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Speedy Strategies to Plan a Remodel You’ll Love (in the time you have)

38 min read 30-ish minutes to learn how to plan a remodel in 30 days?

Believe it!  You can check off maintenance, meet a deadline and still get a remodel that enhances your home’s MCM charm and suits your life and family!⁠⁠ Listen to my new workshop for all the speedy remodel planning skills. 

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Can I mix Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style into my ranch? (Part 1)

When you love your mid mod house … but also like Frank Lloyd Wright for his Prairie and Usonian design … how do you choose? The great news is that you don’t have to!

Because here’s the thing: Wright’s Prairie School and later Usonian homes are cool aunts and uncles to modest mid-century ranch houses. You can absolutely dip into Wright design ideas when you plan an upgrade for your mid-century modest home!

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What are the best mid-century flooring choices?

31 min read The best mid-century flooring for your house? It really does depend – on your taste, the size of your pets, the age of your kids and even your tendency to be a little bit of a butterfingers.

What is the best mid-century flooring for your house? I get this question ALL the time and I have a lot of opinions about it. But before I tell you about what I like and what I’d choose … we need to focus on you.

Short version: it depends on what you want

That’s because my answer to you, to my clients, to my students and to everybody who asks me this is …

It depends.

Now, when I answer this way, I’m not hedging or hesitating. 

I do have opinions about and experience with many types of flooring in all sorts of applications. And strong personal preferences of my own!

But when people ask “What’s the best mid-century flooring?”, what they actually mean to ask is, “What’s the best mid-century flooring for me and for my house?” And that’s where it really does depend. 

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How long will my remodel take?

26 min read TL;DR: Your remodel will probably take longer than you hoped, but you can shorten the timeline of the actual work by investing your time in solid planning!

One of the questions I get asked most often (right after how much will my remodel cost) is, hey, how long will my remodel take?

We all want a solid answer to this question before moving forward. But the reality is how long it all takes depends on how much of your house is affected, who does the work, when it starts and HOW DECISIVE YOU ARE ALONG THE WAY!

So … the answer is it depends.

But I’ve got good news for you as well as bad news, here. Because it depends on some factors you can predict and sometimes factors you can control with your own choices!

TL;DR: Your remodel will probably take longer than you hoped, but you can shorten the timeline of the actual work by investing your time in solid planning!

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What we CAN learn from HGTV.

25 min read Today we are going a little more positive in our HGTV exploration. Because it is SO FUN to look at other people’s homes.

OK, so I spend a lot of time warning Mid-Century homeowners off of getting their ideas and advice from general shelter media. A lot of it is just not for us. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing we can learn from HGTV.

Home improvement shows (and magazines, and social media) give us lots of chances to look at other peoples homes. And to observe those people looking at lots of different homes. And even have the occasional good Mid-Century design idea. (It happens!)

Let’s talk about what we can learn from HGTV.

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How to plan an MCM remodel to fit your life (and budget)

75 min read Take my remodeling masterclass on the go!

If you listen to the Mid Mod Remodel Podcast regularly, you hear lots about the tips and tools I recommend to help you plan and lead your perfect MCM remodel.

And once or twice a year I boil down the most helpful of those tips and tools into a free masterclass that I offer live. Folks show up on a Saturday for an hour-ish class full of advice and a Q&A where I promise to answer every question. 

In the past that session was only available to the folks who signed up and attended the live event, but this year I’m trying something NEW!

We are making the audio of my February 24th session available for a limited time. 

Now you can listen on the go! (but just for one week.)

So, if you missed the live session and don’t have time to sit and watch a replay… or if you were there, loved it and just want to hear it all again…grab your headphones!

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Your remodel should not be a surprise.

21 min read A surprise reveal is a mainstay of remodeling TV shows and it’s basically a jumpscare. Your ideal remodel should include few to no surprises.

Nothing about the final outcome of your remodel should surprise you.

Read that twice.

Now, I do hope that as you live in your transformed home that it is a delight for you and your family. Maybe the changes will have an even greater effect on your life than you expected. That’s great. But the remodel itself … should not be a surprise. 

Why HGTV loves the “surprise reveal.”

Surprise reveals are a mainstay of home and garden media like HGTV because they create drama and suspense.

They allow the designers to build to a big conclusion and show a happy client. Surprises are not good for MCM homeowners in the same way trends are not our friends. 

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Why are mid-century kitchens?

19 min read Aspirational mid-century kitchens inspired the kitchens we live in and love today.

In all seriousness … why ARE mid-century kitchens? We’ve chatted before about the history and socioeconomic drivers of the era. And about the default layout of an MCM kitchen and why it doesn’t work for our modern lives so well. But what were those mid-century modern folks really … going for? One thing that made them what they are was …

The TV kitchens that served as backdrops for our favorite mid-century TV families! These show kitchens often included features missing for the builder basic kitchens of the time (and still missing in many of our ranches!) 

After all, an average mid-century ranch, the kitchen was seen as a one-person space. A kind of a home office for a homemaker. In a TV show kitchen, it had to be a place where two people could hold a conversation! That’s something we like in a kitchen today!

So let’s dig into how aspirational mid-century kitchens influenced – and didn’t – the kitchens we live in and love today.

Psst !!! Before we dig into some SPIFFY and fun MCM kitchens of TV history … quick shout out for your best resource for updating your own mid-century kitchen to mid-century or modern glory. Don’t forget to save your seat for the Mid-Century Kitchen Clinic!

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Cooking with gas…ads and sponcon in remodeling “reality” shows. 

20 min read How did gas (and granite and stainless steel) come to seem like our only finish options? Blame it on the sponcon.

Certain elements seem to make it into every renovation. Think gas stoves, stainless steel finishes, professional grade appliances, countertop materials like granite and marble, luxury vinyl flooring. 

Want the most reliably biased remodeling advice around? Head for HGTV. In fact, pick up or turn on any mainstream piece of home and garden media. Now, try to separate expert advice from paid content. What you’ll find is a strong push toward well funded trends that dominate the industry.

Are these the best choices? Unlikely. Are they the best choices for you? Maybe. 

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The (main) problem with HGTV.

19 min read HGTV is a primary source of our beliefs about remodeling and what making good choices for a home looks like. And most of that advice is just dead wrong for mid-century homeowners.

This season, I’m pushing back on the default remodeling advice that we all encounter on HGTV and in online magazines, see manifested in big box home improvement stores and hear echoed in the mouths of run-of-the-mill general contractors. 

But you know I’m not about negativity! 

Instead, you are going to get all the positive, encouraging, actionable advice to help you make timeless choices tailored to your home. 

In short, this season’s theme is “The remodel advice you will never get from HGTV.” 

Continue reading “The (main) problem with HGTV.”