Midcentury ranch home goes modern

See how a 1953 ranch-style home went comfortably modern

Colorful display

Thomas J. Story

Colorful display

Full story: Cool house, warm look

Homeowners Bobby Costa and Daniel Germani are fans of the midcentury-modern look, but their house is neither minimalist nor sterile. In fact, it's downright cozy, both indoors and out. "We didn't want a museum or a showcase," Germani says. "We wanted a place where you could sit down comfortably and have a cup of coffee."

After three months of renovation, the two moved in, bringing furnishings and art from their previous residence. But they found themselves weeding out items and adding pieces that better reflected the home's '50s character.

Here, brightly colored ceramics are showcased against the sandblasted wall.

Homey kitchen

Thomas J. Story

Homey kitchen

The owners wanted to strip the home back to its roots and open the interior more fully to the surrounding yard. Existing slate flooring was kept in place, and the interior of the concrete block walls was sandblasted to add texture. The kitchen got a bigger island, a stainless steel backsplash, and a series of bookshelves that serves as a divider from the living room.

The 1950s aesthetic was hardly limited to stainless steel and molded plastic. The use of wood, especially walnut and mahogany, was a main design feature of that era; it adds tactile depth to any room.

New walnut veneers restore period charm to the original kitchen cabinets.

Resources: Gas range from Viking (888/845-4641).

Cool house, warm look

 

Custom console

Thomas J. Story

Custom console

Books, stacks of magazines, photos, and fun objects can be on display without looking cluttered. Vignettes of favorite objects and art mix with a console designed by Germani.

"We don't like to take ourselves too seriously," Germani says ― which explains the lighthearted black-and-white portraits of pop icon Madonna that take pride of place on a living room wall.

Show off your art collection, even in unexpected places like bathrooms. Place groupings in varying heights, shapes, and materials on side tables or credenzas to create soft, low pools of light.

Cool house, warm look

Resources: Console designed and built by Daniel Germani and Brett Smith, Brett Smith Woodworks (602/466-3820). Vintage 1950s lamp. Custom photographs of Madonna.

 

Eye catching wall

Thomas J. Story

Eye catching wall

Stark, unadorned surfaces can seem icy without a balancing element. "We used sandblasted block, raised-pattern wall panels, and funky, fun wallpaper to counter the slick decor and create casual, interesting backdrops," Germani says.

Exposed beam ceilings were repainted in the open kitchen, living, and dining rooms. The couple stripped the paint from original wood window frames and replaced sliding doors and small bedroom windows with 6-foot-wide, aluminum-framed pivot doors, opening the house to the garden.

Cool house, warm look

 

Make a statement

Thomas J. Story

Make a statement

Find a style that's comfortable for you.

Costa and Germani enjoy cooking and entertaining, especially outdoors, so they also transformed their landscape, particularly in the back and side yards. Working with landscape architect Chad Robert, they added a rectangular pool, a ramada, and a back patio large enough to hold tables and chairs for conversation and dining. The front patio serves as another spot for alfresco entertaining.

Extend the warmth of your house into the yard by adding colorful accents and inviting seating areas outdoors.


More on this home:  Cool house, warm look

 

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