The Most Inspiring Midcentury Home Remodels
We’ve just returned from Palm Springs Modernism Week, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and runs through Feb. 22, and we’ve got midcentury modern homes on the brain. With open floor plans and ample windows, the architectural style is unparalleled when it comes to opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in. That said, we love design and décor too much to want to live in a time capsule; we crave the colours, patterns, fabrics, and furniture of today. So when we see a midcentury modern renovation that respects a home’s original architecture yet still feels current, we are wildly impressed and inspired.
Scroll below to see a few of our favourite midcentury remodels—and click each image to take the full tour.
Stylist Jessica de Ruiter and sculptor-designer Jed Lind purchased a 1950s gem in Silverlake, Los Angeles, and upgraded the kitchen, bathrooms, and built-ins with respect for the home’s original food print. New smooth Carrara marble and light wood surfaces integrate beautifully with existing finishes, yet have a more current aesthetic. We love the couple’s choices of Moroccan rugs, kilims, and vintage Ikat pillows.
Los Angeles-based editor Evelyn Crowley hired DISC Interiors to decorate her midcentury Los Feliz rental, which was originally designed by a Japanese architect. DISC integrated aged brass, jute rugs, and earthy ceramics, speaking to the natural materials and tonal colour palette of the house.
Fashion designer Trina Turk and husband photographer Jonathan Skow purchased a legendary 1936 Streamline Moderne-style three-bedroom home in the hills of Palm Springs, which had been famously deemed “Ship of the Desert” in a 1937 cover story of Sunset. The couple set out on some light surface restorations, but after an ill-fated arson fire burned the home down to its foundation, they enlisted famed architecture firm Marmol Radziner to guide them through a ground-up restoration. Carefully restored with a bright, well-edited view, the landmark home feels like a very fashionable time capsule.
Inspired by the work of architect William Kesling, the Streamline Modern style home of Los Angeles gallerist Jonathan Brown in the Hollywood Hills is a midcentury modern gem that’s been thoughtfully updated. Though it looks straight out of the late ‘30s, everything from the foundation to the roof is new—even every screw. Brown also added skylights, a bathroom, reconfigured the staircase, made custom cabinets, and installed new hardware, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, heating, and air-conditioning. And the juxtaposition of the home’s curving forms, long horizontal lines, and nautical elements with Brown’s eyecatching contemporary art collection is nothing short of captivating.
Renovated as an investment project by Simo Design, this midcentury home was renovated with today’s buyers in mind. The designers took the original structure down to studs keeping only the original architectural frame and its dramatic panoramic views of L.A., and they completely reorganized the floor plan. Creating a masculine, light-filled, midcentury-inspired space, the designers added luxurious details like bookmatched Calacatta Crema Delicato marble, maple cabinetry, and Absolute Black granite countertops.
After stumbling on a midcentury fixer-upper with an airy floor plan and breathtaking views of Los Angeles, stylist Emily Henderson and her husband gave the home extensive updates, including new tile and hardwood floors. The biggest transformation occurred in the kitchen, where she added new cabinetry, a backsplash of marble subway tiles with brass edger, and Caesarstone countertops.
Interior designer and writer David acquired a home by famed architect Richard Neutra, which is marked by an abundance of floor-to-ceiling windows and a blurring of the indoors and out. While he didn’t make many renovations to the house, his interior decor selections—which include a Mies van de Rohe daybed, Poul Kjaerholm lounge chairs, a large sculpture by John Koga, and a wicker ottoman by Franco Albini—complement Neutra’s vision beautifully.
Fashion designer John Eshaya restored a 1964 home in Palm Springs with a distinct, fashionable perspective. Eshaya renovated all the bathrooms in the house—save for its grand, spa-like master bath which boasts an original pink marble tub and walls—and installed new flooring throughout. Influenced by fashion, he brought in numerous home pieces by fashion houses like Gucci, Pucci, Hermès, as well as an extensive collection of pop art pieces.
Which home is your favourite? Tell us in the comments below.