We believe that bathrooms are the most excruciating rooms in the house to renovate — and when you’re trying to do it the retro vintage way — The Hard Way — well, golly, there goes the ante, up up up! This year, Pam and I selected five finalists in our The Hard Way Award Bathroom Remodel category. Wanna help us select the winner? Voting is open through Wednesday night Jan. 21, we’ll announce a winner Friday, Jan. 23.
- Don’t forget to see our four Kitchen Remodel finalists, too!
It’s that time of year! We invite you to help us choose our “The Hard Way Award” winners for 2014. In our Kitchens category (Bathrooms, tomorrow) Pam and I chose four four finalists from among all the reader kitchen remodels we spotlighted last year. Take a look — and then vote now through Tuesday night for your favorite. Your vote will help inform our final selection, which we will announce in one week.
Welcoming 2015, here’s the story that now has become our Retro Renovation new year’s tradition… kind of summing up the bumpy journey so many of us share, or can expect to, when we decide to undertake a period-inspired renovation including preserving what we have and/or using hard-to-find and salvage material. Yup: Taking this less-traveled route means you are in for an adventure. You may find yourself walking the very fine line between genius and insanity. You will need tenacity, patience, a good spirit, and faith that you are on a righteous path. The Retro Decorating Gods will be with you, throwing flower petals — and burying barbed wire, just to test your mettle — they love to make mischief, too.
My The Hard Way essay, originally published in Dec. 2007, less than two months after I started the blog:Heck yeah there is more →
Your votes are in: Congratulations to our “The Hard Way Award” winners for 2013: Above: Rebecca & Keith for their gut-remodel mid mod mad kitchen remodel….
… and above: Nanette & Jim for their built-from-scratch-in-the-empty-basement blue bathroom. To be sure, both of these projects delivered beautiful results. And they exemplify the heart and soul of the blog: Their respective owners spent a lot of time getting to know their homes…. then doing careful research and planning to create spaces that suited the original architecture of their house. And like the name of this award, their projects did not come easy. Specifying and creating a period style bathroom or kitchen is a lot tougher than buying what’s fashionable today. Way to go, Rebecca, Keith, Nanette and Jim for showing us how doing things The Hard Way can pay off. Our other finalists also were wonderful caretakers of their mid century homes, and with their projects showed other fabulous ways to renovate and decorate our homes –>>
Every year we choose a winner of our annual “The Hard Way Award” — given to a reader(s) for their project remodel that often, went above and beyond in terms of overcoming obstacles and/or showing tenacity and inventiveness and/or Bang for the Buck. Sometimes the projects are spendy, sometimes, thrifty — everyone’s situation is unique, we like to showcase the diversity. This year, I’m expanding the awards to encompass a “Bathroom” winner and a “Kitchen” winner. AND, we’re making it reader’s choice! Update: Voting now closed. I will announce the winners momentarily. .Heck yeah there is more →
Every year I choose a winner of our annual “The Hard Way Award” — given to a reader(s) for their project remodel that often, went above and beyond in terms of overcoming obstacles and/or showing tenacity and inventiveness and/or Bang for the Buck. Sometimes the projects are spendy, sometimes thrifty — everyone’s situation is unique, we like to showcase the diversity. This year, I’m expanding the awards to encompass a “Bathroom” winner and a “Kitchen” winner. AND, we’re making it reader’s choice! I chose the finalists… but yes, you get to help select a reader-winner. First we’ll do “The Hard Way Award — Favorite Bathroom Remodel”. Who will our winner be: Sarah… Nanette & Jim… or Mike & Lindsey? Take a look — vote — share with your friends –, note, voting will close Monday morning.
UPDATE: Poll now closed. Winner to be announced shortly (after we choose Kitchens winner, too.)Heck yeah there is more →
2012 was, I think, the year of “epic”. We saw Cullen’s epic Brooklyn apartment. Which inspired my crazy office remodel. The time capsule houses were wonderful. The woddities were wodder than ever. But, one reader who had us all beat: Bizarro Twin Pam — who gave us her serial renovation stories involving six kitchens. Her latest, 2012 project: Buying a gorgeous, vintage St. Charles kitchen from a time capsule house that we featured here on the blog, and transporting and reconfiguring it into her new/old home. Bizarro Twin Pam, you are a force of nature to be reckoned with. Congratulations, you are Retro Renovation’s The Hard Way Award Winner — 2012! Read on for the runners up!
In 2010 I instituted “The Hard Way Award”, honoring one reader each year who chose the path less traveled: Pursuing a Retro Renovation that, on the main, bypasses off-the-shelf big box supplies in favor of a more arduous period-inspired renovation using hard-to-find and/or salvaged material. A renovation that truly shows the passion for… doing things the hard way. This year’s winners: Janice and her husband Greg, who on their own gut-renovated a remuddled bathroom in their 1954 house — and install, in its place, a Mamie pink bathroom trimmed in black and white.
I decided to make an annual award. It’s the Retro Renovation “The Hard Way Award,” and the 2010 honor goes to: Sue for her kitchen renovation — and the fact that she documented the seven-month journey in chilling detail. Do you have what it takes to overcome the obstacles of home renovation, doubled yet again when trying to go period-retro including using vintage materials? Read Susan’s story about creating a vintage style kitchen to find out. You rock, girl!
We know about taking the road less traveled. To me, doing things the hard way has the same allure. The hunt for the perfect estate sale light fixture, the set of vintage cabinets that are just right, the document wallpaper that pulls things all together.
Honestly, the reason this blog even exists is that after completing big projects, I had so much info in my mental hard drive about the retro renovation alternatives available — all obsessively and endlessly researched — that it seemed a shame to simply be done with it when my projects were completed.
But the dangers of the hard way came into focus this week, when I pulled Palm Springs Stephan into the vortex.