Cool house, warm look

Add coziness and personality with a mix of classic and contemporary elements

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  • Germani's preference for table lamps and pendants rather than recessed lighting gives the home an inviting glow.

    Glowing exterior

    Thomas J. Story

    Click to Enlarge

The couple wanted to strip the home back to its 1950s 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.

Exposed beam ceilings were repainted in the open kitchen, living, and dining rooms. The master bedroom was reconfigured to add privacy and a new closet ― a freestanding walnut cabinet designed by Germani that floats between the bedroom and the home office. 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.

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, including several walnut tables and a console designed by Germani. While the couple chose a few iconic 20th-century pieces of furniture ― like the Mies van der Rohe glass coffee table in the living room ― they managed to keep the classic pieces from looking clichéd by working in their favorite collections.

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.

Even though he and Costa both loved the house from day one, "we're really happy with the results of all our hard work," Germani says. "Ever since the remodel, it's everything we wanted it to be."

Next: How to make modern cozy 



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