Anne and Gary's
Mid-Century Modern Home

Carlo of Hollywood Painting

March 8th, 2012

We found this original Carlo of Hollywood picture in the Dawn’s Delight second hand store in La Grande for $40.00.

It it is quite large, 23″ x 65″, and is hand painted. Not a print.

Paintings under the “Carlo of Hollywood” label were actually mass produced, though they were mass produced by real artists. Or at least people with a talent for painting.

They were mostly manufactured in the 1950′s, which works well for our mid-century home.

His art was carried in department stores and included with tract housing. So we’re not talking high-end highbrow art.

None-the-less, it is a wonderful addition to our mid-century La Grande home.


New Garage Doors

March 6th, 2012

As much fun as remodelling the inside of the house has been, we’ve been eager to spruce up the outside.

The house needs a good coat of paint, but before we could do anything about that we needed to deal with the garage door situation.

As you can see from the picture on the top left, the house had a sliding door that leads to an unfinished room that was originally a garage bay.

The door doesn’t fit the design of the house. We decided it had to go.

Calling on our favorite contractor, John Mueller, we turned the house back into a two garage home.

We had two wooden doors installed that matched the vintage of the home. We will hold off on having them painted until we are ready to give the whole house a fresh coat of paint.

We are really pleased with how the doors came out.


Necessity is the Mother of – Wonderful Bas Relief Wall Art.

July 9th, 2011

wall before and after

To the left are some “before and after” pictures of the wall that separates our kitchen and living/dining room.

The wall was originally solid but someone cut into it to add shallow cupboards.  We didn't care for the cupboards, but we loved the wonderful grained panelling which is also on the fireplace wall at the other end of the room.

This was a major design challenge. We thought about just replacing the grained wall with dry wall but hated to lose this original design feature.

After several years of asking everyone we could think of, we determined the wall was made out of sandblasted plywood.  We subsequently learned that it could not be duplicated.

Modern plywood is not made in a way that can be sandblasted to bring out the grain the way it was in the fifties, so there was no way to replace the wall.

What to do?

We turned to our local artist/contractor John Mueller.  We begin tossing around the idea of filling the openings with repetitive bas relief designs ala Frank Lloyd Wright.

We had seen a house in Atomic Ranch with detailing of this type on the exterior.   However, the particular design did not lend itself to our trio of wall openings.

Then Anne chanced to look at Pam Kueber's wonderful Retro Renovation blog the very day there was a post about Dave's mid century modern wall panels.

Bingo! John took the basic pattern Dave had used and modified the dimensions to work in our openings.   Sculptural artist that he is, he also added several layers of depth.

The panels totally pull the room together.

We love them. Thank you Dave, Pam and John Mueller!


Our Wonderful Master Bath/Dressing Area

September 6th, 2010

Finished Kitchen
This is a view of the remodel of our master bathroom/dressing area.

As always with pictures on the internet, the colors are a bit off.  The room isn't even close to the yellow shown in the picture, but the wonderful outcome of the project still comes through.

Once again, you'll notice the superb craftsmanship of the cabinets created by our cabinet maker, Tom Woodruff.

We got the hardware from Rejuvenation House Parts in Portland Oregon.

Originally we were leaning towards black hardware, but Tom talked us into going with the chrome.

We are not sorry.  It looks great!

Notice the glass work along the top of the enclosed toilet towards the back.   Our contractor, John Meuller, designed this transom feature.

The toilet stall is very small and would be very dark if it weren't for the natural light this feature allows in.

We are extremely pleased with how this turned out.

We got the ceiling light fixtures from the Rebuilding Center in Portland Oregon.  They sell vintage house parts recycled from old houses that have been torn down.

Though the lighting fixtures don't show up well in the picture, they are perfect for the house.  We will have a separate post about them later.

So that's it for now. We'll have more posts, hopefully in the not too distant future.


The Renovation is Done!

August 15th, 2010

Finished Kitchen
The renovation is pretty much done, or as done as such things get.   We are extremely pleased with the results of the project.   It is exactly what we envisioned. And the quality of the work is excellent, thanks to the patience and craftsmanship of our general contractor (and artist), John Mueller.

Starting today, we're going to show pictures of the completed project.   We'll alternate displaying the overall house with posts about our experiences with appliances, hardware, plumbing features, and design challenges.

We're going to start by taking a look at our new kitchen.

As you can see, the top picture features the built in refrigerator, can lighting, and built in stove and microwave.

The bottom picture features the laminate counter top, sink, and cabinetry.

The colors in the picture, as is often the case in photographs, are deceptive.    The clay wall color is much more subtle than the glowing orange it appears in the picture.  The black of the appliances and counter top are not the severe contrast that they appear in the picture.

The colors all work together extremely well.

The clay is a continuation of the living room wall color.   The black picks up the black of the VCT tile in the living room.   The green introduces another fun color into our palette.

We owe it all to our wonderful color consultant, Deb Allstott of Home Matters in La Grande.

The sink and appliances are nice, but we are not entirely satisfied with any of them. We'll have more on that later.

We are very pleased with our new layout.   It is so nice to have space between the refrigerator and the range.

What we love perhaps the most are the cabinets which were custom made by Tom Woodruff of Woodruff Custom Furniture and Cabinetry.   He did a wonderful job.   The cabinets matched the style of other cabinetry in the house so everything blends together seamlessly.

We'll have more details about the renovation and more examples of John, Deb, and Tom's work in the weeks ahead.

Stay tuned.


A small teaser

April 24th, 2010

remodel deconstruction

It's been awhile since we posted anything new on the blog.

We figured we’d do this quick post to let you know the project is moving along and is going very well.    We would have posted earlier but we've been really busy.

As a teaser, we’ve posted a cropped down picture of the new kitchen cabinets, counter-top, microwave, and stove.    There is quite story there, but we'll save it for another post.

The reason we don’t just show you the whole house is because, though it's mostly done, it is unfinished.

We are at the stage where we are painting and installing the baseboards and trim.   It is a huge task and until it is done the house looks unfinished.

We figured that if we show you our progress so far it will be anti-climatic when we show you the finished project.

However we will tell you this much.    It came out really well and we are excited about eventually sharing it with you.


Honey, Where Did You Put the Washer?

March 1st, 2010

remodel deconstruction
Something we discovered during the tear-out phase of our renovation was the original location of the laundry.

The first picture shows our hall before tear-out.   The doors to the right enclosed a broom closet.


The next picture shows the hall after tear-out.

It turns out that the broom closet contained a laundry drain (which you can see at lower right corner) and an outlet midway up the wall.    This washer location was most likely the original!    Perhaps the dryer was to the left?

Interestingly, we had contemplated putting the laundry in this exact spot but decided it wouldn't have worked.

If we had only known!

Where else has the washer been?    After the hall location, it apparently was moved to the basement.    It was probably there for many years.


The couple we bought our home from moved the laundry back upstairs into a bedroom they converted into a sort of second bath/laundry.

When we moved in, we put the used washer/dryer we bought back in the basement!

Finally, we ultimately re-worked the bedroom conversion into our master bath/dressing area/laundry.

The spot for our washer/dryer is shown in the third picture, just to the right of the shelves.

We left our old washer/dryer in the basement for extra-large or extra-dirty loads.

Consequently, we will have the best of both worlds!


Original Boomerangs.

February 6th, 2010

Old Formica


We are almost done with our kitchen/master bedroom/bath project but have decided to hold off showing more pictures until everything is finished.

We decided to do it this way because we don’t want the final presentation to be anti-climactic.   We think it will be more fun doing it this way.

In the mean time, we are going to do some blogs about little things we discovered while doing the renovation.

For example, the picture on the left is of the original counter top that was revealed when the workers were dismantling the old counters.   Obviously, it is the original mid century boomerang patterned Formica!!!    We think it is kind of cool.

At one point, we even considered using the reissued boomerang Formica in our renovation.   We ultimately decided to go with something a little more versatile.

It was fun discovering this bit of history hidden from sight all these years.   This house continues to offer up mysteries that confound and delight us.


Kitchen and bath update.

November 22nd, 2009

Kitchen Sink


The rennovation is coming right along;  we are so excited!

As you can see in this picture of the kitchen, the cabinet boxes are in.    You can also see the edges of the new laminate countertops.

Also notice the new can lights in the ceiling.    We are really excited about those.    The lighting in the old kitchen was always a problem.









This picture is of the vanity in the new master bathroom.    No drawers and cabinet doors yet, but it’s looking good.













This final picture is of one of the two new built-in closets in the new master bath.    We are particularly excited about those.

That's it for now.

Stay tuned for future updates.


The kitchen installation begins.

November 7th, 2009

Kitchen from hall picture

As you can see, the installation of the kitchen has begun.

This picture was taken from the hall.    The big box structure to the right is the new enclosure the refrigerator will go into.

The basic structure of the cabinets are in place.

We will have more pictures to share with you soon.