Rummer 'remodel' in April Issue of Dwell (success/failure?)

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Rummer 'remodel' in April Issue of Dwell (success/failure?)

Postby eggMCMuffin » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:23 pm

I'm getting to this a little late, but there was a nicely written article about a Portland area Rummer in the April issue of Dwell. The article and the photography were very nicely done, I thought (sort of your typical Dwell write up, featuring many photos of the happy besweatered family lounging in their modern home), but I think the substance of the project is a reasonable topic for discussion, as the resulting home is very much an interpretation of Mid Century Modernism rather than a faithful restoration. I'll withhold comment for now, except for to say that I'm happy to see the magazine dedicating a little more coverage to approachable projects achieved on what at least appear to be fathomable budgets of late.

I was wondering if anyone else on the forum happened to have read the article and had some thoughts/opinions?

Or, if you're curious,
Article:


Photo Slide Show:


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Postby Stephen » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:09 pm

I'll take the bait.

Success...for several reasons:

1. They took something in sorry shape and improved it
2. They have remodeled in a way that works for their lifestyle
3. Nothing is incongruous with the original design intentions of the home
4. They did all of the above in a way that fits with the neighborhood
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Postby Perks » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:14 pm

I'll go with "success" as well, first and foremost because they talked the wanna-be investors out of completely screwing the place up.

I actually think they did well with the decor and design. Not seeing any good "before" pictures of the interior, it's hard to say what they had to work with when they started. If you're in the position where not much of the original interior could be saved (speaking from experience), unless you have a large supply of money and time, sometimes there isn't anywhere to go but forward...
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Postby BAZ_MCM » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:04 pm

Read the article. Liked it. Add another tick to the "success" column. I thought the renovation was tastefully done and well executed.

I took solace and inspiration from the article, as we too are dealing with a house that has gone under the knife to the point no original elements remain. So we progress by undoing force-fit, architectural-fighting decisions in an effort to return the home's aesthetic to a sense of harmony. With a mix of new and old.

Enjoyed the topic.

Cheers,

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Postby greenmod » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:07 pm

Unsuccessful. When did these homes that were built for *families* become so family unfriendly? White? Everything white? Really, my 3 yo would have that place dirtied up in ten minutes. He's really into the indoor/outdoor aspect of MCMs. He loves to bring the outdoors in.

Yes, this is posted tongue in cheek, although I do often feel that most MCMs that were built for family living are now owned by couples. I see these people have a child, but maybe they keep her locked in the atrium.
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Postby redneckmodern » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:41 pm

success. as noted, they designed/remodded it for them, not for the elusive "market" i can't see how a house with 10-foot walls of glass were ever "kid friendly" in the first place. the first night in 1963, one of our prev. owners' kids ran straight through the largest window (fortunately fast enough to prevent decapitation)...

i also like the rummers (better than the eichlers in many ways) as they seem to "have it all". in an eichler, you have to choose between a 2-car garage or a carport. in a rummer, you get both. a utility room or a larger den? both. not that i need more space in my house, but the rummer -- built way back -- meets the market demands of many of today's overstuffed buyers... plus they're in more reasonable markets (i.e.: not in california).

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Postby Joe » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:04 pm

obviously whoever wrote the story used my Rummer articles as a resource. they continued to use an error I made.

Eugene has better weather than Portland. No, it's not dark and gloomy all the time. we do see sunshine during the winter 8-)

now the house. I am not a fan of the "white out" style of design. what's worse is they continued it outside. Rather than blending in with nature, the "machine in the garden" is a little too obvious. reminds me of white greek statues. I don't like it in Palm Springs and don't like it in Oregon. Sorry, I like color, complimenting contrast, and natural rustic elements found in West Coast Modernism.

I think the wall paper in the dining area is hideous. It's those decorative elements that began to creep in to interior design towards the end of Modernism in the mid-'60s I do not like. early Post Modernism. yuk.

I question just how bad the house was when they started. the before images have been made to look grainy and black and white, as to offer greater contrast to what they did. the exterior cedar siding looks like it's stained, which is rare. most today have been painted over, like this siding is now. The fire place looked unpainted, now it's white (we always get complaints about painted brick).

not sure if I would classify it as a "remodel" rather a renovation. I wouldn't kick them out of the home association for it. The curb appeal is OK :wink:

I actually drove several of the larger Rummer neighborhoods a couple weeks ago and I have to admit they are looking better as a whole than they were 5 years ago. there are been some great renovations, many better that this one, though.

you asked for opinions :)

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Postby rockland » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:32 am

I'd call it a success overall. Agree with Stephen's 1234.
Starting with the floor. A big expense and important to get that one
right. Not a mention of what type of roof replacement was chosen.

I wanted some more pics.
The daughters room is great.
I like the wallpaper. Bookmarked it. http://www.tapettitalo.fi/luettelot_en/ ... koiset.php

They did rescue it from some flippers that had started some crappy work.
They made some decent budget choices.
The before pics are a bit exaggerated i agree.
Also not a fan of the all white. (a blue was used so it isn't all white but
falls in the overall white on white mold)

And i would have left the fireplace alone, inside and out. For a while
anyway. And the exterior? Blending with the landscape would have
been my choice...
It's very 'Dwell' isn't it?

It is a nice clean blank slate. I'm sure it will evolve over time.
Minimal is always a good starting point.
Isn't it nice when an atrium has a few in-ground plantings?

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I like it

Postby modfan » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:30 am

But yup there is all that white but then again with a kid in the house, ya just know they are gonna think about painting some white surfaces other colors, and get some more kid friendly furniture---wonder how long that white sofa will be a white sofa until the kid makes em decide to recover it in something more kid durable.

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Postby sdmod » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:49 am

I agree with what Joe said about the "white out"... and also with Stephen's 1-4.

I also question the actual condition of the house at the time of purchase; it looks to have been in better shape than described.

I am never a fan of replacing original sliders or windows...those can almost always be repaired/restored and in my opinion look much better.

I wonder what the kitchen and bathrooms look like; those are typically the scene of the worst crimes; they are noticeably absent in the photos of the home.

The end result should in no way be confused with restoration but in terms of a remodel/renovation (and I am guessing the kitchen and baths would strengthen this assessment) I would say success....

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Postby sdmod » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:51 am

Also,

Having lived in Eugene for about two years and spending quite a bit of time in Portland I would agree that weather in Eugene is better. :wink:

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Postby home_boy » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:32 am


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Postby Joe » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:50 am


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Postby eggMCMuffin » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:00 pm

I generally consider it to be success as well. The faithful aspects of the remodel (or renovation, as Joe prefers) I like include the largely period front exterior, and in particular that they let a Japanese maple that had matured less than perfectly survive. The deviations I enjoyed include the wallpaper, which creates a nice contrast to the "white out" effect. I own a lot of white furniture and fixtures myself, and have always liked the way they make the paintings and splashes of colorful furniture in my home stand out. I think the use of bright wallpaper achieves the same effect in this home. And no, I don't have kids... ;-) I also really like the use of decking and gravel in the atrium.

Joe's certainly right about the Rummer market in Portland. It's been moving pretty well even since the housing slump started, and most of the remodels I've visited have been of a relatively high quality (some my style and some not, but I haven't seen too many that were out and out awful). There is some strong support for MCMs among a few real estate professionals in Portland as well, which seems to be helping to connect sellers and buyers more effectively than in some other cities.

My one nit to pick with the article is their decision to trot out the old "it always rains in Portland" thing. It's just kind of cliché, and belies the many great things the city has to offer by virtue of it's rainy location (amazing green spaces, great skiing, access to the coast line, etc, etc).

With my own MCM, I often find myself in the role of a 'respectful heretic'... Restoring what I like about it's MCM heritage (and there is quite a lot), and eliminating or changing what doesn't suit me. I think there's certainly room for both restorers and thoughtful remodelers within the MCM community.
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Postby Joe » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:12 pm


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Postby redneckmodern » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:30 pm

(re: carports/garages)

i have no doubt that it's an eichler (oakland/jones, etc) concept, but i've not seen/remembered any eichlers in the norcal/eastbay (or socal for that matter) that have both... it's either the 2 car garage or the carport (with one car garage). perhaps down on the peninsula (we don't get down there much)...

http://redneckmodern.typepad.com/rednec ... -wort.html

i *do* remember seeing a rummer remodel (not this one, but another a-frame) in a nesting magazine that was simply huge. 2 car garage *and* carport. big family room (not a small multipurpose room) *and* living room... it just seemed to have it all. from what i recall, it was a nice remodel, too... similar to this one, but not as white.

(as compared to eichlers) my only complaint is that our house *seems* small.. not that we need more space, but for $500K (and coming from virginia), it just seems like not-a-lot-for-the-money. the rummers seemed to have just that extra bit for it to feel like a "grown up"/heirloom house without being gross. the eichlers (on small lots) still have a "starter home" vibe to me... silly, i know, but...[/url]

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Postby rockland » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:59 pm

I was a mid-century kid. One of four in a three bedroom ranch. Nothing fancy. Shared rooms.
Paul Mccobb throughout. ALL play was outside four seasons. Liv rm and din rm off
limits. Sit down dinner was mandatory. My mothers home was sparse and sacred.
We respected that. Very tidy. As were most homes in the neighborhood.

One neighbor had a cool split level with a kids play room. The only home that was
kid friendly. 'the Brady Bunch'. We loved it.

The home discussed and many i see, with trikes in the liv room!, are way more
kid friendly than we ever had. A decorated kids nursery? That is more for the parents than
the kids. (I would probably have a skate-board ramp in the house.)
Never did we do homework on the kitchen table or have blackboard walls to draw
on. We had our own tidy desks in our rooms and silence like a library for the hour
after meals. We played hard outside. No tv weekdays or maybe a 1/2 hour if earned.

Times have changed since we let 6yr olds run the neighborhood all day without a worry.

That one looks like a kids playland. Wipe it up. Scrub it. Hose it off. Not much there to get
dirty.

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Postby jakabedy » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:04 am

1920s Bungalow Gal turned MCM Maven

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Postby hood » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:32 am

beautifully done
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Postby Stephen » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:37 am

Not to restoke the fire...has anyone seen the Rummer remodel in the most recent issue of Atomic Ranch?

I've always gotten queasy feeling in my stomach when I see people enclose the atriums. But in this case, I can honestly say I love the way it works with the house and adapts the California Atrium for use in the a cooler climate.
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Postby STLModern » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:28 pm

I agree with you Stephen, I thought it worked out very well and it is still flooded with natural light.

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Postby hortonhw » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:49 pm

i like the fireplace being painted in this house. the red brick used is such a bold color that it conflicts with many of the softer or primary colors used in modern furnishings and design, that rather than being able to establish your own palette you are forced to bend to the color of the brick. i think the change to cinder block fireplaces in later models was a huge improvement.

also, i have to question what redneckmodern is talking about. to say that rummers are bigger and better than eichlers is ridiculous. they are not based on "concepts" by eichler architects. they are exact replicas of actual homes that were built. and no, the A frame model does not have a two car garage. the eichlers don't and the rummers don't. if you saw a remodeled rummer of this design with both then it was not original. and to say that a rummer model vs the same eichler model has significantly larger rooms or more rooms is completely false. there will be minor superficial differences, just as there are in different eichler homes of the same design, but the footprint remains the same. and have you ever seen the backyard of a rummer? they are just as small as most eichlers, but eichler liked to build on hillsides to give views as well as the added privacy of staggered heights of the lots. to say that a 2000 sq ft house made of custom milled redwood beams, siding and tongue & groove ceilings is not an "heirloom" house but a knock off version is, well, i don't follow your line of reasoning. the pricing is more about location than the actual house, but as we have seen for a few years now, people will pay a premium for the quality of craftsmanship and design. i would be curious to hear what other aspects of the rummer homes is superior to the eichlers, as the ones you have mentioned are false.

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Postby Joe » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:55 am


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Postby redneckmodern » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:08 pm


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Postby redneckmodern » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:19 pm


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Postby Joe » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:58 pm


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re: that Rummer in Atomic Ranch

Postby markjudep » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:31 pm



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