Welcome to our Retro Ranch! C’mon in and look around…
Just inside the front door, is our groovy entryway complete with a retro built in planter/divider:
For a long time after we moved in, the planter was a catch all for junk, that is until I filled it up with plants!
I love the retro recessed pinhole lights that act as a spotlight on my plants.
Here’s the awesome original grey-green slate floor, which I love.
And now into the Den!
The den is one of my favorite rooms in the house. It gets great morning light, has a cozy feeling and is home to one of my favorite pieces of furniture — the little yellow couch.
The fireplace is a lovely pink/grey/purple sparkly quartz stone that just glitters in the light.
The tiny shutters on the wall cover a pass-through window into the kitchen (easy snack access!)
Along the back wall is our media library (shelves are from IKEA) which houses our books, CDs and DVDs. (The dresser chilling out in the corner is possibly my new master bath vanity.)
This room is also one of Leo’s favorites — he likes to lay on the rug and look out at the back patio. He also prefers to exit and enter through this door because he can see the small animals waiting to be chased on his way out and can see us from outside when we come to let him in.
Furniture arrangement in this room was tricky! Not only is there a corner fireplace, a door to the outside, a pass through window, built-in bookshelf and three doorways, but this room is a direct path from the kitchen to the bedrooms/bathroom! Just call it central station.
Next, we’ll head into the Kitchen…
The framed butterfly on flower print is a wood block print I made in art school.
Not only is there a nice closet right by the back door, but also a full bathroom (though we use the shower as a closet) and first floor laundry! Having first floor laundry makes doing the laundry so much easier! I had to navigate some precarious stairs to get to the basement laundry area in my old house — the worst I have to navigate now is over a sleeping border collie mix! Plus when I come in from doing yard work, I can just dump all the dirty clothes right inside the door and leave the mud tracking to the guy who does it best, Leo.
All the appliances in the kitchen are either red or stainless steel (closest thing to chrome!) except the dishwasher and wall oven — both of which still work perfectly fine and I see no need to swap them for stainless until they quit being functional. Luckily there is some black in the kitchen (pink and black table and some black decorative accents) so they don’t look too terribly out of place.
I leave my giant wood cutting board (one of my favorite kitchen utensils) out all of the time — we eat a lot of fresh veggies in this house!
I love this new but retro looking stove top…plus I managed to sell the old glass cook top and over cabinet microwave on Craigslist to help offset the cost of the new stuff!
The coppery glass tile backsplash was hard to decide on, but I love the sparkle it brings to the kitchen.
From the kitchen table, you can see the Tiki Lounge (aka our screened porch)…
I just painted it this year…and let me tell you, the green and orange walls make it feel so much more lively!
I also finished acquiring the last of the IKEA “outdoor sofa” pieces that we wanted to make sure we could seat a crowd!
The Tiki Lounge is everyone’s favorite place to hang out during the summer and my favorite place to sip a cocktail and read a book.
Let’s step back inside and continue with the tour…
Now let’s look at the dining and living rooms (which are really just one big room with even bigger windows). This part of the house is where we spend most of our waking hours at home – that is when we are relaxing, entertaining, eating, watching movies, reading or hanging out with our favorite dog, Leo.
The dining room is where some of my favorite furniture lives…my Broyhill Brasilia hutch and my retro Tulip table and chairs (table is Burke, chairs with arms are Fiberform and chairs without arms are unknown maker).
I’m also a huge fan of the paint treatment I gave my built in china cabinet and all the fun stuff it displays.
We get a lot of light through our huge picture window, which is one of Leo’s favorite places to sit and watch the world go by or take a nap in the sun.
One of these days, I’m going to do some more paintings so I can fill up all of that blank wall space!
Speaking of painting, here’s Leo posing with the portrait of him that I painted a few years ago.
Our couch and coffee table are some of the only non-vintage furniture pieces we own (besides our mattresses). We purchased both of them about 5 years ago at a modern furniture store called Rubin‘s here in Milwaukee. The couch is very comfortable!
Our Barcelona style chair is also new. It was on a scratch and dent clearance at a local furniture store (because of the broken straps that I figured out how to fix) and was too good a deal to pass up. The retro record cabinet was something I got on Craigslist for $10 and refinished to its current state.
See those shelves up on the wall?
I made the mini ranch house shelves about a year ago. One of these days I’ll make a bunch and put them in my Etsy shop, I promise!
…now we’ve come full circle and are back at the entry way!
Now let’s continue the tour by exploring what’s down the hall…
Our first stop is peeking into the minty green hall bathroom…
For how small this bathroom is, there sure is a lot of storage. The vanity (I’m not sure if it was original or not) has 6 drawers and two doors, which makes for plenty of room. There are also narrow cabinets along the top of the back wall for extra storage. Currently, they are empty — is there such a thing as too much storage space?
The toilet is newer…I’m guessing the original was mint green. All the toilets in our house were replaced prior to us moving in, so I can’t be sure. See that cool seagull painting over the toilet? That was painted by my Mom in her college days. It used to hang in my Nana’s house in Mississippi — in her yellow and mint green hall bath. History repeats itself!
I am in love with the original tub! It used to have a shower door that was very icky and made the shower seem very claustrophobic — that was until I got the urge to remove my old shower door and hang a curtain instead.
Next we’re on to the guest bedroom…
This guest bedroom looks a lot different that it did this time last year — mostly thanks to my guest room makeover last winter and a few lucky finds from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
Then there’s the reproduction Nelson style ball clock that I found at HomeGoods of all places, and it looks great hanging over my retro green chair.
Thanks to my large Broyhill Sculptra dresser and a large closet, this room isn’t hurting for storage either.
By the looks of Leo peeking into the room, it might be time to pause the tour and go for a walk…
As the house tour continues, let’s take a peek into the master bedroom. This is where my Broyhill Brasilia bedroom set lives — and where I dream up all my projects, paint schemes and yard improvements. I’m one of those types that does a lot of thinking while I’m trying to fall asleep. I keep a notebook next to my bed to scribble down the good ideas to make sure I don’t forget overnight.
When we bought our retro ranch, all the carpeting in the bedrooms and hallway had just been replaced. We aren’t big wall to wall carpet fans — mostly because of the dirty dog we live with — and hope to someday put down hard surface flooring like cork in place of the carpet. Until then, I suppose I’ll have to keep scrubbing the spot at the end of the bed where Leo sleeps because somehow he always gets it dirty!
When I started collecting the pieces for my Broyhill Brasilia bedroom set, I was able to find everything except the second commode style nightstand…
…then about a year later, I finally completed the set and found my missing broyhill brasilia nightstand!
What’s that just outside the bedroom window? Why my raised bed victory garden of course! We can peek outside in the morning when we wake up to see if we will have ripe tomatoes for dinner!
There’s the other green chair (with a lower back) I was talking about! It’s the perfect place to sit and put on shoes — if we feel like being like Mr. Rogers. And what is that? Yup, it’s my master bathroom — still waiting to be remodeled.
You may ask, “What are those photos in the frames by your bathroom door?” Those are the photobooth photo strips from when my adorable husband Jim asked me to marry him. (How do you think he got his nickname as “adorable husband”?) Remind me and I’ll tell you about it sometime…
…but we won’t get into that now. I’m still in a gridlock trying to decide exactly how my floor plan and design will come together to make the retro modern master bathroom of my dreams. So far about all I’ve decided on is that it will be light pink!
Right now it is peach and mauve — not my favorite colors. I think this is the only room in the house that I’m not in love with — both because of the design and the functionality…
…however, I’m not going to demo a single thing until I have a plan that I feel satisfied with 100%…
…I’m hoping I can get it nailed down soon so I can start with the renovation in early 2013. Fingers crossed!
The final room on this tour needed some serious tidying up before you could peek in — this seems to be the room that catches all the stuff! Now that it is presentable, let’s take a look…
Now that I work from home, the office is where I spend the majority of my waking hours. This is fine with me because the office gets very good light throughout the day and I love the color scheme (probably since orange is my favorite color).
Remember when I scored this retro Basset desk on Craigslist? Now it has a nice home in my office! That series of three abstract paintings was a gift from a friend of mine (that I met in art school) whose son painted it just for me! And see that framed poster?
My Mom bought that poster for me in Nashville, TN at Hatch Show Print (it is a letterpress print — which the graphic designer side of me just adores!) and then had it framed for my office. I love it!
Then there is the painting of my grandfather that I have been working on for quite a while now — or not working on. It is really close to being finished but not quite done yet. Maybe I’ll try to finish it up this weekend?
This is the part of the office I call the art studio. There is plenty of room to work on the huge drafting table (another Craigslist find) and of course paint on the easel I received for Christmas a few years ago. The only thing holding me back is finding the time to paint!
I do find plenty of time to sit in my orange thinking chair and contemplate blog posts, home improvement projects or just to take a break from looking at the computer.
Of course my adorable husband Jim has a desk to work at — err play computer games at – even if it is quite messy most of the time. That’s his amp at the end of the desk. He’s carted that around ever since I met him, but I have yet to see him use it or use any of his bass guitars. It makes me feel less bad about not finishing my painting…
This room also has two nice big closets! I’ve never seen a house with so much storage space! (FYI these are both full — that’s where we keep all the junk).
I asked Kate if I could give the yard tour, since I am the guard dog around these parts. Here’s the yard tour — by me — your host, Leo.
We’ll start in the front yard — not the most exciting part since Kate is still working on the landscaping and I’m not allowed to run around out there without my leash on…
I really wish Kate would pull some of those weeds, they obscure my view of the street from the back yard. How can I tell what I’m barking at if I can’t see it?
Here’s the front porch. It is only good for one thing — it is where the pizza delivery guy drops off the pizzas. Sometimes somebody else will show up — without pizzas — then I bark and they leave. No pizzas, no waggy tails. End of story.
See that big window? It is a great place to sit and watch bunnies and squirrels go by, or my neighborhood dog friends.
Kate always says how much she likes the built in planter out there. I don’t understand why she likes it so much — it isn’t like it is full of Milkbones or anything….
Kate wanted me to point out the cool brick on the house. She thinks it is called Roman brick.
Kate is also a big fan of this corner garden she put in last year. Once again, I don’t see the allure. She won’t even let me water it!
Kate has been spending a lot of time weeding this side of the yard. It was really nice of our neighbors to cut down those big trees that were blocking my view of the street. Now I can see everything on this side of the yard!
There’s the screened porch — a.k.a. the Tiki Lounge. I like to hang out in there and eat hamburgers and steaks fresh from the grill during the summer. It is also a good place to take a nap.
Now for the best part of the yard — the part I hang out in all the time!
Kate finally finished up putting in the pavers — though if you ask me, I much preferred the dirt…
…though I will say that it turned out very nicely.
And now for the main event…
Look at how much room I have to run around!
The retro oval patio is a good place to use the meat cooker — also known as the grill.
This back corner of the yard is where I chase the squirrels and get my feet dirty. Kate loves to wash the floor so I try and help her out by making it muddy again.
Here’s the raised bed victory garden…
…it is a great place to grow veggies. (Veggies are a tasty compliment to the meat Kate cooks for me on the grill.)
There’s that weedy side yard that Kate really needs to clean up so my view of the street improves…
She’s got a lot of work to do!
I hope you all enjoyed the tour of my yard! Come back again soon, unless you are a squirrel or a bunny. Woof.
And that concludes our tour of the Retro Ranch Revamp! I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour!