With the holidays over, this is the time for new year’s resolutions. Time to be more organized, neat and tidy (Leo!), improve yourself and of course improve your house! That’s why I have my list of Retro Ranch Revamp Resolutions!

In my experience, whenever you tell people what your resolutions are, they hold you more accountable for sticking to them…which is why I am listing my Revamp Resolutions right here for the world to see!



1. Get the basketball hoop that came with the house out of the back yard. I don’t have anything against basketball hoops, but this one is not pretty and it doesn’t look true to the style of the house….I don’t know if I will keep it, sell it or try and give it away, but it has to move off my patio!

2. See that mound of tall weeds on the right hand side of the photo above? That is a vegetable garden…errr…was a vegetable garden. The last owners would plant stuff in there I guess. I want to put in a raised bed victory garden in that area using the square foot gardening method. Not only will it look better, but it will provide tasty produce (hopefully!) that I can make even more neighbor friends with…“Hi, I’m your neighbor Kate…would you like some tomatoes?”

3. Fill the planter in the entryway with something other than random junk. Maybe plants? Stones? Whatever it is I bet it will be an improvement.

4. Decide if I should paint the kitchen cabinet doors for sure and if so-DO IT! The cabinets in my kitchen are original and in good shape except for the fronts of the doors. They are somewhat chipped and discolored in areas and they just look a little dirty from all the wear and tear. My thought is to paint the doors and leave the rest wood to freshen up the kitchen. (Full kitchen post coming soon!)

5. Continue to beautify the front and back yards. This one is a continuation of the work we have done so far. Pruning shrubs, clearing brush, gardening, removing more of the dreaded lilies, etc. We have come pretty far already, but we still have further to go.

6. Refinish the record cabinet into a cabinet for my husband’s game stuff. My husband loves video games. Video games have a lot of controls and wires and
charg-a-magiggys that are not retro cool. Kate’s solution: Get a retro record cabinet on Craigslist for $10 and refinish it into a more mod way to hide the video game clutter. A win win!

7. Update this blog once a week for the whole year! Yes you heard me right. I would like to put at least one new post up per week for the year. That is 52 ranch-tastic posts for the year. Can I do it? I’m gonna try!

So there you have it folks. 7 totally doable Retro Ranch Revamp Resolutions for 2011. Let the Revamping begin!





  1. I love your blog. I’m trying to redo my 1950s ranch, which right now is way too formal and traditional (my husband and I purchased most of our furnishings when we lived in a Washington D.C.-area row house).
    I’m trying to think things through a room at a time, but I get easily overwhelmed with choices when trying to make even small changes.
    Your blog has already given me some great ideas and all the photos really help. As I said, I’m a fan.

    • Hi Elisa!

      Thanks for reading! I’m glad the blog is giving you great ideas!

      Don’t be overwhelmed! (I know, easier said than done…) If you need a starting place, go to a vintage shop, (if you are lucky enough to have one in your area-if not try searching around on ebay) they are full of treasures and great ideas for color schemes as well. Just walk around and see what you gravitate towards…are the objects all in the same color family? Do they all have chrome or wood accents? A certain shape? Then take that list of things you like and see how you can translate that into your house. You can do it….and it is so fun!

      Good luck!

  2. Kate, I don’t know if it is too late, but if your kitchen cabinets aren’t too badly scratched, they can be cleaned and shined up very nicely with something called Doozy. It is a two step process to clean and polish, but it really works. I am going to use it on the cabinets in the La Crosse house, because I think that is all they will need, aside from a little resetting of a couple of the hinges.
    You can get it at Ace Hardware, or online at
    Your house looks like they used that red lacquer that was so popular back then, same as my Mequon place.
    Hope this helps. If not, paint away!

    • Hi Ann-Marie!
      Thanks for the tip about doozy! I would love to keep them as they are, but I have a few cabinets where the veneer has chipped off or is peeling (they are plywood cabinets) and I don’t think they can be repaired. I thought I would putty and sand the doors and then paint the doors only for that mondrian look, though I haven’t done anything yet. Maybe the doozy will work on the frames and sides that will remain wood. I will look into it for sure!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s