Should I change all of the paneling in my 1966 mid century ranch or ju
Jennifer Makimoto
February 16, 2014 in Design Dilemma
When I first bought this house I was sure I would remove all of the paneling. The cost to do that was prohibiting so we are waiting. We don't really want to paint it either...It is good quality wood and not the cheap paneling. What would you do with this house?
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Jennifer Makimoto
More pics
February 16, 2014 at 9:16am   
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dancywalden
I would leave the paneling as is, if you paint or remove it you may destroy the character of the house. To lighten up the look, add sleek, light colored furniture and wall decor.
February 16, 2014 at 9:23am     
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Jennifer Makimoto
More pics...any other thoughts or ideas would be appreciated
February 16, 2014 at 9:25am   
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dancywalden
You also may want to replace the drapes with modern shades, or if privacy is not an issue, leave the windows "blank". Result will be less closed in and dark, more open yet warm.
February 16, 2014 at 9:43am     
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dancywalden
February 16, 2014 at 10:31am     
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SoYoung Mack Design, Assoc. AIA
Jennifer, Until you are ready to replace all wood with sheetrock or plaster, I might consider doing the following:
Entry: Remove closet. It blocks the flow of a lovely entry with stone wall. I'm sure you must need this coat closet but it just looks wrong here in my opinion. Replace white chest and mirror with a longer and more modern console and mirror.
Fireplace: Add 8-12" tan, brown or gray stone or metal surround around firebox to better balance proportions.
Dining Room: Replace drapery with more modern and colorful patterned fabric like the Waverly fabric you have in your ideabook. Ideally I'd change it to a single large Roman shade for a much more modern look. Coordinate colors with LVR drapery especially if you can see them at the same time.
Bedrooms: The large white headboard you use against the wood wall works very well to break up the darkness and add contrast. Adding lighter elements to the darker walls in general will help.
When you're ready to remove paneling and totally update, I might want to plaster over all interior stone to get a clean contemporary look that will still coordinate with your exterior stone walls.
Hope this helps.
February 16, 2014 at 10:38am     
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Amy Stokes
Definitely keep the paneling. The house has great bones. I love the rock on the walls and the floor. The orange pendant in the entry is killer. The most important thing you need to do is change the drapes. They look like they have been hanging there since the house was built -- not a good thing. If privacy isn't an issue, remove them altogether. You can do window film for UV and temperature control (look at 3M). If you need privacy, a simple ripplefold will look fab.

Right now, you have a mix of MCM and more traditional furniture. The house is begging for MCM -- I don't think you need to have the whole house vintage, but you do need to transition more sleek furnishings into the house. It doesn't need to be done all at once, but as your budget affords. Ie no rolled arms on the sofas, no scroll work on the mirror in the entry, etc. Also, get some plants. Think snake plant, fiddle leaf fig, etc. you also need a killer credenza under your tv. It need to be sizeable to balance the size of your tv. It's hard to find a vintage one that is large enough, so google Fauxdenza and use it as a bouncing off point for something custom or semi-custom.

There are great sites on the web dedicated to MCM design. Browse them and get the feeling of the era in your bones -- then you will instinctively know what works in the house and what doesn't.
February 16, 2014 at 11:33am     
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midmodfan
The paneling seems to be in excellent condition and is typical for the period. I personally would not remove or even alter it. Instead, I'd try to brighten the rest of the house, like ceilings, floors and furniture, and let in as much light as possible.

If you choose to get rid of the paneling, please remove it carefully. There are many people out there who would kill for such beautiful wood paneling.
February 16, 2014 at 11:37am     
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Mark Bischak, Architect
Hire a local professional that is able to stand in, and experience, the spaces you are concerned about. It is next to impossible to give you proper advice from photographs. There may be ways of making the paneling more acceptable through furnishings or accessories or additional architectural detailing or some other means that is best evaluated in person.
February 16, 2014 at 11:52am     
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indianpatti
awesome house .. just love it! I would not paint any of the paneling .. it's gorgeous!

Would love to see a colorful, large scale patterned drape in the dining room.
February 16, 2014 at 11:53am     
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Lilian H. Weinreich, Architects
Hi Jennifer - I grew up in a mid-century house in Australia - it has recently been placed on the National Heritage List. Firstly, please do not remove the wood paneling it is an integral part of the home. What I would do is replace some of the furniture eg the sofa is completely out of place in this home - maybe add some floor lamps - remove the ruffle under the bed - place a large "skinned" throw (it can be faux) - look at mid-century home for furnishing ideas - also the white cabinet is a bit of an eye-sore. I found growing up in such a house - influenced both my aesthetics and my desire to be an architect. Good luck. Lilian
February 16, 2014 at 12:07pm     
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Jennifer Makimoto
Thank you all for giving me some feedback...I would like to add some more information. First of all..the sofa is my mom's and is only "living" here until her house is finished being built. I do plan on having something low and lean. Also, the drapes...I actually took them down and called in a company for a quote to replace them...$5,000-10,000! yikes! Soooo...I put them back up and tried to work with the gold. I do realize they are dragging the place down but they do keep the house warm in the -15 degree temps we are having this winter. What about the flooring options with this paneling? Would it look good with hardwood or should I consider something else?
February 16, 2014 at 12:37pm   
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Lilian H. Weinreich, Architects
Hi Jennifer - I have no issue with the curtains - it does work with the house and from what you are saying - they are also very practical - they seem original to me. I can only see floor-to-floor carpeting in your photos - what is under them - Lilian
February 16, 2014 at 12:58pm     
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mfwolfe
I don't know if you can sense the excitement among the commenters on your house, but it is there. Subtle, but there. When you follow this site for long you notice that nine out of ten houses are just four walls and a roof. They are so totally lacking in character even when redone.
Your house is wonderful. Please try to embrace the mid century style, and do some reading to get a deeper idea of what it about. Then let your house reflect that style to the extent you can let it happen.
Please don't see this as criticism, I am excited by your house also.
February 16, 2014 at 1:10pm     
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Jennifer Makimoto
Lilian...the curtains are original and practical. The gold is just not my first color choice. As for the floors, I believe it is just us flooring...plywood maybe..not hardwood. There is light wood laminate that the old owners put in the kitchen....and then two of the smaller bedrooms have original parquet. I'm hoping next year, when I can go back to work, my husband and I can start doing some of these bigger changes to the house. In the mean time I'll keep scouring craigslist for some affordable mid century pieces to furnish the place. Thanks again...and Lilian your work is beautiful! Love the bathrooms :)
February 16, 2014 at 1:16pm   
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Lilian H. Weinreich, Architects
Hi Jennifer - thank you for your kind comments - the flooring to my parents mid century home was parquet and they replaced it with wood plank flooring - so I would go with wood - please do not use wood laminate - Take a look at Harry Seidler's early homes - and the New Canaan mid century architects - this is very exciting - good luck, Lilian
February 16, 2014 at 1:26pm     
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Jennifer Makimoto
Oh and thanks mfwolfe! I don't see that as criticism...I was so excited when I finally found this house. Took me over a year to see a house with architectural interest here in Indiana. There are some but for $140,000 this one was it!
February 16, 2014 at 1:34pm     
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saratogaswizzlestick
I love your house. You have something special here. Don't make it cookie cutter. Your paneling is the good stuff, not the cheap, ugly imitation and I would keep it. You are definitely going in the right direction speaking out mid century modern pieces. Wow, maybe you need to take up sowing - custom curtains are ridiculously expensive.
February 16, 2014 at 1:42pm     
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Mark Bischak, Architect
Sowing may get you plants to block the windows but taking up sewing may get you curtains.


I had to say it.
February 16, 2014 at 1:48pm     
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saratogaswizzlestick
So true, I need to proof read as I often have typos and the Ipad comes up with interesting suggestions. At least this one wasn't lewd.
February 16, 2014 at 1:54pm     
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ColorSplashes
I would say you found the gem! keep it and polish it. Do not lose the paneling it is integral to the house. Research mid century modern design and then start looking for furniture pieces that would fit the period. You can find some great things in resale stores and auctions. You can also consider custom design fabric to fit your needs.

Clean lines and simple. Visit Palm Springs - they have a Mid Century Modern week coming soon if not already in progress. You could find some lighter paint colors. You have a wonderful home burnish it and
February 16, 2014 at 2:14pm     
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Jennifer Makimoto
We're leaving for LA on Wednesday and planning to go to Palm Springs...thanks!
February 16, 2014 at 2:16pm     
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2dogssashatess
i like your wood panelling, but get your drapes white or have simple white blinds that roll up, I would get rid of the cupboard thing in the hallway that blocks your entrance. All the brick around the fireplace plus the wood panelling is a bit dark but you can put a huge mirror over the fireplace (if appropriate) or a great piece of art to lighten up the space
February 16, 2014 at 2:27pm     
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2dogssashatess
You can get very cheap white/cream drapes from IKEA. as temporary stop gap. Just picked up some new cotton IKEA drapes at a yard sale ( still on packet for only $10) but theyr retail for $40
February 16, 2014 at 2:29pm     
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Amy Stokes
Here is some info on the ikea linen drapes -- they are my go to drape for most projects. I don't like heavy drapes in MCM houses -- these are perfect if you need a little privacy. They actually work on a ripplefold system thru curtaintracks.com. I imagine you already have tracks that your current curtains hang on. You should be able to use the same hardware and hooks with these. The ikea ritva curtains are great too. They aren't a true linen, but have the same feel and come in darker colors. Since you're in a cold climate, you can add a liner to all ikea curtains. It is their GLANSNÄVA liner -- it can be added and removed based on the season. The ikea website is abysmal when describing their curtains. You really have to go and see them to really appreciate the selection and quality and the price point is unbelievable. I was quoted $4500 FOR ONE WINDOW. I was blown away. I ended up getting ripplefold tracks from curtaintracks.com and IKEA curtains for 48 ft of windows in my house for $900 total. I'm still in the process of putting them up, so no pictures yet.

I was always an IKEA snob until this last year -- i wouldn't even step in the place in college when i really should have limited all of my shopping to there. Now, at 37 and after reading a few design blogs and seeing what can be done with an IKEA hack, I am a convert. Ikea can be your best friend, especially in an MCM house where the Skandanavian look blends so well.

Here is the curtain link: http://rosabeltrandesign.blogspot.com/2013/02/customizing-inexpensive-drapes.html

Here are some blogs for inspiration -- go thru the past DIY posts for some truly impressive design feats.
http://rosabeltrandesign.blogspot.com/ http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/ http://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/ http://www.the-brick-house.com/

A house is a project. It isn't going to come together all at once. I think its more fun to let it evolve as you do. The important thing is you have a great house to work with. You are basically adding jewelry to a supermodel rather than putting lipstick on a pig.
February 16, 2014 at 6:29pm     
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Jennifer Makimoto
Thanks Amy for the curtain info. I agree ikeas website is not the best. I will have to take the 3 hour drive and go check them out. I actually love ikea...just wish it was closer. Also...love Emily Henderson. I do read her blog and really appreciate her style.
February 16, 2014 at 8:08pm   
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Amy Stokes
I'm three hours from an ikea as well. I make a list of the things I want to look at and make it a day trip about once every six months. The last time I was there I ended up with so many impulse purchases in my basket I had trouble getting my car loaded. They had baby fiddle leaf figs for 12.99 each. I had been trying to source a tree from my local nursery for months, and they tried to sell me the same size plant for $80. I felt like I had a deal of a lifetime. I got two -- they aren't trees yet, but they will be someday. Also, they have great indoor planters and dishes and shelves. I always walk thru with an idea of customizing the color, hardware, and odd uses. For instance, They sell juice glasses in fab colors that are great to use as a bud vase next to the bed.
February 16, 2014 at 8:23pm     
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opticcurve
I LOVE the paneling. Please keep it!
February 16, 2014 at 8:30pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
IKEA curtains are great because they are extra long, and you can hang them from a cable and clip system if you want. They often have drawstrings in the top to gather them too. This is typical in Europe.

Love the house. I think these sort of homes look best with lots of white or light color for contrast and to bounce the light around, and punches of bright color and clean shapes. My grandmother's house was similar, but furnished quite traditionally, and it looked good too because she stuck to a light carpet (celery) and an elegant color scheme in greens and turquoise and a few accents, and lots of space and light. You don't have to go completely Atomic Ranch for it to look good, but allowing lots of light in is a good start.

The bedroom looks so cozy already! You could go for more of a cabin vibe in the smaller rooms too. Here are a couple of pictures of dark paneling décor in different styles. I think light and bright is nice, but is over-rated. Dark done right can be rich and cozy, especially with the right lighting and a variety of textures and some color and contrast.

A big piece of art or tapestry might look nice in the front entry, and could lighten things up a bit.
March 14, 2014 at 7:48am     
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mamao1956
You got a STEAL at $140,000! It is a beautiful house with great bones. I will be following to see how you decide to compliment it.
March 14, 2014 at 7:59am     
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