Jason Weinbeck's Mid Century Frugal Fix Up

Jason Weinbeck's Mid Century Frugal Fix Up

Sarah Rae Smith
Aug 21, 2009

Name: Jason Weinbeck
Location: Richfield, Minnesota
Size: 1,280 square feet
Years lived in: 2

Jason Weinbeck fell in love with ranch style housing and after much searching, found one ready for some renovation in 2007. Since then he has transformed this fabulous piece of Mid Century architecture into an open, airy and modern space of his own. Plus, he did it all on a limited budget with hands on diy and is the man to beat, when it comes to finding a bargain...

You might have seen Jason's home in the recent Atomic Ranch magazine and for good reason, he's done a praise worthy job. After purchasing the home, Jason knew he had some work on his hands. There were walls to be removed, a fireplace to be fixed, a kitchen to be gutted and wall to wall (and then some) carpeting to be removed. But what he didn't know until he got going was an incorrectly installed subfloor. At this point Jason decided it was all or nothing, took out a second mortgage and started working on his renovation full time. Diligent in his ways he was usually putting in 12 hour days doing all the renovations himself.

Jason didn't just stop at doing the heavy lifting and labor in his home, he's also built several of the fabulous pieces throughout his home. Make sure to keep an eye out for his handmade wooden boomerang bench in the entry way, his kidney-shaped granite coffee table and walnut side tables in the bedroom. What he couldn't make or design himself he scoured basements and bargain bins for thrifty and frugal finds. The beauty of this home lies in the details, knowing every square inch was refurbished by his own efforts and hard work.

AT Survey:

My Style: A contemporary twist on mid-century modern.

Inspiration: A vision for bringing the perfectly hand-set brick peninsula fireplace to life.

Favorite Element: My favorite element in this home (and any space) is the lighting and the infinite amount of ways to use and direct it, natural or artificial.

Biggest Challenge: Working with a very modest budget.

Favorite Room: The living room, especially on a cold winter night with the fire going.

What Friends Say: My friends and family love it. I'm always happy when I hear people I don't know say really positive comments, as well (like retired neighbors and the punk rock pizza delivery driver).

Biggest Embarrassment: The drapery rod in the living room. I should have made a baffle to conceal it. Surprisingly, even my design-savvy friends haven't said anything about it.

Proudest DIY: I love the chandelier in the dining room. I made it from lampshade parts I ordered online. I brought the fabric (maharam) and the cages to a local upholsterer near my home (Carol's Lampshade Wagon). She did an amazing job.

Biggest Indulgence: The white marble Saarinen Tulip table. It fits the small dining room size and aesthetics perfectly.

Best advice: Never quit. Never quit sourcing the perfect fabric, paint color, wood flooring, tile, lighting and faucets until you're happy.

Dream source: hivemodern.com. This website is really user friendly and you can find a history and description for almost any product under the sun.

Reality Source: Ebay, Craigslist and the Room & Board Outlet store in Golden Valley, Minn.

Had Forever: A Danish modern lounge chair I found in my mom and dad's basement and refinished about 18 years ago… it's been re-upholstered twice.

Just Got: I just restored a vintage Telefunken radio. The case is real wood. I love the simple nostalgic design. My girlfriend and I take it on picnics to listen to the jazz or classical station. (see pics.)


Dining room and kitchen:
• Saarinen Tulip table, Room & Board, Edina, Minn.
• Walnut radius stools and chairs, Room & Board Outlet store, Golden Valley, Minn.
• Stone head, Ebay
• Copper house model, a relic from my days as an architecture student at the University of Minnesota

Living room:
• Eames Aluminum series lounge chair, Ebay
• Vintage sofa, upholstered by Cy Winship Design, Minneapolis, Minn.
• Coffee table, designed and built myself
• Boomerang bench, designed and built myself
• Teak wood floor, Craigslist
• Danish modern chair, parent's basement
• Vintage Bang & Olufsen stereo model 2000, Ebay
• Antique ceramic crock, parent's basement

• Vintage kitchen island pendants, Rens Alta 0031-(0)13-54-24-952, alta-design.nl (Netherlands)
• Dining room chandelier, parts purchased on lampshademaker.com
• Living room antennae lights, Industrial Lighting, Minneapolis, Minn.
• Living room Tolomeo floor lamp, Artemide.com

• Living room, purchased in Mexico. Artist: Juan Ezcurdia. Titled: Jugando para el perro.
• Front entry, purchased in Mexico. Artist Juan Ezcurdia. Titled: Elefantigre.

(Thanks, Jason!)

You can read more about Jason's renovation process in further detail over here. Make sure to check out the before pictures, where his hard word becomes obvious when you see what condition his home was in before he set to work. Don't forget to swing by his website for more on Jason's other endeavors.

Images: Jason Weinbeck, Greg Jansen

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