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June 12, 2018

Won’t You Be My Neighbor Special Edition – Won’t You Buy My House

By RetroRuth

Well, the day I’ve been preparing for so crazily has finally arrived. Today our beloved mid-century home has been listed for sale.

I will probably do another, more standard time capsule house post with our listing on Sunday. But for this post I wanted to do something special. Tom suggested just stringing together the pictures in a video with me sobbing as the voiceover, but I don’t think that is really what I am going for here. While a part of me does feel like that, I also don’t think that would be the proper sendoff for our wonderful house. While I am very sad about this, I am also proud of all the things we did to preserve our house. We also had a really fun time buying furniture for it. But life is a crazy, unpredictable thing and so Tom was transferred and we have to sell our pride and joy. I suppose it was naive to assume that we would spend the rest of our life in this house. Though we would have been happy to do it.

So, I thought I would post some of the great pictures that were just taken for the listing and yammer on for a bit about things we restored and some special bits and purchases.

And yes, this is totally some self-therapy. I’m going to miss this house a lot!

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One of the first things we did outside was paint the trim on the house. The previous owner had the brick stained, so there was nothing we could do about that. But she had also painted the trim in shades of purple, so that was one of the first things to go. We had a heck of time deciding what colors to do, but in the end we decided on orange and chocolate brown (Fairfax Brown and Rookwood Terra Cotta from Sherwin Williams). And just this past year we had the roof completely replaced and added some fun copper-colored gutters.

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This is one of the places we had the most fun designing. The first time we walked into the house and we saw the marble fireplace, Tom was floored. He said he knew right then he wanted this house. This room actually came together slowly, then was just chaos for a few years because of the kids. It was nice to put it back the way it was supposed to be for the staging. The chairs are from Best Home Furnishings, and the custom couch in the center is from Stendmar. The clock was purchased at an antique mall in Bay City. The shadowbox was found by Sara on eBay, and I believe she threatened me with bodily harm if I didn’t drive out into the middle of nowhere Michigan to pick it up. Tom was convinced we were going to be murdered, but the people we picked it up from were perfectly nice. The three armed lamp is from the Habitat for Humanity Restore, and the lights over the fireplace were new old stock that we scored on eBay. The lights over the bullet planter were a different score, but still from eBay. The sputnik light was from a store called Americana in Bay City, our neighbor actually bargained with the owner of the store for us. We just had to go and pay and pick it up. The mini sputniks were another find from the Habitat for Humanity Restore.

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Ohhhhhh, my beautiful kitchen! Tom decided he wanted to get this house when he saw the fireplace, and I decided the moment I saw this kitchen. The cabinets are, of course, the original metal Geneva cabinets. The fridge/freezer combo and the wall oven were replacements for the appliances the previous owner had installed in 1986. The original plans for the house specified that the appliances were stainless steel, so I didn’t feel bad going with the more modern appliances. Plus, having the huge fridge made testing recipes for Mid-Century Menu much easier. The table was a trash pick that we scored right down the street. My in-laws were in the car with us and we were on our way to a baseball game when I saw it. I made them get out and wait on the sidewalk while Tom and I transported the table home. I have no shame. The chairs are from Amazon and the light is from Lowe’s. They were just placeholders until we found something vintage, but I ended up liking both choices a lot. The stools under the bar are another trash pick, and my sister helped me recover them in some fabric we bought during a vacation in Hawaii.

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Look at those pretty cabinets!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the flooring! When we first moved in the kitchen was carpeted, which was major yuck. The flooring is Armstrong VCT tile, and the pattern was suggested to us by the people who came to lay the floor. We were going to go with a regular checkerboard, and they suggested the larger squares. I think it made a big difference!

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In the little cabinet you can see a very pared down selection from my enormous Harlequin collection. All of those pieces were collected by me and my parents when I was a teenager. The clock was a gift from my sister.

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This is the best three season room! The lovely couch is from Best Furniture again. The flamingo pillows are a recent Marshalls find. The cedar bar I ordered online for Tom for Father’s Day after I saw him drooling over a similar one on our Hawaii trip. The canisters are also recent finds from an antiques festival. The hanging lamp is another Lowe’s replacement. We originally had a pull down light there that stopped working a few years ago, and we were on a quest for a replacement. The peanut painting was painted by Tom in high school.

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Our blue bathroom off the kitchen. This place was the greatest because it was our mudroom. It was so nice to be able to put dirty kids (and husband) straight into the shower when they came in from outside. We didn’t do anything in this bathroom except to get some replacement parts for the Kohler faucet in the sink (Kohler has replacement parts for vintage faucets available if you call them!) and maintenance grouting and caulking.

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Our master bedroom with all the fantastic built-ins. One of the reasons we bought this house was because we didn’t have to buy any bedroom furniture! The curtains I swiped from the three season porch. We got new carpeting two years ago, and it has a slight pattern which I really like. The prints are just reproduction collage paper from a fancy paper store, that we framed with poster frames.

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Our master bathroom. There isn’t a great shot of it here, but we just recently did some restoration in the shower, replacing some cracked tile and a leaky shower door. I scavenged some matching tile from a bathroom that was gutted down the street from us. The vanity stool was from an estate sale in a neighborhood house. The metal shelf is repro from Target.

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Alex’s beloved pink bathroom! Just maintenance work in here. I’ve done a lot of grouting and Tom has caulked like crazy to keep these in good condition!

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Alex’s bedroom, with more built-ins.

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TJ’s room. The canvases are from those NASA retro travel posters, and the futuristic lamps are from Marshalls.

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And finally, our beloved basement. The floor is another replacement, it was carpeted in green when we moved in. This is more Armstrong VCT tile, and this pattern is the same pattern that was in Tom’s grandparent’s basement. It was his dream to have a basement bar with a floor like this.

So, that’s all for now, folk’s. It’s the end of an era. Have you ever had to leave a house you absolutely loved? Share your story in the comments. Maybe we can make that sobbing voiceover a group effort.

If you are interested in seeing the listing, you can see it here!

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10 Responses to Won’t You Be My Neighbor Special Edition – Won’t You Buy My House

  1. Elizabeth Reply

    June 12, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    You cannot leave this! Wow!!!! That kitchen!

  2. PatrickM Reply

    June 12, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I have owned, loved and left multiple homes in my life but, I must say, this home is extra-special. I guess the best thing is to be thankful you got to enjoy it at all.

    What is the house you purchased near Detroit like?

  3. Queen of Fifty Cents Reply

    June 12, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I am selling my beloved MCM house as well! It’s hard, isn’t it? But we go on, and take at least some of our midcentury vibe with us, and get to have fond memories. But if my kitchen looked like yours, I might not be able to do it!

  4. Lynn Lewis Reply

    June 12, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    I am so sad for you. It is very hard to leave a place you love. I am hoping you will show us new adventures
    As you make your new home a mid century home.

    P.s. I would tempted to take the kitchen!

  5. Jacki Reply

    June 12, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Oh my goodness! What an incredible place! It would be impossible for me to leave that kitchen and basement. Dave would have to drag me out and I would leave some pretty deep heel marks. What a great place Ruth; kudos to you and we’re looking forward to seeing your next home.

  6. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    June 13, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Oh my God. My heart just BREAKS for y’all. Make sure you get in writing AND blood that the buyer has to not touch a single thing. That house is absolute perfection. I know you’ll have another great house just like this but I know it’s going to be missed so much. Hang in there, hon.

  7. BobinAlabama Reply

    June 13, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Your love of this home is apparent. Best of luck on the next leg of your journey.

  8. Sara In AZ Reply

    June 13, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    I never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever wanted this day to come….I thought you would have this house forever too. 🙁

    I am seriously gutted over this and it’s not even my house! I swore if you ever sold this place we’d buy it, alas the lottery did not come through for us in time. 🙁

    I remember when I first saw your house on RR all those years ago….I was SO blown away. This house is what brought me to your blog and, well, you know the rest girl! I guess if it weren’t for this house I never would have gotten to know you…or the world of blogging! 🙂

    LOL the shadowbox…….the word “murder” may or may not have been used! Bahahahahaha

    I’d like to think that Jan is up in Heaven watching all of this unfold and hand picking the perfect new owners out for this amazing home.

    I am sure this will not be the last vintage home you own and you can revel in the fact that you, at least, got to enjoy this place for 10 fabulous years!!! XOXO

  9. Angie Reply

    June 14, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    My fear is someone is going to cone in & just gut the place & flip it. Can/have you put things in place to avoid tgst? I would hate to have all that lovely sendup in a land fill.

  10. Max Reply

    June 19, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Retro Ruth! I cannot move to Minn, but I would love to buy that clock over the fireplace! I bought one online from Stillnovo, but the factory has been backlogged for almost a year. Best of luck in your new home, and sorry you have to leave such an awesome house. You did a fantastic job of decorating!

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