written by:
February 9, 2016
From preserved masterworks to carefully updated time capsules, these homes have one thing in common (other than a healthy appreciation for everything Eames): the conviction that the '40s, '50s, and '60s were the most outstanding moments in American architecture.
Midcentury house in Portland with iron colored facade and gold front door

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, with project manager and lead designer Emily Kudsen Leland at the helm, remade a 1950s Portland abode by a celebrated local architect with a crisp paint palette: Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron for the cladding and Venetian Gold for the front door. Landscape design is by Lilyvilla Gardens.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Midcentury Renovation in Portland Capitalizes on Nature with Seven Doors to the Outside
1 / 20
Floor to ceiling sliding glass doors in the master bedroom of a Bel Air ranch-style home

When writer Robin Maguire and her husband, film financier Marc Schaberg, decided to transform a 1950s California ranch into a clean, minimalist home, their main concern was opening it up to the environment. Nestled at the bottom of a valley and facing the Getty Museum, the house embraces its scenic setting with skylights, sliding glass windows, and a garden pool.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in An Adorable Midcentury Revamp in Bel Air
2 / 20

Jennifer and Mattias Segerholt's midcentury house in Portland has a distinctly Eichler-like bent. “We’re trying to pretend this is our little ray of sunshine in the middle of Portland,” says Jennifer. The sofa is by Florence Knoll for Knoll.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Mid-Century Modern Home in Southwest Portland
3 / 20
Ipe porch renovation

In Menlo Park, California, a retired couple set out to add space and function to their cute but compact 1950s ranch home. They teamed up with Terry & Terry Architecture, who conceptualized an extension that was comprised of two “floating volumes” cohesively woven into the fabric of the existing home.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in An Indoor-Outdoor Renovation for a 1950s Ranch House in the Bay Area
4 / 20
Modern living room with 620 Chair Programme by Dieter Rams

An architectural designer and an artist harnessed the collective power of their design firm to remake a dilapidated midcentury gem in Austin into a hillside perch for their family. Dieter Rams’s modular 620 Chair Programme, from the 1960s, takes center stage in their living room.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Hillside Mid-Century Home Renovation in Texas
5 / 20
Living room with Eames Sofa Compact in Bay Area Midcentury Modern renovation by Buttrick Projects.

For Jerome Buttrick of Oakland based Buttrick Projects, the aim of this renovation was simply to update a well-designed midcentury home. Situated on a steeply sloping lot, the home boasts views of the Bay from the comfort of a sheer buttressed living room, a move inspired by the one from the original plan. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Bay Area Renovation Keeps its Midcentury Modern Roots
6 / 20
Facade of Hawaii renovation by Fritz Johnson Architect

With the help of salvaged materials and furniture, this Hawaiian home achieves what's often impossible: modern elegance but with a comfort that feels immediately worn-in and familiar. “If we couldn’t get a door or window from Re-Use Hawaii, we got it off of Craigslist—none were bought retail,” explains the architect, Fritz Johnson. The original house—a 60s “salt box” Oahu tract home—came with a charming midcentury facade that the homeowners wanted to preserve in the remodel.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Hawaiian Renovation that Blends European Modernist and American Midcentury Styles
7 / 20

Margaret Riley purchased a 1957 ranch with little panache or pedigree, but a plum location just two doors down from Crestwood Hills, the Los Angeles cooperative development revered for its wealth of A. Quincy Jones masterpieces. The home had comparably little going for it, so, in 2008, she hired architect Cory Buckner to devise an addition and remodel inspired by the icons nearby. The renovation added a second floor, butterfly roof, redwood siding, vertical louvers, Douglas fir ceilings, elm built-ins, and sliding glass doors–all of which appear original.

Originally appeared in 6 Homes Featuring Luminous Chandeliers
8 / 20
modern Los Angeles renovation by Don Dimster with Western Window Systems doors and sun shades on the deck

Architect Don Dimster restored this hillside home in Los Angeles by Buff, Straub and Hensman, granting the 1960s structure outdoor access at every turn.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Midcentury Home Enjoys Views from Every Angle
9 / 20
modern renovation aqua lair cigar lamp malm fireplace living room

In the living room of a 1960s remodel near Seattle, the fireplace was powder-coated orange to complement the vintage furnishings. The sofa is from Design Within Reach; the coffee table is by Alexander Girard for Knoll. A pair of undated paintings by Arthur L. Kaye hang on a wall painted in a Benjamin Moore hue custom matched to the outside of the window frames. The triangular nesting tables are a vintage find. “They’re always billed as ‘guitar pick tables,’” resident Sally Julien says.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in How to Design with Orange
10 / 20
Modern home renovation in Napa includes redwood, concrete, and glass in the kitchen

Katherine Lambert, a partner at Metropolitan Architectural Practice (MAP), and her business associate Christiane Robbins, painstakingly restored a 1950s redwood-and-glass house in Napa, California, originally designed by Jack Hillmer of Telesis.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Midcentury Home That Maintains Its Quirkiness After All These Years
11 / 20
Midcentury home in Austin with second-story addition

The architects of Austin-based Webber + Studio were asked by a recent divorcee, seeking a home for her three daughters and dog, to renovate a 1968 A.D. Stenger home and double its size by adding 1,500 square feet. The architects emulated the home’s Japanese-inspired elements and referenced other Stenger houses in the area to produce a tasteful homage to a classic modern style.

Courtesy of 
Andrea Calo
Originally appeared in Renovated Midcentury Home in Austin Doubles Square Footage
12 / 20
modern dwellings kalmic house quincy jones living room sofa wool rug

Crestwood Hills, in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, is an endangered enclave of midcentury post-and-beam houses designed by A. Quincy Jones and Whitney R. Smith. Elise Loehnen and Rob Fissmer bought one such house, which dates to 1950, in 2012, furnishing the living room with a Jasper sofa by Room & Board, Laccio tables by Marcel Breuer, and a wool sisal rug from Madison Flooring and Design.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Midcentury Home Keeps the History Alive
13 / 20
Modern kitchen with yellow sectioned walls and monochrome appliances

A highly productive collaboration among a trio of creative Angelenas—and a good dose of Barragán—turned a dark and beleaguered midcentury house into a colorful family home for the ages.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Colorful Remodel in Los Angeles
14 / 20
Goddard mendolene residence house interior living room with vintage furniture

In 1962, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architect Arthur Witthoefft won the AIA's highest honor for a home he built in the lush woods of Westchester County. Having fended off a developer's wrecking ball, Todd Goddard and Andrew Mandolene went above and beyond to make this manse mint again.

Originally appeared in Blues Clues
15 / 20
Japanese-Inspired Bainbridge Island house dining room and kitchen

Renowned Pacific Northwest architect Gene Zema, known for his mix of modernism and Japanese architecture, designed this Washington house around 1974 towards the end of his career. The house had decayed over the years and suffered from constant roof leaks. The clients brought in SHED Architecture & Design for minor fixes but the project expanded to an overhaul and revitalization that included the rebuilding of the house’s central living space, the reorganization of the kitchen, and a new outdoor deck.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Smart Update for a Japanese-Inspired Midcentury Modern House
16 / 20
Palo Alto Eichler Renovation Open Living and Dining Areas with glass wall

In Palo Alto, California, Klopf Architecture, Arterra Landscape Architects, and Flegels Construction renovated a traditional Eichler home in a manner that feels entirely consistent with its original philosophy. Known as the Truly Open Eichler, the home establishes a strong connection between the interior and exterior thanks to a fully opening glass wall.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Indoor-Outdoor Home by a Midcentury Master Gets a Faithful Update
17 / 20
Midcentury renovation in Brentwood with paintings and Herman Miller bench

When a couple was looking to update their 1960s house in Brentwood, California, they didn't have to look far for help. Their daughters, who make up the Los Angeles- and New York-based design collective Mass Studio, took to the task. Taking inspiration from L.A.'s midcentury modern masters, including A. Quincy Jones, daughters Safura, Sanam, and Laylee helped create a more efficient space that shows off a varied art collection and lets light stream in from as many angles as possible.

Courtesy of 
Grey Crawford
Originally appeared in Three Sisters Renovate Their Parents' Midcentury Home
18 / 20
Stonefox Residence with cedar ceiling panels

midcentury house in Bucks County, Pennsylvania—an hour from New York City—was given a necessary update by Stonefox Design for residents Tammy and Robert Sherman. The home maintains its original layout. To refresh the dated appearance of the space, Stonefox added cedar tongue-and-groove panels to the ceiling and refinished the floors.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Clean Update for a Midcentury House in Pennsylvania
19 / 20
a close-up shot of the home's renovated exterior

A brightly colored door beckons guests into this midcentury renovation in Austin. Its shade of turquoise is like Benjamin Moore's Americana, but with stronger hints of green.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Midcentury Kitchen Renovation in Austin
20 / 20
Midcentury house in Portland with iron colored facade and gold front door

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, with project manager and lead designer Emily Kudsen Leland at the helm, remade a 1950s Portland abode by a celebrated local architect with a crisp paint palette: Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron for the cladding and Venetian Gold for the front door. Landscape design is by Lilyvilla Gardens.

For more homegrown architecture, read up on our recent issue dedicated to American designers, doers, and makers. 

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016