Celebrating Midcentury Modest

Talk to Pam Kueber, creator of retrorenovation.com, for five minutes and you'll never look at a suburban ranch house the same way again. When Kueber found herself in what she calls a midcentury modest home—one of the 29 million tract homes (shhh, she hates the term) built for the middle class in postwar America—she decided to remodel it in a style appropriate to the period. Soon, she was hooked on Atomic Age design and all it entails, including candy colors (think pink bathrooms), small square footage (but with livable layouts) and knotty pine. The corporate communications refugee created a website to document her remodel and provide resources to her growing community, a tribe bent on restoring the modest houses to their original glory rather than remodeling them beyond recognition. The result is a website that's wonderfully addictive and a following that's passionate about homes that have been overlooked or dismissed for decades. Their motto, love the home you are in, is their message.

Mary Jo Bowling

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