Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home


A Vintage China Cabinet for a Song

When I first saw this china cabinet on Craigslist I thought it was hideous. I can’t find the original image now, but it was your typical dark, wildly out of focus photo that are in shocking abundance on sales sites.  I remember thinking, “Who in their right mind would want that atrocity in their home?”  But I guess I am easily manipulated by marketing (I am a marketer by profession after all) because when I saw this on Krrb two days later I was suddenly singing a song of a different tune.

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The exact same walnut burl wood china cabinet from the 1960s. For $899.  I immediately went back and checked the Craigslist site, yep. $70.  I suddenly had to have it.  Can we also pause for a moment to note how strange it is that I stumbled across two of these rare cabinets in a matter of days? Definitely weird.  Quite possibly destiny.

Ok, so now I was in love with it, but I had to do some major convincing with the other loves in my life.  My mother (who I run all my harebrained ideas past) thought it was “God awful” and my husband (who has ultimate veto power) said it was “strange” and looked at me like I had three heads.  I have to say, I’m getting used to that look.  But he’s always open to a good deal and so I showed him the Krrb link above and told him that if it didn’t work out I could sell it at a profit.  Maybe not $899,  but definitely more than $70 if I took some halfway decent photos in nice light.

And so. Here we have it.


I am just in love with it’s funky lines. That trapezoidal top, those feet.  It holds a ton of stuff and even has a light inside which is fun.

So it was out with the old and in with the new.  I sold our smaller, traditional Drexel hutch for an even $70. Gotta love free swaps!


This new to me hutch is actually two pieces. And HUGE.  It’s nearly 7′ tall and, with our high ceilings, it fills the space so much better than before.  The Drexel always looked so small and lost. Not this guy.  He’s suddenly the focal point of the whole room.  Even Kirk loves it.  And my mom admitted that I was right all along. ;)


I recently updated these dining chairs, too (another swap that didn’t cost me a penny!).  Stay tuned for more on that!



A No-Cost Master Bedroom Facelift

It’s been ages, but you may remember that last summer I posted a series of mood boards of our master bedroom in an attempt to find a bit of inspiration.  I settled on a soothing monochrome that was as far from our current technicolor palate as could be and decided to take us from this:


to this:
Actual bedroom

My main problem–aside from the rather garish décor we were currently rockin’–was that I didn’t have any money to fund an overhaul. But that issue resolved itself when I started to unload what was already in the space. The bedroom dressers and night stands went for $900, the headboard for $100, the Ikea cube shelf for $75, and my DIY owl lamps (remember those!?) for another $30.

Around this same time we scored a new rug for the living room for $75 (my husband thinks says it “fell off a truck” … meaning, I suppose, that he bought it from someone in a dark alley after midnight) and which we’ve since re-sold for $125 (score!).  So the cream shag living room rug went into our room, the rainbow rug went to Logan’s room, and Logan’s green Ikea Hampen rug was sold for $25.  So we actually profited $75 on all the rug swapping.  Of course I then had to buy yet another rug for the living room, but that’s another post. Confused? Here, I whipped up this handy graphic to simplify it confuse you more.


There. That’s settled.

Aaaanyway, long story sort, but the time I finished selling every thing off we had $1180 to play with and keep this makeover ‘free’ … and I only spent $985!   So, without further ado here’s where we stand today.


My poor fiddle leaf fig has been clinging to those last four leaves for a year (remember how lovely it once was??) … it’s a slow death.


Yes, we have cords. *gasp!* And my husband has a sleep apnea machine, sue me.  I’m such a bad blogger. *eye roll.*

The botany prints aren’t the deep blue I was hoping for, but they’ll do. The yellow pillows look better in person, I promise. The unit with the books is actually comprised of four pieces.  I love it. And I love that it was free.


I am thrilled with the mis-matched vintage pieces here.  It gives the room a bit of a bohemian vibe that is simple yet comfortable. I appreciate a design that allow you to make mistakes (because I am far from perfect!) and this set up is definitely very forgiving.


I picked up this enormous mounted tapestry at a thrift store.  I purchased it with the plans to recover it, but it’s growing on me! That little bamboo plant was turning yellow (probably because I had it hidden behind a tv??) so I moved it to the bathroom.

LOVING our new white paint job too.  Everything feels so much brighter and just cleaner — I can’t even begin to tell you. The ‘amour’ sign is actually gone now. My elephant is here to stay awhile though.

Here’s how it broke down:

Upholstered bed: $385, Overstock
Linen duvet and shams: $100, H&M
Knoll credenza: Free, inherited
Brasilia nightstand: $125, vintage and worth every penny
No-name MCM nightstand: $25, purchased vintage a couple years ago
No-name MCM sideboard: Free, Craigslist*
Lamps: $60, HomeGoods
Art prints: $40, HomeGoods
Curtains and thermal liners: $250, Ikea

*We actually picked this up as part of a 6 piece set–all free!–and the rest is still hanging out in our garage while I figure out what to do with it.

So yeah, it’s not magazine worthy or anything–and iPhone pictures are what they are–but I’m digging it. It definitely feels more restful and welcoming and just more …me.