Welcome! At Make it Mid Century, we rescue mid-century homeowners from bland chain store improvements by offering vintage-inspired materials and kits.
I’m Susan Halla, the founder and a mid-century enthusiast passionate about helping fellow mid-century fanatics like yourself avoid the boring and pursue home improvement in a truly inspired way for your interior and exterior doors, shutters, laminate, and more!
Permission granted: you can now officially stop combing home improvement stores for the “right” building materials – since the “right” building materials are right here.
If you’re here, it probably means you are...
Ridiculously excited to renovate your mid-century home with a door to match (and would prefer to spend less than $2k - $3k).
Tired of going to home improvement stores... and leaving as quickly as you came. You never find what you want.
A total Do-it-Yourself person! You have a toolbox you treasure and can probably use a cordless drill with your eyes closed.
(Don’t consider this a dare. Please keep your eyes open.)
Someone who gleefully scours antique, thrift, and consignment stores for retro pieces that fit the look and feel of your home.
Nostalgically yearning for period-appropriate parts for your home. You don’t want your home remodeled (*ahem* re-muddled) with so-called, “modern improvements.” Gasp!
Not the type to follow trends – you take design cues from what your house is telling you. You want your home to look as if it’s always been that way. (And you probably LOVED your grandmother’s house, by the way.)
Proud of how awesome your house is. People come to your home and can’t help but remark about how it looks so different. And that’s awesome.
Drawn to bold shapes and strong colors. Kitschy can be a compliment!
Okay – so you’ll be happy to know you’re in GREAT company. I am just like you!
You’ve probably also already figured out that finding retro furniture isn’t the hard part. It’s ALL the other stuff – your kitchen cabinets, countertops, ceilings, doors, and floors.
The struggle is real. Consider Make it Mid-Century your resource for all things mid-century. In fact, I welcome and encourage you to reach out to me directly – and not to be afraid to ask questions.
WHY I STARTED THIS BUSINESS:
One day when I was a kid, I was riding in the car with my mom down Lindell Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri, a street lined with huge, ornate and gorgeous homes. As we drove, I kept pointing out the details that I liked about the homes we passed. My mom told me I should be an Architect. Up until then, I’d wanted to be an Astronomer or a Veterinarian. (I was only in sixth grade, so I had time to be choosy.)
And yet - architect is the career that stuck. I attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York to pursue my degree. Rather than being good and fine with an architecture degree, I decided to also pursue a Master's in Historic Preservation at the University of Vermont.
During my graduate program, I totally grooved on mid-century. And believe me here – not making this up - one of my research papers was titled, "Mobile homes and their impact on the American cultural landscape.” I also wrote an in-depth dissertation on Lustron Homes that you can read here. Yep. I’m a nerd.
I (unfortunately) discovered that at the time, no one could actually afford to take a job in historic preservation and expect to eat more than ramen noodles for the rest of their lives. I ended up moving back to St. Louis with my parents for a short time and getting a job in a general architecture practice. In St. Louis, the cost of living is so low I was able to buy my first house (a mid-century home, of course) in less than a year.
As time went on, I moved around to various firms in pursuit of more responsibility (and better salaries) until FINALLY, I settled on the place I thought I’d live out my days.
I stayed with that company for 11 years – and ended up designing FORENSIC labs. (Crime labs and medical examiner facilities - I've seen more drugs and dead people than you can shake a stick at.) I was freaking AMAZING at my job! (Side note: If you Google my name, you'll probably find a number of articles that I've written on the subject because I was so good at what I did.)
Fast forward to the end of those 11 years when I was a principal in the company, but I still wasn't fulfilled.
No more wasting my brilliance working for other people. It was time I set up my own shop. I knew that while I was a total Da Vinci at designing Forensic Labs, that I wanted to pave a new path.
Then I remembered, "Hey! You have that degree in historic preservation you never used.” What a loud inner voice THAT was.
It got my wheels turning.
I could do my own thing - something that would encapsulate design, architecture, historic preservation, and working with my hands. (If you didn’t guess, I’m a closet woodworker, too.)
I officially launched on June 1, 2017, and the rest is history. Up to now.
At Make it Mid-Century, we make it for YOU.