Introducing ... the Ugly Duckling

edeeveeFebruary 20, 2014

With a little luck, we'll take possession of this, ahem, charming abode in about a month. The lot and the lake are lovely. The neighbors seem wonderful. But the house? Well, for the most part it has good bones. We'll have to upgrade mechanicals. (Did you see the only A/C jutting through the wall by the front door? Did you notice the circa 1973 baseboard heat?) After that, we want to make it a functional, efficient home that doesn't require much maintenance and maximizes the lake view. As unattractive as it is right now, I feel this weird pull to respect the house for what it is. For example, I'm considering keeping most of the original cabinetry and the avocado green tub too (but not the green and black toilet, nor the gold veined mirror tiles - I'm not crazy). I'm also not rich. (Did I mention I'll be paying two mortgages until our current house sells?) Help me start thinking of ways to uncover the swan within while sticking to a budget?

Here is a link that might be useful: The Ugly Duckling

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Oh, and why yes! That IS carpet in the bathroom. (Yuck.)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:01AM
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Is that wall paper? Or something even worse?

We have a few sinks like that in our house, which we will be putting up for sale when our new house is built. I hear ya on the 2 mortgages. :P

Last night DH suggested getting a square vessel sink and installing it on top of our existing sink to hide the seashell underneath. I married him for his sense of humour.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:44AM
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Not an Ugly Duckling, but a Diamond in The Rough! In my neck of the woods a similar sized house, on a much smaller lot, with no lake, would cost 5 times as much, so it seems like a pretty good deal to me for a fixer upper.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:33AM
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amberm, What? There's a seashell sink? I didn't notice, probably because of the something worse - which appears to be a kind of wallboard paneling type stuff with fake marble printed on top and then encased in plastic. Gotta hand it to those '70s housebuilders though - the stuff they built is durable. There was 40 year old shag carpeting in the house the first time we looked at it and it appeared almost brand new.

chispa, My complaining is half hearted. It IS a diamond in the rough and we're getting it for a steal. Still, you've got to admit, it needs a LOT of work. And it really is overwhelming to contemplate getting started.

I think I'd feel better if I had a plan. And I know I'd feel better if the smart, talented people here had a hand in it ;)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:58AM
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I think it's fabulous.

Sorry but I don't have any real concrete advice at the moment. But if I were you I'd be hunting for deals on paint. I'd start with painting every bit of that paneling, and if you do it before you tear out the carpet, you won't even need to use dropcloths! That would give you some light and breathing room and you'll be able to see things more clearly.

Will this be your full time residence or a second home?

Lucky you either way. It's such a peaceful spot.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:05AM
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I agree with Chispa. It seems like an incredible bargain. I understand that you are in a totally different market, but even so, the lot and view are so lovely I don't see how you could possibly go wrong. Wow.

I would buy it just for that weeping willow!

I agree with the poster above. Cheapest, fastest, most impact ---- white paint. Next, tear out every inch of carpet. Figure out what you have underneath and go from there. How exciting!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:11AM
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That's a lovely piece of property! I would resist the urge to "respect" the house by keeping the avocado tub and original cabinetry. However, I also wouldn't rip it all out immediately if what you can afford right now is builder grade junk that will be of poorer quality than what you replace. Paint everything, make sure it is safe, move in and sell your other house. Come up with a plan for remodeling that makes sense for your budget, work schedules, and prevailing home values in your area. And make sure the avacado tub is on the demo list ;-)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:38AM
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jjam: I was going to ask about painting paneling. We will probably be pulling a lot of it down. I'm pretty sure most of the exterior walls will need their insulation boosted, but I do want to keep some of it - partly as an ode to the house and its era, and partly because I am super stingy and think painting could be cheaper than replacing drywall. Have you ever painted paneling before? Any tips to share? There's paneling everywhere!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:43AM
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YES! To the weeping willow!! You are going to love your space. It is easy to imagine sitting out there with a book, the sun, peace, and quiet.

Ok, the deck is easy. Ours looked like that before we sold our house. We power washed it and picked out a stain and sealer. You will have to seal it every other year. It looked like new. I was shocked.

The paneling--I have painted it before. I used either TSP or liquid sandpaper and primed and painted. Don't use a glossy paint (not that you would but just making sure). You could lighten the space up considerably . . . unless you like the paneling. If you decide to paint--and you are good at it--you could paint the trim.

The kitchen--you said that you wanted to keep the cupboards. Are you painting them or leaving them?? Either way I think you need a backsplash of some sort. Maybe something retro?

I agree that you might want to get rid of the carpet. But, I am a person that would be perfectly happy to have a house with no carpet at all--so, take that into consideration.

If it were my house I would paint everything, put down a hard surface floor, freshen up the deck, and start decorating. Especially knowing you want to embrace it. Maybe try to furnish and decorate in a retro style.

Here is a link that might be useful: This is how I see it painted.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:44AM
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How old are you? The reason I ask is if you are a woman of a certain age you might come to appreciate the gold veining in the mirrors because it will be flattering to mask the appearance of wrinkled skin.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do to the place. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:45AM
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O.K. Let's start with a plan:

a)Get a Large Binder. Fill it with Dividers and drop-in plastic envelope-type pages. Each room or space gets a divider. Include a separate section for the front yard and the back yard.

b)Take photos. Lots and Lots of photos of each and every thing and angle. Inside and outside. Take the time to turn these into "real: photos and stash them into your binder.

c)Measure. Each and every thing. Walls. Doors. Windows. Hallways. Draw a basic space plan for each room -- include position of lights and electrical outlets.

d)Check around outside of the house for water issues, drainage (working gutters and downspouts); check the shut-offs for the utilities; check for security issues (working doors and fences) and consider replacing outdoor lighting and no exposed wires; check the cribs or piers for the dock to make sure that they are not damaged by ice or rot -- replace twisted or lifted boards or bolts.

You have probably done most of this list -- but thought I'd mention a few things .... hope this helps! :)

Post lots of updates and ideas as the changes occur! :)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:50AM
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mtnrdredux: We're already working on a deal to get rid of the carpeting. The owners (it's an estate) just put it in because the old brown, banana yellow and white carpeting was scaring off all of the other potential buyers. We're hoping to unload it to another home seller who needs a quick, cheap update. what to put down instead though? There are (sigh) no lovely hardwood floors hiding beneath, We're hoping to open up the kitchen to the livingroom because that's the side of the house where the view is. I imagine that means I should look for something that will work throughout the space and down that dark, scary hallway too. BTW, I LOVE YOUR SEASIDE HOME and the choices you are making for it. I like your idea of a theme - sea captain's home. I've tried to come up with a theme for mine but so far all I've got is: fish monger needs a roof over his head.

kswl: No avocado tub? That's the way my husband is leaning too. But, I don't know, I think it's kind of charming. I envision it with a white (possibly sparkly) solid surface surround and a pretty paisley shower curtain. You can't see that? Also, the cabinets, I'm going back and forth on this myself. I think I want to paint them for now and see how it looks. It's probably the penny pincher in me but I've been living with just above builder grade cabinets for years and these things seem so solid - like they'd survive Armageddon or something.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:59AM
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Armageddon proof cabinets. Off to work now - can't wait to come back and read your advice!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:01AM
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ditto what teacats suggests, definitely work from a plan. It'd be much easier to obtain all that kind of important information now before you move in.
Congratulations to you, the land and lake are gorgeous. Your home will be a work in progress but that's the beauty of it, you'l be able to make it distinctly yours and have lots of memories of the progress. Take lots of pics along the way!
It might be helpful if you have a color palette in mind, but painting all of the paneling a nice neutral color before you move in, would be the first thing I'd do.
We took out the carpet in one of our bedrooms and replaced it with a vinyl laminate plank wood look flooring. Yes, I would have loved hardwood, but we are not rich either. We installed it ourselves, and loved it so much, we did the same in our other 3 bedrooms. And then we helped install the same in my mom's family room. It's amazing flooring. The surface is textured and looks very nice. We just use a swifter to clean it. Nothing breaks when dropped on it, it doesnt stain, and I think it'd be great for a lake home. It comes padded so its not to hard to walk on and it's not noisy. We put down area rugs where we wanted some warmth. I cant remember for sure, but I think it cost around $4oo for the bedrooms that are 10 X 15. If you are a bit handy, or know of someone to help you, you might want to consider a similar product. We purchased ours from Costco, there were several styles/colors.

Here is a link that might be useful: our flooring

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:33AM
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Wish you the best of luck with your new home. What a great location. In most parts of the country you'd pay that price just for the lot. So the house is a bonus!

Like others said, paint is your friend to start with. I'm this a stick built home, or a modular? Not that modular is bad mind you. I only ask because all of the walls are some kind of paneling, and there is that tiny trim on all the corners, and between the paneling sections. Also that same tiny trim seems to have been used in place of regular baseboards. If so, you may not have drywall underneath. Something to check out before you decide to remove the paneling. It would be a major expense to drywall the entire interior if needed.

Do post progress pictures!! Will be fun to watch you transform this home.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:59AM
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I agree with all the advice you've been given. Paint the paneling a nice light neutral tone, and the trim a nice crisp white or cream. Don't forget to paint the ceiling too! Thats relatively affordable given the impact it will have. Next, i'd invest in some nice light fixtures and i think you could get some decent ones from a big box store. Laminate is a good option until you can do a major remodel. I have 12 mil handscraped look and it wears quite well. Updates the home without making it look like an old ranch trying to look new KWIM. And FWIW, i have the exact same cabinets in the same color. Painted mine and replaced the brass hardware. Really brightened the place up but seeing yours kind of makes me miss my wood finish. And they are practically indestrucible. Solid birch and site built. Oh welll.... The house is adorable and i wouldn't hesitate to add a little color outside on the shutters or with plants. Congrats!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:11PM
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If its real woodpaneling then painting is just cleaning it really well then prime and paint. If its that fake wood look plastic stuff you would be better off just going right over top of it with thin sheet rock . Paint just doen,st want to stick well on the really smooth plastic. We used allure vinyle wood look planks and its warm and soft and looks like real wood without the expense and upkeep of real wood. Its really inexpensive as well so suitable for a transitional period where you are trying to decide what to do with the home. Can you post pics of homes you like so we can see what direction you might want to go with it?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:11PM
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That home was built around the same time as my home. My guess is that there is no insulation behind the paneling, because that's what builders did in those days. I'd rip off the paneling and replace with insulation and drywall now, if you can manage the expense. When we did it, we replaced a room that was only used in the summer because it was too cold any other time of the year, with one that we enjoy every day.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:24PM
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What would I do?

As others have mentioned - check the insulation behind the panelling.

I would then take down all the window coverings, including hardware and patch the holes, strip wall paper, paint in a neutral colour and then go from there. There is no point in ripping up the floors until you have a colour palette in mind.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:46PM
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I'm linking to a thread that has always amazed me, an updated avocado bathroom, done on a budget and she actually painted the countertop to mimic granite! It really is amazing.

Here is a link that might be useful: equest17's bathroom

This post was edited by olychick on Fri, Feb 21, 14 at 14:00

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:58PM
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keep the paneling but paint it a lighter color, maybe a muted soft green like the inspiration pic. Simply gorgeous! And what lovely texture and interest in adds to the room. I like it!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:31PM
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I like your avocado vision. Id give it a try.

Another vote for wood look vinyl sheet floors. Yes, I said that. When we were looking for kitchen linoleum, one of the showrooms had this stuff on the floor. I could not stop looking at it. I was really amazed that it looked so nice. Worth investigating.

PS Thank you!

This post was edited by mtnrdredux on Fri, Feb 21, 14 at 13:55

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:44PM
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My mom had those EXACT bathroom lights - Always hated them!!!! I woud work with the advocado tub for now - you can always change it out later. Another vote for checking out the insulation - you could have it blown in and keep the paneling if its all wood. I love the look of the link faux68 posted. But If it's cheap stuff no way would I keep it and paint it, but would rip it out. Would then have drywall put in everywhere after updating electrical if needed, Would move everything into a couple rooms and finish off rooms as I could afford to - I would do wood floors, paint ceilngs and walls and move in furniture and decorate room by room. Would rather live in it half finished off and do up with decent quality than do a crappy job that I'd have to do over again. My preference is to do it once; spend once. BTW I'm of the camp that believes in removing never covering up a junky layer. Also, if the cabs are in great shape and solid, I can envision eventually outfitting with pullouts, etc. Good luck with the sale of your home!!! BTW congratulations!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:31PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

You are gonna love that place once it's done and yours.

It really is a blank slate so you can turn it into any thing you want.

We had a similar situation when we were first married...the house was completely paneled including the bathroom! And yes we had carpet in the bath and the kitchen too. We also had a very limited budget. (Saved for a whole year before we could afford to buy any furniture.)

So what we did was made the home ours as we could to make it livable (paint, replace rugs, fix the necessities we couldn't live without, etc.) and then attacked one room at a time. DH had this thing about ripping the entire house apart and having no living space at all. This way we were able to save more money as we went along and we were able to "shut the door" on each room and still have a home to live in. Eventually the whole house was done to our liking. It took work and patience, but we got there.

Best of luck in your new venture and I look forward to updates.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:30PM
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I agree you need a plan.

If this were my house, my plan would be to figure out all the necessary repairs/updates to the mechanicals/structure--the HVAC, the insulation, the plumbing, the electrical--and figure out how much that is going to cost, what needs to be done right away, what can wait 6 months, a year.

For the decor, I'd spend as little time and energy and money as possible to make the place livable short-term. Paint the walls. What's under the carpet--plywood? You can paint that with porch paint for an inexpensive short-term solution, and add an area rug if you want some warmth/noise control.

But this is because I'd rather be warm and comfy in a house with ugly walls, than chilly and miserable in a house with a pretty bathroom.

I rather like your kitchen cabinets, and I'm usually drawn to white kitchens. Maybe change out the pulls, but if the cabinets themselves are in good shape, I'd keep them for a while.

I'd wait on the major decor decisions until you've lived there a while, seen where the sun comes in and where it doesn't, which rooms have the best views at which times of day, which rooms you use in the morning and in the evening, or all day long.

So, basically, my plan would be to fix anything broken first, make sure all systems are functioning and as upgraded as they need to be, slap a coat of paint on the worst walls, and then I'd start planning the fun stuff--the bathroom re-do and the decoration of the individual rooms.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:32PM
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I swear we've seen this house before. Wasn't someone else considering buying it? I remember an Indiana location on a waterfront for very little money. Lots of 70's "charm" but good bones.

Really, it's a great house in what seems like a great location if you look past its current interior.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:43PM
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Sorry, guys. I crashed and burned after a busy day. Woke up early this morning to find ... WOW! I knew you were a smart and talented bunch but ... WOW! Just ,,, WOW!

Faux68: Yes! Or, as my kids might say, YUSSS!!! I kept thinking I wanted a soft buttery yellow in the livingroom and kitchen but, try as I might, I just couldn't "see" it. Now I know why. One look at your Casual Luxe Cottage photo and I was all like, That's it! That's it! Thank you so much.

hihereno: Note to Self: Rethink bathroom mirror situation. Gold vein tiles = cheaper and more effective than pricy wrinkle cream? LOL.

teacats: You had me at 'Large Binder'. This is exactly the kind of step by step tutoring that I need. I think I have an extra binder and the pocket style clear pages at my office. One of my big worries is this: Because we don't have the budget or the energy to do this renovation all at once, I'm afraid of 'going off the rails' and ending up with a bunch of rooms that have no core vision or cohesiveness. This has happened to me before and I've wasted precious time and money on do-overs. I think your method could go a long way toward keeping me on track. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 6:10AM
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massagerocks, madeyna, mtnrdredux: I'm so glad you all chimed in to recommend the wood look vinyl, We have the vinyl plank in our kitchen and laundry room now and I really like the stuff. It looks remarkably realistic in a smaller space and, so far, it seems bullet proof. madeyna, did you use it in a livingroom? I'm just wondering if it looks as good in a larger area?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 6:53AM
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joyce: The house is stick built though I can see why you might wonder if it's modular. You're right; every wall in the place except the kitchen has either paneling or some other type of wall board. I am both excited and dreading to see what is behind it. We'll likely keep some of it and paint it but replace most with drywall. I understand it will be a big expense but I'm hoping to talk my brother into doing it. He works slow but the price is right ;)

medeyna: The paneling in the livingroom appears to be good quality wood. I think it's real wood in the master too. The rest? Eh ... someone else mentioned going over the existing paneling with thin sheetrock. How does this impact trim? (Although, in most of the rooms the current trimwork is certainly no prize.)

Fluffeebiskits: Couple of questions. 1. We're going back and forth between laminate and vinyl plank flooring. I really like the look of the handscraped stuff. Is your laminate in the kitchen? Do you have to worry over every little spill? And 2. Did you move any of your cabinets around? I've read that a lot of these cabinets were built as one big unit rather than individual boxes - and that if you try to remove a section, the whole thing could come down. Planning a layout sure would be easier if I knew I could cut out a spot for the fridge and not risk losing everything.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:19AM
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suero, blfenton, peegee: I'm holding out hope that there's insulation behind the paneling. Though they didn't update the decor of the home at all in 40 years, they did replace all of the windows, the roof, and have the house resided. I know if I did all of that, I would have upgraded the insulation at the same time. OTOH, the insulation in the attic is loose cellulose that my hubby said looks hit or miss in spots. One of the first things we're doing is scheduling a home energy audit so ... fingers crossed?

olychick: That transformation is AMAZING! I wish I had her talent!

Skyangel: I love the inspiration pic too! I was surprised to find out that the designers considered the wall color a 'neutral blue', and, on this color sample it appears gray. Sure looked green to me. I think I'll order a sample of the color, BM's Sea Haze, and see what it does at this house.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:55AM
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peegee: "My preference is to do it once; spend once." This is a peace of wisdom that it has taken me a long (long, long, long) time to embrace but I think I am finally there with you ;)

anniedeighnaugh: I like your 'close the door on it' plan. I like your 'make it livable first' plan too. Unfortunately, in this house, Plan X and Plan Y do not meet at a convenient vertex. The kitchen isn't just isolated and ugly - the current configuration won't hold a modern sized refrigerator and there is no landing space next to the stove area. Making the space livable means moving walls, and if I'm moving walls anyway, I'm going to try to expand my lake view. And if I'm expanding my lake view, then I've got to consider the kitchen, dining room and livingroom as one big space ... a big space that I can't close the door on (sigh). Otherwise, I would totally be with you.

camlan: I hear you. First on the list is making the house sound and energy efficient. We're considering a mini-split system since there's no ductwork in the house at the present time. The house has been inspected and the plumbing and electrical have been deemed sound (whew). Funny what you said about being drawn to white kitchens - I'm usually not - but in this case I think it might look really good. Also, I wish I could put off the bathroom remodel but, ugh, there's no shower in the main bath. And the 2nd bath, where there is a shower? Ewww. Just ... ewww. Plus carpet. Again ... ewwww.

gsciencechick: Ha! You have a good memory! I did link to pictures of this house on someone else's thread last summer. We wrote an offer on it when we first saw it in July but it was contingent on the sale of our present home. The owners are three brothers who inherited the house and no longer live in the area. They are ready to be done with it and made us an AMAZINGLY low offer -- if we would go ahead and buy it now. So we are. Um, that is, if the loan goes through. Fingers crossed and double crossed.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:44AM
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We removed paneling in some areas and kept it up in others . I much perfure keeping it up and covering it as it then makes a solid base behind the sheetrock so if something hits the wall hard you don,t end up with a hole in the sheetrock that needs repared. Your trim would haved to be removed if you deside to sheetrock over the paneling and your outlets will need to be pulled out just a tiny bit. On outside walls were you would be removing the paneling to put in sheetrock that will have to be done anyway because your new sheetrock on those walls will need to be the fairly thick stuff so the wall is strong enough not to get holes in it everytime someone bumps into it. By its nature sheetrock comes in thicker sheets than paneling but paneling is much tuffer for everyday wear and tear. I put in vinal plank in my kitchen pantry and one bathroom. I consider it a 5 year floor. Its stunning and noone will know its not real wood but its not nearly as durable as vinal sheets or laninate. I put in laminate in our bedrooms and it still looks new 8 years later but its a cold hard floor and never looked as real as the vinal planks. My brother has the vinal planks in his livingroom dinningroom and office and it looks great in his open concept home. My freind has vinalsheet that is wood look in her dog room and its help up great for the past 7 or 8 years and she plans on running it threwout her whole home at some point but then again as with the laniate it never look as real as the vinal sheets.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:29PM
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Breathtaking lot and lake. No wonder you bought it.

We recently went through the purchase of an ugly duckling too. A younger duckling than yours, from 1987. My kitchen is linked below. We (my DD actually) painted the cabinets, and we added tile counters. Makes a great difference. We also painted all of the bathroom cabinets very similar in style to yours the same color. I have the shell sinks too! We used the new SW alkyd cabinet and door paint, after priming with SW primer first. 1 coat primer 2 coats paint. Laid on with a a brush and rolled off with a small foam roller. (of course need to sand and TSP wash before priming). Turned out great. SW Kestral white is a great wall color to merge beiges, whites, off whites, gray, and almonds together. So that is on the walls in our bathrooms to blend the tub (almond), counters (beige cultured marble) toilet is white, and sheet vinyl in a gray (where it was carpeted too. EWW!)

You mentioned your home only has electric baseboard and a single window unit. How is your home constructed? Is there a basement or crawlspace for a forced air gas furnace? Is natural gas available, or propane? An attic for an electric heat air handler? I assume your house has no hvac ductwork and that would need to be added if you modified the heat to forced air. (I work in HVAC). This would mean that you would have some tearup into walls to do this, so definitely do the HVAC before painting any walls, This may give you a good opportunity to add insulation and a vapor barrier to some walls at the same time. And you may need to add some electrical capacity to add AC. I would evaluate this before flooring or walls as the HVAC work may get into the walls or flooring and you would want to do that messy work first.

Anything you can do to get off electric heat would most likely be money well spent, as electric heat can be quite expensive to run (of course this depends much on your utility rates.) Adding a nice mid-tier heat pump, with either furnace or air handler and electric heat would be a very good solution for your climate. And improving insulation above ceiling and in walls will make your home more comfortable and lower utility bills too.

Onto the decor questions. I would only keep the green tub if you absolutely adore it. If not, I would consider getting it re-glazed if it appears to be a good quality tub. They don't make them as good as they used to IMHO.

For the kitchen, I would work on the best layout possible with the constraints of re-using what makes sense.

I would paint the cabinets in the kitchen and consider some modifications to get the layout you want. If you paint the cabinets, you would have the option to maybe rip out some if necessary and infill with some shelving or other unfitted pieces. We for example took out a cooktop on the island and put in butcher block. And if you paint your cabinets and need to infill with some from habitat restore or other standard new ones, the paint can make them work together better.

#1 advice is to buy a nice new gas grill and get a nice patio set for your deck. When you are happy and can cook dinner and have a cold drink and relax it seems less overwhelming to think about all the other projects.

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen with painted cabinets and tile counters

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 6:54PM
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Hey I want to see the avocado tub! As olychick's pic shows, it can be worked with and the avacodo made to look beautiful, like it was a color that was chosen, simply by choosing the right colors to fit with it. If the green toilet matches the tub, keep that too - somewhere I saw toilet seats online that came in just about any color.

I honestly believe there are very few "ugly" colors - there are ugly color combinations though.

If you're looking for more color and not the muted seaside palette, look up midcentury modern - technically that term applies to 1940s-65, but people often expand the term to include early-mid 70s. Not suggesting a slavish historic reproduction of anything - but looking at pics and palettes (both historic and current interpretations) can provide inspiration. Is that house in as great of shape as it looks in the pics? If it's only esthetically challenged you will have a lot of fun with it!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:29PM
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I think the house is going to be lovely.

What about dark gel stain on those kitchen cabinets with modern chrome bar pulls? You could do that yourself in a weekend or two for about $100 plus pulls. You could add some frosted glass doors on the little cabinets on top too.You'd get the look of modern slab fronts. A white quartz counter (when you can afford it) and white backlash would be fabulous, without straying too far from your MCM house's character.

I would be likely to keep the green tub. That color green is one of my favorites. I guess I think it could be awesome and different that every other home with a white tub. Maybe you can flip the fronts on the cabinets to get rid of the decorate routing, and you'll have slab front. What about white tiles and an accent like the link below? That said, paint the blue paneling, there are elements worth keeping, and blue paneling is not one of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Green herringbone marble.

This post was edited by gmp3 on Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 20:03

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:38PM
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Here is a link to the general idea for cabinets. You might have to get glass doors made for the little cabinets on top, but it would not be expensive, especially because they are so small..

Here is a link that might be useful: expresso and white kitchen

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:11PM
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I really like the house, so I have a good memory of it. I think vs. ugly duckling it's diamond in the rough. Congrats on a great purchase.

I would look at photos on RetroRenovation where people have kept the original wood and just upgraded the hardware. We painted our cabinets because they had already been painted, but I actually like the look of the wood, if it's in good condition.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:24PM
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Did anyone else notice the window treatment in the laundry room? That should be an easy fix. It certainly is unique.
Congratulation on a great buy. I hope you enjoy the deck and the lake and don't worry too much about the interior of the house.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:04PM
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I LOVE the Avocado and Harvest Gold bathroom fixtures, lol. If the tub is porcelain and in good condition, I'd work with it.

Your property is beautiful. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 12:43AM
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Edeevee, my laminate is in the family room which adjoins the kitchen. Kitchen is still ceramic tile (hate it buts its practically new.) my laminate cant take any standing water so i don't recommend it for the kitchen, but some brands may be okay. And i repainted my cabinets since i knew they were site built. Didn't want the hassle of trying to fit new cabinets into the old spaces, and i couldn't afford solid wood cabinets again. I'd rather the old real wood to new particle board any day.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:13PM
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madeyna: Thanks for the info re paneling. On the areas where we'll remove paneling and trim to put up the sheetrock, does the trim still fit when you put it back up? It seems like much of the trim will need to be re-cut or replaced. Am I right? Also, I'm hoping for more than five years if we go with vinyl plank. We picked up samples the other day that state they have a lifetime residential guarantee. That's almost scary.

juliekcmo: Wow! What a difference paint made in your kitchen! It looks really nice! Thanks also for the details about the paint and especially for sharing your expertise with HVAC. Mind if I pick your brain a little more? You suggest electric heat is expensive but I was wondering what you think about the new ductless mini-split systems. I keep reading about how efficient they are and that, coupled with not needing to install ductwork or tear up the yard for geothermal, makes it seem pretty attractive. What is the downside? And, hey, the hubby started looking at new grills yesterday ;)

kashka_kat: I'd love to go mcm but, unfortunately, my husband does not share this vision. His mom favors a very traditional look and he inherited her tastes. I guess I'm glad that he at least HAS taste, even if it's not too adventurous.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:46PM
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gmp3: I adore your idea for putting glass in the little cabinets on top! And, I agree about the blue paneling. I can't really imagine an era where somebody thought that might be a good idea.

gssciencechick: I'll definitely check out RetroRenovation but I suspect we'll need to go the paint route. We'll need to add at least one cabinet and I think it will be impossible to match the finish :(

Peace of mind: Ha! I can't believe I didn't catch that before!

cindyloo123: I'm pretty sure the tub is porcelain. It's one of the reasons I want to keep it -- besides the charming color ;) We had an awful acrylic tub in this house for way too long and I hated it. It was impossible to keep clean and it just felt icky. I'm excited to have a real tub again.

Fluffeebiskits: Your floor looks great! And I am totally with you on the wood v. particle board. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:49PM
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