We’ve just completed one of our largest and most exciting projects of late: the total renovation of a Mid Century modern home! Naturally, we’ve updated the retro-modernist look with vintage inspired furnishing and décor from Mid Century Living, and the results are even better than we envisioned. Follow our process through this huge project for some beautiful Mid Century inspiration. We’ll go room by room and show you how to create each look, breaking down our choices for furniture, room décor direction, and accessories! We did our best to stay true to the home’s original beauty and Mid Century architecture, while still updating the look to fit a contemporary lifestyle. You’ll be amazed by the before and after shots of this renovation, and we hope that it’ll inspire you to bring a retro style into your home!
To begin, we’ll discuss the exterior of the house, and the relatively minor changes we made to bring out its natural beauty and Mid Century architecture. Modernism came after World War II, when Americans were ready to start anew, and this thirst for change fueled a radical shift from traditional home designs to something entirely different and unexpected. Shaping the future was an important goal and the space age hype had the country’s—and the world’s—attention. Naturally, with the energy to move forward and the rapid progression of technology, the shift in cultural ideals greatly influenced architecture. Simplicity, experimentation, and functionality spurred much the design trends. Mid Century architecture was about contributing to the everyday life style of the average person without going over the top with frills and excess. Large windows and bright, open-planned spaces (things we take for granted in contemporary homes) made their debut for the first time on a wide-spread scale. It was all about connecting man-made structures with the natural landscape; these architects really knew how to bring the outdoors in. However, when we found our project home, the outdoors were a on the verge of taking over the place…
But, as you can see, the house has some amazing bones. The front entry way is incredibly unique and a quintessential representation of the period’s architecture. You can plainly see the use of a post and beam structure, which allowed for the massive and numerous windows the house showcases. The beams even become part of the home’s charm and eye-catching curb appeal.
Of course, the home is far past its peak in these before photos. The brown brick and dark beams do a lot to date the exterior, and not in a fun, vintage way! The colors blend too much with the foliage and bring down the light and airy vibe that was originally intended. There’s some room for more porch space, but it’s taken up by large, overgrown planters. After a little weeding and some paint…
The house has a completely new life, but it stays true to the architecture’s dedication to modernism. Repainting the home a light gray with white trim serves to create a bright and modern mood while simultaneously emphasizing the angular, geometric design. Cutting back on the landscape helped to tame the spacious and beautiful yard, but we didn’t go overboard in fear of trespassing on the natural greenery for a design that looked too manicured and synthesized. We didn’t want to distract from the house.
We also expanded the porch area and added a second door that leads into the rec room. With the extra outdoor space, we were able add a wicker love-seat and matching chair for evening chats and gatherings. The steps leading to the pathway were replaced and updated with something a little sturdier, and the railings were swapped out for sleek and simple ones that reflected the contours of the entry way.
And here’s the renovated exterior at night! The floor to ceiling windows allow light to spill out, creating this beautifully lit effect, showcasing the home’s Mid Century splendor.
If you love what we’ve done with the outside, just wait until you see the inside! Coming up in the next few posts, we’ll explore the master suite, the kitchen, and the rec room. But don’t worry; there’s even more on the way, so stay tuned.