Hello and welcome to the Retro Ranch Revamp, a blog I started to document the retro remodeling of our 1962 ranch in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

The goal for our house is “Making it Mod-ern.” We want to keep our house looking retro while also making it more energy efficient and more colorful.


Hi, I’m Kate.

Graphic designer and Managing Editor for the popular blog by day and part time home improver, interior designer, retro enthusiast, vintage bargain hunter, gardener, cook, artist, picture taker and the brains behind this blog on evenings and weekends.

This is Jim, my adorable husband and fellow owner of the Retro Ranch.

He is the muscles behind many a home improvement project and is completely supportive of every crazy project I get myself into. While Jim would rather be playing video games, reading or watching a movie from his collection instead of doing home improvement projects, he is always there with a cold glass of water, a wet paper towel, moral support, some muscle or right next to me with a shovel (if I ask nicely!) when I need him.

This is Leo.

Leo is quite possibly the star of the show, hogging many a blog post, or just popping into a picture to remind me that he hasn’t yet had his daily walk around the neighborhood. He loves his yard, tummy rubs, pets, doing tricks, playing fetch and tug, eating treats, bones and the occasional “people food treat” and of course long walks. He is always on patrol at the Retro Ranch, just in case any of those pesky squirrels ever dare to come over the fence.

This is Milton.

He is the epitome of the curious cat. Milton, or Milt as he is sometimes called will manage to get himself into and out of any sort of trouble, cardboard box or situation possible before you even realize what just happened. He is very friendly, comes when called (for pets or treats) and loves nothing more than to steal his brother Leo’s dog food.

This is Phil.

Yes he is wearing a tie. He only wears it for special occasions, but he also hardly ever lets me take his picture. Phil is about as laid back as they come (unless you take him to the vet), is friendly (unless you take him to the vet) and will come when you call him (unless it is time to go to the vet).  His favorite activities are napping, napping in the sun, napping in a box, eating treats, getting pets and not going to the vet.



  1. You guys are so cute! Big step-brother Gasket will never wear a tie like Diva Phil :). He will pose for the camera like Milton tho.

  2. Hey Kate!

    I wanted to email you but I couldn’t figure out how to 😉

    We are losing headway in the Making it Lovely contest – if you could post on your blog for your readers to vote for us I will be SO appreciative! If not, no worries at all! I’m just desperate to makeover my patio and I know if we don’t win it won’t be happening for a very long time!!

    Love your blog, consider me a new loyal follower!

    Heather (and Mike)

  3. Hi Kate,
    I fell on the floor laughing about Phil (and the vet). I can truly relate! I LOVE your blog!
    I started reading a couple of weeks ago and I am hooked! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Becky!

      Phil is quite the diva when he goes to the vet. It is funny but also embarrassing to have a cat that gets out of hand! It is like he has two personalities!

      Thanks for reading!

    • Hi Trinity,

      Thanks for the heads up. I saw that post and I’m pretty sure it is the same set that I missed out on about a month ago that someone else bought, cleaned up and is now charging an arm and a leg for. It’s too bad because I would have used it in my home, not turned around and tried to sell it for more money. I guess you win some and you lose some. It is all part of the retro furniture game.

  4. Hi Kate, I just got done going through your blog on the cabinets and kitchen remodeling. It is very entertaining, but that doesn’t surprise me knowing you as I do. Your mom sent me your blog. I am so glad she did. I am looking forward to seeing the end product. By the way, I love the new color and the retro ipod station. They are both great !!!!!!

  5. Kate I had a cat that grew 8 more legs when it was time to go to the vet…you should have seen him hanging onto the door frame with all those legs… Love your blog! How do I see more pics of the retro revamp?

    • Yikes Donna! This year Phil was so bad at the vet that they have to give him a “box exam” next time. I guess that means they “pour” him from his carrier into a large tupperware box and then gas him until he takes a nap. Then they give him the exam and he wakes up without remembering anything! I’m working on adding a new page that will have more pictures of my house…stay tuned!

  6. Hi Kate,
    Your blog is really neat. I knew you would do something really special! Enjoy!!
    Looking forward to following you blog.

    Diane Cowles

  7. Hi Kate,
    Just found your blog and I love it! I have spent the last half hour enjoying the before and after photos of your wonderful home. I am on the cusp of becoming an empty nester and am hoping to purchase a mid century home and make it my own haven. (My childhood home had one of those fabulous pink bathrooms) You and your husband are an inspiration! Please keep sharing.

  8. You guys are terminally cute! Love your house, your pets, your creativity. Very inspiring for the new owner of an awesome 1960s ranch.

  9. I am so glad I came across your blog!!!! I have been reading and trying to catch up. Everything is so cute, good, beautiful…etc. The pet are adorable. I have never followed a blog before but I really like yours and am now a follower…:)

  10. I have my Mom’s Mar-Crest Citation silverware exactly like the set you acquired. It is in excellent condition and would love to see it go live at someone’s home. It raised four kids and was our every day silverware, put in the dishwasher, and it still looks great. Any suggestions on where to offer it for sale? I have pictures.

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