Last spring, I bought a 1951 ranch house at an estate sale.
The owner had been a widow, she did not have any children, and her heirs hadn't done a whole lot to fix up the house: there was no furniture, the floors were beat up, the only decorations were some old ratty curtains on the windows.
Fortunately, a decade of home ownership had given me some vision into what could be.
The price was right and so I took the plunge.
Between the exposed brick walls inside and the overall flow and size of the rooms, the house was about as midcenutry modern as they came, so I figured I'd just run with it.
The fact that I was a big fan of Mad Men didn't hurt.
Having the internet on my side was a huge help. I would have not had the slightest clue how to proceed without it. If I could imagine it, I could find it-- and buy it-- online. That meant everything from the 50s diner table and chairs for the kitchen to the early 60s living room drapes online with just a few clicks.
As time progressed, pretty much everything - from furniture to towels and bedding to plates and dishes to how to make a pink bathroom look masculine, was found online.
Bless you Google.
I also want to give a shout out for all the "how to" and "what is that called" type advice I got from Pam Keubler and her crew at RetroRenovation, even if my decisions to ultimately rip out a lot of original kitchen did not sit well with her. It did make that decision more conscious and less automatic, though.
Props to Benjamin Moore, whose Personal Color Viewer app was a great way to imagine what the rooms would look like done once I was done with them. (Personal Color Viewer + Apple Keynote is an awesome combination)