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On “Frozen in Time,” designer Dan Vickery and Maureen McCormick (Marcia of “Brady Bunch” fame) travel around Southern California updating drab homes from the 1950s and ’60s. Yet rather than replace the decor with a whole new look, they often try to bring these homes back to their midcentury modern glory.

Midcentury architecture has seen a resurgence in popularity, so it makes total sense that Vickery and McCormick would work to preserve this style. Yet they can’t keep all the original details, lest these houses look stuck in a bygone era.

Not sure what to keep, or toss, to achieve a midcentury look that’s still, well, modern? To guide your design decisions, take a look at what this renovation team preserves—and what it lets go.

Ditch: the shag carpet

The carpet was original, but not everything needs to match the era.


Probably the first midcentury modern feature that Vickery and McCormick are more than happy to toss is shag carpet. In fact, in the “1961 House” episode, they encounter a home with wall-to-wall shag carpeting, even in the kitchen and bathroom!

“It was not only dirty and dated,” Vickery says of the carpet, “but it was sucking up all the light in this room.”

living room
With vinyl flooring, this retro house is much more practical for the modern age.


Vickery and McCormick decide to replace the carpet with vinyl flooring, an inexpensive yet beautiful alternative. When the floors are finished, the home is transformed. While the shag carpet made the home look drab, the new flooring gives the space a clean, bright vibe.

Keep: pastels in the bathroom

This bathroom with a Jack-and-Jill shower needed an era-appropriate update.


While many people want a midcentury look in their living room, it can be hard to incorporate the same style into the bathroom, since this is a space homeowners want to feel modern and sleek.

Vickery and McCormick set a good example in the “1958 House” episode, when they redo a bathroom with modern appliances, but give it a ’50s vibe with a retro color.

This soft pink color makes the space feel like a true ’50s bathroom.


The bathroom already has pink hues when they find it, but they update the space with stylish mirrors, new tile, and a fresh coat of paint. It looks beautiful!

“Pink and white were totally the colors that you would see in a bathroom from the ’50s,” McCormick points out when the bathroom is finished.

Keep: flat-panel cabinets (but change the color)

This kitchen had dark cabinets and more of an ’80s vibe.


The “Stuck in the ’60s” episode is all about creating a midcentury kitchen that will work in the 21st century.

During this renovation, McCormick and Vickery are tasked with the challenge of taking a 1980s kitchen back to the 1960s, while also updating the space to modern tastes.

Magically, these new white cabinets give the kitchen a classic charm.


One way they do this is with simple cabinet doors, which could go with both modern and retro styles.

“The cabinets, because they’re flat-face, are reminiscent of a 1960s kitchen,” Vickery explains.

Plus, these cabinets are high-gloss white, which makes the space feel clean and modern without taking away from the midcentury-inspired backsplash.

Keep: plenty of planters

These homeowners didn’t know what to do with this strange planter.


In the “1957 House” episodee, McCormick and Vickery find a midcentury detail they love: a built-in planter. While the homeowners admit they were never sure what to do with this planter, McCormick and Vickery embrace the midcentury feature.

“In the 1950s, they were strongly influenced by nature. You would see this a lot, where they would force you to have landscaping inside the home,” Vickery explains.

Maureen McCormick helps fill this planter with some beautiful greenery.


After ensuring the planter has proper drainage under the house, McCormick helps the homeowner by planting some greenery in the spot. With the planter full of beautiful green leaves, the entryway now feels more lively.

Ditch: loud colors

This pink color was a bit too bold.


While McCormick and Vickery want to embrace many midcentury features, they run into a color they refuse to keep in the “1950 House” episode. This house is covered in bright pink paint—and Vickery, McCormick, and the homeowners want the color changed.

This mint color is reminiscent of the ’60s without being too loud.


McCormick helps choose a mint color that’s reminiscent of the era without seeming too bold. When the house is finally finished, both the designers and homeowners are relieved.

“The pink was so intense,” Vickery says.

Keep: the brick fireplace

McCormick and Dan Vickery decide to keep this fireplace as is.


Vickery and McCormick work hard to update each home, but they know that some features don’t need to be changed at all.

In the “1955 House” episode, Vickery and McCormick find an old home with a great living room. While they update the space by taking the wood paneling off the walls and switching out the furniture, they keep the fireplace exactly the same.

While its dark brick may not be as popular these days, the fireplace with its chunky wood mantel looks great in this home, so Vickery and McCormick decide to keep it as is.

“There are a lot of things that have not gone out of style. I mean, everybody still wants exposed beams. Everybody wants a fantastic fireplace to gather around,” Vickery says.

The post ‘Frozen in Time’ Reveals What To Keep (and Toss) for Maximum Midcentury Charm appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.


‘Frozen in Time’ Reveals What To Keep (and Toss) for Maximum Midcentury Charm
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