Updating a mid-century modern (ranch / rambler) with craftsman accents.
RC Hilliard
May 5, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We are in the planning stages of a remodel. Our house is a mid-century modern ranch home in the Metro DC area. Every house is the neighborhood is the same, with the exception of some remodelled homes. We want the house to be updated / expanded with a bit of a craftsman touch - but still blend in the environment. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
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Manon Floreat
One of the trademarks of the mid century modern house is the melding of indoor/outdoor areas - floor to ceiling windows, courtyard spaces and natural stone. It also has a very linear and no nonsense perspective. You may want to think about incorporating some of these elements in your remodel.

It seems that current architecture has the "great room" as its focus where living, dining and food preparation areas are combined. Depending on where your load bearing walls are, this may not be feasible. But you might be able to incorporate it on a smaller scale - cut outs in walls to open spaces, a peninsula in the kitchen to act as a gathering spot, living area that opens to the dining area, etc.

Here's a great ideabook that features a mid century makeover. You might get some ideas from it:

Mid century homes are at the top of my favorite list. Here a few ideas that might be useful for you.
May 6, 2012 at 12:31am   
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RC Hilliard
Thanks Manon - those are great pictures and some good ideas there. This is a pure midcentury, down to the furniture. Any thoughts on incorporating some arts and crafts / craftman / bungalow elements into a mid-century? We are thinking about windows, gables, door & garage door.
May 6, 2012 at 5:43am   
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Manon Floreat
I think the arts and crafts/mission styles are very compatible with mid century. You'll have to choose which elements from arts and crafts you want to add. Not all elements are so compatible. I can't imagine an MC with gables, for instance since the roof lines of the MC is generally more horizontal than the bungalow. But there are other elements you can add.

Depending on your porch elevation, you could think about stone bases to support rectilinear pillars with a stone floor. The below bungalow has porch posts that would easily fit with the linear lines of the mid century and the window panes in the attached garage door mimic the lines of the posts.

A front door similar to the one posted has the side lights, which is not uncommon in mid century design but still has a straight forward design that would work happily with mid century. I think you'd have to keep it stained a natural wood and use door hardware that is more MC, though. Check out Crestview doors, they specialize in "vintage" door kits:

For windows, I'd stay true to the MC. The arts and crafts style usually has the double hung, many paned windows, whereas the MC generally is more streamlined - probably another attempt to reduce the separation between in and out. Below is a good example of MC windows with panes that might work for you.

One last thing to consider is the trim inside. Both MC and arts and crafts were big on wood trim. So, there's another point where the two styles work well together.

Do you have any photos you can share?
May 6, 2012 at 11:29am     
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Marie Meko, Allied ASID
I think it would be very helpful to include pictures with this discussion to take the best advantage of all the great expertise out there in addition to the great comments from Floreat.
May 6, 2012 at 11:39am   
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Why not take a look at Frank Lloyd Wright for inspiration? Mid-Century and Craftsman are two distinct styles. But he did have do his own style in the West that had a modern flair with lots of craftsman details.
May 6, 2012 at 11:50am   
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Marie Meko, Allied ASID
Good idea and if you want a few Craftsman pieces of furniture check out Stickley at www.stickley.com
May 6, 2012 at 12:01pm   
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RC Hilliard
thanks all for your comments - please keep them coming. sorry about the photo - I thought it was visible to all. let's try again, this is the front of the house.
May 6, 2012 at 6:25pm   
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RC Hilliard
Houssaon - You may be on to something there. The last thing that I want to do is mix styles to the point that it looks like a hack job. The key will have to be a seemless melding of old with new. Do you have any photos of the sort of Wright buildings you were referring to? You all can now see the front photo of our project.
May 12, 2012 at 6:20am   
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