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