written by:
June 3, 2015
With one foot in the Space Age and another in the 21st-century, these charming midcentury homes benefit from sensitive, contemporary updates.
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. 

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Originally appeared in A Smart Update for a Japanese-Inspired Midcentury Modern House
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Open-plan midcentury remodel.

In the 1940s, the distinguished Canadian architect John Bland designed an elegant vacation house near Lake Masson in Quebec. Seven decades later, the midcentury gem was at risk for demolition due to soaring property values that made the land more valuable than the structure itself. Thankfully, architect Alain Carle stepped in. He not only restored the box home to its original glory, but also opened up its floor plan and improved its relationship to the surrounding landscape.

Originally appeared in Midcentury Gem in Canada Saved from the Wrecking Ball
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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.

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Originally appeared in Indoor-Outdoor Home by a Midcentury Master Gets a Faithful Update
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Modern Los Angeles renovation by Don Dimster with glass buffer, ikea cabinets, quartzite countertops and Bertazonni grill top in the kitchen

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

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Originally appeared in A Midcentury Home Enjoys Views from Every Angle
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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.

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Neutra renovation Los Angeles

The challenge of renovating an iconic midcentury house is surely a daunting one for any architect, but apply this formula to a Richard Neutra house, and the responsibility rises exponentially. This was the situation for Los Angeles–based architect Peter Grueneisen, founder and principal of Los Angeles–based Nonzero Architecture, who inherited the task of taking on significant updates to an already-altered Neutra in Pacific Palisades, California. “While the first phase was essentially about restoring the house back to some of its original concepts and adding certain critical, but still missing pieces, the planned larger additions demanded a rethinking of the previous approach,” says Grueneisen.

Courtesy of 
Julius Shulman and Juergen Nogai/Nonzero Architecture
Originally appeared in A Neutra Renovation in Los Angeles
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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.

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Originally appeared in A Midcentury Home Keeps the History Alive
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Stonefox Residence with cedar ceiling panels

A 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.

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Originally appeared in Clean Update for a Midcentury House in Pennsylvania
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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 Portland abode by locally-renowned midcentury architect Saul Zaik with a crisp paint palette: Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron for the cladding and Venetian Gold for the front door. 

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Originally appeared in Midcentury Renovation in Portland Capitalizes on Nature with Seven Doors to the Outside
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Modern home renovation in Napa includes redwood and glass facade with pool

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 unsung Bay Area modernist Jack Hillmer of Telesis.

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Originally appeared in The Midcentury Home That Maintains Its Quirkiness After All These Years
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This classic midcentury modern home in Lakewood, Washington, had great bones that had been compromised by less-than-faithful remodels. The bathrooms were dated, the hallway was gloomy, and the kitchen was practically non-functional. DeForest Architects opened up walls, updated finishes, and created a kitchen centered around what the residents call "the mother of all islands."

Originally appeared in A Mid-Century Renovation in Washington
11 / 11
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. 

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