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How do I mix the Wright style into my ranch remodel? (Part 2)

23 min read Want to mix Wright’s style into your mid mod remodel? Focus on simple, natural materials and (of course!) the color red.

Lots of mid mod lovers are also big Frank Lloyd Wright fans. And why wouldn’t you be? In the last podcast episode we explored how Wright’s Prairie School and later Usonian homes are cool aunts and uncles to modest mid-century ranch houses. 

As you plan your ranch remodel, you can absolutely dip into Wright design ideas. Your house is actually already full of them!

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How to plan a Mid-century landscape…is that a thing?

42 min read Let’s talk mid-century landscaping with a certified expert – Jim Drzewiecki of Ginkgo Leaf Studio.

I get asked about the right landscape design for a mid-century a lot.

And, while I do design outdoor “rooms” and have a landscape at my own house, I am far from the expert on designing beautiful gardens. Seriously…I only just succeeded in not killing (most of) my houseplants in the last couple of years. 

So to tackle all your landscaping questions I called up a landscaping expert.

A chat with an MCM Landscape specialist

And big giant bonus? An expert who specializes in design for mid-century homes. Jim Drzewiecki, APLD, award-winning principal designer, is the founder and owner of Ginkgo Leaf Studio where he and Hannah Paulson design beautiful landscapes for all kind of homes. 

Here’s the secret to a great mcm landscape

Long story short: The best way to design a landscape to fit your mid-century house is to … listen to the house! Jim so good at doing just that. He’s interested in the shapes and materials on a good MCM house. And not locked into (probably) overgrown and (almost certainly) DIYed plant placements from decades of yore.

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Change your home to change your life.

21 min read The culture we live in tells us that we can change our lives by changing our homes. Let’s interrogate this modern urge toward self improvement through remodeling.

According to HGTV, you can never take a house as it is. A change is required. You must remodel it to make it “yours”. 

But … (again per HGTV) there’s ONLY one right way to improve your home. And that is whatever is the most current latest and greatest on Pinterest on Instagram on HGTV and in Dwell magazine. 

Now, in fact, I actually do believe in the transformative power of a remodel.

Planning them is kind of my bread and butter.

But here’s the thing: real, life changing transformations rarely look the same for every homeowner or home. And very frequently there’s nary a subway tile to be found. 

Continue reading “Change your home to change your life.”

The modern “mid-century” dream kitchen

23 min read Google’s modern mid-century kitchen is slab cabinets, sleek metals, minimalist hardware and simple geometric tile. But YOUR mid-century dream kitchen may differ because your kitchen, your rules.

The modern mid-century dream kitchen isn’t the kitchen that Lucy Arnez or Donna Reed or Carol Brady had. It also isn’t the kitchen you might find in vintage kitchen ads. And it certainly isn’t the kitchen you’ll find in most builder grade ranches. 

So what exactly is it then?

According to Google, it’s slab cabinets in warm wood tones, sleek metals, minimalist hardware and tile set in simple, geometric patterns.

According to home and garden media, it’s an open, busy social space.     

And both of those descriptions hold up! But YOUR mid-century dream kitchen may differ because your kitchen, your rules. 

You are actually the most important element in your mid-century dream kitchen. Your kitchen isn’t just a place to cook; it’s an extension of you! Whether you’re a mid-century purist or someone who loves blending eras, the key is to design a kitchen that works for your life and the way you want to live in your kitchen.

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Letting cycles of life guide your remodel

< 1 min read Laundry is a great way to illustrate how daily cycles impact your design choices and how to consider future cycles of life as you plan.

There’s a secret to planning a truly successful remodel – one that tailors the house you have to the life you want to lead in it. You need to take account of the cycles in your life as you tailor your home to match your lifestyle.

To help you do that … let’s talk about how the way you do your laundry can define how you remodel your home.

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The How and Why of (This) Residential Architect

16 min read A residential architect’s skill in design and creativity has the power to take a few remodeling dollars farther.

Did you know that average cost to hire a residential architect to design a remodel is $47,000. 

Isn’t that crazy?

That’s more than most people want to spend ON their remodel!

And that’s why architecture in this country is generally for the one percent. I used to work on projects with price tags just like that and … now I don’t. 

I’ve got a good reason for that …

Continue reading “The How and Why of (This) Residential Architect”

How to measure your house

20 min read Mid-century homes aren’t just livable, cute and in style right now. They were actually built in a way that is easier to document, measure and understand. Which means measuring for any remodeling project is (almost) a breeze for a remote design team like Mid Mod Midwest or a homeowner like you!

Before you can come up with an amazing plan to update your mid-century home, you need to know where are you starting from. Today you are going to learn how to measure what you’ve got, so you can start the process of transforming your home to fit your life. 

Old school measuring techniques like graph paper and measuring tapes may be the perfect fit for you and your project! If you’re more tech savvy, you can use a tablet to document your house…or a home scanning app might be just the ticket for you. 

As you probably know by now, the masterplan method begins with three key elements pre design phase. You need to dream about what you want your life to be in your new home. You need to discover what’s up with the house you’ve got right now. And then you need to distill your personal mid-century style.

So, what’s the best way to measure your house? 

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The Owners’ Suite: A Brief History and Foolproof Advice

19 min read An owners’ suite has become a must have in modern homes, but less than a generation ago almost half of homes were still without indoor plumbing. So how did our bathroom expectations change so drastically in such a short time? And more importantly, how the heck do you fit an owners’ suite into a modest mid-century ranch?

Does the primary bed/bed configuration – the owners’ suite – in your mid-century home leave a lot to be desired? Maybe you a have a glorified powder bath tucked in next to your bedroom through a pocket door. Perhaps your ranch has one bath for you, the family, and any dinner guests who use the main floor!

If you wish for a little more from your bed and bath configuration … You’re not alone!!

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The Power of Sketches

22 min read Sketching is the most important visual thinking tool you can use to plan your remodel. Sketches help you generate ideas quickly, explore alternatives without risk and avoid getting bogged down in the details too soon. And YOU CAN sketch…even if you have kindergarten-level drawing skills.

Sketching is the most important visual thinking tool you can use to plan your remodel. Sketches help you generate ideas quickly, explore alternatives without risk and avoid getting bogged down in the details too soon. And YOU CAN Sketch…even if you have kindergarten-level drawing skills.

Now when you think about a drawing that’s related to your remodel plan you are probably thinking of a blueprint. If you are, there are two things you need to know. One, blueprints haven’t been blue since, oh, before I went to design school. And two, they are the least interesting drawings in your remodel.

They also take months, years or even decades to complete depending on the complexity of the project. A sketch can be done in moments. It’s simple and yet surprisingly effective and evocative. 

And here’s why. It’s not just less, it’s centralized. It shows the details that matter and only the details that matter. A sketch is precise to the level that you create it with no expectation of accuracy. It allows us to talk about the shapes and forms of things, the overall relation of length and width.

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Ready to Remodel Student Stories

36 min read Can’t get enough mid-century house talk? Listen in on updates from recent Ready to Remodel students.

I LOVE updates from our homeowners, both design clients and Ready to Remodel students!

Photos in the Facebook group are great. Emails with project pictures? A delight!

I bet YOU like to peek inside other people’s remodeling process, too!

This is one of my favorite parts of setting up a strong Mid Mod ReMod Squad – you get to hear all about everyone else’s projects. 

Their wins can feel like your wins.

Their challenges make yours feel a little easier.

And their advice can prove INVALUABLE as you work to avoid remodeling regret for your own home.  

So, I’ve borrowed a little Mid Mod ReMod Squad energy to share with you today.   

Continue reading “Ready to Remodel Student Stories”