Once, Twice, Three Times for Lighting

As any good interior designer will tell you, lighting is the one thing that can make or break a space. And as any retro enthusiast will tell you, finding mint-condition, period-correct lighting for your midcentury home is like looking for Bigfoot. Most of those swanky retro lamp styles hit the landfills in the 1980’s, when people were in favor…

5 Ways Landscaping Projects Prepare You For Prison

So I’ve never been to prison. And I most certainly don’t plan to go. But owning a midcentury house with a half-acre of land requiring continual rehabilitation has given me a new and interesting perspective. I’ve definitely shoveled enough rock in the blazing hot sun to make me feel like I’m in the joint. The…

The Wayback Machine

Ever wonder what your house looked like when it was first built? Who the original owners were? Where the furniture was placed? What the landscaping looked like back then? These are the things vintage enthusiasts become curious about when they buy a home that has a few decades under it’s belt. But since most post-war…

Kitschy Kitschy Bang Bang

Marty McFly was duped. You don’t need a time machine to see what it was like to live in the middle part of last century. All you need are a few hours on a Saturday morning at some estate sales, and you’ll be more intimately acquainted with those bygone eras than you ever thought possible.…

Grass For Days

“Will anything even grow back here?” David asked, bending down to inspect the bare, sandy soil that looked as if horses had just trampled through it. We had just closed on the Retro Ranch and now owned 10,000 sq. feet of dirt that we had absolutely no idea what to do with. “The hell if I know.…

Thrifty Shades of Grey

It was finally summer in Portland. We moved into the Retro Ranch in late October, the beginning of the rainy season in the Pacific Northwest, and never got the chance to spend much time studying the exterior of it until now. This is when we determined that our house? Was the color of butter. And I’m not…

A Tale of Two Sinks

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The former refers to finding a mint condition set of gorgeous 1960’s sinks at the ReBuilding Center on a sunny Saturday morning. The latter refers to the installation of these mighty pastel beasts. The Cadillac of Sinks The Crane Criterion was the top of the line…