Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mid Century Makeover

Heather's Mid Century Makeover

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting lovely Heather Cartland. Heather is my favorite type of person, the type of person who renovates their home back to its original glory! 

Anyone can take an old house and make it modern, but taking a house back in time takes a lot more dedication and time. Lucky for us, Heather has graciously shared her home renovation story, along with some really great pictures. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did!

Welcome to my home!

In June of 2013, I bought this tiny 1964 ranch in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. In 1963, a man named Kenneth Jackson began building this home for him and his wife as a retirement home. The building was completed in 1964, and Kenneth and Victoria Jackson used the house as a summer home up until they retired. Unfortunately, in 1972, Kenneth passed away, and did not get to enjoy the home for as long as the rest of his family: his wife, and three children: Myrna, Kenneth and Joyce. Victoria lived in this house until her death in 2012 at the age of 97!

In February of 2013, I saw this quaint home freshly listed on the market, and since her “kids” were now in their 60s and 70s and mostly relocated to Colorado (Joyce had passed away shortly after Victoria), they were anxious to sell it at a very reasonable price! I took one stroll through with my realtor and made an offer within 15 minutes. I saw mid-century decorating written all over it! And since I was single at the time, the 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom little ranch was just perfect for me and my little dogs. The “kids” as I still call them, were very happy that I bought their parents’ house and I offered (with sensitivity, of course) to take anything off their hands that they did not want to have to deal with disposing of. They told me to put my name on anything I wanted and they’d be happy to leave it for me when they came to clean out the house before closing.

We closed on June 18, 2013, and I did not get to meet the kids as they sent their attorney in their stead. I was disappointed, but asked the attorney for their address so I could send a note along now and then. He gave it to me and a wonderful relationship soon began. Ken and I text frequently, especially during football season…he’s still a Packer fan! And Myrna and I chat by phone, and we print photos and mail them to each other as she does not text or Facebook. Here is my favorite photo she gave me (Myrna’s wedding day):

Here are the realtor photos from the house listing (the before pictures):

This is the Master bedroom and the furniture I still use today!
These are two separate angles of the breezeway

From June through October, I worked hard on scrubbing, painting, landscaping etc. so I could have everyone over to show them my new house. Updates included painting all ceilings and walls in every room of the house, using Sherwin-Williams paint in Sand Dollar (guest room), Afternoon (kitchen cabinets), and Full Moon (harvest gold color) everywhere else for continuity in my small space. Wall to wall carpeting was removed from the entire house. Cork floor tiles were professionally installed in the living room and hallway, original VCT tiles exposed in both bedrooms. Kitchen cabinet wood was polished and cabinet door fronts painted in the vibrant yellow-orange color. A new refrigerator was added from the GE Artistry series. The old plastic bathroom tiles in the shower were replaced with a vintage inspired design of my own, using black white and golden wall tiles.

The breezeway has taken on a few different looks. Originally, I had used it as a craft room (pictured first), but then the carpet was eventually removed to expose the original linoleum beneath as it was renovated into a sitting room. Now, it is back to a craft room again! I should mention, my boyfriend, Lance, built a custom craft/sewing table for me to go in my craft room, and on Valentine’s Day of this year, he proposed to me while I was sitting at it!! My tiny house is full of love once again with both of us happily living here with our fur and fin family, Risi, Ming, Viv, Fish! and Pinchy!

OK, back to 2013…After 4 months of repairing, cleaning, panting, landscaping and replacing floors, I added my own retro touch with some funky furniture, retro linens and minimal decorating. I found some vintage open house invitations online, and on October 20, 2013, old friends, new friends, realtors and co-workers came to see my retro renovations and wish me luck in my new home!

Pictures from my open house (the after photos):

The buffet with my poster board of the before pictures and facts about the house
Check out the pineapple appetizer caddy!
New neighbors from down the street

 After living in the house for 2 years, and having developed a wonderful new friendship, the “kids” decided to come back to their old stomping grounds for a visit. And my house was first on the list! I was so excited to meet them and for them to see everything I had done and hoped that they would like it. When they arrived, it was like we were instant family. Myrna and her son Darrin came, and so did Ken and his son, Scott. We met for dinner on a Monday night, and then I took off work the next day to spend with them at “our house”. When they arrived, my three little dogs rushed out to greet them as they do everyone, but I had no idea that that would be so meaningful to them. You see, their mom ALWAYS had a little dog her entire life, and all little dogs do the same thing….run out to greet the “kids”. Once they came inside, they wanted to see everything! They were so touched by everything they saw. They saw their mom’s ironing board in my sewing room, her hamper in my bedroom, her 2 bedroom sets with fresh life breathed into them, and the entire house dressed in retro 1960s style. They loved it, as evidenced in the things they wrote in my guest book. They said it was just like they remembered it when their father first completed it back in the 60s. They have told me for almost 4 years now how glad they are that I was the one that bought the house and they can’t imagine anyone else ever living here. I fixed them brunch out on the back porch, which was their mom’s favorite place to sit and watch the birds. We took a walk through the state park that surrounds the house, just as they always had with their mom, and we walked down to the lake with all three of my dogs. It was a wonderful, indescribable day. After lots of hugs and pictures, they journeyed on to Illinois, where they grew up. A day I’ll never forget!

Brunch with the "kids" on the beloved porch

On our way to the park! [from left] Myrna with Risi, Scott with Viv, Darrin and Ken with Ming.


Do you have a Mid Century makeover story you would like to to share? Send me an email or leave me a comment below!

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