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keep it or rip it out?
mlondon17
January 19, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We bought this house 2 mos ago and I'm trying to decide if i want to keep the funky shelving by the front door or take it out and just have that half wall... then if i kept that half wall, what to do with it. Leave it? Is this shelving ugly and dated or great?
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onthefence
Oh please keep it!
January 19, 2013 at 9:45PM     
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yvonnecmartin
Keep it and work with it. It makes a nice break from the entrance and goes well with the cabinet underneath. Think about if you will accessorize it or not.
January 19, 2013 at 9:52PM     
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Susanna
I think the problem is that it clashes with the mauve wall color. If you change the pinkish mauve walls to a rich caramel color, the divider unit will suddenly be much cooler! So, I vote to keep it because your table will be floating in the middle of nowhere if you take it down. And, all you have to do is paint the walls (not the divider. leave it natural wood) to have a very cool Rat Pack era divider unit.
Congrats on your new house!
January 19, 2013 at 9:54PM     
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Aja Mazin
What is the style of the architecture of the house?
When was it built?
January 19, 2013 at 9:55PM     
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houssaon
I think it is charming and I love the blond wood. It does help buffer the dining room from people at the door with out closing the entry in. You would have a bit less privacy without it.

You could leave it bare or add a few colorful objects that fit your style: Magnolia Gardens and May Basement Renovation. Think of it as art.
January 19, 2013 at 10:00PM     
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Aja Mazin
It appears you have the same wood trim in other rooms.

Do plan to keep the front door white?
January 19, 2013 at 10:05PM   
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dorky0421
I have the same hallway divider at home...I'd rather keep it...thats the same question i have before.thanks...
January 19, 2013 at 10:13PM   
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Matteo Dezigns
I agree! Keep it!! BUT, here are a few suggestions. I like comment above to go with a caramel color for the walls. I also truly believe that you should expand the white on all the wood!! With the black floors and the wood floors, all white wood trims and doors will make your room come into a new fresh current look. You can get creative and paint the edges on the divider black and surface colors white. You might consider inserting some glass blocks for a heightened interest or investigate some additional molding that might also bring new interest. I say keep it and think creative!
January 19, 2013 at 10:15PM     
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JWinteriors
If you remove it, you would have to change the flooring. It does allow you to define your entrance. If it was my home, I would paint all of the woodwork white and use soft grays on the walls. as it will pick up the color from the tile. Update your chandelier to possibly a white drum light and new gray/white curtains that go from floor to ceiling.
January 19, 2013 at 10:40PM     
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Fini Design
If your design sense is modern, mid century modern or Scandinavian, it will work wonders. If you are more traditional, or even transitional, then it will not work. It is cool and funky. But listen if it doesn't work, take it down and donate it to someone who will love it.
January 19, 2013 at 10:42PM     
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angiesays
Along with the other good suggestions offered, you might want to consider having your metal doors faux grained or painted to match your wood.
January 19, 2013 at 11:15PM   
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nmpettit
Eew rip it out and drywall
January 19, 2013 at 11:16PM   
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creative standards
the divider is great. what it needs is to be painted white and the walls need to be a very light grey with the doors on the other side white as well. the trick is not to clutter the shelves but keep it very simple. Good luck.
January 20, 2013 at 12:47AM     
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charleee
If it were mine, I would paint it charcoal gray. The dark gray will go well with the reds in all your woods and with the black tile floor.
January 20, 2013 at 1:06AM     
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cohoek
I would definitely take the top part off, it has absolutely no relationship to the form of the botten part. Maybe you could use it somewhere else.I would either leave the rest as it is or make an open bookcase of the top but in the same form as the bottem. You already felt it didn't work well together thats probably why you posted yout problem. If I may be so free, the color of the walls does not fit with all the other colors I see. Love the color of the wood though and the idea of having a divider there is great, looks good with the tile floor.
January 20, 2013 at 1:44AM     
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Aja Mazin
I tend to agree with cohoek.

The top has an oriental feel but is not centered.
The bottom is uninteresting.

Once you start painting, you will need to tie in the closet trim, front door, and door and floor trim.

The white door sticks out like a store thumb.

It is the first thing seen when entering the house and should define the style of the home.

It is a design disaster.
January 20, 2013 at 3:53AM     
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Home Preppers
It is an interesting feature. The wall color has to change to work with the wood color. Also the white of the door is too stark.
January 20, 2013 at 4:40AM     
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Interiors International, Inc.
I have not seen it done quite like that before so I say great. It is rather a cool look. I have usually seen either straight shelves or those tacky spindles those you tear out. .
January 20, 2013 at 5:01AM     
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jagarrou
Normally I would say keep it, because I like that sort of thing, but it really bugs me the way it almost blocks your entrance. I would hate to be constantly knocking into that thing going in and out. It doesn't flow organically into the space. I also agree that, with or without it, you should change the dining room wall color and the front door color. It's all very incongruous. The black tile floors mixed with warm wood floors are an unfortunate combination that don't need the white door and pink walls added to the mix. It's tough. If you have the budget, I would get rid of the black tile, carry the wood floors throughout the house, tear down the divider thing-y and paint the door a color that coordinates with the new dining room color. I would also extend the dining room wall so that you aren't dining in the entryway, but I would do it where it already exists, not the extra foot into the entry way where they put the divider.
January 20, 2013 at 5:28AM     
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Aja Mazin
For those who think it is cool or interesting, would you really want it in YOUR home?

I don't want it in my home!!!

Remove it and put up drywall and don't paint it mauve.
January 20, 2013 at 5:32AM     
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celloluv
In my opinion the front door doesn't work with the room divider and detracts from the design. A change in paint color would help too. I like it. And I'd have it in my home. That's why I was attracted to the picture.
January 20, 2013 at 5:46AM     
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Natalie
Hi---I find it interesting, useful, and aesthetically appealing---it's different and I like that. Me myself, would probably paint it the same color as the walls to make it appear as a built-in and sort of fade into the background. Anyway- I would keep it if it were in my home. Good Luck!
January 20, 2013 at 5:47AM     
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mlondon17
THANK YOU EVERYONE for you comments and opinions. As for the wall color- I'm not sure why the picture shows it as being that mauve color. Its a warm light brown. The black tile- I'm still not sure why the previous owners put that in- it doesn't go with anything else that was done in the house. But i don't think we'll be taking it out anytime soon since we are remodeling the entire basement first. however-
JAGARROU- these hardwood floors were installed in the house when it was built in in '57, is it possible to find and carry the same hardwood flooring through? hardwood floors are ok in an entry? I do like your ideas. We have a more traditional (maybe a little organic eclectic touch) style. But Im not opposed to modern, as long as its inviting and cozy. I do like the idea of the gray walls and white trim. Would i have to paint the rest of the trim throughout the main level white then?
January 20, 2013 at 5:57AM     
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mlondon17
A FEW MORE VIEW OF THE ENTRY AND DINING. WE STILL HAVE TO REMODEL THE KITCHEN- SO PLEASE EXCUSE THE UGLY. ;p
January 20, 2013 at 6:26AM   
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Margaret Bogdan
I would remove the top part, and the doors on the bottom. Then paint it, the closet doors and trim white. Then you could use an accent color or even a fun wall paper for the inside back of the bookshelf to add some interest (and maybe tie in the black from the tile).
January 20, 2013 at 6:26AM     
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mlondon17
CAN CURTAINS BE DYED? WAS THINKING OF TRYING TO DYE THEM A DIFF COLOR INSTEAD OF BUYING NEW.
January 20, 2013 at 6:34AM   
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Msm Fouronesix
can only dye curtains if 100% cotton as I dont believe synthetics (polyester or rayon) will absorb the dye. So check its labels!
You need a room divider but it needs to be updated.keep the bottom half to avoid having to match floor planks beneath. Then add decorative bowl to deposit car keys. change the sliding doors on it to framed glass. paint front door same color as door wall. white trim & baseboards throughout house
January 20, 2013 at 6:38AM     
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jagarrou
Now that I look at the direction the hardwoods are laid in the dining room, it would be hard to continue them throughout the house, because they run perpendicular to the long hallway. And, to top it off, the kitchen floor is completely different as well! I think they just did what they could piecemeal and didn't really think about unity within the whole house; it also looks like the living room is carpeted. I think you would have to rip up everything, even the dining room hardwoods, to get it all unified, but it would be worth it in the long run. If you used a durable product like a Pergo-type flooring, it could be used in the kitchen, dining room, living room, and entryway, and you could warm it up with area rugs. That's just my opinion. Or you could go rustic and put saltillo tile throughout the whole house - but not in a humid climate - they don't repel water. I think I would ask all my friends in the area about any flooring work they've had done, and what they are happy/unhappy with, who they recommend, what to expect in terms of time, expense, overruns of both, etc. I would get at least one consultation from a pro since you have so many different types of flooring throughout. The subfloor might need different levels of cleaning or treatments once it's exposed due to the various types of flooring on top of it. Any pros here want to help me out?
January 20, 2013 at 6:53AM   
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caterers
Keep the idea but update the look!
January 20, 2013 at 7:06AM     
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Natalie
Was this space once the "formal" living room? After seeing your photos, I think I'd address the wall which divides the kitchen and this room, as well as the floor before ripping out a structure which serves as a partition between a dining and entry area.
January 20, 2013 at 7:11AM   
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bellastrand
I say rip it out to create an open feeling but retain the piece as a wall unit to display books/objects of importance...it's a great mod accent that retains architectural importance to your homes origin. Good luck!
January 20, 2013 at 7:20AM   
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Barb Drenth
I actually like the top of the divider, so I would keep it. Whether you paint it or not depends on whether you personally like the wood. I like wood and generally prefer wood trim over painted trim, but that is just my preference. I would replace the sliding doors on the dining room side with open shelving, though. Those doors give it the dated look. I think I would also paint the front door a softer color that will blend better with your wood. The mauve dining room really doesn't help, but you proably inherited that with the house. Warm yellows, browns, and some greens would look lovely with the wood.
January 20, 2013 at 7:23AM     
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Barb Drenth
Oh, by the way, you don't have to rip out all of the flooring. When you remodel your kitchen, pick flooring that is similar in color to the tones of the dining room floor rather than contrasting with it. That would help unify the look.
January 20, 2013 at 7:26AM   
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Barb Drenth
looking at this more, I would be tempted to paint the vertical portions of the half wall the same color as you wall color, leaving the wood on the horizontal and top part of the wall. Consider painting the closet doors the same color, too, or perhaps a shade darker?
January 20, 2013 at 7:33AM   
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Barb Drenth
Looking at this from the hallway side, I would paint the vertical portions of the half wall the same color as you wall color, leaving the wood on the horizontal and top part of the wall. Consider painting the closet doors the same color, too, or perhaps a shade darker?

If you decide to keep the top part, a trailing ivy, with the foliage on the dining room side, would look nice. Don't let the ivy get overgrown or it will overwhelm the shelving. A little sticky tac on the bottom of the pot or a piece of waffle non slip shelf liner will keep the plant in place despite the occasional bump.
January 20, 2013 at 7:38AM   
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Simone Grant
That is an awesome piece of built in mid century furniture. I would pay to have that put into my house now. Don't make your house ordinary! Embrace it's awesomeness!
January 20, 2013 at 8:01AM     
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tmudryk
Leave it. It is a cool piece and defines the space. Without it it would be boring.
January 20, 2013 at 8:02AM     
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tmudryk
Forgot to say- Don't paint it!
January 20, 2013 at 8:03AM     
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Julie Thome Draperies, Inc.
Do not dye your drapes. The color will be uneven and you will end up dyeing your lining too, which would look bad from the road. Get new please.
January 20, 2013 at 8:20AM   
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groveraxle
Don't know how far you're willing to go, but I can totally see this divider with a classic Heywood-Wakefield room. Take a look at serious mid-century modern design and see if that appeals.

If you decide not to do mid-mod, then I would rip it out.
Nicoles
Heywood Wakefield Dining Table and Set of 6 Dining Chairs by AMBIANIC
dining room
January 20, 2013 at 8:27AM     
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njmomma
Looking at your room, you seem to have some very traditional accessories. I would take down the top portion of your divider and get an area rug with colors coordinating with the other rooms in your house. I would also get a matching area rug to go over the black tile in front of the door. Paint the door the same color as the wall, the white is too stark. Get a long ceramic pot with a plant that can live in the space. I'm not a fake plant person, but if you are that may work better for you.
January 20, 2013 at 8:54AM   
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WELLINGTON DESIGN
I would rip it out, If you are upgrading your home, because that is what is going on in the neighborhood and it wil add to the value.

In the era that that was built, it was not considered to be something a designer would do. but builders added things like that because it was a cheap way to create a look of the 50's 60's.

I would change the closet doors and that see thru area with white wood work and doors. A lot of clutter and dust collectors is not what is style.

How nice it would be to put a white pained window look with mullions. Or order a octigon window to build in there. Voila' no clutter, an accent piece, with a sence of division without obstructing the light coming in.

I have done this and it is a fantastic look
January 20, 2013 at 9:19AM   
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kkopen
rip it out,it would allow more guests to enter at once.
January 20, 2013 at 9:51AM     
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Aja Mazin
Didn't Lucy and Ricky have that exact same divider in their living room.?
January 20, 2013 at 9:57AM     
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Jayme H.
It does not seem synonymous with your style. I would be inclined to take it out.
January 20, 2013 at 9:59AM     
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swilliams325
if it goes with the rest of your house and your style, keep it. I am wanting to create something in our entryway that has a similar screening function because I don't like walking in and having the whole living area open to the doorway.
January 20, 2013 at 10:31AM     
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cmcg
My suggestion:
1) Paint the trim, closets and divider white
2) Remove the top portion of the divider
3) Removing this top portion will likely leave marks / damage on the remaining bottom. Consider adding a solid surface. Carerra marble will go well with the black tiles and cover any damage. It's a small area, so you can likely purchase a remnant inexpensively. A hard surface will be great as an entry table. It can also double as a server for the dining room, which you don't currently have
4) Paint the walls a neutral beige (avoid something with pink) or a light grey.
January 20, 2013 at 11:27AM     
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druesig
If you decide to remove it, why not hang a stained glass window or an octagon window from the marks left in the ceiling? Cover the top of the base with...marble, quartz, or something else that you enjoy. Open up the base (no doors) and paint at least the dining room side the color of the dining room walls. The hall side should be the color of the closet doors. When you do reno your kitchen, the wall between the kitchen/dining room needs to go to open up the space. The color of the walls are not what I see from your description (I see mauve or muddy beige). Other suggestions about the closet doors/front door and the woodwork are excellent. Good luck with your project!!!
January 20, 2013 at 12:27PM   
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caronhill
Hi, I love all the comments. I tend to agree with the "change the paint colour" comment. It doesnt compliment the natural colour of the wood at all. Try the paint chips from the colour chart up against the divider and it will let you know which colour is harmonious. Have fun!
January 20, 2013 at 1:06PM   
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studio | FORMA
Interesting "Dilemma" this one!! Being that you just moved in 2 months ago there are a couple of questions I would like to ask, so that you may begin to consider options.

I noticed that the the kitchen beyond also has lots of 50's casework design. What did you like about this particular house before purchasing? Do you have remodeling plans, specificaly the kitchen? Do you plan to keep the existing casework in the kitchen?..........................If you plan to keep the existing casework in the kitchen, I say keep the Shelving at the Front Entry and work with color corrections.

If you plan to remodel the kitchen with new casework then get rid off the shelving but best if you salvage it, or consign the piece instead of destroying it.

I am taking a guess here that since you just moved in you may have already just painted. True?? or?? If indeed you have just painted I would start by playing with color schemes. However, be aware that once you start painting trims is hard to stop so I would begin by considering other options. Like re-upolstering chairs and bench, artwork, lighting fixture, etc.....!!

One option that comes to mind right away is changing the Front Door. You could probably pick up a salvaged 50's door for about a $100.00 dollars or so and have it cleanned up and painted, once you have decided on a color scheme.

The color that comes to mind right away as a means to color correct your home is a Chartreuse color, or a something in the Turquoise family. This color would start to balance the Honey Tones and the Blush/Rose tones and begin to make the Front Entry Shelving more of a feature instead of sore item.

Here are several door pictures and color schemes you may want to consider:
January 20, 2013 at 1:12PM     
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studio | FORMA
Color Scheme suggestions:
January 20, 2013 at 1:14PM     
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studio | FORMA
opps
January 20, 2013 at 1:15PM   
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cdmgirl
Keep it! It's great! And the wood is beautiful - I definitely wouldn't paint it, but I might re-paint the dining room walls.
January 20, 2013 at 1:34PM     
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gizmogold
This house has CHARACTER .....leave it and work with it.
January 20, 2013 at 1:37PM     
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charleee
Aja, I think that was little Ricky you're thinking of. hehehehe
January 20, 2013 at 1:43PM     
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houssaon
studio | FORMA made some good points to consider before you start.


The piece is so much apart of the house - a good part. But unless you are open to a modern or Scandinavian feel, it seems unattractive. I embrace a wide range of styles. I had a modern house once with the living spaces on the second floor with three walls of glass and the bedrooms on the first. Now my house is a Dutch colonial. When I had the modern house, I had mostly modern furniture. Now I have traditional style furniture in the public spaces.

Most people want to have an entryway. If you take it down, you will have less of a feeling of this is the entry and this space is the dining area. Right now, the blond wood of the trim, the closet doors and the divider are all interesting. Painting the large flat doors and the divider will make them more flat. I don't the end result will be better, just different.

So, if I were you, I'd think about it. I don't see you as an ultra-traditional style person based on the dining room furniture. As you said, you are not opposed to it as long as it is warm and cozy.

But if you really not like it, then see if you can sell it intact (and the closet doors) to someone else. Get new closet doors with a traditional raised panel that don't slide. Transform the entry to a traditional entry.

Good luck!
January 20, 2013 at 2:02PM   
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Linda
I like it and yes, I would have it in my house. I would put it in my son's bedroom to coordinate with the existing pair of Heywood Wakefield bookcases and table.

If you are going to embrace the mid-century modern look, it fits perfectly. But, if you prefer 2013 modern, it would probably work better as a wall shelf than room divider. You are fortunate that it fastens to the header, not the ceiling so you'll only need a limited amount of repainting to hide the marks if you remove it.

Of all the recommendations, I really dislike the suggestion of painting it white. If you really don't like the blond wood, I could see staining it a dark brown or possibly painting it a charcoal to black color, but not white. I don't think you can update MCM with white paint.

If you intend to replace all your woodwork, consider selling it off as a package to someone who is redoing a 50s home and wants authentic trim. Then, you could even require them to remove it and get some cash for new materials. If it were my home, I would try to play up the vintage look, but that's just me and my own preferences.
January 20, 2013 at 2:11PM     
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elliedell55
Remove the top section only and carefully & replace with shelving that goes into the dining room that can house dishes.
Use the piece that comes out & repurpose turn on side... add legs and a glass top and it would be a great coffee table and conversation piece.
Then, on the solid side of the now bookcased dining room & entrance by the front door place a mirror
(or several vintage mirrors in a variety of shapes) to check yourself before you answer the door.
January 20, 2013 at 2:12PM   
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Aja Mazin
olldbobbi,

They gave it to Fred and Ethel when they moved.
January 20, 2013 at 2:46PM     
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Denise Gilbert
If you LOVE it keep it. I believe if we put things in our homes that we LOVE, everywhere we look we will feel that love.
January 20, 2013 at 2:47PM   
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Montgomery Communications
I really like it, and if it were in my home i'd try to keep it.
and you need SOMETHING to divide the entry and dining room...

BUT... even though i like it i would take it down
cause

the space/elbow room it takes up in the entryway is too much.

put something solid, but move it into tho dining room about 6 inches. then, open the space between the kitchen and the dining room, to make up for 'lost' space.

hundreds of ways to build a solid wall,/divider. just do a search here to get ideas.

thought: Will you use the reclaimed space, on entryway side, for coats and scarves ?

:-)
January 20, 2013 at 3:00PM   
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Aja Mazin
Good grief!

So let's spend a small fortune in time, energy and money and change the entire house ~ get a new door, rip up the floors, buy a new dining room set, buy new drapes ~ to transform a room divider of questionable value into the focal point of mlondon17's new home.
January 20, 2013 at 3:05PM     
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charleee
Aja, did Fred and Ethel want it? Did they paint it???
January 20, 2013 at 3:07PM     
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cjktsd
Take down the funky shelving and leave the half wall. You need a separation from the foyer to the kitchen.
January 20, 2013 at 3:12PM   
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cjktsd
Take down the funky shelving and leave the half wall. You need a separation from the foyer to the kitchen.
January 20, 2013 at 3:13PM   
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clynnbruce
Oh, you simply must keep this beautiful feature! Who else has one? You might strip it and make it lighter, but please do not remove it. You'll surely regret it. It creates a lovely vestibule. Perhaps display quirky plants or intriguing pottery or glass objects in a complementary palette.
Or keep changing it to reflect the seasons.
This is a charming feature of the original design and deserves to be appreciated. You were smart enough to question whether to remove it or not. That means you know it's unique.
Best of luck!
January 20, 2013 at 3:15PM     
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cjktsd
Take down the funky shelving and leave the half wall. You need a separation from the foyer to the kitchen.
January 20, 2013 at 3:15PM   
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Montgomery Communications
ok, it seems, after looking again, the question of whether to leave the divider or not, might not be a big enough question. Thank you for posting other photos!
the entire entryway is a bigger question. the blonds of the closet doors and the divider go together, good.

the rest of it..? not so sure.
do you need two closet doors?
maybe they can be replaced by barn doors, and the divider can be another barn door, too keep a theme,

here's some, to get an idea
Mill Valley, CA
hmmm the colors in that photo might work great in the entryway, too.... :-_

another ida
Basement Remodel

Modern Laundry Room

Crown-Industrial Barn Door Hardware
Master Bedroom

wow, now i am getting ideas for my house!!! LOL

fun question, thanks for the posting.

again, the question of only the divider needs to be a bigger quesiotn, one that involves the entire entry, and the flow into the rest of the house. :-)
January 20, 2013 at 3:23PM     
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Jayme H.
OK.. on that note...again, is this thing your style or is it not? If not, I would explore a reasonable removal method. Guessing it is not since u are asking opinions......The removal of the unit does not equal a complete remodel/revamp of your home and I would disregard comments that suggest that u do so, Unless it is your plan to do. There are many viewpoints and opinions, but what it comes down to is what you want and need.
January 20, 2013 at 3:31PM   
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Aja Mazin
Hang a 60" flat screen TV on it and be done with it!
January 20, 2013 at 3:31PM     
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Aja Mazin
olldbobbi,

Ethel used it to showcase her collection of Melmac
January 20, 2013 at 3:36PM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
late to the comments here however.........KEEP IT.......but I suggest nothing on it......use it as art in and of itself. Work on the window treatment in the dining room!
January 20, 2013 at 3:39PM     
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joliepedit
It depends entirely on your taste. I think one mistake people make is to assume that just because something was included in the original design of the house that it's was a good idea, even at the time. Sometimes, bad or ugly design is just that.

As Fini points out, if you have mid century furnishings or similar modern Danish stuff, it will work great. Otherwise, consider ripping it out and updating it with a floor to ceiling divider of some sort.
January 20, 2013 at 3:46PM     
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Montgomery Communications
ok, it seems, after looking again, the question of whether to leave the divider or not, might not be a big enough question. Thank you for posting other photos!
the entire entryway is a bigger question. the blonds of the closet doors and the divider go together, good.

the rest of it..? not so sure.
do you need two closet doors?
maybe they can be replaced by barn doors, and the divider can be another barn door, too keep a theme,

here's some, to get an idea
Mill Valley, CA
hmmm the colors in that photo might work great in the entryway, too.... :-_

another ida
Basement Remodel

Modern Laundry Room

Crown-Industrial Barn Door Hardware
Master Bedroom

wow, now i am getting ideas for my house!!! LOL

fun question, thanks for the posting.

again, the question of only the divider needs to be a bigger quesiotn, one that involves the entire entry, and the flow into the rest of the house. :-)
January 20, 2013 at 3:52PM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
think it through, how much of the original parts are you removing and what are you keeping, someone already messed up the front door selection.....dont you think? I'd work on that first
January 20, 2013 at 3:53PM     
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jblom
Keep it!! It is beautiful and unique and graphic. I absolutely love it! I am currently looking for a house with that kind of character.
January 20, 2013 at 3:56PM     
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charleee
Stained glass in some of the openings might be nice.
January 20, 2013 at 3:59PM     
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joliepedit
FORMA included a pic of a staggered bookcase. This is what I had in mind for floor-to-ceiling divider. It is in keeping with the period but still looks contemporary. Replacing the front door to something a little less generic is a good idea. Again, FORMA included nice pics and I think the styling of the blue one transcends periods (though you can go with a new one in not so shocking a color :)
January 20, 2013 at 4:43PM   
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michellejohnson54
For what it's worth, I absolutely love it! Just because it's retro doesn't mean your whole house has to be. I would paint it though.
January 20, 2013 at 4:52PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
the one you have is perfect...enjoy what IS
January 20, 2013 at 4:55PM     
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Ana Arguelles
Unite the kitchen and dining room
January 20, 2013 at 4:59PM   
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sacapuntaslapioz
keep it. it is great. change paint.[houzz=
]
January 20, 2013 at 5:25PM   
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mcbriec
I agree with many others that you should only keep it if you want a midcentury modern/retro kind of style. If not, it should be ripped out ASAP as it really makes a statement, for good, or for ill, depending upon one's sensibilities.
January 20, 2013 at 6:15PM   
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Jayme H.
Never mean to disrespect an expert by any means...but you can establish some style of your own and rip this out and not destroy the overall "style" of the home itself. I am not inclined to believe this was intended to be, nor is... a masterpiece worthy of preservation....UNLESS ...You think it is (and u said ugly shelving)..And on that note, I shall shut my trap.
January 20, 2013 at 6:24PM     
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calikym
Do you like it and want to go for that look? If so, then keep it, but as many have pointed out, it is different than everything else around it except for the hallway closet door and some trim. I would keep it because that is the look I like but the front door clashes with it big time. Someone ^^ posted some perfect front doors and that would look awesome I definitely do not like the idea of taking the top piece off and keeping a half wall, btw.
January 20, 2013 at 6:27PM   
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calikym
Do you like it and want to go for that look? If so, then keep it, but as many have pointed out, it is different than everything else around it except for the hallway closet door and some trim. I would keep it because that is the look I like but the front door clashes with it big time. Someone ^^ posted some perfect front doors and that would look awesome I definitely do not like the idea of taking the top piece off and keeping a half wall, btw.
January 20, 2013 at 6:28PM   
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maizyrae
I would rip the whole thing out. If you look at newer houses, most of them have an open dining room near the front door. Lots of them also have a wood floor in the more formal areas, which acts as a separator.
January 20, 2013 at 7:17PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
there are other needs for the $$$$$ at this time, keep it and move away from the issue Get to work on that front door!
January 20, 2013 at 7:18PM     
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Susanna
I'll bet you are really sorry now that you asked the question! :-) I stopped back by to see what you decided (I suggested caramel paint on the walls up at the very top of this) and now it has turned into ripped up floors, torn down walls, barn doors, dyed drapes and Ethel Mertz. Ha! I have been laughing for ten minutes over Aja's hilarious comments, no doubt posted out of frustration. This is why I love Houzz.
Well, hang in there and tally the yeas and nays. One thing you know for sure from all of this: if you keep it, you have a real conversation piece there and, if you don't like it, you can sell it. Either way...Winning!
January 20, 2013 at 7:20PM     
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Montgomery Communications
Gary is right, if you can get another front door, and keep the divider and closet doors, you could be thrilled every time you walk in. the divider is neat. it tickles us.
the front door..... not so much.

get one to match the character and wood of what is there already.
January 20, 2013 at 7:24PM     
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danberlin
take it out dry wall it take out closet and make a mud room
January 20, 2013 at 7:41PM   
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poodiesgirl
Keep it! Beautiful Mid-century modern!!! I think you should run with the design and find a good table set like the one pictured above from another poster.. If you decide to take it out, do it carefully, so it can be sold to someone else!! Preserve it for someone that appreciates the style, because its so hard to find original, funky pieces like this!
Agree about the new door too..Find a mid century modern door, someone posted a few of those too, if you want to run with this look. It needs to be cohesive. Minimalist.
January 20, 2013 at 8:23PM     
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rawketgrl
This post is cracking me up! My 2 cents is I would tear it out in a NY minute! Find matching tile to put down where I tore it out and put up curtains on both sides of the dining area walls to give it a bit of separation from the entry way and would add more texture and color to dining area. Plus the kids can use it as a stage! LOL...
Whatever you do please re-post with after pics and let up know what you decided! :D
January 20, 2013 at 8:53PM   
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mlondon17
WOW! ALL THESE SUGGESTIONS AND COMMENTS ARE GREAT! The wood floors are in the dining room, living room, hallway and bedrooms. the black tile in the entry and the laminate in kitchen are the only places that aren't hardwood. The kitchen is the only room we'll be changing the flooring in FOR SURE. We will be completely redoing the kitchen, but not for a little bit since we are in the middle of completely remodeling the basement right now. My husband is all about 2013 traditional. I like some of that but also love adding some character and color. Even if it is just with interchangeable items. I'm not a fan of the '50s style- although i think some people pull it off wonderfully! I like traditional with an eclectic twist. "organic, outdoorsy, natural" these are styles that i find peaceful. Throwing a punch of color in is always good too. The front door isn't my favorite either- but i want to figure out what i'm doing with the entry/kitchen first.
I like the idea of taking out the little sliding doors and opening up the cabinet below the divider on the dining room side. My husband is leaning toward taking the quirky shelves down.
I guess the trim, closet doors and shelf are not my fav color of wood. I do like darker stains better- but this trim is throughout the ENTIRE main level. I feel like i would need to stain it all for uniformity??
the pictures i added here are (1) looking from the dining into the kitchen. then 3 angles of the kitchen. It was suggested we tear down and leave a half wall between the dining and kitchen... so, no uppers on the window side of the kitchen? I do like that idea. Very open/airy feeling perhaps.
I'm very much welcoming all this input. its greatly appreciated!
January 20, 2013 at 8:54PM     
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Martha Woods
Please do not rip it out. Do not use them as shelves but rather as artwork. Your entry is very small and yet, if you rip it out, it will not be defined as an entry. If you close it in, it will make your entry claustrophobic. Depending on what your budget is, you definitely need to change your door (love the samples given) - put a larger drum or bubble light over table (hung lower and all white) - buy more mid-century bright orange or turquoise chairs around the table - take down drapes and either put matchstick type rollups or white plantation type shutters - colorful glass mid century decanters on table - also change entry light to more contemporary (you might have 3 colored drop pendant lights in a row for a simple touch in entry). With your space you need to keep it simple. Oh yes, paint your walls - depending on other colors, maybe a soft lime, turquoise, or other personality colors. Remember, this is the first view you have of your home and it needs to set the stage for a unique and fashionable impression. When no longer "in", the style can be easily switched with simple changes.
January 20, 2013 at 9:06PM     
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Aja Mazin
artistea,

Thank you!!
It is my function on Houzz to provide comic relief!
January 20, 2013 at 9:33PM     
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kitasei
This piece would be a brilliant addition to my house, and here's why. We remove our shoes at the entrance. If you turn this around, so the sliding doors are on the entrance side, you can put all of your outdoor footwear neatly away. The upper part can be equally useful (not for shoes!). Tying it in visually is another question, and one easily solved by any of the many suggestions here, and probably made at the end of your design/decorating of the rest of the room and house. Think first of its functionality -- which for me is a resounding yes.
January 21, 2013 at 3:09AM     
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n6kiv00
keep the wood in the color they are. Paint eventually chips and looks ugly. When thinking paint colors think of the wood as a color (say reddish brown) and then do colors that look good with it. I'd put small disc lights at the top of it and put colored artsy glass on it.
January 21, 2013 at 3:45AM     
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Montgomery Communications
If you like traditional, you are always going to second guess yourself.
Gary is right, do front door first.
i forget whomever posted the idea of putting it on Craigslist so at least someone will get it who adores it.
we all like it but we do not have to live with it.
you will always be looking at it and doubting it

HOWEVER,
as is the rule for the stock market, don't take it down, don't take a step, till you have in mind what you want.
or, as I say, never LEAVE a place, but always GO TO the NEXT place.

Hone your style, look and research, enjoy the journey, build out your ideabook with things that excite you and thrill you
go back and edit your ideabook every 6 months.
learn what you like, and be able to articulate why.

best eye-builidng method: take a room you don't like, and find at least one thing you DO like, and be able to state WHY.

you will learn more about yourself that way, than any other approach, it will train your eye, and you'll find your own answers.

your style is different from this fabulous gorgeous divider.
you know what? my style is different from fabulous gorgeous Louis the xxthnth, I would not be able to live with it, no matter how much i APPRECIATED it.

you have answered your own question.

the next question is, what do you want. what will make your toes wiggle, what will represent you, what will make you proud proud proud to walk into that house and welcome guests.

have fun with that!!! :-)

your house is terrific, btw. i love the kitchen as is, and the entryway, and it would tickle me to bring guests into my house if it looked like yours. seriously, it is great!

you are different from me, and want something else. enjoy finding it.
January 21, 2013 at 5:59AM     
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murphyart
I think you should keep it. If you paint it black like the "family" sign it will blend in. It has character--keep it and paint it!!!
January 21, 2013 at 7:22AM   
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sacapuntaslapioz
I assumed because you bought the house that mid-century modern appeals to you. if you do not you set yourself up for a lot of heart-aches, headaches and serious spending. Your kitchen seems like a gem for a tasteful and not quite so expensive updating. It kills me when people buy a tudor and then want to turn it into a mid century, or buy a midcentury but like traditional. what you end up with is what I have been renovating for 10 years: poor mismatched houses or apartments that just wanted to be what they were, and then someone likes me comes behind and has to spend a ton of time and money to restore the house to what it was. If you like traditional buy a colonial, it is not like in this market you cannot choose. But having bought that one, work with what you have unless you are prepared to go to the studs. Working with what you have would yield the best resale value, as is unique and honest what keeps its value, not fake colonial updates over a midcentury house. my 2 cents.
January 21, 2013 at 7:28AM     
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breta
KEEP IT! Its perfect mid-century! If the wood isn't in great condition paint it.
January 21, 2013 at 8:38AM     
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kperlot
Like many others, I would keep the upper partition. However, I would rework the lower part of the cabinet to make it more interesting and furniture-like and work with the upper partition. Check out shaker style furniture or www.greenteadesign.com for some ideas.

If I had the budget, I would replace the front door with a wood or fiberglass door, which can be stained to look like wood.

With regard to adding more wood flooring, you can easily change directions. All you have to do is lay a threshhold at the door jamb. While I'm not partial to the black tile, it can be worked with. Using warm paint colors like caramel, yellow, khaki, green, and robins egg blue would tie everything together. A colorful, patterned runner or two that incorporates some of the wall colors can liven things up.

Regarding your dining room, I would place the bench on the window side of the table. Then you're not looking through chairs while you look at the view.
January 21, 2013 at 9:57AM   
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Matthew Haraminac
Keep it, is a nice feature and the space would look awkward with just a knee wall.
January 21, 2013 at 1:28PM   
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wellheythere
I LOVE IT!
January 21, 2013 at 2:21PM     
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Brenda Bloods
my vote is take it out - it looks like an afterthought... an addition that may even be right on top of the existing flooring. it would be lovely to have it wide and open.
January 21, 2013 at 3:01PM     
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archeviedesign
I would take both the top and the bottom out. That would mean fixing the floor somehow. Maybe a new updated entry floor while you're at it? Or adding a full strip of wood flooring? As a residential architect, I very rarely try and divide spaces with 1/2 walls or dividers. It just feels better without these things. Taking it out would make everything look and feel bigger. If you want some architectural interest there, I'd do columns on either side of the opening.
January 21, 2013 at 3:10PM   
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mlondon17
I WAS ASKED WHY WE BOUGHT THE HOUSE? After looking at Multiple homes and possibly building new- this home seemed to fit us the best for our budget. Over 3300 sq ft, 3 bdrooms on the main level and 2 we are building downstairs. My husband was drawn to it because of all the potential he saw in it. A very well built home (the home of the builder) that was ready to move in to with the history and character i wanted, yet so many options to turn it into our own. The huge living room with 3 massive windows (to me anyway) melted my heart along with the wood floors. The neighborhood is also something we were So Lucky to be able to find a house in.
The kitchen really doesn't bother me much- however, the dishwasher is tiny and directly under the sink- making a very shallow sink. And the oven is old and Wide. I'm growing increasingly frustrated with its uneven baking/cooking. When we replace the dishwasher and oven there will be very ugly spaces gaping at me. And unless i want to continue with the tiny dishwasher that leaks, and shallow sink, i need to re-figure the layout of the kitchen to find a way to fit it all in!
As for keeping this house mid-century. Really the only thing in it that has that feel is this wall divider. And perhaps the layout of the home itself. The brick FP in the Family room is even very simple.
perhaps my eyes have mistaken me and I just don't know what I'm looking at though!
The first pic is of the lower level family room fireplace- the second pic is part of the Living Room.
As for the entry- I am strongly considering getting rid of that front door. It seems to be pretty unanimous that it's gatta go! Just gatta convince the hubby! And i do like the idea of columns on either side of the opening if we take the dividing unit down......
January 21, 2013 at 10:26PM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
may I have the divider!!!! it is trust great sorry you dont want it, but just like other things in life 'somethings just arent understood ..........................
January 21, 2013 at 10:30PM     
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Aja Mazin
mlondon17,

Lovely!

Why are you focusing on that one item?
January 21, 2013 at 10:34PM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
because they obviously hate it.........lol
I cant understand it either Aja, I just ask they give it to me
January 21, 2013 at 10:36PM     
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
I'd keep the base - take out the upper portion.
Recap the top with gorgeous granite that matches your kitchen for flow and harmony - and even install
a gorgeous light fixture over head to give it personality. The storage is great - why wouldn't you want to keep a custom built in?
January 21, 2013 at 10:54PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
might rethink the granite....it seems to 2010, where the entry doesnt,
January 21, 2013 at 11:03PM     
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mlondon17
we were focusing on that one item for this discussion because it is the only piece we were questioning at this moment in time on this area of the main level. I have many more questions about other areas of the house- however i didn't want to bombard immediately with all my other projects. For fear that it would be a daunting discussion to have so many tasks brought up and i wouldn't get any response at all! :) This one seemed simple enough to start out with on Houzz- (new to all this)
I hated this little partition when we first moved in- now i hardly notice it- except when the kids put their toys n such on it.
Montgomery Communications. thanks for the advice i can use toward the rest of the house. Fortunately there is only one room i dislike... my little pink half bathroom!
thanks to everyone for their input and ideas. Its giving my husband and i perspective on the home and what we are doing with it. Once again- you have no idea how great-full i am for the ideas!!
January 21, 2013 at 11:15PM     
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Aja Mazin
mlondon17,

Gary [GARY FINLEY, ASID] is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers with many rave 5 Star reviews.

He really wants your divider and you need design expertise.

So why not barter for his costly services?

Sounds like a "Win - Win" deal to me!!
January 21, 2013 at 11:18PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
Aja .....where did u get the "costly services" line.......it often more COSTLY to not have design expertise....as say 'you can't afford to NOT have my help'
January 21, 2013 at 11:24PM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
lol
January 21, 2013 at 11:25PM   
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Aja Mazin
GARY FINLEY, ASID

Game, set, and match!
January 21, 2013 at 11:29PM   
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Aja Mazin
January 21, 2013 at 11:32PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
sending me on my way to another project Aja
January 21, 2013 at 11:36PM     
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Matthew Haraminac
If you do remove it you will likely have trim to replace or patch in. Just something to think about. It looks like you have nice wooden trim throughout, so your best option would probably be to match it. Painting trim every 3 years is a pain in the @$$. It might be a good idea to try to match the baseboard before removing the cabinet.
January 22, 2013 at 7:08AM   
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vaunda
I would try to locate a snazzy door with the little windows, to further realize his great idea. I would also find an inspiration fabric and do the relatively inexpensive recover of chair seats. Use the inspiration fabric to choose a stencil for the white drapes in the dining room and stencil them with fabric paint - as an inexpensive face-lift, and a style-experiment. Perhaps just a border, as they are finished at the top. I noticed that the back door had the little inset window, common in that era.
January 22, 2013 at 7:12AM   
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Brenda Bloods
after seeing more of your house, it all seems to jive together. everything except the door :)
January 22, 2013 at 8:29AM     
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marvinone
You've got tons of comments, I may repeat some that you've already heard. As someone currently house hunting, I can not find a 50s' house with these elements still in them. People have taken them out and put in off the shelf items from the local big-box store which clash with the space they are in and often don't function nearly as well. Because you're on this site, you are thinking about it before grabbing a hammer and that's a good thing. I would love to have your house! So please consider leaving these items alone (this will also be cheaper for you!!!).
Someone posted photos of a new front door above, they are NEW doors that can be found at www.crestviewdoors.com - check out their photo gallery.
Also, go to the facebook page for Retro Renovation or their website at www.retrorenovation.com - you're going to find lots of resources there for your age of house and inspirational photos.
Also, pick up a copy of Modernism magazine or Atomic Ranch magazine - they will both have resources for you and inspiration photos. Atomic Ranch often has photos of houses that people have made feel "today" without ripping out all the "yesterday". Just remember if you take out all these wonderful elements your house will end up looking just like everyone else's and you are a unique person - why shouldn't you have a unique house. Don't forget to also use the search function on houzz.com and look up "Mid-Century".
As far as opening everything up....often times open plan houses feel much smaller than those with walls. The divider by your entry is necessary - otherwise people will be walking directly into your dining room and I don't think you'll like that as much - it's a visual barrier that isn't constraining the way a wall is. Also, 50's kitchens were designed for function - live in your house for a while and note what does and doesn't work for you in that area and then decide if you need to change it.
I just ask...if you decide to remove these increasingly rare features of your house, please remove them with care and donate them to a reuse center or sell them - many people are trying to find these elements for their mid-century homes that careless homeowners ripped out years ago. Thoughtful design will make you MUCH happier in the long run, so just give this some time, do your reasearch and then create a well detailed plan. Good luck.

(PS - avoid HGTV shows - they don't value styles from other decades doesn't matter if it's 1900 or 1980, if it's not "today" they rip it out without any thought about salvage value - remember, this is for a tv show and often times the techniques are not recommended by designers or contractors.)
January 22, 2013 at 11:56AM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
i just had been noticing the closet trim.....
January 22, 2013 at 12:00PM     
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Martha Woods
I would say marvinone has given you the best of all advice. I definitely agree.
January 22, 2013 at 12:08PM     
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solraven
I think the shelves are the best part about that half wall. I love it, but if you're unsure, live with it for a while. It may grow on you or not, but there's no need to do construction on something, only to find out that it worked better the other way.
January 22, 2013 at 12:10PM     
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marvinone
I just read one of your other comments which stated you wanted to take out the pink half bath, so I'd like to direct you to Retro Renovation's sister site www.savethepinkbathrooms.com. I don't know what yours looks like and I know there are bad ones out there, but they are becoming more rare every day.

Someone above asked the great question...why did you buy the house? I often wonder why people buy a house and decide to change everything about it? Sometimes it's the location, sometimes it's due to damage, sometimes it's worn out items like carpet/appliances. But I think their suggestion is a great one, something made this feel like home to you and you should put your finger on that before tearing it out. I STRONGLY recommend contacting a QUALIFIED interior designer or architect for a consulation. If you just have them come in and spend a couple hours helping you analyze your space then it's worth it. I bet that service would be a minimal charge. By qualified I mean, check their credentials. AIA or ASID means they are members of professional organizations which require you to have design and construction education and knowledge. I'd start there (or reply directly to Gary Finley, ASID above!!). Houzz.com has a database of designers that you could find in your area.
I suggest you find someone who might like mid-century style so they can help you work with what you have - otherwise you'll be spending all your money rebuilding a house that didn't need to be rebuilt.

And with that...I will step down off the soapbox! Again - good luck!!
January 22, 2013 at 12:33PM     
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Bethany Crenshaw, AKBD - Lowe's Bashford Manor
I have something similar in my home. It just houses figurines and collects dust. I have accidentally broken several of those figurines as well since I walk past it several times a day. I would keep the half wall to define the space, but get rid of the shelving unit. Or you could build it in completely with a nice stained glass window that would allow the light to filter through but not be too closed off.
January 22, 2013 at 12:55PM   
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Aja Mazin
marvinone,

STANDING OVATION!!!!

And using Gary Finley, ASID is a great idea!
January 22, 2013 at 2:46PM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
i'm blushing............................and waiting!
January 22, 2013 at 2:51PM     
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sacapuntaslapioz
mlondon17, sorry if I sounded agravated. it is indeed a cool house and it has a lot of midcentury elements. in my present house I have done more archeology than renovating, peeling down the 70 and 80's out of a 50's ranch much enlarged over the years. under hideous (but expensive) paneling I found the back of a previoulsy exterior stone fireplace, under formica and drywall beautiful old brick fireplace, under tile that would have been great for a wall accent but that was horrible and slippery, was great oak floor full of character. bathrooms had layers and layers of tile, yet one was a gem of 50's blue tile in perfect shape, except for the hideous wallpaper in purple :-( .
I think you can work with your kitchen, reconfiguring what bothers you, changing the elements. that is if the cabinets are good or the layout is without hope. but I tend to agree with everyone, a consultation might be a great thing. my point is working with the design of the house will make your house much better than stuff i have seen, where people have bought a beautiful and cool eichler in NY and then turned into a cottage!!! full of florals and fluff and mauve and pink. I have seen tudors turned into midcenturys in decoration and vice-versa and it is repulsive.

I am sure you will turn your house into a thing of beauty, it seems like a lot of house.

and if Gary Finley does not want it, I will take your divider. I would take his advise in a heartbeat.
January 22, 2013 at 4:23PM     
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theonedidi
I think the shelf is really cool. Don't see dividers like that very often and I love unique personally. I can see snow out the window and can appreciate how the divider would be a great buffer for cold air coming directly in on whoever is sitting at the table.
January 22, 2013 at 4:28PM     
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yvonnecmartin
Appreciate your house for what it is. The fireplace is certainly mid-century modern as are the large windows. Pink powder rooms are something that many purists wouldn't welcome, but they are true to the times. I wouldn't feel bad about changing a pink powder room, but the room divider is another matter.
January 22, 2013 at 10:17PM     
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mlondon17
thank you everyone! like previously said we bought the house because of the size, potential,price, and location. It is located by a river so i can fish after work everyday. We are not thinking of changing much to the upstairs, we are just curious to what other people think of the wall divider. We thought maybe staining it darker to match or painting it or taking the top half off or leaving it as is. The kitchen will need some changes due to the fact that it has some poorly setup areas done by previous owners. We pulled out all the carpet and restored the wood floors and plan on keeping those the way they are. I will not pull those up so i can take the black tile out and put a uniform flooring through out the house. I would be willing to take out the black tile and get something that blends in with the wood floors better. We are mostly keeping the house the way it is but we did take down some hideous wallpaper and replaced some light fixtures. I am an electrician and it bugged me having such a poorly lit house so i changed the style of the fixtures. Our basement had wood paneling in it but wasn't really finished and the electrical was one huge code violation so i gutted the whole thing. I will be making the basement more modern than the upstairs. We will be using can lights to gain a little extra clearance on ceiling height since they are only 7'. The only thing down there to save is the wood fireplace which is great! I never really noticed the door till everyone said something about it but that will have to wait because its -8 right now but definately will change that.Would staining the trim darker ruin the mid-century feel? I'm a sucker for darker woods. Thanks again for all the input, there's has been way more than i would've imagined. this is not mlondon its her husband Trever
January 23, 2013 at 5:24AM     
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mlondon17
THIS IS OUR PINK BATHROOM! And the master bedroom right before we moved in.
January 23, 2013 at 4:53PM     
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sacapuntaslapioz
The built in is nice. I have some of those. Mine have been stained dark and they look good too. As for the pink bathroom... it is up to taste... it does not seem like a prime example of the era's pink bathroom. As for the paper, at least yours is light in color. this is what mine looked the, and now. I still have to remove the shower door and down the line I plan to replace the vanity with something a little better since it is a cheap 1980 horror of chipped formica and questionable taste
January 23, 2013 at 5:17PM     
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Matthew Haraminac
Wow, that is beautiful built in casework in the master! I love how it matches everything else in your house. Just try getting Pulte or KB to do work that well nowadays.... I really hope you plan on keeping the wood trim the way it is, once it's gone (painted) it's gone for good.
January 23, 2013 at 5:28PM     
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sacapuntaslapioz
I would consider leaving the tile and just changing the countetop, preserving the sink. it is very unusual. I would, change the faucets as they tend to leak lead over time.I now only use low lead compliant.
January 23, 2013 at 5:37PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
before this is over, I'm guessing the entry divider will be auctioned off for charity................so much about so little!
January 23, 2013 at 5:39PM   
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Aja Mazin
mlondon17,

I'm loving it!

Asian inspired.
January 23, 2013 at 5:40PM   
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lionnessone
Are you planning to re-model your entire home? If so; then the funky shelving unit will more and likely have to go.
January 23, 2013 at 5:56PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
how much....what is the budget?
January 23, 2013 at 6:01PM   
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Kristen Wilcox
i agree, paint the wood white. it only looks dated because that wood is a little 70'sy. white or black will modernize it. people will be jealous.
January 23, 2013 at 6:12PM   
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dardardar
Love it! It's super awesome funky just the way it is! I suggest some colorful fiesta ware pieces on it to funk it up some more. It's an outstanding piece. One of a kind. Although I agree a mid-century front door would make the whole foyer pop!
January 23, 2013 at 7:51PM   
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k_timberlake
I love the shelves. Repainting in a color that complements the wood tone will make it great.
January 23, 2013 at 8:33PM   
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gotmuriel
We removed ours and added an arch. You can find premade nonlinear.
January 23, 2013 at 8:56PM   
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Montgomery Communications
no wonder you bought your house, it is absolutely terrific.

most of us here hope you maintain and keep the original feeling design, and it would certainly be easier to keep going in that direction.


to make it look like a traditional home will take a lot of work. only you can decide if that's what you want.


you have an opportunity to have a 50's showcase that will be the envy of the design community.

as you click through fifties designs here on houzz, do any of them speak to you?

if not, again, you have your own answers and ignore everybody here who loves your house.

fortunately you have other remodels going on in the house don't have to decide right now. the most important piece of design is taking the time to make sure you get what you want; and the most important component of that is to understand what resonates with you.

time is on your side lol. ( hey we should make a song about that)


other thought is how long will you be in this house, if for quite a while then leaving everything as is could really enhance the resale. if for a short time then the world at large may not have caught up with how fabulous your house is, it may be easier to sell it with a more "right now" box store look

consider that any remodeling you do now will be dated in about 10 years, you will grow restless and want to do it over again. this is a pretty normal process.


I bet many here agree with me to leave it as it is, a classic, means you will not need to redo it every 10 years. to leave your house is a fabulous 19 fifties designer it is as an extra bonus you would not have to redo it every 10 years. :) :)
January 24, 2013 at 4:31AM     
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sacapuntaslapioz
Great point Montgomery. ALso mlondon17, consider that keeping the features does not mean living in a time machine. you can keep the most remarkable features and choose other things that complement them. you can have a 50s fireplace and a super comfortable sofa, so long as you do not insist in swag curtains in florals ;-) Good luck, I suspect your houzz discussion will be feautured in most commented in 2013
January 24, 2013 at 4:44AM     
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mlondon17
AS AWESOME as it would be, I live in the Midwest so i highly doubt Mr. Finley will be able to come consult. :p However I am strongly considering having someone come in and help me with all these decisions. I want to keep the wonderful features this home has to offer. I also want to give it some appropriate updating. A compromise between my husbands current traditional style, and me wanting to keep the character of the home. I'm still contemplating the pink bathroom and how to make it.... ummm well... I'm not a fan of the flower wallpaper.
how do i know if I'm getting a good interior designer? And what/how do they charge?
We plan on living here for a Looooong time. :) I'm super excited and i DO want my home to stand out and speak of my personality. I do NOT want it to be cookie cutter- I see things i love- but I'm never sure how to incorporate those things into my home.
We haven't given ourselves a huge allowance for the main level since we are finishing the basement. Just cosmetic/accessory/facelift type stuff for the main level.
January 24, 2013 at 9:00PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
whatever you do dont add arches!!!!
January 25, 2013 at 8:30AM   
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Linda Coolen
I would take out the top piece and paint the bottom unit black. Storage is a good thing but the top piece is out of proportion to the top
January 25, 2013 at 8:38AM   
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Then & Again Designs
It's a great statement piece. Don't take it out!! I think if you paint the doors and/or walls as mentioned above you will be happier with it. You might try a couple of things just to see if you like it better: paint the inside of the cabinet (where the"family" plaque is) the color of the door(tape sample paper up first before you commit). Second, how about some fretwork or molding trim on the lower section by the front door . Look up "fretwork" on this wonderful houzz site for ideas. The divider Is a classic plus it gives lots of storage which is always good!!! If your door was more midcentury modern it would be more cohesive, I think.
January 25, 2013 at 8:58AM   
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
Lots of good ideas given already, but the hardest part about giving advice on design is going off of just pictures, to get a true feeling of house and home, you do need to have someone come in, look at the neighboorhood, the surroundings, the whole house inside and out, and then have a face to face discussion with you and your family to get a true feeling for style, wants, and needs. When you contact designers, builders, ask for references, obviously look at past work pictures or in person. Costs should be discussed and agreed upon before any work starts of course. Licensing is also a major factor to consider, and you should also just get an overall feeling of comfort with the person(s) you hire. If you are anywhere near my location I would love to talk with you. Looking through your idea book, I think the work I do is in tune with your tastes. Feel free to visit my homepage, and if you like what you see feel free to contact me.
January 25, 2013 at 9:04AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
bottom line here

with all the comments, and time invested on this enrty, there is no doubt enough (too much) conversation for a decision to be made on the wall divider!

Someone will buy it, if its removed. There are those in the world that understand it and consider it of value..

there gets to be a point (not to be too parental) "call it like you see it and don't look back".....
January 25, 2013 at 9:39AM   
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Aja Mazin
Do what makes you happy.

Then, at least one person will be pleased.
January 25, 2013 at 11:23AM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
there are two in the HOUSE lol
January 25, 2013 at 11:38AM   
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sacapuntaslapioz
As if more proof is needed that this dilemma is truly touching on a raw nerve : full-fledge-preservationist, middle-of-the-road-appreciate-your-past, and out-with-the-old crowd, here is my take on the pink bathroom:
- remove paper, use a steamer.
- paint in a pale grey color or white
- going with Aja's suggestion, get a cherry tree wall decal, or paint it if you are artistically inclined
- get a vanity top in dark grey such as corian or caesarstone in a leather finish. reinstall the sink
-get a new light fixture and a new faucet
January 25, 2013 at 1:35PM     
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sacapuntaslapioz
oops picture did not upload
[houzz=
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January 25, 2013 at 1:36PM   
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Madi
It's a very cool piece, but the colors of it and the walls, door, etc. clash together. If you repainted then it would look FABULOUS
January 27, 2013 at 11:10AM   
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Galleria Place
I would recommend removing...will open the room more.. That partition serves no point. Replace with wall decor beside it. http://www.bargainbacker.com/Wall-Decor_c_13.html
February 1, 2013 at 10:03PM   
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panzyzz
I would keep it! Its unique and a great place to show off some lovely vases or even photos. You can't have enough shelving and if you don't overcrowd the shelves, it will still seem very open. If you absolutely have to tear it out, make sure to sell it because there are those of us out here who would LovE to have it!
March 2, 2013 at 9:08PM   
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
I'd take out the upper portion, leaving the bookshelves and adding a granite/quartz topper to the base -

Take the upper portion - cut off the top and bottom pegs, hang it to the wall with a collection of something - or simply as wall art. Two for the price of one!
good luck.
March 2, 2013 at 9:34PM   
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Barbara Venezia
I had similar shelves with brick half wall on bottom..we sheet rocked over all of it so we didn't have to tear anything down or disrupt floor. That way if next owner wants it, it's there. I thought I liked the shelves at first but couldn't find things I liked on them and got tired of the look.
March 30, 2014 at 4:05PM   
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catielyn
You should remove the shelving and the half wall to create a more open space when you open the door to your house.
March 30, 2014 at 4:07PM   
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pmanastasia
Remove shelving; keep half-wall.
March 30, 2014 at 4:09PM     
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cabingirl13
Remove the shelving (outdated)......keep the half wall. You could put a small slab of granite on top of the half wall for some interest?
March 30, 2014 at 4:12PM   
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saratogaswizzlestick
Look at the passionate responses you have received. Why have a cookie cutter house and remove the original detail? Embrace the potential of your house.
March 30, 2014 at 5:41PM   
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rosecottagehome
This original post is over a year old.
March 30, 2014 at 6:07PM   
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lionnessone
Have you decided. If so, do you have any pictures you can post?
March 31, 2014 at 5:10AM   
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