Essential Mid-Century Resources to Get You Started!

3 min read A rundown of 11 essential mid-century resources to get you started in planning an MCM remodel. Learn the best articles, books, blogs, shops and sources!

I don’t know about you, but when I get into a topic, I really go down the rabbit hole. So, of course, I love to stay up on my reading regarding Mid-Century Resources. Do you?

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Features of a Midwestern Ranch you should Recognize

10 min read I’m going to be talking about what I know best: the builder basic Midwestern ranch, built by the millions across the country.

Knowing the history and key features of midwestern ranch will help you make good decisions as you work on your home.

Understanding what’s unusual about some of those original features – and also the history and the reasoning behind how they were built – will help you identify what’s rare, cool, quirky, or valuable about your home. And in other cases, it will help you know when something about your home isn’t that important to its overall character and you can modify it with a clean conscience.

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Know This before Updating an MCM Home

4 min read We aren’t the same people our parents and grandparents were, so we might need to tweak their houses to make sure they work as well for us as they did for their original owners.

Before updating an MCM home, you want to know what has changed in the generations that have passed since those mid-century ranches were constructed.

We aren’t the same people our parents and grandparents were, so we need to tweak their homes a bit to make them facilitate a modern lifestyle.

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A Short History of Mid-Century Ranches in the Midwest

13 min read We can all use a reminder that history comes with context — what was important and why –before we make informed choices about what we change, and what we shouldn’t.

This week, I’m digging into the history of mid-century ranches in the midwest. After all, it helps to know where we’re coming from before we plan where to go next.

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What even IS Mid-Century Style?

3 min read Take the Mid-Century Style Quiz to find how this BROAD design concept applies to you and to your MCM home!

Mid-century modern style is a very broad design category.   The term “modern” has been applied to styles of furniture furniture, clothing, art, and architecture for more than 100 years now.  “Mid-Century style literally just means style from “the middle of the century.” That’s not particularly helpful to those of us trying to nail down the style for our own purposes!

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Your Must Have Mid-Century Ranch Resource List

8 min read Here are my top 24 mid-century ranch resources for anyone considering updating an MCM home … or just wanting to know more about the period!

Here’s the list you need to get started with this Mid-Century thing OR to dig much deeper. Learn the history, get some great DIY and design tips, and set yourself up for continuing inspiration. These are two dozen of my favorite Mid-Century ranch resources and I use them on a regular basis.

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What Every Ranch Owner Needs to Know about the History of the Midwestern Ranch

6 min read The Midwestern Ranch arrived in the middle from both East and West Coast influences. Plus there was a local influence (pssst – it was Frank Lloyd Wright).

The Midwestern Ranch has many influences. If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know how much I love a ranch. Today I’m digging into what I see as the  major inspirations of my local variety.

The Midwestern Ranch arrived here from both the East and West Coasts, where the two movements met and melded.

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Why you need some updates to get a modern mid-century kitchen RIGHT

7 min read The definition of a true mid-century era kitchen is not the laminate counter tops and pastel appliances.  You can recognize a classic ranch kitchen by its layout and by the driving philosophy behind it.

The “retro” look of an original kitchen can charm you or turn you off but the important updates needed for a MODERN mid-century kitchen are much more than cosmetic.  Let’s talk about how kitchens (and the people who use them) have changed in the past 60 odd years!

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What stands between you and the world, or Taking a Hole Saw to House Walls

3 min read Have you ever felt an overwhelming desire to just drill a hole in the side of your house.  Maybe not.  And that’s for the best.  But since I have, you can share in the benefit of my experience. 

When we installed the exhaust fan for the new basement bathroom, the most direct exit route was right through the rim joist of the house.  Dad got out his trusty hole saw with the largest (4 inch diameter) attachment and got to work on it.    Continue reading “What stands between you and the world, or Taking a Hole Saw to House Walls”

Fake Shutters are the absolute worst

3 min read Shutters once had a real function.  They were a security measure, a way to close up houses safely at night or when the occupants were away. But they serve no purpose on a modern house. Please don’t glue fake shutters to your siding!!!

So here’s the thing.  Almost nothing makes me eye-roll harder in recent, residential design than badly-deployed fake shutters.  Fake shutters on ranches are even more irritating: not only don’t they work properly, they contradict the mid mod aesthetic!

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