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LottaLiving.com • A Guide to Updating Mid-Century Modern Homes
Page 1 of 1

A Guide to Updating Mid-Century Modern Homes

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:41 pm
by scowsa
I know that there a range of MCM owners out there -- some repairing and renovating in ways to be very true to the original features and finishes, while others are updating certain aspects.

Here is a comprehensive guide, mainly for the latter folks.


Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:00 am
by Stephen
I can't believe nobody has posted on this. What an awesome link, Peter. I think a lot of people want to "do better" but don't know where to start in terms of tightening up their design process. I think many owners can read this and definitely step up their DIY game when thinking of remodels. It also gives a lot of insight to what happens when hire a (good) firm.

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:10 am
by home_boy
I’m hardly an MCM purist and I can understand the practical reasons to update the infrastructure of vintage homes, but I was somewhat startled and put off by the very first suggestion in this guide. “…The foundations are solid- enough to support a second story addition (when desired)…”. I can't think why anybody who really cares about their MCM home would want to add a second story to a house that was designed to be a single story. This seems like bad advice to me.

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:24 am
by Van

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:42 am
by FRaC

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:29 am
by home_boy
Well, certainly if you can get the original architect or if you have the bucks to hire Marmol Radziner or some other firm that specializes in that sort of thing, that's a whole other ballgame. I guess if you own a rambling Neutra icon in the desert, you can afford to take a few liberties. But this article seems aimed more toward us mere mortals who are trying to make our nice little tract MCM homes comfortable yet maintain their integrity.

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:00 am
by robbhouston

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:38 am
by FRaC

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:57 pm
by Stephen
Wow...tough crowd.

I agree that most of the time, 2nd story additions end reducing the desirability of the home. But it doesn't have to be that way and there are multi-story MCM homes.

Also, I think it's important to remember that most MCM homes were designed under the premise of bucking tradition and embracing creative solutions to design problems.

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:13 pm
by Joe
maybe they should change the name of the blog to "how to screw up a great mid-century house and waste a tone of cash doing it."

yes, there are some helpful aspects to the site, but it doesn't address much in the way of preservation and restoration. blindly encouraging second story additions are fight'n words.

the site really has nothing to do with Mid-century modernism. it's about remodeling to a specific standard of contemporary design that mimics the Modern style.

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:18 pm
by scowsa

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:33 am
by Dan O.
I was waiting for Joe's inevitable response, thanks Joe.

I'm all for improving the deficient areas of an MCM home but at the same time I think it often gets taken too far and you wind up with something that looks like it came directly out of the pages of dwell. I'm sure the "fire station" garage door in the article did not go unnoticed by Joe.

That whole two-story thing could have certainly been left out, the only time a second story is considerate of the surroundings is when your lot is big enough so that privacy is not compromised; and if your lot is that big why not just expand horizontally? Sure there are lots of two-story MCMs, I'm pretty sure the good ones are cases where the second story is dictated by the location, there might even be a view that the second story takes advantage of. What does a second story get you in a typical flat suburban neighborhood? An oversized "master suite" and a view into your neighbors' back yards.

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:09 pm
by Joe