February 22, 2017

Mid Mod Pin

I'm one of five kids, and while we are all very good at our own things, my sister Victoria has always been the most creative of the bunch.

She has created my logo for various business ventures (including True Home Restorations), and lately, she has been spending quite a bit of her free time working on her new business venture, Mid Mod Pin.

She started out with just a couple of designs of modern enamel pins, but currently has sixteen different designs in her shop, and a few more hitting the shop soon.

Of course I'm biased because I'm related to her, but these are seriously the most adorable little pins ever. I have amassed quite a collection thus far, and simply cannot pick a favorite.

February 15, 2017

That One Time Someone Asked Us to Film for a Television Show...

Last June, I received an out-of-the-blue email from a woman who was looking to develop a midcentury modern home renovation television show. She had seen what I was up to on Instagram and I was beyond flattered she reached out to me.

Of course, I thought it was a little crazy / possibly some sort of scam, but I replied telling her I was interested and would love to chat more about it.

We ended up talking a few times via Skype. She then had me submit videos of me working on various projects & photos of my work, which she put together in a short reel to pitch to the network. After a few months, we found out a big time home & garden cable network was interested in sending their team to Grand Haven to film a pre-pilot, which the industry calls a Sizzle Reel.


So, in October, their small crew of three - producer, camera man and sound guy - joined us in Grand Haven for two days of DIY projects, long on-camera interviews, real client projects I was working on at the time, and some retro furniture shopping. We also spent time filming my favorite local midcentury home exteriors, and a bit around our adorable hometown of Grand Haven.

It was the craziest, hardest, longest two days of my work life, and while certainly a fun experience, I also kind of hated it. I missed Adler (who was only 9 months at the time), I felt like I had been run over by a truck (not sleeping well + working 14 hour days), I felt like a terrible mom, I felt like I looked awful (they had me wear a few outfits that I would never really wear), and I had to say the same thing over and over and over and OVER again.

In the end, we did NOT land a television show, but I can honestly say after just two days, I KNOW it was the best thing to ever NOT happen to our family.

Sure, it would have been amazing to be the lady who was saving midcentury modern homes on television and spreading the word how COOL midcentury details are. And it would have been neat to be recognized locally as the woman with a TV show. And it would have been awesome to be recognized nationally as the midcentury guru.

BUT, it was also scary as heck. What if I messed up on the facts? What if I didn't know all the details (which I normally do not...)? What if my show bombed after one season? SO many what ifs...and I'm not a gambling sort of gal.

We were very thankful for the opportunity to be along on this six month interview process, but in the end, are very thankful our lives did not change.

Here are the very few photos I snapped while this was all happening around us.

 Greg and Adler doing a little pre-scouting the week prior. 

 One of my awesome clients stopped by to drop something off and of course they wanted to interview him. Thankfully, he was okay with that! 

 A little time out with the camera & sound guy (and Greg - on the right) after lunch. They are literally playing with tiny skateboards. 

This was in the last post I shared, but wanted to include it again. We took down some walls for a client so they had some "dust" on film. Worked out well for everyone! 

February 12, 2017

East Grand Rapids Midcentury Kitchen | Before & After

I LOVE walking into a midcentury home and seeing potential to retain some of the original features, but also see the opportunity make it more modern for living in 2017 and beyond. Original cabinetry, lighting, tile bathrooms, and other midcentury details may seem "dated" to some (most?) people, but to me, they are what makes a midcentury home unique and currently, very desirable.  My clients bought this midcentury modest two-story for their growing family. They purchased it directly from the original owner's son in their dream neighborhood. It isn't the most modern home on the exterior, but a lot of midcentury modern details were intact inside. Some of my favorites include: split level living! tile bathrooms! "rumpus room" with awesome fireplace downstairs! super cool interior doors into the formal living room! I was obviously gushing thru the whole home tour.

While my clients loved much of the house the way it was and didn't plan to change much, everyone agreed the kitchen needed updating, myself included. It was a traditional U-shape kitchen: small, closed off, and the appliances had seen better days. The light fixtures were okay, but the wallpaper was heavy & dark, and that support column at the end of the peninsula had to go. The floors were in dire need of replacing.
 As chance would have it, Greg and I were asked to film a pre-pilot television show last year (more on that experience soon!), and the timing worked out that we would do the work for my clients pro-bono to create some demo footage. While Greg and I don't normally do demolition, we needed some dust on film so it worked in our favor to take on this project. Thankfully, my sweet clients were okay with us doing the dirty work!

Bruce (pictured on the left) is a huge part of my construction team (he's my go-to contractor & cabinet builder extraordinaire) and was able to get that lam beam in before we started with the walls.

For the filming portion, Bruce, Greg and I took out the portion of the kitchen we were getting rid of - a small pantry and partial wall between the kitchen & living room, plus that dated peninsula.

The cabinets were in decent shape, and while we did talk about recreating the entire wall of cabinets, it came down to dollars & cents. At this time, we decided to keep the wall of cabinets, but have Bruce match the new ones to the old ones - the new ones don't have pulls quite yet (below). It's quite seamless and Bruce did a wonderful job making them look like they were original.
 As you can see in this after photo, we changed the U-shape to an L-shape, and added a large island - enough seating for all their kids! One of the biggest things I'm happy the decided to do is continue the original oak hardwood flooring into the kitchen. The kitchen floor was some sort of laminate that was ready to be replaced. Continuing the oak flooring and having everything refinished really makes the whole first level flow well - it looks original to the house!

The client hired me design the new layout and hired Bruce to do the work, but they picked out all the finishes themselves with a teensy guidance from me. They decided on classic white subway tile, modern open shelving, white quartz for the island and gray laminate countertops for the surrounding L.

To save money, we kept the appliances in the same exact locations, and were able to keep the original hood, which I personally LOVE. The main light is certainly atomic (and original!), and they sourced some simple globe lights to replace the 70s pendants that used to hang over the peninsula.

This was such a fun project for me because it's not often I walk into an original kitchen. Thank you to M&M for allowing me to work on this project for you - it was such a fun one and I LOVE how it turned out. 




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True Home Restorations
PO Box 552
Grand Haven, MI 49417
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Grand Haven, Michigan, United States
Midcentury enthusiast • Home restorer • Wife to Greg • Mom to Eames & Adler • I brake for breeze blocks™