Reclaiming Mid-century Modern


When we first moved to LA from Chicago in 2006, we were obsessed with mid-century modern architecture and searched relentlessly to find a mcm home both within our price range and in a desirable neighborhood. Coming from a city with virtually no indoor/outdoor living or yards larger than postage stamps, the idea of beamed ceilings leading to walls of glass and potentially a POOL was a dream come true.


We found a home in Sherman Oaks that checked off most items on our wish list, even though it had just been poorly flipped, with most original details stripped and removed from the interior. We brought in decorative elements from the era with light fixtures and art. We furnished it with mid-century classics like Noguchi’s coffee table and a pristine vintage Moller Danish modern teak dining table and chairs. Then something odd happened. Mid-century modern design exploded on to the mainstream. Mad Men took the world by storm. Eames knock-off chairs filled every dorm room and froyo shop in the country. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved our home, but this trend was everywhere you looked and I was getting tired of it.


Work soon took me to another part of town. We leased out our home and moved to Santa Monica into a home that was architectural, but not mid-century modern. It was a welcome change. We now had a small child and a transitional style home with softer lines suited us well. I dreamed of someday owning a Spanish revival home in Hancock Park or even a Craftsman. Mid-century was honestly off my radar for a few years.

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Funny enough, as fate would have it, we have recently moved back into our mid-century modern home in Sherman Oaks. I wasn’t exactly excited to go back, but then I realized something. It is my house, not a museum. It’s surely not of the national register of historic places. I can use this opportunity to reimagine and reclaim mid-century modern and make it suitable for our family and lifestyle. My next few posts will focus on the renovations and and updates we’ve made to make mcm more livable and less historical, while incorporating California craftsmanship and recalling the era in which the home was built. Hope you enjoy.


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