Saturday, April 20, 2013

Driveway Dilemma: Blacktop or Concrete?

When we purchased the Care-Free Home, one of the first projects we knew we'd have to tackle was the garage exterior and driveway.  Both were in sad shape and definitely detracted from the home's exterior. While we were able to get the garage cleaned up when we did the rest of our exterior renovation last year, now the driveway is even more of an eyesore than it was before!
Original Garage Exterior and Driveway
The updated Garage exterior looks a lot better, but the driveway still needs work!
This spring we are finally planning to tackle the driveway project and are debating between replacing the current blacktop driveway with a new one or going for a concrete driveway with a little more style.  What to do?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Found Vintage: Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chair

One of the first pieces of true mid-century modern furniture in Our Care-Free home was this very cool lounge chair that was given to us by a family friend.  At some point the chair was recovered in the current green fabric and we haven't been able to find any original manufacturer's markings.  However, from the shape of the bent plywood legs we're guessing it was made by Thonet.  Now its getting a makeover along with the rest of our living room!

Does anyone know the manufacturer of this chair?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Modern wallpaper selections for the Kitchen, Living Room and Bedroom

Recently we've been focused on furniture and decor selections for the spaces of Our Care-Free Home that we have finished renovating.  As part of the project, we decided to update some of the walls in the Kitchen, Living Room and a Bedroom with some mid-century modern inspired wallpaper.

After a trip to International Market Square with our interior designer Cy Winship, we came home with about a hundred cool, funky wall paper samples.  After looking them all over, taping them up on the walls and getting feedback from family and friends, we finally made some selections.  Here are the ones that made the cut!
Weitzner "Newsworthy" (for Living Room)
Sanderson "Dandelion Clocks" (for Bedroom)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Found Vintage: Mid-Century Club Chairs

Now that most of our large projects on the main floor have been completed, we've started looking for more vintage and mid-century modern furniture pieces to help create a period-correct look in our Care-Free Home.  Whitney's mom Judy is a pro at finding inexpensive vintage furniture and decor for the house, and recently came across these original club chairs.
mid-century club chairs
Mid-Century club chairs

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Planning our Mid-Century Modern Basement Remodel

Since the day we bought our Care-Free Home, we knew the large basement was a potential equity-boosting opportunity to add tons more finished square footage.  Unfortunately, since there was so much work to be done on the main floor of Our Care-Free Home, we had to prioritize our budget and effort and the basement dropped pretty far down the to-do list.  Now that we've made some progress on the rest of the house, we've begun planning for our mid-century modern basement remodel!
Floorplan for Our Care-Free Home's Basement

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mid-Century Modern Furniture Finds: Broyhill Brasilia

Renovation of our Care-Free Home has made significant progress over the last two years, but there hasn't been a ton of room in the budget for period-correct furniture that matches the home’s mid-century modern styling.  That is, until we were offered several pieces of amazing mid-century modern furniture that looked like this…for free!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Frank Lloyd Wright's Influence on Mid-Century Modern Architecture

As the son of an architect, my father raised us with an appreciation for good design and a basic understanding of architecture.  So, when Whitney and I decided to visit Chicago for a long weekend, one of my few goals for the trip was visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House at the University of Chicago.  As one of his most famous prairie-style designs from the early 1900's, the Robie house features many groundbreaking architectural details for the time that would ultimately influence much of mid-century modernist architecture some 40 years later.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Hidden Dangers of Renovation

Thank you to Brian Turner for contributing this article on an important topic for anyone working on a home renovation - particularly for mid-century basements like ours that are potentially filled with hazardous materials!

The Hidden Dangers of Renovation
With construction costs spiraling upward in a tough economy, many people are choosing do-it-yourself home renovation over hiring a contractor. This may save a substantial amount of money, but there can be hidden dangers especially in older houses. The toxins that can be present during demolition are outlined below.

Before and After: Our Care-free Mid-century Modern Kitchen

1950s Inspired Upholstery Fabric from Camira

As we're getting ready to build out our mid-centory modern basement, we're keeping an eye out for decor, textiles and accessories that could be a good fit for the space. (And we're also ramping back up the posts - so you can look forward to more frequent updates!)

Designer Pages recently showcased a new line of 1950s-inspired wool boucle fabric from British textile innovator Camira. The line, Monroe, is a "simple yet stylish dobby weave upholstery fabric." The line comes in 18 retro-inspired tones (image below courtesy of Designer Pages).