Updating a Mid-Century Modern Home

Posted July 12, 2021 in Special Features

When I realized that I needed to better develop my concierge approach in real estate in order to better help today’s clients, I always  implement the two initial ways to create something unique using my design experience. The first is pretty pragmatic: where can I add a  bathroom or an extra laundry room? The second is kind of aspirational in that I want to learn from the experience to develop something personal.

Before I entered into the real estate concierge phase about 20 years ago of listing and offering real estate that I’ve developed, I was primarily working design through paint schemes, updated surfaces, and the layering of décor. This 2021 house presented itself with a good layout with excellent windows within an established neighborhood that offered wide streets and access to everything one would want just outside of the neighborhood.

The tri-level, mid century gem I found was a plain, small roomed home. Its personality came through as I identified the particular aesthetics that with a little polish would showcase the home as being new again.

It was important to look past the paint colors and to even look past some walls. Once I could see the architectural elements that were important, it became clear that the small aisle size kitchen would become a focal point by removing the wall shared with the fireplace room. The kitchen offered an opportunity to have an island where the wall was located and allow the kitchen window to brighten up the entire level of the home.

The world of architecture is closely related to design. Architecture is about the structure and purpose while design is the implementation. People often use the term architectural design in combination of the two.

I like mid century period homes for the purpose of this new concierge listing of homes for people to gain what they need to be able to accomplish in their next home. I am most able to help persons that aren’t quite sure to sell as is or whether there is another way. I am the option for another way.

Many of us here in the Pacific Northwest are somewhat familiar with the Case Study Houses that were built with the intention of housing post World War II families on the West Coast. The homes were seemingly affordable, replicable and offered technical innovation that was practical. A key point is that they were located on roomy lots. For this reason, I find that many of our Vancouver area homes that were built in the mid-century time-frame or between the 1940’s and 1960’s give the most opportunity for the approach I take in real estate.

In this house that continues my journey with concierge real estate, I chose to create an illuminated wall for the eye to rest upon entering the home. From there, the expansiveness of opening the kitchen wall offers the feeling of entering into one’s own personal retreat.

Taking a plain old fireplace and giving it a fresh coat of paint gave the entire level a sense of being away at a fabulous resort yet at home. This is a key element of the Case Study houses. The full glass views from the home was a key element to create a design that presents now as modern and  technologically up to date.

I find that the house tells its story as you can see by the photos of what I viewed when I first entered the home. Just like we learn from our mothers to not say something if you don’t have something nice to say, there wasn’t anything particularly nice to say about this house initially. “It had great bones” is what we say when we don’t know what to say, and is what I said.

The relationship of the home to its neighbors is one of being something more hopeful for a renewed effort in the neighborhood. I hope some of the neighbors might call after having walked through the home after it was completed.

The dialogue between what presented as a need for an update to become a rich and thought provoking home has fulfilled a challenge inside of me.

Call me at 360.635.1121 or email to learn more about how your challenges of the home you live in might give you new opportunities.