25 Days of Design: An AV Advent Calendar of MCM Design Advice


Everyone likes to add a little extra charm around the holidays to their home.

Bringing out seasonal decorations makes us take a fresh look at the space where we spend all of our days. Shortening daylight makes us think about how to maximize the comfort and joy in our homes. As well it should – we need a recurring chance to reevaluate our homes are doing for us

To me, this seems like a great time to dream a little bigger than holiday decor! While you’re thinking about how to bring a little brightness and cheer to your house for the season, let’s also think about how improve it in the medium and long-term!

I’m going to spend the next twenty five days sharing design insights in a short video every day. The first one is already up on @midmodmidwest. Or, if you prefer, you can get it on the podcast. See you tomorrow for another!

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Who needs a Master Plan … I bet YOU do!

13 min read Do you need a master plan to get the most out of your MCM remodel? I think that the answer is YES in just about every case. Here’s why…

I work with three distinct types of mid century homeowners who each need a master plan to make the most of their home update … for different reasons.

Which one are you?

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It’s your House – Now make it your Home

16 min read The Dream stage of remodel planning is the essential first step to tailor a house you live in into your home. Today’s interview shows you how.

What do you think of when I tell you that you can personalize your home?

Does it call to mind choosing furniture, painting the front door, and perhaps eradicating the color “mint-green” from a house that still feels a bit like it belongs to the previous owner? Those are all great things to do.

But I’m what I’m talking about here is adjusting the house – sometimes its very layout and structure – to meet YOUR family’s particular needs.  So much of what you see on HGTV and in shelter magazines is just cookie cutter updates. They focus on making a standard house more luxurious or bringing up to date in cookie cutter ways. 

If you are going to take the time, and spent the money and live through the stress of a  home remodel, I want you to end up with a house that makes your home dreams come true. 

For a perfect example of what I mean by that, today I’m going to chat with my little sister who’s been busily customizing her new home ALMOST since the last time we spoke to her on the podcast last fall.  

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Kitchen Building Code Issues to Know before you Remodel

3 min read Avoid expensive surprises when you know the kitchen building code issues that may come up during planning and construction of your MCM update!

Let’s talk about our friend the building code.  Why am I so excited about this topic that usually elicits a set  of grumpy complaints?  Because the kitchen building code and the inspectors who enforce it are meant to keep us safe and secure.

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The History of the Mid-Century Kitchen with Sarah Archer

2 min read Today I talk with Sarah Archer, author of The Mid-Century Kitchen: America’s Favorite Room from Workspace to Dreamscape. We dig into the history of the mid-century Kitchen and how it came to be.

Today’s episode is an interview with Sarah Archer, author of the Mid-century Kitchen. I’m so excited to share this conversation about the history of the mid-century kitchen we all love so much.

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Interview: Landscaping for your Mid-Century Home

2 min read Listen in while I chat with Landscape Designer Sara A. Meier of Green Thumb SAM about landscaping for your mid-century home.

This season has been taking a look at a lot of big picture concepts for remodeling an MCM home: preservation vs updates, adding sustainability, and design for aging in place. Today, I called on another expert to help explain landscaping for your mid-century home. Listen in while I chat with Sara A. Meier, aka Green Thumb SAM, about how to bring a mid mod vibe … to your yard!

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Make Sure your Mid-Century Remodel is Green

2 min read Spoiler alert: it already is!

Do you ever think of remodeling your ranch as a strike for sustainability? I do. There are so many ranches across America waiting to be someone’s dream home. So, choosing one to remodel is green – as in sustainable – compared to any new construction except maybe the most dramatic of Passivhaus or LEED Certified new homes.

Why? The choice to remodel is green, inherently. You can protect undeveloped space, cut down on building materials and waste, and keep your home smaller. Good on you!

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Remodel your MCM Time Capsule or Flip with Love

3 min read Today, I’m digging into the dichotomy between MCM Time Capsule or Flip with no original character left. Good news: you can win with either.

In the 70 plus years since mid century ranches were built, these homes have had a lot of different stories, different owners, and different histories. Some have changed hands many time; some have been in a single family since the day they were built.  Whether your ranch is an MCM time capsule or flip, I can help you figure out how to make it your own.

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Find a Mid Mod Fixer Upper

3 min read Today, get this architect’s top tips for finding the perfect fixer upper to turn into your mid mod dream home.

Some people are looking for their turn key dream house but others want a fixer upper they can make their own. Fixing up modest little ranch houses into mid mod show pieces is kind of my jam.

Here are this architect’s ideas for how to win at the house hunting game.

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Maximize the “Zillow Phase” of your House Hunt

3 min read Listen in on a chat with first time home buyer – and my sister – KJ Hansmann on how she’s using the early “Zillow Phase” of her hunt to plan for her dream home.

Finding the right Mid-Century home to make your own is an exciting challenge for a first time home buyer. To kick off Season Four of Mid Mod Remodel, this week I chat with my sister, KJ Hansmann. She is in the earliest “Zillow” phase of planning to buy a modest MCM ranch to fix up with her partner.

We’ve been talking about her house hunt process so much in recent weeks. Finally, I realized that I should capture it for the podcast. Listen in as we dish on some family history, chat about why she’s choosing to live near her work place and have some fun discussing this essential phase of any millennial’s house hunt!

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