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July 12, 2012

Time To Say Goodbye to Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo…The Final Wrap Up

By Sara In AZ

Oh my gosh, can you all believe I started writing about Mom’s condo renovation beginning last November?!? It has been 8 solid months of posting updates each and every Thursday on the renovation happenings over at Mom’s. It sure doesn’t seem like 8 months though. Where does the time go? If you figure it out please let me know!

This wrap up is bittersweet for me, as I am happy that the renovations are now complete and that Mom is happily settled in – but gosh it was SO much fun to see that place really come together in the end. It was also fun for me to post about all of the renovations too, and let you all in on what we were up to.

I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed reading and responding to each and every comment. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone for all of the comments and the compliments, you have no idea how much it means to me (and to Mike and my Mom too!) to see such kind and lovely words written about what we have done. It’s really you, the readers, who make this blog so wonderful and so much fun.

I’m sure that there were people who accidentally stumbled onto the No Pattern Required blog and came across some of the Time Capsule posts and wondered why we didn’t just rip it all out in the first place instead of working our hearts out so doggedly. It was my sincere hope that maybe, just maybe, one of those people would stick around long enough to see that time capsule houses can be beautiful too. We did not want to rip things out simply because they were “old”. Old does not automatically equal bad. I do understand that some people who own time capsules (or older homes in general)  will want to change things, and maybe there are some items that are beyond saving. But to gut everything out just because it is old is really, really sad. What will happen 10 years down the road, in 2022, when the “new” is “old” and everyone wants something other than granite and cherry cabinets and stainless steel appliances and vessel sinks? More for the landfill? I sincerely hope not.

I do completely understand that not all people like vintage, or mid-century, or retro or even older things in general.  I do get that. It’s just that with a lot of these older homes they are SO special and were built with such care it’s sad to see that specialness ripped away to become just like any other house out there today. I hope if anyone reading this buys an older house in the future (or currently has an older house they want to gut) PLEASE really think about it first and maybe try embrace that specialness and feel the love and care that went into building that house.

I know that Mom’s condo is just a teeny tiny little spec on the time capsule radar, but we hope that it’s specialness has shone through in a really big way.

Here are a few last pictures that I wanted to share with y’all.

This is the original NuTone Doorbell. It even has a date of 1959 on the inside!


This is the original wall sconce light in her hallway. I’m pretty much in love with it!


And here Mom is all moved in!


Mom has a really FAB vintage shadowbox!


Those are some really great vintage tropical barkcloth curtains Mom has hanging! And her lamp – LOVE!


And finally, her bathroom….and those sweet little vintage mermaid wall plaques!



Thank you all so very much for sharing this journey with Mike, Mom and I. It’s been a blast! Now y’all pray real, real hard that Mike and I find a time capsule house of our own REALLY soon and then we can start the renovation fun up all over again!

Please come back next Thursday, I’m sure I’ll be able to find something to post about! hee!

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34 Responses to Time To Say Goodbye to Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo…The Final Wrap Up

  1. Betty Crafter Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Congratulations – it looks fabulous! You all put so much work into it and it really shows. I hope your mom loves her new place! And those curtains – incredible! Are they actual vintage barkcloth, or new barkcloth?

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks so much Betty! 🙂 I think Mom definitely loves it now! The curtains are actually vintage barkcloth, and it’s funny that you asked about those because we bought them at Warrenton maybe like 8 years ago!

  2. Sherree Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Oh Sara I love it!
    Your Mom is so blessed to have you for a daughter.
    And I agree about people tearing things out just to get what is in style right now. All those shows on TV that tear everything out with a sledgehammer (and the new Lowes commercial) just make me cringe 🙁
    I will pray for you to find your own special home to work on 🙂
    Can’t wait to see what you have to say next week.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      July 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Sherree!!! That Lowe’s commercial makes me SO MAD! Whenever I see it at the gym I have to make the treadmill go faster so I am too out of breath to start screaming. Just disgusting.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Oh gosh Sherree, you are so kind to say that! 🙂 I hope that in my own small way maybe I could get the word out about how great older houses can be…with a little work! Thanks so much for your prayers for us to find a house – everything helps! Hopefully soon something will pop up!!!

  3. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Beautifully written, girl! And wow…..eight months?? It seriously doesn’t seem like that long. I still wish that you and Mike could go into the house restoration business. You’re gooooood. The condo looks like perfection and I can see that your mermaid love is spilling over into her bathroom too – hee!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks so much hon! 🙂 I know, 8 months..where did that time go!?! You never know, Mike and I might just go into the house restoration business one of these days! And yes, be careful – vintage mermaids can be VERY contagious! 😉

  4. SusanD Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I came across your posts mid-renovation and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Your dedication to detail was inspiring and I learned a few tips about maintaining my late 1990s house. Thanks to you and Pam at RetroRenovation I have gone from thinking that I had to gut my kitchen to deciding to refinish the existing cabinets – a little less for the landfill. Your Mom is very lucky to have you and Mike.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      OMG Susan!!! Thanks so much for leaving a comment and letting me know. It makes me SOOOO happy to know that even one kitchen has been saved from the landfill – that is AWESOME!!! Way to go girl!!!! 🙂

  5. Silvercat Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Oh man, so lovely. I love the wall sconce and the lamps and that clock and…

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks so much Silvercat! 🙂 I know, Mom has the cutest stuff!

  6. Vickie Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous Sara. I had to pick myself up off the ground when I saw those curtains (& lamp & clock)! Wowza!

    And you’re right about the tragedy of people gutting the old houses -I’ve watched it constantly here in my area of mid-century homes being leveled, and stupid, pretentious mansions going up. It breaks my heart. But the good thing I see is that there are young one’s like you & all the others here that have a respect & love of the past & who are appreciating and saving and restoring this lovely era. This era was the last of “innocence” – the generation of hope & optimism, and I thank you, and all the rest of you for loving it and bringing it back when you can. It WAS a very good time.


    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Oh Vickie, what well spoken words. It really is a tragedy to see these homes being gutted. If there were not SO many people gleefully destroying the older homes here I know we would have found our time capsule by now. Sadly, most listings that come through are all about the granite and cherry cabs all that other stuff. 🙁 I hope as more and more people really see how beautiful and lovely these homes are they will work to preserve, rather than to destroy.

  7. RetroRuth Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Fan-freaking-tastic finish, Sara!!! I have enjoyed these posts so much, and seeing you and Mike working so hard to save things has been so inspiring. I can’t wait to see what else you guys come up with in future posts AND I am totally crossing my fingers for you guys to get your own mid-century time capsule!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Thank you SO much Ruth!!! 🙂 I really do appreciate that! *Fingers Crossed* that we find a time capsule of our own VERY, VERY soon!!!!

  8. Toni Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I didn’t start out loving the posts. At first I was like “enough move in!” but I quickly grew to look forward to every detail. I’m going to miss these. Thanks for taking us with you on your renovation journey.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 12, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks for letting me know Toni. I’m glad to know that you really got into the condo posts! I guess my main objective in showing ALL the work that we did at the condo was just to let everyone know it wasn’t a fast one week process or something like that. It definitely takes time when you get involved in a restoration precess like this, but the results are SO worth it in the end!

  9. Charlotte Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Sara, great job on the condo and all the posts! I really enjoyed them and, while I’m glad your mom’s condo is done and she’s settled in, I’ll miss the updates! I hope she loves her new home.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Thank you so very much Charlotte! 🙂 I will really miss posting the condo updates too, it was such a huge part of my life for a while there! I think she definitely loves her new/old home and I hope one day soon to have more home renovations stories to tell once Mike and I find our own time capsule!

  10. tina Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    What are the other condos in the complex like? Do any others have lots of original fixtures? What about the outside/common areas? Is it all updated or do they have anything original left?

    Just wondering:-)

  11. Jeanne Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    The finished condo is fantastic! You, your husband and mom did a fantastic job. You KNOW that I will be checking myself into Thursday Time Capsule Condo Withdrawal Rehab, don’t you? I loved EVERY post and was amazed at what you guys accomplished. I’m especially impressed with the bathtub faucet debacle and how patience paid off. You definitely had the luxury of time on your side, as most of us need to have a functioning bathroom as soon as possible. How long did the whole renovation take in actual time (for the whole condo)?

    Your mom must feel REALLY good living there, having everything “new”. Thank you for all of your photos and attention to detail in describing every step. 🙂

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Really Jeanne, thank you so much for your lovely words. 🙂 HA! I think I need Time Capsule Withdrawal Rehab too, as I am panicking about what to post about now!It is good we had some time on our side for this remodel, otherwise we would have been trying to rush and you know rushing never turns out good in the end. I think that bathtub faucet debacle was probably the worst thing we had to deal with and it gave me fits for months!!!

      Mom bought the condo last year at the end of March. We pretty much started working on it the beginning of April and finished actually moving all of her stuff in at the beginning of October. So, I guess it was right around the 6 month mark, as we were finishing some projects up as we moved her in. Sometimes there were delays in waiting for permits and waiting the the flooring people to do repairs and stuff, so she could have been in a little faster had it not been for those type of things going on.

  12. Laura Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    1. What in the heck am I gonna do on Thursdays now? 🙂

    2. Omigaaaaaah, those curtains! I love them!

    3. You guys did a fantastic job! I learned so much from you and Mike and the hard work you did. I was taking notes!

    4. What’s your next project? Huh? Huh? 😉

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      1. What am I gonna post about on Thursdays now??? 😉

      2. I know, they are pretty spectacular aren’t they!

      3. Thank you SO much for saying that, it really means a lot to us!

      4. Pray really, really hard that we find our own time capsule VERY soon and then the fun can start all over again! I hope!!!

  13. Christy - OrWa Designs Reply

    July 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    So sad that the condo posts are all over! That is the most awesome condo I have ever seen and it makes me very jealous. I can’t believe all the amazing mid century stuff! I want that wall sconce light! I want that clock and the lamp too 🙂

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Christy! That is SO very kind of you to say – thank you! 🙂 Mom’s condo really is pretty great…I’m jealous of it too and I told her she can never, ever sell it! At least I can visit her time capsule if I can never have one of my own! 😉

  14. Andrea Reply

    July 13, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Wow, I wold have never guessed you started this series that long ago, Sara! It flew by! I am MADLY in love with your mom’s finished bathroom. It looks utterly vintage perfect. Those are fantastic curtains your mom’s got, wow! You and Mike did a fantastic job!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Thank you so much Andrea, I really appreciate that! 🙂 I know, where did those 8 months go??? CRAZY!!! And her bathroom, it’s totally adorable isn’t it! LOVE!!!

  15. Susan Reply

    July 13, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Thanks for this series of renovations! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I hear you about keeping the old – my house is 278 years old and was restored to the period it was built in. Someone had replaced the wide oak floors with wall to wall and covered the beamed ceiling with a dropped ceiling. Needless to say, I much prefer it the way it is now! 🙂

    I hope you get your own time capsule home soon so I can read more about the wonderful renovations you and your husband do!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      Thank you Susan! 🙂 I love hearing that you enjoyed the series, as it was a really a lot of fun to do…when I wasn’t worried about all the bathroom valves that is! 😉

      Your house sounds amazing too. What were they thinking covering the beautiful floors and ceiling up like that?!? So glad you were able to restore the home to it’s former splendor!

      Thanks so much for your well wishes for us to find a house! *Fingers Crossed* it happens very, very soon and then all of the fun can start again!!!

  16. Onyx Reply

    July 14, 2012 at 1:00 am

    It looks amazing! Your mom is lucky to have such a great daughter 🙂

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      Onyx, that is so kind of you to say! 🙂 Thank you very, very much!

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