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This interior has a mix of country side to it going with the fur rug and the whickered chair which is very beautiful. The bright wooden floors, the red accents in many of the furniture pieces and the many other vintage looking items make this a perfect example of pop vintage culture.
The light pink Eames chair fits perfectly with the wooden color of the floor and sideboard. Design Build Ideas is an online resource for the world of interior design, interior decorating ideas, home improvement and features quality content in the realm of interior design color schemes, interior designers materials, fabrics and design industry reviews.
About UsThe BUILD Blog is a discussion of modern design in the Pacific NW written by BUILD LLC, an industrious architecture company based in Seattle, Washington. BUILD just wrapped up the remodel of an exemplary Mid-Century Modern gem near Seattle, and it’s always refreshing to see the soul of a house revived. As with any great project, much of the success of this updated home can be credited to extraordinary homeowners willing to go on the adventure of design and construction. Most Mid-Century Modern residences offer a number of items worth retaining as part of the remodel. At the root of any MCM residence are lessons from the masters: those architects that had the vision and audacity to respond to society’s needs with entirely new solutions.
There are patterns we see time and time again in working with Mid-Century Modern residences. A new kitchen, bathrooms, cabinets, fixtures, appliances and surfaces in general are part of the typical updates inside. At the exterior, a handful of design strategies help new siding belong with existing stone and brick. Over the course of a decade, we’ve identified a list of specifications that work extremely well with Mid-Century Modern updates; these include key plumbing fixtures, lights, cabinet packages and so on.
Nothing drives home the difference a remodel can make quite like comparative before and after shots. Perhaps one of the most fulfilling aspects of updating a Mid-Century Modern home is that it is one of the most sustainable strategies design can offer.
Eventually the exterior cedar will weather and silver, differentiating it from the interior cedar. Am also interested in information regarding East Coast counterparts to work on a similar remodeling project in Virginia.
BUILD just put the finishing touches on a Mid-Century Modern home in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood; a community filled with handsome MCM models.
The original T&G cedar siding on the house was replaced and finished with a Sikkens natural cedar semi-transparent stain. Without ample room for a formally enclosed closet, our SPD cabinet shop developed a clever cabinet box to house coats and provide visual separation among spaces while blending in with the adjacent cabinetry. Retaining the original window geometry, the vaulted living room was outfitted with new Milgard Anodized Aluminum windows.
With the homeowners’ sharp eyes for design, the existing furnishings were a perfect match for the updated home (albeit there was debate over a certain table). The kitchen was reorganized to open up the room and allow for ample daylight to spill into a seamless kitchen and dining area. The horizontal pulls seem to heavy weight and compete for attention, I think with the wood grain something more subtle might be nicer. I see why you might not fill the metal backsplash all the way up to the bottom of the upper cabinets due to the window sill line, but I have to wonder what the left side of the kitchen window looked like (not shown), maybe you could have made it work.
We design the custom stainless steel under-mount sinks because it’s actually less expensive to have our steel shop make them than buying them off the shelf (nice ones can be quite pricey). We occasionally bring the stainless steel backsplash up to the upper cabinets and it’s a nice look. Basically, pigment prolongs the life of the siding by keeping the finish from breaking down (quickly) due to UV rays. BUILD is seeing more and more mid-century remodels come through the door and we’re honored to have them on our desks.  We’re constantly looking for effective strategies to make them great houses that last a century or more.
Like any project, getting an early jump on the cost of a remodel allows the team to best focus their efforts.
The pricing for a remodel to a mid-century modern home is a bit more complicated because there are varying degrees of what can be done to each room in the house. The adjacent graphics show four different design schemes of a mid-century modern remodel, each color coded for pricing. This is simply one strategy that’s proved successful for us, if you’ve got some strategies that have been working for you, do share. Redesigning these mid-century houses can be tricky with an eye on the budget and an unknown builder. Also, it helps if the designer understands or researches the typical building systems of this era of houses—this will allow them to decide early (and without opening walls) what will likely need upgrading and what is the easiest path of change. Finally, although I try to stay within the existing building whenever possible, it is sometimes more cost effective to add a new addition to accommodate the clients desired spaces, rather than moving around a lot of walls under the existing roof. Nearby me in Alexandria, VA there’s an entire development of MCM Homes, called Hollin Hills. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Platform beds never go out of style—unlike, say, platform shoes, but that’s a different story. Shipping pallets, with their rough-hewn texture, yield a DIY platform bed with a distinctively handmade aesthetic.


We’ve noticed several ingenious DIY platform bed projects involving IKEA shelving units, either alone or in combination with wood framing. The sleek profile of a DIY platform bed looks very much at home in a modern space, particularly when the bed frame has been graced with mid-century-esque details. By following an online tutorial, The Caldwell Couple managed to knock off the design of a Pottery Barn Kids bed, completing the project for about $120 (hundreds less than it would have cost to buy from the retailer). Some platform beds look as if they are floating when in reality they are perched on a smaller base that you could see if you were to peer underneath.
The Mid-century modern style is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement. These hanging seats must be really great to swing on, judging by the size of the ceiling here.
This concrete interior is wonderfully accompanied by the vintage suspension lamp and space rocket wall art. Bike for a healthy body and books for an informed mind, tied up with some cartoons for some sense of humor.
The Braun radio is like a cherry on top of the cake and those vacuum tubes are the sprinkles giving this interior a taste of the industrial.
Maintaining the original shell, the residence has been transformed into a functional home for the 21st century.
The details matter, everything from a careful survey of the existing house down to the deliberate selection of cabinet pulls.
Features like an original stone fireplace add character and richness to the updated design, while maintaining the original lines of structure is logical for budgetary reasons. Different packages of work are occurring at the interior and exterior, all while carefully maintaining the original structure of the home.
Certain areas that make sense to update each time, other features which are best left as they are.
Maintaining a sense of warmth can often be achieved by using materials like cedar without compromising the clean modern aesthetic. The use of accordion doors allows the interior to have a spectacular relationship with the outdoor spaces. These specifications not only work will with an older home but complement that Mid-Century Modern aesthetic without trying to copy it. Reusing what is already there and making it useful for another 50+ years is a move that we consider critical path. The windows are clear anodized aluminum from Marlin and the large accordion doors are made by La Cantina. The unavoidable downside of such a big deck is that it will block alot of light to the lower level. With a deck as big as this, we don’t want the lower level to have that dark, damp under deck feel. It looks nice and light, certainly a far more pleasant home than the original going by the before and after pix! This project is a great example of bringing an older residence up to 21st century standards, while retaining the original charm of the home. Adding a bit of pigment to the stain helps the clear cedar with the inevitable weathering that occurs here in the Pacific Northwest. To retain some of the historical character and maintain warmth of texture, the existing stone fireplace and wood panel wall above were preserved. The elimination of walls that break up rooms within MCM homes and the addition of key items like an island allow for flexibility between daily use and entertaining. A light and bright palette with lines kept simple and unencumbered makes a significant difference; frameless glass panels at the shower enclosure also allow the light to reach deep into the space. First they are well written and fun to read, the photos are great but mostly the work looks immaculate and so well thought out. It looks like there is no backsplash (only drywall) behind the cooking surface, is that right? Instead we provide the adequate blocking between studs just after framing and before drywall so that we’ve got plenty of structure behind the wall.
You’ve managed to update the house whilst respecting and representing the spirit of the MCM model.
They make a great aluminum window that meets the energy code and looks great with modernism. I’m taken with the vertical grain walnut cabinetry and have been asking my cabinetmaker to locate the exact thing. A common problem that we’ve seen too many architects get themselves into is designing up an ambitious remodel, then proceeding onto construction drawings and submitting for permit.
The strategy involves breaking down the house into a system of cost zones – different zones relate to different pricing categories depending on their complexity. Home owners are able to make quick assessments about where funds should be directed on the home.
The idea is to give the builders enough information to respond with a confident dollar amount early to keep the design in check, while not pushing the drawings too far that you are wasting time and fees. Or other times the owners have something in mind that’s simply too ambitious for the existing structure to accommodate. Please consider updating your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. Platforms can be inexpensively made and can easily incorporate storage—which makes them great for small bedrooms and small budgets alike.


Appropriate in a range of decorating schemes, the long-and-low design of a platform bed appeals not only to the eye, but also to the wallet—and to those who are above all practical-minded. Fasten a couple of pallets against the wall vertically, and in an instant you have a low-cost headboard that coordinates perfectly with the frame.
With little more than oak boards and metal hairpin legs, you can build a piece just like this one, which recalls an earlier age but retains timeless charm.
Platform beds are easy for children to access, and because the beds are so close to the ground, they’re quite safe. You can add functionality to this form by making the platform about six inches wider than your mattress; the extra space becomes a sort of nightstand for odds and ends. The frames just sitting on top of it and the low hanging lamp make the ceiling look super tall. Many of the guiding design moves implemented on this project have been covered in previous BUILD Blog posts. There are a tremendous amount of variables, considerations, and dependencies when working on an existing MCM residence; these 10 resources outline our philosophy and strategy of this design and construction process.
Often times, it makes sense to keep the long, horizontal lines of the original roof, while enhancing key locations, like an extended shed roof, to celebrate the entry.
New amenities like kitchens and bathrooms are carefully inserted into the existing spaces and, when the process is complete, the original character of the home still needs to resonate among the new work.
In a case like this we’ll build a water proof membrane under the deck and drain the deck to a gutter. Will the entrance wall weather outside to give a difference between interior and exterior later on? The design and construction of an existing structure is always tricky to navigate, especially when key items are important to the home’s character.
We painted the garage portion a charcoal grey to fade it back a bit and allow the brick and cedar to stand out. A light color palette on countertop surfaces achieves a desirably bright and airy quality to the overall space. I just figure if I’m going to all the trouble I better get something that is really going to perform. We then screw or lag-bolt a ledger to the finish of the wall and literally hang the cabinet on the ledger. Since the kitchen involves most of the trades and includes key appliances and fixtures, the per square foot cost is typically much higher than the other rooms in a house.  Completely updating a kitchen may equate to $400 per square foot while the bedrooms might be more in the realm of $100 per square foot. The graphics help the home-owners understand how the updates translate into costs, at the same time the distinctions help the design team focus their efforts on different aspects of the remodel, staying on budget all the while. It’s encouraging that you guys (and others commenting here) are sensitive to the challenges of remodeling MCM houses. It may be obvious but is well worth mentioning that a platform bed lets you save a bunch of money by not having to buy a box spring. Of course the real clinchers are the storage compartments, which make this design ideal for anyone starved for space. Today’s post is a catalog of sorts, combining all 10 of our MCM posts into a one-stop guide to Mid-Century Modern residential architecture and construction.
Part of an architect’s job is to appreciate this process and recognize the layers worth keeping.
Subsequently, we rely on systems that have proved themselves over the course of numerous projects.
New clear anodized aluminum windows do double duty by keeping the heat in and sharpening up the facade. Currently we’re sticking to Clear Anodized and Bronze Anodized Aluminum windows on most of our projects. Lo and behold the pricing comes in over-budget and it’s back to the drawing board with a great amount of time, effort and design fee already spent.
These numbers vary of course, some may be higher or lower but they all tend to balance each other out. Another important advantage: Platform beds lend themselves to built-in storage cubbies, shelves, and drawers that conserve valuable floor space.
Painting the bottom of the deck a lighter color also helps the space below to feel finished, bright and pleasant. The Guide to Updating Mid-Century Modern Homes is a good starting point and working with extraordinary clients who possess a keen sense of humor definitely helps.
The result might be a target budget of something like $175 per square foot for the entire house. Today’s post breaks down the remodel into its constituent parts and calls out the specifications and links to fixtures, appliances, materials and all sorts of good stuff. The strategy gives us a departure point and aligns the initial design efforts with the budget. But as rudimentary as this strategy seems, we are constantly amazed at how rarely measures like this are conducted in the industry.



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