Home Mid-Century Modern

Our Home: Updated Before and After

8:00 AMDollie Simpson

I have been looking forward to this post for months. This post is always my favorite post of the year. I guess it's because I like my house so much! I am really proud of our house and all we have done to it. I know it's a modest home, but it's just right for us. Some people may not consider it special, but it's special to us! So, I wanted to share with you all the "updates" we have done in the past year. I use the term update loosely because most of our updates are really retro renovations! We are trying to restore the house back to it's 1954 glory! 

Out Front: 

Since I do this post yearly, you can look back at the post with pictures of the house "before" and a year after we moved in.  This is what the front of our house, specifically the front door looked like when we moved in and what it looked like after we stained the screen red. 

The screen was in bad shape and I tried to repair it, but it was a lost cause. So, I removed the screen and painted the door to help with longevity. I chose colors from the Suburban Modern collection at Sherwin Williams to fit the era of our home. The door is Sunbeam Yellow and the trim is a mint green that I think may be similar to what was originally on the house (based on paint chips). I painted the door, the arch and the trim on most of the windows. I still have some windows to finish on the side of the house. I love it and I am proud I did it all myself! 

Here is what the front of the house looks like now. I think it looks so much more bright and cheery! We had a great arch going above the front door but our gardener killed one side by whacking it off. It is slowly coming back, but it is still lopsided. In these posts I always like to include what I still want to accomplish. So, I still want to plant more roses because they seem to be the only thing that grows well. I also want to change out the light in the front with something more stylish, maybe something from Restoration Hardware

Living Room: 

You have to see the before and during photos to appreciate the after, right? This is the living room when we toured the house for sale. Of course, not my style at all. It looks like this room was slapped with an ugly stick! 

This was the living room for the first few years we lived in the house. It looks so empty to me now. 

This is what the room looks like now.  I got a set of vintage curtains and valences off ebay, a larger vintage shadow box, and more vintage art. Next I am going to sew new pillows. I already have some vintage harlequin print fabric that matches the couch perfectly. Eventually I also want to get a new rug (the dog got this one all dirty) and switch out that chair for something different. 

I'm always in the market for more knickknacks too! 


This was the kitchen before we moved in. The only thing "right" with the kitchen was the Youngstown sink. 

We haven't really done anything much to the kitchen in the last year, because it's pretty complete in my eyes. So instead we have been working on the rest of the house. If anything, we just got the kitchen more dirty in the last year. I still want to get the floor redone in a colorful VCT tile pattern. 

I also have it on my to-do list to touch up the paint. We could also have the fridge repainted, but it was so hard to recover the original finish, and I'm proud of it, scratches and all. 

Dining Room: 

This house just needed less kitchen and more kitschen! 

I love my corner cabinets! I reorganized them a bit recently. I started adding more jade colored pieces. I think that is my newest obsession! I just need to find more! What I actually need is new chairs. My cat has clawed the "beejesus" out of these ones. I haven't found ones I like yet though. We may try and find some Heywoodite chairs so that the cat cannot claw them. 


You can see we have done a lot of work in the bathroom since we bought our house. You can see my post from last year with the in between photos. We still want to replace the tile in the tub and bring it up the wall all the way around the bathroom. We got a quote when we moved in but everyone wanted a lot. One day!

The one update we did in the bathroom this year was to take out the little shelf in the corner and add little metal corner shelves instead. It made the bathroom feel so much bigger. We want a vintage shower curtain eventually. 


This was the bedroom when we first toured the house on the left, and when we moved in on the right. I always wanted to change it, but it took a few years to get around to it. That bed was our only piece of new "expensive" furniture we ever owned. I was almost sad to see it go! 

This room has made a lot of improvement in my opinion. We got a "new to us" vintage Heywood Wakefield king size bed, Heywood Wakefield Sculptura dresser, new mattress, vintage curtains, and some new knickknacks. 

Dressing Room: 

Before we bough the house this spare room was an office. We turned it into my dressing room, which gets used a ton now!  

This is what it looked like for the first few years we lived here. I eventually switched over from a dark wood 40's vanity to my dream HeyWake vanity just over a year ago. Then the room had two different wood tones, gasp! You may have noticed that the entire house has all of the same wood tone now- blonde- just the way we like it! I always wanted to redo my dressing room and finally did. This year, the "most improved room" award goes to my dressing room:

I love love love my dressing room now! I painted it a lighter pink, called Appleblossom from the Sherwin Williams Mid-Century Modern collection. I have repeated that same color through the house. Then I used a stencil off Etsy and pained all of the harlequin diamonds by hand. It was tedious but worth it! I changed out my curtains to some vintage gold ones I bought off ebay from some grandma's attic. I also added some small rugs from Ikea. The Heywood Wakefield dresser is a highboy from the Encore collection. 

Heywood didn't make many armoires, and I really need one, so I bought this birds eye maple one and it matches fine. I still did not have enough room for all of my clothing, so I had to add a rolling rack until I can sell some more things. I also started collecting glitter lucite shoe boxes from estate sales to house my vintage shoes. I cleaned up a plant stand to use as a lucite purse display, along with my shadow box. Getting ready in this room everyday is really a pleasure! 


This was the backyard before. We really liked it when we first toured the house, but then we got a dog and he ate literally everything back there, even the rocks. It has taken a lot of work, but this is it now:

I posted a few months ago about the direction I wanted to take our patio. I still have some work to do, but I am happy to report that it is coming together! I painted the back door, trim and windows. We reseeded the grass and it mostly came back to life. Our tropical pants are doing well also! We finally found the perfect patio set and cushions....it only took FOREVER! 

I'm really happy with it though. It is like our little oasis. I love drinking my coffee out there in the morning and barbecuing in the evening. Now, who wants to come over????

Until next years home update, 


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  1. Love your home and collection! Thank you for posting!

  2. The patio furniture reminds me of my Nana's back patio growing up. Love it! Your husband is a very giving man to allow all that pink! LOL

  3. Loved your virtual tour. Thank you for the inspiration.

  4. I love your harlequin wall! Thank you for sharing your adorable house!
    ~xoxo, CoriLynn

  5. Your house is spectacular! Thank you for sharing! Its really inspiring me to keep on working on my vintage decorating!

  6. Your house could be next door to mine! Love that Heywood Wakefield vanity. My husband and I have collected many HW pieces. We love the stuff. You did a great job decorating :)

  7. You're home is so darling!! Where did you find your kitchen table?? I want one like it so badly but I can never find any around here.

  8. Love it - you should be very proud - now to get my husband to recreate the 50s in our house x

  9. I can really appreciate how much of an eye you have for detail. I love the shoe boxes- it's a perfect period correct detail I've never seen before!

  10. I really liked the printed drapes/curtains you first had in the living room. The print is so 50's.It reminds me of the drapes we had growing up in the house my parents built in -tada 1954 (really!!!).


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