Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

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Ideas on Dining

Due no doubt to the rapidly approaching Thanksgiving holiday (OMG! We’re having 14 people for dinner tomorrow!), my mind has been wandering to kitchen and dining room seating.  More specifically, my dream chairs in a playful mix of colors and shapes.  These are the chairs I would fill my home with if I had all the money in the world!

(And before you ask the obvious question, no, my mind has not been on the turkey … although seeing as we have yet to purchase one, it probably should have been. Denial is my middle name.)

Instead of stressing over cranberries and rues I’ve been sending my mother emails like this (click to enlarge):

Ideas on Dining 2

Aren’t they amazing?  One day I will have a sophisticated yet kid-friendly home like these.  Each of these rooms inspire my creativity and really put a smile on my face.  I just wanna squeeze ’em!

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!!


SOURCE:  The individual chairs and tables pictured above are all from Dot&Bo and all the dining images are saved in my Dining Room and Kitchen Table Ideabooks on Houzz.com. 



10 Things

There is this “tell me 6 random things about you” thing going around Facebook these days.  I love lists and I love random facts so I did the Facebook survey and then I thought, “What the hay?  Why not make a blog post in the spirit of random lists?”  It’s perfect timing actually because I have a million balls up in the air right now, but not one of them is ready to be blogged about.  So without further ado:

1) We had two estimates for interior house painting performed last week.  We have no intention of actually having our house professionally painted right now (can’t afford it), but we have conceded that this is a larger project than we care to take on and we needed to know how many pennies we would need to save.  One estimate is still being drafted but the other came in at $5k.  Ouch.  Now, this fee was for them to paint all the doors, frames, baseboards, moldings, closets, ceilings, walls, and brick so it’s a pretty extensive scope of work.  But holy heck, that’s a lot of money!  I asked them what it would be if I painted the walls myself and left them just the detail work at that knocked about $2k off the price.  But they do offer financing which is nice, although we don’t want to keep financing everything.  Which leads us to…

2) We bought a couch!  Or financed it rather.  It’s a 6 piece modular unit with a chaise that can be arranged in a variety of ways.  Our living room is long and narrow so we knew we would need a pretty substantial sectional in the room to balance the space and we fell in love with the flexibility of this one right away.  The 6 pieces we purchased can be arranged to be as long as 13′ which is both how it’s set up in this photo and how we are planning to place it in the room.  It should be delivered it a week or so (hopefully by Thanksgiving, but I’m not holding my breath).


3) We replaced the curtain hardware in the living room.  Remember when I mentioned my plan for using electrical conduit?  Well, I’m happy to report that it worked like a charm!  We bought five 10′ pieces for $2.24 each and even had some length left over.  Kirk removed the old track and reinstalled the brackets so that they faced up to hold our new rod (they curled down toward the floor before).  Now our curtains can open where we want them to (along the beams for a cleaner look) without being confined to the parameters of the old track system that was in place before.  And bonus:  they don’t get all jammed up anymore!

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Still need to be lined and hemmed though.  Speaking of…

4) Yesterday I purchased 37 yards of thermal drapery lining fabric!  It should also be here next week.  I got it at the OnlineFabricStore.net because they have free shipping on orders over $50.  I also used a coupon code and scored everything for $97. Woot woot!  My mom and aunt are going to help me hem and line all 14 curtain panels.  Bless their hearts.


5) It took me a couple months, but last week I looked down and realized that the pattern on my beloved chevron rug was defective!  What?!   Did any of you guys notice this??

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It was waaay past Overstock’s return window but I reached out to them anyway and asked them what my options were. They were super helpful!  After a couple calls, emails, and pictures of the issue they said they could either give me a $30 credit or replace the rug.  I went for the new rug.  It arrived yesterday it somewhat rough shape (as did the first by the way) but I know from experience that hot water and soap should get the grime out.  At least that’s what I’m hoping.


6) Remember when I reached out to the daughter of my homes builder/architect?  I was so excited to possibly learn something new about the house, but I’m sad to report that she’s not responded to my queries.  So bummed.

7) Leaves.  This is the first autumn that we’ve had to contend with leaves and you know what?  It hasn’t been so bad.  In fact, it’s been pretty fun! We spent a Saturday afternoon raking and playing in the leaves a few weeks back.  And last weekend, after all the leaves had fallen, Kirk got up on our flat roof to check out the situation.  He spent an hour or so up there clearing debris and filled three more yard refuse bags.  Small price to pay to ensure we don’t have any water intrusion issues this winter.

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8)  I’ve had a few folks ask me about the ghost lately.  I’m happy to report that things have been very quiet on that front.  The stereo hasn’t turned on by itself in months, nothing appears to have gone missing, and with one exception, items haven’t been moved without explanation.  That one exception happened a few months ago.  The bride and groom cake topper from our wedding now stands atop the bookshelf in the living room.  It has always faced into the room, but a month or so ago we noticed that the figures had turned 180 degrees and were now looking out the window.  Neither one of us, nor any of our family members, have owned up to moving it and it is well out of Logan’s reach.  If Charlie is still around, he’s being playing it pretty low key.

9) The wallpaper removal in the kitchen is continuing to progress at a snail’s pace.  But it IS progressing!!  All the paper has been removed with the exception of the paper on the two closet doors near the door to the garage.  However, I got rushed and didn’t do the best job at getting the glue off the walls in the kitchenette or that back hallway.  The kitchen itself is good though and ready for paint.  I’d say I have another hour of prep work to do before painting can commence. I’m waffling on paint colors though.  I had originally thought a very soft aqua would play well with the cabinet color, but then I saw this photo and I’m thinking neutral walls may be the way to go.  I absolutely love this kitchen!


10) Mental note:  keep and eye out for colorful mismatched chairs for our kitchenette.  So fun!


The Sectional Sofa Saga

So, I know we talked about not getting a couch until the new year, but that was before we realized that we were inviting 16 people to Thanksgiving dinner and giving them no place to comfortably unbelt their waistbands and take in the football game post tryptophan.

Did you know that the average lead time on a new couch is 8-12 weeks?  And that around the holidays that time is increased to 16 weeks?  You probably did.  Thanks for telling me.  I see how it is.

But here we are, T-minus three weeks to Turkey Day and our living room looks like this.


We moved the club chair and ottoman in from the den last week after my mom donated her leather recliner to our furniture acquisition efforts.  She’s remodeling, we’re curating.  It works.   This chairs fits much better in the den and I like that it has a smaller footprint (since the footrest folds into the chair rather than permanently taking up space as a stationary ottoman).


Oh, and there’s a poor “After” shot of the midcentury desk makeover I promised you.  Remember my thrift store find?  In actuality it only has a coat of primer on it, but it looks done enough that I never really bothered putting a top coat on.  Another rainy day project to add to the list…


It was cute before but the veneer on the edges and sides was in rough shape and couldn’t be salvaged.  I like the way the white pops against the darker wood tones.  It will look even better once we paint that wall (and reinstall those baseboards and hide those cords).

Anyway, I digress…

I’ve been spending my lunch hours hitting as many furniture stores as I can squeeze in.  I’m frantically looking for a floor model that I love enough to drop a grand or two on without regrets — because with only two weeks to go a floor model is our only option.

This week I’ve been to Gardiners, Basset, Value City, Macy’s, and Stebbins Anderson — a local hardware/housewares family-owned shop.

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The all started to look the same …. especially in the crappy department store lighting.  What, do they think if they dim the light customers won’t be able to spot shoddy construction and materials?

I got REALLY excited about this guy (the Elan at Value City) when I saw it online, but sadly, the fabric was just awful when I saw it in person.  I hated it so much I didn’t even take a photo to send to Kirk (isn’t it nice that he’s entrusted me to make this huge decision/purchase entirely on my own?! Love that guy!). So I was bummed — I really loved the Elan’s atypical shape.  And its price was the lowest of the bunch — obviously for good reason.

Elan Sectional

Sadly, the accent chair had the same poor quality fabric on it which is such a shame — it’s adorable!!  Needless to say, I was beginning to get a bit discouraged.

My last stop  was at Macy’s where I was actually given a glimmer of hope.  They had a few sectionals on the floor that I thought might work for us and the sales rep said they could get them delivered in about a week!  He suggested I visit their warehouse in White Marsh which has a larger stock for us to test out.  Since their lead time is so much lower than any other store in the area and their sofas seemed both on trend and reasonably priced, I’m pretty certain that we’ll be making our purchase through Macy’s.  And they have 12 months interest free financing. Whoop whoop!

So Krik and I are going to go check the Warehouse out on Saturday together.  Fingers crossed!  I have my favorites all picked out, I’m just hoping they have the colors that I want in stock.  These are all available in various tones of gray, although some look more taupey than others when pictured side by side.

Elliot Harper Kenton Milo

Upper Left:  The Elliot.  I like the size and shape and the flexibility of this piece (you can order in a dozen configurations) but its form is pretty soft and I worry it will start to look sloppy over time.

Upper Right:  The Harper.  This definitely needs some accent pillows to soften those uber-masculine lines, but the high arms mimic those on our club chair which is great.  And I loooove the color.  I haven’t sat on this one yet so I’m hoping they have it in stock at the warehouse.

Lowe Left: The Kenton.  This one is probably my favorite.  Clean lines, super comfy yet structured enough to keep its shape over the years.  Unfortunately I think this color is only available as a special order (aka 6-8 weeks).

Lower Right: The Milo.  This one is probably the most modern, but I’m just not sure it’s enough couch for us.  We’re loungers.  This almost looks too … prissy.

So that’s where we stand on the Sectional Saga.  Hopefully by my next update I will show you the section in the room!