Retro Renovation’s Pam Krueber Makes A Mid Mod Video For ETSY

Our favorite post war baby boom housing blogger made an important video that makes some important points.

Of course you should read Pam’s announcement at RetroRenovation, and follow the links to the original posting on the ETSY site, as well.

Before you watch it, I want to make a couple of points that I don’t say often enough.

Mid Mod, or Mid Century Modern is a CATCH PHRASE! It means lots of things. It’s an era in history. It’s a style, and an aesthetic, and much of it has become timeless. Some of it is just kitsch and camp now. Some of it is worth imitating, copying and collecting. Some of it just isn’t.

It’s real easy to get all caught up in what’s the most visibly “unique” about the “modern” houses of the era. Those are the few that I call “Desert Modern”. Pam calls it “High-Fallutin Modern” in the video. You’ll see when you watch that she has a clever little name for that which isn’t high-fallutin. The homes in Paradise Palms, for example with their unique shapes, outrageous roof lines, geometric designs ARE NOT THE NORM. They’re not even – by any stretch of the imagination - the majority (except in PP).

MOST of the Mid Mod houses in the world are actually “ranch homes” which is why I try to use the term Ranch Modern to describe them. Ranches are the vast majority of homes in VintageVegas. The desert moderns are scattered among the ranches, and do have a collectible rarity factor. Regardless of size, or whether they’re tract or custom, most mid mods are ranch.

Pam’s whole website is devoted to what’s become her new theme…”Love the house you’re in”. Both the desert modern and the Ranch modern share a couple of simple ideas that were the post war revolutionary “rethinking” of HOW WE LIVE IN A HOME. For example, the sliding glass door, the smallest version of the “wall of glass” was a defining element of modern during it’s heyday. It’s lived on as a staple of housing design. The kitchen as the central hub of the house – part of the living area, instead of being hidden away as a forbidden zone has not gone away. The patio as an extension of the living area into the outdoors – still there! Clean lines, lack of ornamentation, the use of natural materials, bright colors, were all staples of modern.

That era that we now call “Mid Mod” lasted from the end of World War II until roughly 70. That’s when housing started to change again. Popular decorating got more ornate, 2–stories took over; lots started getting smaller; and stucco and red tile roofs became the cookie cutter clutter of todays housing. The Mid Century Modern Heritage Of Las Vegas has one unique element, as well, that exists nowhere else. All of it is centralized to the extent of the size of Las Vegas in 1970. Past that and you’re out of Vintage Vegas and into the suburbs and the sprawl.

Pam’s “RetroRenovation” is the best starting point there is if you want to learn more about what to do with your “modern” house – regardless of if it’s desert modern or ranch modern. And then if you really get hooked….there’s a thousand books and magazines and websites to read. Sit back, make some popcorn, enjoy the show!

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