done & continue to provide. I cannot thank you enough for the pure inspiration you share with this community . As I finish up the major part of the kitchen ( Monday – Wilsonart RR counter top with New York Metal Edging ) I can’t help but to be thankful for the ideas & thoughts I’ve gotten here. I’ll send the pics ASAP & yes; I still need help !!! – I painted everything white, to use as a base / foundation for possible designs & / or colors… anyway; I can’t wait to hear some suggestions !! Thanks much – Rick G

  2. Kathy says:

    Happy Blog Birthday Pam! I found you about 6 years ago when researching my midcentury Mamie Eisenhower pink kitchen and powder room, and yellow bathroom, in my 1890s house that was remodeled in the 1920s and 1960s.

    Although I still dream of restoring my house closer to as it was in the 1920s, I always wanted to keep the best of the 1960s, because at least they used high quality materials and I loved the quirkiness of it. And I was thrilled to find a lot of pre-WWII design information, dating back to the late 1920s, in your blog. I overcame my childhood prejudice against “boring”‘modern architecture, and with your help came to appreciate the charms of MCM.

    Unlike “This Old House,” which is really about tearing out and redesign rather than working with what you got, you advocate for the old fashioned values of making the best of what you have, and the glories of modest and comfortable and staying within your means. Even “Old House Journal,” once the source for the old house DIYer, has turned to lavish renovations and additions to bring in the ad revenue, and has bought into the open-concept craze.

    My degree is in urban planning and historic preservation, and I think you have done more for the cause of historic preservation than nearly any other institution out there. Historic preservation is not just for snobs and the wealthy, it is for everyone to preserve the best of the past, even in the millions of small “Mid Century Modest” homes out there, and take joy in every woddity.

    I truly believe you have done more for the cause of historic preservation than nearly any other institution I can think of. Thank you.

  3. Beth says:

    RR is my alllllll time favorite blog/website. I live in a home built in 1977, but clearly from 1960s plans. I nearly had a stroke when I stepped inside the first time. I bought it on the spot. I’ve never even dreamed about changing any of the architectural loveliness.

    Then I found RR! I’ve felt so empowered to love the home I’m in, and others who step foot into my home have adopted the same philosophy.

    It’s so popular that local photographers do pin-up shoots in my house, with several photos being published. 🙂

    Thanks Pam!!

  4. Jennifer P. says:

    I’m a little (way) late to the party, but congrats/happy birthday, Pam and Retrorenovation from a longtime reader and fan!! I can’t even tell you how valuable your website has been to me, as a resource for refurbishing my 76 year old house, as compelling food for thought, and as good old-fashioned entertainment! Pam, your writing is such a joy to read, and I have learned so much from your tireless, sometimes crazy and always fascinating, research: from hudee rings to tesselated VCT patterns, and amber shellac to mudcaps!!
    I thoroughly enjoyed Kate’s thoughtful in-depth contibutions, as well. (Whoo, Kate!) Her careful, step-by-step documenting of her heroic bathroom remodel was absolutely epic, no joke! I’m in awe!
    One aspect I particularly enjoy here are your ‘bigger picture’ essays that spell out why it’s important, from an environmental as well as economical amd aesthetic perspective, to learn to ‘love the house you’re in’ and approach renovations with an eye toward preserving the overall harmony of the house, using older, or better quality, materials (when safe), instead of supporting the vast home improvement racket that seeks to brainwash us into viewing everything as disposable and the TV shows that try to con us into feeling inferior for not being up-to-the-minute in the latest trends. Ugh. I’m also thinking of your excellent post about original windows and the vinyl replacement window industry. What a disservice they have done by defacing countless buildings across the nation, never to be the same again!
    Pam, I truly believe you have been a leading voice helping to usher in a new era where average people everywhere are starting to appreciate the better quality of yesteryear compared to the terribly cheap but expensive materials, furniture, and appliances made today (and all the waste associated with them). I guess it took all us kooks’ favorite aesthetic becoming the new hot trendy thing, but whatever it takes to stop the house flippers with their sledgehammers and granite and greige! I may be overly optimistic, but I’m feeling a change happening on this front.
    Annnyway…just wanted to say many thanks and congratulations, again!!
    Jennifer

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