Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

The Lay of the Land

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I’ve never been a fan of the of a typical rancher–at least not judging from one’s curb appeal (or lack thereof).  But spend an afternoon with my husband’s aging grandmother who doesn’t have a bathroom on the main floor of her house and you will see how I began to see their appeal.  Feast your eyes on all that one-level living space. 2D Floorplan Lables
Since we haven’t had a chance to take a decent camera around the place, these floor plans I whipped up along with the listing photos will have to do for a few more weeks.  Eventually we’d like to give you a nice, official photo (or video?!) tour.  For now, we hope you will enjoy this little two-dimensional tour to tide you over.

Our new place has what our flooring installer calls the Great Room–a living room/dining room combination right off the entry with an entire wall of glass and three sliding doors leading out to the rear yard.  We love the windows because it lets in tons of light, but sadly, this is the one place in the house that doesn’t have replacement widows.living room

Sneak peek–complete with the previous owner’s furniture!
The bedrooms are all grouped conveniently together at one end of the house.  This is great for now as we want to be close to our young son at night.  Will we still feel this way in 10 years when his stereo is shaking the walls?  I suppose time will tell.
A master ensuite and walk-in closets galore sell the master bedroom space.  Just pretend you don’t see that blue toilet perched over there in the corner, m’kay?  Oh, and there’s certainly not a matching yellow one across the hall.  No siree.

Note: The bathrooms in this house deserve a post all their own.  We’ll get to that in time.

The kitchen and laundry rooms fill an unusually large allotment of space at the front of the house.  I suppose when this home was built a women’s place was in the kitchen, right?  There’s also a really awkward half bath through the laundry room.  Mom’s of the 50s could cook and clean the day away, but apparently had poor bladder control.  As perhaps you can tell, at least in it’s current state, I only see this as yet another bathroom to clean.

We have big plans for this area down the road, but we’ll be making only minor modifications for the time being.  With funds tight we’ll have to make do with simply replacing the pitted cabinetry hardware, removing the wall paper, and slapping up a fresh coat of paint.  Maybe we’ll even splurge on stick down laminate floor tiles that are a little easier on the eyes (it’s currently faux wood 12×12 laminate tiles that, sadly, couldn’t fool a blind man).

Luckily, the cabinetry is solid wood and in decent shape.  Yes, they’re a bit dated, but we think the original cabinetry has two things going for it: it’s true to the period and (say it with me now) they’re not laminate!  We saw so much laminate while we were house hunting it wasn’t even funny. Except when it was floor to ceiling yellow–complete with yellow range and a yellow refrigerator.  You’re right, that was pretty funny.

Sneak peek!
Eventually though, we see ourselves knocking down the wall to the laundry room and removing the return on the kitchen countertop to make one giant space with room for a long center island.  Maybe something like this:

Or, if we’re bold and brave, like this!

We’ve talked about relocating the washer and dryer to the back wall against the garage and maybe, if I get my way, adding some more cabinetry for storage (hey, after living in a house with three teeny closets wherein our toilet paper was stored under the bed, you’ll have to excuse my excitement over storage space).

The den is one of my favorite rooms.  You can see it from the foyer area and it’s wide doorway beckons.  Imagine my delight when we discovered the 4′ pocket door that closes off the space.  I don’t see us closing that door often, but I’m still tickled at the thought of stenciling a pattern on the hallways side–just to give a little surprise of color and cheer.  No photo of this yet–sorry.

The paneled wall that separates the den from the living room is one of our favorite features.  Here’s another listing photo for you.
Outside of this neighborhood we’ve never seen anything like it (though we came across two or three others when we were house hunting).  The individual squares slide up and down for either a customizable design or increased functionality.  We think it looks pretty sweet closed up tight, but I can imagine that back in the 60s and 70s those panels were often dropped to the floor for a more unobstructed space during social events and parties. This is a photo from another home with them open so you can see what I’m talking about (side note: how about that for a party couch, eh?):
Built in to the base cabinet on the den side of the wall is a turn table and vinyl storage system on one end and a dry bar for booze and glassware on the other.  These folks clearly kept it classy.

We’ll have to get hopping on that housewarming party.  Scotch anyone?


Author: Olivia @ Mid-Century Modern(ization)

I am a wife, mother, and writer. I am also a crafting, furniture-refinishing, home-designing nut.

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