January 06, 2013

Why Mid-Century Modern?

It took a while for Greg and I to know, for certain, we wanted to live in a mid-century modern home for the next 15-30 years. And how did we get there? Well, my MCM story began in 1995. And Greg's began more recently. Let me share...

I was in the eighth grade, and my good friend (she still is to this day; she's getting married this summer!), Megan, introduced me to a genre of music I had not realize existed in the mid-90's, and that was "oldies". Up until this time, I listened to Top 40's, as most of my peers did. I had a few CDs, which were "new" at the time, and I never really got into the music much. That summer, I finally figured out what had been missing in my life, and that was great music.

The summer of 1996, the summer before my freshman year of high school, I can remember sitting in my bedroom, which I shared with both my sisters, with 107.3 (the former Grand Rapids oldies channel) on, probably reading a Seventeen magazine and obsessing over my latest crush while gabbing on the phone to Kate, my BFF.

My passion for the 50's-60's-70's has grown over the years. I studied my mom's old yearbooks (Class of '76), searched through her keepsakes for fun clothes, jewelry and music (she still listens to her records!). I begged my grandma to tell me what her life was like as a young girl. She was born in 1934, but was 16 in 1950. I LOVED (and still love!) her stories about what she wore, the guys she "went with" before she married my grandpa, and what they did for fun. It was always fun to discover more fun "treasures"and it is truly one of my passions.

In 1998, I purchased a '75 VW Beetle and drove that to school my senior year (after learning how to drive a manual transmission on the dirt road I grew up on...) It was a pretty awesome car, and still is, although currently it is sitting in our garage with rusted out floor pans. We need to get those fixed so I can either sell it, or move it to Grand Haven and enjoy it there!

Sooooo, when buying my first house, I knew I wanted a little 1950's house in the city. I had grown up in the country with not a single neighbor, and after spending three years in Chicago for college, I knew BIG city life wasn't for me. I longed for a cozy little neighborhood, a cute little house & yard, a tiny lap dog, and a walking mailman.

I was single and had a "real" job, so my mom and I started searching for a little house I could buy and call my own. I ended up in Alger Heights, an old neighborhood SE of downtown Grand Rapids. We closed, and rented a sander and got to work on the old wood floors before painting every single room and moving what little furniture I had into the house. A couple of years later, I married Greg and we made this OUR home instead of MY home.

Our son arrived in March of 2011, and slowly, but surely, this little dream home in the city has become too small. We started looking for our next home about a year ago, and while looking at what was available, knew we did NOT want something 1.) new 2.) cookie-cutter or 3.) ordinary. We were anti-subdivision and couldn't see ourselves in a house that looked like someone else's. We were looking for an open floor plan, slightly larger than what we already had, and a ranch with tons of windows. Of course, we loved the idea of building, but what we wanted to build was crazy expensive, so we talked about the idea of buying a fixer-upper and making it our own, which is exactly what we are doing.

As far as style goes, we kept agreeing to see the mid-century homes that would pop up on our local MLS. Some were "modern", while others were "modest". But, they had what we liked. They were unique, used a lot of natural materials (stone, wood) and were mostly untouched, having fun details like built-in planters, stone fireplaces, bookcases and original wood floors. Their floor plans were open and exactly for what we were looking for. We went to see every single one that popped up in West Michigan and finally, after three offers didn't get accepted, landed on this one in Grand Haven. I never, in a million years, thought we'd move to the lakeshore, but we are and we are SO excited!

We are anxious to see where Grand Haven will take our lives - both personally and professionally. We have met many of our neighbors, and while we will miss our neighbors on Louise Street, we are SO excited to have a new community to call home. A few more weeks of demolition, and then the builder will begin putting it all back together for us, so we can move in, list our current home for sale, and hopefully be down to one mortgage again by December 2013!

Thank you for following along on this exciting journey - we are excited to share it with you!

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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™