Friday, July 29, 2011

Going Retro-Flash Back Friday #47

3 months ago my son, our dog and I moved into a very retro (built in 1956) home in a suburb just outside Chicago. I purchased our home from the original owners, a family who immigrated from Sicily in the 1950's to raise their family in America. My home is a brick 2 bedroom 2 bath with a full finished basement and a large beautiful yard. Over the years the home was wonderfully maintained but not frequently updated. My kitchen has original solid wood cabinets that are in amazing condition, the basement was updated in the 70's and while finished is rather dark due to the wood paneling. The plaster walls throughout the home are in great shape, the floors are wood and the main bath is charming in its retro design.

Last weekend Chicago got hit with one of the worst storms on record. Between midnight last Friday and 6 am on Saturday morning there was record rainfall. I awoke at 3 am on Saturday morning to a river roaring down my street and my basement flooding. (The picture was taken in front of my house looking down my street at 5:30 am the morning of the storm) Thankfully we had not fully unpacked, most of our possessions including my rare book collection are still in boxes in the garage (that stayed dry) and we were able to remove the basement entertainment system and sofa before they were ruined. We only had a few inches of water which receded quickly and over the next 24 hours we removed the basement carpet, which was glued to the concrete floor as well as room after room of stick on tile flooring. We thankfully did not have as much damage as my neighbors, some families lost half their furniture and possessions to water damage. A neighbor a few houses down was featured on the front page of the local paper due to the $80,000 worth of damage they lost when their basement windows exploded and the home filled with 8 feet of water. It's humbling how people work together during a disaster. At 5:30 am as our street was a river, my neighbors and I were outside in the rain, helping each other, alerting people to the situation, setting up generators etc. I am truly blessed with great neighbors and know I can turn to them with anything I need.

I wasn't planning on remodeling my basement, but now with the water damage I will be replacing the floors, painting the wood paneling and having recessed lighting installed. I can model the basement as I like it instead of the cozy 70's decor it had when we moved in. The home I lived in for the 4 years previous to this home was large and also in need of remodeling. The kitchen was in terrible condition and unfortunately my ex and I never remodeled it while I was living there. I won't make that mistake again. Why bother living in a home that isn't the way you want it for everyday living and entertaining?

So for a Flash Back Friday, here are a few websites I am using while I plan the remodel of my 1950's era home in a retro but modern style.

Retro Renovation This website is a terrific source for images from 50, 60 and 70 era magazines as well as stories of people who have retro updated their homes. Here is a great story with pics of a 1950's kitchen redo for under $1500.

Retro Redheads Great site for vintage shopping.

Ebay The go to website for almost everything. Thanks to my parents who are vintage/antique shoppers I now have the Knowles Weatherpane dishes.

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