We were very excited at the opportunity to purchase another home in the city of Upland, Tina’s hometown. This time it was a mid-century modern home, built in 1959. This renovation promised to be both an adventure and a lot of fun!
The home had been built by the previous homeowner. It is rare that we are able to buy a home and be only the second owners! We had the privilege of meeting the homeowner’s children, and they told us that their dad’s building of this home was a true labor of love.
True to mid-century design, the house had a flat roof, vertical board and batten, large front door with a glass sidelight, hardwood floors, a vaulted ceiling with beams in the living room, a geometric fireplace, built in bookcases, and large windows that brought the outdoors in. We wanted to honor these features, while also bringing a 2017 sensibility to the home so that it would appeal to today’s buyers.
We made very few changes to the floor plan. We took down the accordion doors between the living room and kitchen and enlarged the opening, making each room flow right into the next. We also squared off the wall in the master bath and removed a closet, making the bathroom and shower much larger.
The living room had a fireplace with a very geometric shape that we wanted to keep. The travertine tile that was on it was not true to the era, so we replaced it with a combination of geometric tile (laid randomly) and a textured plaster. The bookcases on either side of the fireplace were painted white, the beams on the ceiling were painted charcoal gray, an accent wall was painted teal, the ceiling and other walls were painted white – and the result was breathtaking!
The kitchen needed to be completely gutted, as none of the cabinets were able to be saved. We took out the peninsula and soffit to further open the area. Tina found flat panel wood grain doors for the lower cabinets, to mimic the previous cabinets, and white doors for the uppers. A white tile floor, with a blue and white 3-D tile backsplash, finished off a perfect kitchen.
Squaring the wall in the master bath and taking out the linen closet made such a difference. The bathroom and walk-in shower were greatly enlarged. Because there was no window in this bathroom we wanted to use light colored tile, and found some beautiful geometric tile that reminded us of the original. Also the original light in the room was amazing! It consisted of four cut glass rectangular pieces on a light bar. Unfortunately the light bar broke when it was being taken down, and we were so sad. Luckily we have a friend, Rob Lewbel, who owns Moonshine Lamp Co in Claremont. Jessie took the glass pieces to Rob and he was able to make a new light bar for the glass pieces to attach to. The result was perfect and provided a lot of light in the room!
The hall bath was roomy and just needed new tile, paint, vanity and mirror.
Moving on to the floors, we hoped that the laminate that was laid over the hardwoods in the living room could be successfully removed and the hardwood floors restored. Once again we were able to patch, sand and stain the original floors in the entire home, and they were gorgeous!
Outside we wanted to give the home a little more interest, so we removed some of the board and batten and installed horizontal tongue and groove siding. With a paint scheme of light gray and white with charcoal trim, the house had just what it needed. A final touch was the beautiful large front door. It needed a pop of color and the perfect shade of tangerine was it!
Modern landscape is defined by strong elements, clean lines and unusual materials. In our front yard we wanted to incorporate all of this, and used a combination of grass, gravel, pebbles and native plants. We already had the curved sidewalk pavers, and the space between them was perfect for the pebbles. We couldn’t be happier with the exterior of this home.
Time to stage! The previous homeowners left us many period pieces which we used in our staging. Mid-century homes call for lots of color, and we were able to add color with our furniture and accessories. The house looked amazing – a real showstopper!