Aloha From Hell

My original vision of turning this half-acre into our own private midcentury tropical oasis was obviously stronger than my common sense. Because if I saw the original property listing now, I’d scream “Run! Run away!” to my husband, and yank out the power cord on the laptop.

Dig Those Fringe Benefits

Remember the days when patio decor was fun and exciting? When chair cushions were covered in colors and floral patterns so vibrant they could be seen from space? Sure, the bare aluminum framework of those early sets probably scorched the hair right off your arms on hot days, but who even noticed when you were lounging…

Life’s a Breeze-Block!

If there’s a single midcentury architectural design element that makes me squeal like a polyester-clad teenager at an Elvis concert, it’s the breeze block. Depending upon your geographical location, you might also know these as screen blocks, decorative cinder blocks, hollow concrete blocks, textile blocks, Besser blocks (in Australia) or architectural blocks. But regardless of…

Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

Well it’s officially summer and if you’re anything like us, you have no less than 472 warm-weather-dependent house restoration projects on your list. So what should you do first? Forget all those and spend a week meticulously crafting a tiny replica birdhouse of your 1965 ranch home, of course. 

I Like To Move It, Move It

“Hot damn, we have a money-tree!” I shrieked after David told me the high valuation our sod landscape crew had attached to the Japanese maple growing inside a barrel next to our back patio. “No, a money-tree is something that gives you money. This is likely going to cost us money. Especially now that I know it’s value and…

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…