The sun has set on another year here at the Retro Ranch. 2013 was an exciting year for projects around the house, and while many of my self-imposed Retro Ranch Resolutions were not achieved last year, I did manage to complete the largest and most time consuming one from the list.

Let’s take a look back at my Retro Ranch Revamp Resolutions from 2013 — and see how they stacked up:

  1. retro-modern-pink-bathroomRemodel the master bathroom. This was hands-down the most expensive, most involved resolution from 2013 — and one that I can happily check off as completed. It was a hard, six month and six day renovation journey from the demo until I was able to take the first shower in my pretty pink retro master bathroom — but it was so worth it. Not only do I have a beautiful new bathroom that looks like it has always been part of this house, but I’ve also gained confidence in my ability to take on and complete a large, involved project. From building stud walls, installing and grouting tile to building a vanity from scratch, I’ve shown myself that I can do anything I put my mind to.
  2. Remove stumps from the side yard and make it look nice. It is hard to forget the Stumptastrophie last April — but happily, the giant pine tree stumps were removed from the side yard. With a little help from my family, we even got the grass growing and looking pretty good by the end of the summer. While I still have more big plans for this portion of our lot, it is looking a lot nicer than when we first started. I’m going to call this one completed, work in progress.
  3. Build a retro modern TV stand. Sadly, there was simply no more time in the year to work on a retro modern TV stand. Building a vanity was enough wood working for one year. There’s hope that 2014 might be the year for this. Not completed.
  4. front-porch-in-springRepaint the iron work on the front porch. This is one of those projects that will really only take about two hours to complete, but keeps getting pushed to the back burner. With everything that needed to be done in the master bathroom this year, I just couldn’t muster the extra strength to knock this small task off the list. Not competed.
  5. Clean up and set up the back patio. Thanks to getting an early start with edging the back patio, I did manage to clean up the space a bit — though by early summer, weeds were sprouting out of every crack and cranny. My brother got me a very nice Christmas present that might help me deal with these weeds without using chemicals (since I refuse to use chemicals on my lawn/weeds and this is a Leo zone). I did manage to set up the patio, retro red fireplace and all, though I barely had the chance to use it since I spent all of my time in the master bathroom this summer. Partially completed, work in progress.
  6. pathwouldbeniceMake a path to the victory garden. Once again, this resolution was just not at the top of my list. The bathroom remodel took precedence over all things yard related. I’m hoping that this coming summer will be a productive one for the yard, especially the back yard. We’ll see. Not completed.
  7. Paint/build/make things for my house as well as my Etsy shop. I’d say this is half complete. I did build a vanity for my bathroom and paint/make a few things for my house throughout the year, but alas, the Etsy store is just not getting stocked. In fact, I didn’t put anything in it at all this year. There was just no time or energy left in 2013. Half completed.

So there you have it — not so many items on the list were completed, but the largest and most involved project was tackled and finished. I’d say it was a pretty good year after all.

Now its time for me to publicly declare my resolutions for this year — you know — so all of you can hold me accountable and possibly actually guilt me into painting my poor, neglected iron work on the porch this year.

2014 Retro Ranch Revamp Resolutions:

  1. Upholster at least one half of Great Grandma’s couch set. Besides recovering a chair seat, I’ve never reupholstered anything before in my life. Sewing scares me more than demolishing a bathroom and starting from scratch. And yes — reupholstering Great Grandma’s couches will require sewing a whole boat load of piping — so I’ll have to learn how to use Nana’s 1942 Singer Sewing machine that is sitting in my garage.
    upholstery-fabricI’ve already purchased the material — found at Modern Fabrics — a lovely burnt orange woven fabric with a hint of sheen. Now the trick will be not letting the fabric sit around for several years before I attempt this feat.
  2. Complete phase 1 of the green bathroom spruce up. Our minty green hall bathroom is not in need of a total gut-remodel like the master bathroom.
    green-bathroomThe layout is good, and I love the salt and pepper tiles and the mint green tub. However, after using this bathroom on a daily basis while our master bath was under construction, I noticed that there are some issues that need attention. I’ve decided to make this a two phase fix up — and phase 1 has already begun.
    tile-with-missing-groutThe remainder of this phase involves repairing the missing grout in the shower and repainting the ceiling where it was patched when the new fan was installed. I’ll detail the rest of my plans for this bathroom in a later post. Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to spending many more hours in a bathroom, but missing grout is nothing to sneeze at.
  3. Work to return some privacy to our back yard. I’ve complained about my difficulties in trying to get a fence permit before — and I haven’t given up quite yet — but in the event that a new fence seems like too much of a hassle, I’m preparing an alternate plan to restore some of the privacy to our back yard this summer.
  4. Make a path to the victory garden. Yes Leo, one of these years I WILL put in a path.
  5. Repaint the iron work on the front porch. Again — please somebody remind me about this if I don’t let you know that the task has been completed by late August. My poor, neglected iron work really needs a fresh coat of paint!
  6. Build that retro modern TV stand already! I’d love to have a better looking TV stand in the living room — our current one doesn’t do anything for the look of the room and honestly, it could be better designed to fit our specific needs. Now that I’ve built a mid century modern bathroom vanity, a TV stand doesn’t seem so difficult.
  7. Take up the carpet in the hallway to expose the original cork flooring underneath and spruce up the space with some paint and more artwork. A few months ago, I realized that unlike the bedrooms — which have only subfloor under the carpet — the hallway’s carpet is hiding some original cork tile flooring.
    cork-flooring-under-carpetThis particular kind of cork is also found in several of the Retro Ranch’s closets. I’d like to peel up the dirty hallway carpet (Thanks Leo) and expose the original cork. It is my hope that the floor is in good condition under there, but I have no idea what it actually looks like, so I’ll have to have some sort of back up plan if the exposed flooring is less than pristine.
    hallwayIn addition, I think the hallway would look much nicer if it were painted an actual color instead of the greige that it currently is. What color? I’m not sure yet, but won’t it be fun to pick one out?

There you have it folks — the 2014 Retro Ranch Revamp Resolutions. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to complete the entire list this year, but if I can at least get that darn iron work on the front porch repainted and a good start on the sofa reupholstery, I’ll be happy. What are some of the home-related (or otherwise) resolutions on your list for 2014?



  1. I Ike your moxy girl. You are a go getter and you inspire me to go get some stuff done too. Master bed and bathrooms – here I come!

  2. Regarding sewing, I didn’t learn to sew until I was 25, when I took a quilting class at a community college. All the ladies in class were old enough to be my parents/grandparents, but were so supportive, it helped me enjoy sewing even more. So, see if there are any sewing/re-upholstering classes at the local community college – it will be inexpensive and you will meet a lot of great people who share similar interests and will keep you motivated. Good luck!

  3. Busy year ahead 🙂 does Jim have any house goals too? I want to paint and put up a backsplash in the kitchen. Want to come visit over the summer and help ;).

    • Yes, always busy here at the Retro Ranch! Jim wants to finish the basement, but that is a huge project that we need to save up for for about 8 more years or so. He wants a man cave. He’s going to get a Tiki cave, I think. 😉

  4. I painted my hallway “Butternut Squash” by Martha Stewart. It’s an apricot/peach and it’s cheerful but subtle. My art looks really good against it.

      • If that painting stays in the hall, I would use a color close to the blue in the picture. My first house resolution is to send the sofas out for reupholstery. I’ve done the living room chairs, but I won’t do do the two piece sofa sectional purchaced at an estate sale ten years ago. Loved the mid-century lines, but not the color when we bought it, so it has been covered with blankets in our colors ever since, but this is the year…

      • I actually just moved the painting to another room and replaced it with something different — you’ll see soon!

        I’m a little nervous about doing a large couch, but I’m always up for a new challenge too…It may take me 10 years to reupholster my sofas!
        I hope you get yours reupholstered and just the way you like it this year. Yay for resolutions!

  5. I hope your flooring job comes okay, that would be awesome if it was salvageable! I’ve got my own tile touch-up job in my bathroom too. Just grout fortunately, but I’m afraid if I start on one spot I’m going to find a bunch of others that need grouting too and it will snowball.

    • Thanks doug! I hope the flooring is good under the carpet too. Have to come up with a back up plan incase it isn’t, fingers crossed I won’t have to use the back up plan though. I’m thinking I will have to regrout the entire shower area in my hall bath. More about that project later!

  6. Pingback: HALL BATHROOM PARTIAL REMODEL — PHASES EXPLAINED | Retroranchrevamp's Blog

  7. Pingback: GARDEN PATH COMPLETE! | Retroranchrevamp's Blog

  8. Pingback: PORCH POST PAINTED — FINALLY | Retroranchrevamp's Blog

  9. Hi Kate, love your blog and I am just swooning over that bathroom. Let me know if you want help tackling those sofas, I am local and quite experienced with old Singers 🙂

    • Ack! Yes, the sofas. I’m a little nervous to start on them since they are such a big project! My hope was to have one completely done by the end of 2014…which is not looking like it will happen!

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