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Posts Tagged ‘mid-century modern’

Good-bye Flocked Wallpaper, Part II

April 19th, 2015 Sears Homes 2 comments

Today, we moved the furniture back into the dining room! This project is officially finished!

And boy am I glad to have an entire dining room’s worth of furniture OUT of the living room.

Below are the final photos.

To read about the whole project, click here.

Interested in learning more about Sears Homes? Click here.

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house

The hardwood floors came out beautifully and really made all the difference. It really adds warmth and a nice color. Mr. Hubby is trying to talk me into removing the wall-to-wall carpet from the living room and hallways, but I'm not keen on that.

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Sfter

I also re-upholstered the dining room chairs in white, to complement the white walls. The material is called "Pleather" which just cracks me up. Does that mean it comes from plcows?

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ffefffe

A fun comparison of the before and after shots.

Good-bye Flocked Wallpaper

April 16th, 2015 Sears Homes 7 comments

Updated! See the latest photos in Part II!

When we first looked

When we first looked at our current home in Norfolk, we really liked the flocked wallpaper. It was very 1970s and we liked the 1970s, but as we started painting the other rooms, we realized the dining room was pretty "tired."The wallpaper had turned brown in some places. .

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Flock

One of the first things we did when moving in (four years ago) was to take down the sheers.

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chandelier

Last year, I was able to replace the chandelier, and that improved the room a lot.

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sconces

The matching sconces added some flair, too!

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house house

Best of all, this photo shows the detail on that 1970s wallpaper.

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pretty

When I started pulling down the old blue wallpaper, it went very quickly.

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came off in sheets

In fact, it came off in whole sheets. Easiest wallpaper removal I've ever done. And boy oh boy, was it dirty. I was surprised by how much fine dust was trapped in all that flocking.

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wallpaper glue

The walls in our 1962 ranch had never been painted (which was a surprise).

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house

But the bigger surprise was that the walls were covered in wallpaper glue. That had to be removed before we could start painting. And that turned into a horrible mess. I used a combination of hot water and vinegar, but that didn't do much to break down the glue. At one point, I was ready to drop my sponge into the bucket and give up on the whole project. Ultimately, I washed the walls, I scrubbed the walls, and I used a plastic putty knife to scrape all that mess off. Probably 30% of the time invested in this project went to cleaning that gooey mess off the walls.

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white

Once the wallpaper glue was gone, the project went much more quickly. And when the walls were primed, the room looked a whole lot better and brighter.

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house

I love this shot because it shows our two ladders in the two rooms.

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house

We painted from the ceiling down. I kept hoping we'd spill a gallon of paint on the tired blue carpet but no such luck. The cleaner the room looked, the worse the carpet looked.

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the next one

Wayne painting the area under the chair rail. One year - to the day - that this photo was taken, he put a bullet in his brain. I still have no idea why he did this. None.

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house house house

After sending this photo to a friend, I noticed how filthy the carpet was by the kitchen door (closed).

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dirty dirty

It was icky enough that I decided I could no longer stand it.

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house dirty

So I sliced it the 36-year-old carpet into bits and tore it up. And this is what I found under the carpet. The pad under the carpet had melded with the varnish in the floor, and left behind this awful mess.

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poor mr ringer

Wayne Ringer went to work, pulling out 3,482 staples in the floor, and then spent another couple hours scraping the black goo off our red oak hardwood floors. It was pretty nasty stuff.

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badly damaged

At the entrance to the kitchen, it looked really bad.

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house house

Two fellows from Kittrell Hardwood Floors (Portsmouth) showed up and once the big sander came in the house, things changed dramatically - in a hurry!

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house floor

Donnie from Kittrell Hardwood Floors told us that the average oak floor can be re-finished a dozen times.

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starting

After the first sanding, he patched a few holes.

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Done

The entrance by the kitchen door cleaned up beautifully with only a few black dots left behind (where several hundred staples once resided).

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comoparison

A fun comparison between the spot at the kitchen door (before and after).

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house house

We had Kittrell come back three days later and put down a second coat of polyurethane.

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house stunning

When my eldest daughter heard that we'd done away with the blue flocked wallpaper, she was almost upset. But once she saw this photo, she said, "Okay, I have to say that looks pretty good." :)

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house house

And the sconces look mighty nice with the blue paint!

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house house oouse

Still have a few spots to touch up here and there, but it's mostly done!

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Looks pretty snappy!

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dining room

Now we just need to put the furniture back.

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house house house

All in all, a rousing success!

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Kittrell

And Kittrell Floor Service (in Portsmouth) did a fine job!

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1959 Was a Very Good Year - For Kitchens!

May 9th, 2014 Sears Homes 14 comments

My friend Bill Inge knows that I am trying to finish a book on Penniman, Virginia and yet today, he threw a real monkey wrench into the works. He lent me a 54-year-old book titled, “Better Homes and Gardens; Kitchen Ideas.”

Turquoise refrigerators, canary yellow cabinets, stainless steel countertops, pink built-in ranges - who could possibly gaze upon these gorgeous mid-century miracles and then look away!

Not I!

So this afternoon, instead of reading dusty old newspaper articles or scholarly tomes on WW1 munitions plants, I sat down and read this 1959 publication cover to cover.

And my oh my, these were gorgeous kitchens.

Take a look for yourself!

And many thanks to Bill Inge for sharing this treasure with me (I think)!  :D

To read about my very own “Atomic Kitchen” click here!

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The publication Mr. Inge brought over is titled - innocuously enough - Kitchens

The publication Mr. Inge shared is titled - innocuously enough - "Kitchen Ideas." It should be titled, "How to spend 4.5 hours grinning from ear to ear whilst looking at pretty, pretty pictures of old kitchens."

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Wow

This is artwork in architecture. I have one word: Wow

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Wow

Dad eats potato chips while the children play with arsenic-laden Lincoln Logs on an asbestos floor. Their next stop was to go sample some of the lead paint on the home's exterior. And the coup de grace would be drinking water right out of the garden hose. The best part is, little Jimmy there probably washed his hands less than once a month, and played with sticks and dirt most of the time. And he'll probably live to be 117.

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WYlloe

In the 1950s, we gave ourselves permission to enjoy bold colors. I love the yellow and red. And notice the wallpaper - it's gold and black. Just stunning. I'm not sure what that appliance next to the sink is, but I really want one.

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Se

Yes, the original caption says all this magic was created with spray paint.

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Www

Check out the lighting over Betty Crocker's head. And again - look at these colors. Pink and deep green.

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Wow

Yellow and Robin's Egg Blue with pink accents (see the phone and curtains). So pretty. When did we decide that it was a good idea to have "industrial-looking kitchens" in our home? This kitchen exudes warmth, beauty and comfort.

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I'm not even a fan of green, but this kitchen is stunning. Stainless steel counters, and yet it has a copper pendant light fixture. And the wicker furniture is a nice touch too.

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Wow

A pink kitchen. And with red accents. Visual poetry. If I were a gazillionaire, I'd throw money at some smart contractor and have this kitchen re-created in my own home. And it has a built-in dishwasher, too.

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My favorite:

My #1 favorite: A purple kitchen. Words fail me.

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To read about my own “Atomic Kitchen,” click here.

To learn more about the book that I should be writing, click here.

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My Atomic Powder Room

April 22nd, 2014 Sears Homes 20 comments

Pink bathrooms. I love them all. I wish I could save every pink bathroom in America. I eschew the fools who decimate and destroy old bathrooms.

For one, it violates the First Commandment of Old House ownership:  “Thou shalt not destroy good old work.”

Secondly, the quality of workmanship and materials found in older bathrooms can’t be replicated by the modern junk sold at Lowes and Home Depot.

I loved the 1960s. And that’s why I love my old house. It was built in 1962, and it still looks like 1962.

We purchased this house from the home’s original owner (his estate, actually) and it looks much like it did in 1962. Style-wise, this old house would best be described as a “Mid-Century Modern” brick ranch, and (be still my heart).

Soon after we closed, I started looking for Retro Wallpaper and couldn’t find a thing. Then I saw a blog at Retro Renovation about a woman who did her own “Atomic Kitchen,” I decided to give it a try in my own 1960s kitchen. It turned out beautifully.

Next, I was ready to hit the bathroom. And yes, it took a lot of time (more than 100 hours), but oh boy, what a blast! My only regret is that I’m now out of rooms to “decorate” with Retro designs!

If you like the look, please leave a comment below!

To read about My Atomic Kitchen, click here.

To see vintage images of real-life 1950s kitchens (including a PURPLE kitchen), click here.

I also “restored” the bathroom in my 1925 Colonial Revival. Read about that here.

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It started

The trouble started when I saw that blog at Retro Renovation. It inspired me to replicate the "Atomic Ware" pattern on my own kitchen. And when I was done, it looked gorgeous!

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Bath

By contrast, my old bathroom looked dull as dishwater!

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bath 2

It needed some snazzy new colors!

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Crave yard (see link below)

At "The Crave Yard" (see link below), I discovered this pattern and thought it might work for my bathroom. I used this as a guide, but my own pattern was a bit different.

To see all manner of cool retro ideas, visit The Crave Yard here.

fve

It started with "flecking" the walls which made a big mess. I'm still finding charcoal gray flecks on the floor, the toilet, the shower curtain, etc. I used a toothpaste and a $2.99 sample can of charcoal paint to do the flecking. I dabbed the paint on the toothbrush, and then ran my index finger along the bristles, which sent all manner of gray specks flying onto the walls. I did a few practice runs with cardboard before I went crazy on the walls.

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Bath 3

Using that pattern (taped to the door trim) as a rough guide, I started behind the bathroom door. I figured it was the least noticeable part of the whole room. The door came off the hinges and stayed that way for several days.

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I used templates to draw the patterns on the walls. Spacing was random. REAL random.

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six

Next step was to paint "between the lines." I used Sherwin Williams Duration paints (quart size). The colors were pink, turquoise and gray (pink and gray were color matched to the existing bathroom colors). The turquoise was a wild gamble, but it worked. The chair atop the counter helped my aching shoulders. Kneeling on the counter left me too low and standing was too high. The chair was jusssssssst right.

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messy

The process was rather messy. Note the dead pen in the trashcan. I killed off at least 40 pens.

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Even before I was anywhere near finished, I began to fall in love.

Even in the early stages, I began to fall in love.

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undne

You can see how the black lines really make a difference.

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post 437

The cacophony of retro designs created a mid-century modern masterpiece. I was very pleased.

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home stretch

As I finished up around the door (which was back on its hinges by this point), I was quite smitten with the overall look. You can still see the "pattern" taped to the bathroom mirror.

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curtains

The turqouise worked out well. The towels were found on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond ($5.99 each) and that curtain, well, that's another blog. In short, it was a white curtain that I dyed turqouise (too dark). And then I bleached it (too light). And then I dyed it again (too dark). And then I washed it in hot water (just right).

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Pretty 376

Am I pleased with the end result? Abso-galootely!

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Pretty 2

I can not walk into this bathroom without a big grin on my face. The dots and the colors make me smile.

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nice

Even Mr. Grumpy Bear likes it. ;)

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Even bathrub

When we finished, I noticed that the bathtub was smiling.

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I made a few of my own

These are the "Atomic Balls" that I added to the pattern. They were easy to draw and looked right at home.

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North star

The pattern on the right is known as "North Star" and figuring out that six-point cross about drove me to hard liquor. The amoeba was easy and fun.

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not a rtocket

And my old favorite, the starburst.

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Who doesnt love ameoga

Two amoebas walk into a bar...no wait, that's something else.

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I went for a slightly differen tlook over thes shower head

I went for a slightly different look on the wall with the shower head.

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picture s84746

The whole gang.

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templates

I created templates to draw the patterns on the wall.

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About 25% of pens

Shown above are the pens that survived. This represents about 25% of the Sharpies used in the project. Many gave their lives in service, and went to the great beyond.

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For the amoeba, I used these oil-paint sharpies (white).

For the amoeba, I used these oil-paint sharpies (fine and regular).

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Peoples reaction to The Worlds Most Beautiful Atomic Powder Room is mixed.

People's reaction to The World's Most Beautiful Atomic Powder Room is mixed. Some fall in love with it, and others say things like, "Well, as long as you and Wayne like it, that's all that matters."

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And we do!

And we do love it.

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A lot

A whole lot!

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Please leave a comment below!

To read about Sears kit homes, click here.

The blog that piqued my interest originally can be found at Retro Renovation.

Read all about my kitchen dots, here.

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Wintertime in Norfolk!

January 26th, 2013 Sears Homes 1 comment

It’s been about 18 months since we moved to our new home in Norfolk. People say that “geography can’t make you happy,” but I surely do love living on Lake Whitehurst and I surely do love this mid-Century-modern brick ranch.

Last year, we didn’t have much of a winter and I don’t recall that we saw any ice on the lake and I know we didn’t have any snow.

But yesterday, we had a wonderful snow storm and got two inches of the white stuff! And I love it!

For my Midwestern friends, two inches may not seem like much, but for those of us in Hampton Roads, it’s quite a thrill!  :)

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Two inches of snow!  Yay!!!

Two inches of snow! Yay!!!

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View of the side

Apparently, Teddy the Sheltie is not a fan of snow. She won't set foot in it.

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Ba

I was trying to get artsy with the bench, but it didn't work too well for me.

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This is the first time weve ever seen the lake frozen.

This is the first time we've ever seen the lake frozen. This is from one end of our yard looking north, toward the other end of our yard. Our lot is very shallow (maybe 40 feet) but 200 feet wide.

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A view of the backyard

A view of the backyard, covered (sort of) in snow.

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A view from the fence of the neighbors piece of the lake.

A view from the fence of the neighbor's piece of the lake.

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Shot of the sunporch, where we spend a lot of time. :)

Shot of the sunporch, where we spend a lot of time. :)

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To read about the other homes of Norfolk, click here.

To read about the kit homes of West Park View, click here.

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