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.

To Weed or Not To Weed

Well I think we all know the answer to that question. And it includes having 7 yards of gravel dumped into your driveway on a rainy Saturday morning in late February, so you can finally put an end to the 24-hr. weed-breeding factory that is laughingly known as your side yard. The area I’m referring to was…

Retro Ranch Dressing

Not everyone will tell you what’s in their secret sauce. Have you ever gushed over the decor de jour at a friend’s house, casually inquiring how they assembled such an exquisite collection of complimentary pieces, only to be met with the reply “Oh, I just discovered them in my travels…” or some other nonsensical vagaries? Well I like…

Rummer Loving Happened So Fast

If you’ve driven around Portland, Oregon you’ve seen them. There are at least a couple hundred scattered throughout the residential neighborhoods that surround the city. Their sleek, gabled rooflines, clerestory windows, vaulted entranceways illuminated by globe pendant lights, and carports that sometimes house swanky vehicles like old Mercedes SLs, Dodge Dart Swingers, and maybe even…

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…