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100 Ways to Screw Up Your MCM Home

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 04, 2012 04:22 AM
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by Brandy last modified Nov 15, 2011

From Lotta Living, a wonderful thread on ‘How to Screw Up Your Mid-Century Home’ shared by our friend Jerry Gropp.  Though I wish I could take credit for this list, it’s great and hilarious list and the house we own has … Continue reading →



From Lotta Living, a wonderful thread on ‘How to Screw Up Your Mid-Century Home’ shared by our friend Jerry Gropp.  Though I wish I could take credit for this list, it’s great and hilarious list and the house we own has been violated more than once. Yikes! Italicized parenthetical comments expose our shame. Gotta love people with obsession passion.

1) Adding a steeper roof on top of your flat or shallow pitched roof. (Ooops! This was done on our house!)

2) Ornate front door. (Etched glass windows)

3) Adding a second story.

4) Putting in a country kitchen.

5) Installing a white metal colonial style garage door in place of the original redwood sided door

6) Adding vinyl double hung replacement windows

7) Heading to Home Depot/Lowes with home equity loan money in hand

8 ) Adding inappropriate window  i.e., paned windows, decorative shutters, fancy storybook scrollwork/moldings. (Ugh! Again.)

9) Replacing your tar & gravel roof with Spanish tile.

10) Covering your tongue & groove ceiling and wood beams with sheet rock

11) Roof over the atrium and add desirable square footage

12) Putting a white picket OR Wrought Iron fence in the front yard (or ANYWHERE for that matter)

13) One word: Stucco

14) Two words: crown molding!

15) Three words: 70s wall paneling.

16) Carriage lights (Guilty again.  Three strikes for us. But we didn’t do it. I swear!)

17) Slathering one color of paint over everything – double points if it’s Peach, Pink or Yellow.

18 ) Painting over stone

19) Replacing single pane glass in the glass end gables with double paned glass or plywood

20) Vinyl siding

21) Installing gaudy brass light fixtures.

22) Covering up glass or painting over it. Exterior siding over what used to be glass under the two sets of windows in the J&J rooms. Inside paneling was installed over the glass.

23) Replacing in slab ductwork with overhead ductwork

24) Enclosing the car port / Converting the garage into living space (Oh god, we’re screwed.)

25) Granite!!!!!!!!

26) Install over-sized “professional grade” appliances (Viking, SubZero) in small galley kitchen.

27) Covering poured terrazzo with Home-Depot ceramic tile

28 ) ANYTHING made out of bright, shiny brass

29) Tear it down to build a McMansion

30) Wall to wall carpet over hardwoods… so wrong!

31) Replacing original wood framed windows with aluminum framed sliding glass doors

32) Basin sinks / oversize tubs / Anything described as turning your bathroom into a “personal spa” or “retreat”

33) Installing inappropriately decorative house numbers.

34) selling off all the one of a kind, original architect designed furniture and light fixtures because it “doesn’t fit in”

35) Putting in grid windows

36) Installing a ceiling fan in a vaulted, exposed beam and tongue and groove ceiling

37) Using a pick axe or jack hammer to remove original 8×8 linoleum tiles so one can install Home Depot terra cotta pavers and pimpin’ purple carpet.

38 ) Installing hardwood floors over a radiant heated concrete slab

39) Cutting down the fascia, removing original down spouts to install gutters.

40) Whitewash the interior with white paint to make it feel larger

41) Marble!!!

42) Stupid Door Handles

43) Visual overload

44) Big Greek / Italian /Mediterranean columns added to the front (or inside). Also, gaudy statues and fountains containing cherubs, angels, naked people, The Virgin Mary etc.

45) Painting over unpainted exterior wood instead of staining. (Feel like I am about to face the firing squad.)

46) Collecting and displaying too many knick knacks in a 1200 sq ft MCM house

47) Removing all signs of nature outside by putting concrete everywhere, thereby defeating the harmony between house and nature attitude of many modernists.

48 ) Sticking a mantle on a stone fireplace that isn’t supposed to have one.

49) Putting a white lattice archway in the front yard walkway with flowers and vines growing all over it.

50) Plain ole’ neglect…having a cool MCM home, and letting it go…chipping paint, rotted fascia, overgrown foliage etc…

51) Paint a redwood tongue and groove ceiling

52) Covering beautiful terrazzo floors with nylon fiber wall to wall carpet to “update the place”

53) Installing an aluminum awning

54) Popcorn ceilings

55) Installing the cable box right outside the front door

56) Putting in one of those one-piece molded plastic mailboxes on a post.

57) Fake brick exterior siding

58 ) Compromising your principles.

59) Misunderstanding/confusing “Ranch House”with “Ranch Style” house thus recreating the Little House on the Prairie

60) A sweet barn style shed.

61) Lace curtains

62) Placing ANYTHING in or around the house from Hobby Lobby, Kirkland, or credited to either Thomas Kinkade or Mary Englebreit.

63) Smothering the interior with cheesy wallpaper.

64) Removing perfect mahogany paneling so that it can be replaced with drywall (this also includes just covering it with drywall).

65) Saltillo Tiles

66) Adding onto the back, after all, all that glass makes a great room divider!

67) Never throwing anything away.

68 ) Adding exposed conduit, wire mold, or worse, exposed wiring to beams and columns of you post and beam home.

69) Buying a mid-century modern home and then normalizing it to make it look like any other home.

70) Round top windows!

71) Raising up your slab on grade MCM home and adding a basement under it.

72) Replacing your vintage globe lights with too much cheesy low-voltage lighting.

73) Adding a shingle roof in place of a tar and gravel roof on a pitch that is too low for shingles. IT WILL LEAK!

74) Three or four masonry materials where one or two will do.

75) Invite 100 scooterist over to your house, with a live punk band, and 5 kegs of PBR (no, I haven’t done this… yet)

76) Adding an addition not in the style and design of the home

77) Allowing termites to gobble it all up

78 ) Anything faux

79) Hire an architect who doesn’t understand Modernism

80) Not participating on the Lotta Living board

81) Stained glass or beveled glass windows

82) Tiling over original magnasite deck… extra points for bad colorful folk art tile

83) Placing a Pink Flamingo in your Garden/Yard

84) Describing MCM houses as “retro”

85) Placing an A/C unit on the top of your roof

86) Refacing an original fireplace, let alone with a thin flagstone laminate

87) Installing arches or rounded corners in a room opening or between rooms

88 ) Turning the master bedroom into a den

89) Replace your garage door with a brick fireplace

90) Inappropriate furnishings?? (see flowery couch with detailed, routed wood)

91) Adding brick driveway columns topped by gold stone lions

92) Building a circular turret on the front of the house

93) Adding lattice to the front to “improve the look and privacy”

94) Covering the metal columns with wood to make them look like more like classical columns.

95) Hanging seasonal flags (i.e. santa, the easter bunny) outside your entryway

96) French doors to patio

97) Sawing off the overhanging roof and beams

98 ) Covering up exposed beams so the house look like other conventional framed homes

99) Adding turned pickets to all railing for that “country French” look!

100) Looking over an untouched, near-pristine home and then declaring , “It has such potential!”

Filed under: Architecutre, Decor, Furniture, Kitchen, Landscaping, Outdoors, Uncategorized Tagged: cedar ceiling, chicago architecture, MCML, Mercer Island, mid-century modern, mid-century modern blog, mid-century modern home blog




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