Creating or remodeling a mid-century home is always made easier when you have something to take inspiration from. Here are some of the most widely recognized mid-century homes built in the 1930s-1960s era that have helped define the style and influenced decades of architects and artisans.
Lovell Beach House
Newport Beach, California
The design of this home is what finally gave Rudolph Schindler his distinct modern style after years of working in the shadow of Frank Lloyd Wright. Built in 1926, the house sports five sculptural columns used to gain sweeping views of the ocean over neighboring structures. The interior includes a two-story living and dining area, with floor to ceiling curtain wall windows on the east and south side faces. Bedrooms are located on the second floor, accessible via a corridor that overlooks the living area.
Its design responded well to seismic vibrations, as was evidenced five years later when it survived an earthquake that flattened a nearby school. It was listed as a Registered Historic Place in California in 1974.
The Mathews House
Charles Dilbeck was a prolific and eccentric architect with works ranging from small distinctive houses to massive estates. Having worked in lumberyards in his youth, Dilbeck became famous for his ability to use wood in a roughened state, refined and handcrafted.
The Mathews house was one of his most famous constructs located in Russwood Acres. The 6,500 square feet mid-century home was a bold design built in 1962. It featured expansive rooms that were not quite the standard for mid-century at the time. The current owners have since raised the originally low ceilings and opened up the kitchen to the living areas. Other modern updates include solar panels and tankless water heaters. This beautifully renovated home is one that any realtor Dallas Texas has to offer would love to list.
Further afield, is this 1932 construct of cousins Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, for the Savoye family. Located in the outskirts of Paris, this unusual design of the time featured the use of slender columns (pilotis) to elevate the housing from the ground, long horizontal ribbon windows, an open floor plan, and roof garden.
This design has been much imitated across the world, with one of the most noted replications being the west wing of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra.
New Canaan, Connecticut
Also known as the Johnson House, for its builder and resident, Philip Johnson, this 1949 build was believed to have been inspired by the Farnsworth House of Illinois. Featuring minimal construction, sharp geometry, balanced proportions, and transparency, it is considered Johnson’s most modern styling of his New Canaan estate.
He went onto add other styles of buildings on the 47-acre property, including the Brick House, Ghost House, and a painting and sculpture gallery. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997 and is open to the public for guided tours.