I would have never guessed that my taste in homes could be encapsulated by a single era of architecture. In fact, beyond watching a few design shows on television, I didn’t know much at all about building styles by era before hunting for a home for the first time. Orange County, California features a surprising variety of period homes, including many beautiful mid-century modern homes. The right Realtor will help decipher your tastes and find the right house for you.
At the start of our house hunt, our Realtor took us out on two separate days to look at homes. At each house we went to we flatly said, “It’s not for us.” We looked at houses built in the last 30 years featuring all the modern conveniences, basic floor plans, standard windows and doors. Don’t get me wrong, I can definitely appreciate stainless steel appliances and fancy new fixtures, but no property felt like it had the potential to be our next house. It always felt like someone else’s home.
It wasn’t until we walked through the door of one of the last homes on the last day of looking that we said, “wow!” We had just walked into our first mid-century modern home. We marveled at all the quirks and character, such as the mail slot, old bathroom fixtures, and funky kitchen layouts.
Although the property wasn’t right for us for other reasons, our realtor could tell that the style of the house had taken our breath away. When we left, he told us, “So, you two like mid-century homes. I now have a good feel for what style you are looking for.” My husband and I looked at each other and said, “Oh. Ok!” It had never dawned on us that we were looking for the charm and character of a mid-century modern home.
Fast-forward a few months to when we arrived at a newly listed 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath in Anaheim, CA. Even from the street the delicate, white cornices and crosshatch windows of the 1956 house made us swoon. The exterior walls sparkled with an all over fresh coat of paint, replete with a red door.
As we walked through the house we noticed many subtle mid-century features, such as an artistic sliding door handle and a gorgeous red brick fireplace. These elements felt so precious and extraordinary to us. We concluded our tour in the backyard and promptly agreed that this was our house. We had our realtor call the listing agent then and there to prime her for receiving our offer that same day. Within a week we were under contract and a month later it is now ours.
Our beautiful mid-century modern home features original honey-colored oak wood floors, which are completely covered up with laminate wood flooring and carpet. We found out that the wood floors underneath are not in the best condition. The prior owners cycled through layered-on flooring according to the trends of the time. We are interested in restoring the floors, and who wouldn’t be? Our budget will dictate how soon we can embark on that project.
[pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]The home also features an intercom system in need of repair. My handy, tech-minded husband has plans to repair the system. I will contribute by stripping the paint off of the interior intercom plates to reveal the gorgeous brass underneath.[/pullquote]
Mid-century modern homes have highly functional kitchens. These houses often feature a high bar nearby the stove where the cook of the house can serve the family or guests hot food right out of the pan. We love our kitchen’s high bar. Additionally, the kitchen features an exterior pass-through window allowing the chef in the kitchen to pass freshly prepared food through to partygoers on the patio. The other day our little nephew had a ball passing us individual chips to eat while our family admired the backyard of our new home for the first time. The little retro touches in the kitchen make such an impression.
The two bathrooms feature gorgeous original floors and fixtures. For however odd this sounds I absolutely adore our crisp-grey toilets, sinks, tiles and bathtub. The vintage shapes lend a softness to each space. I would have never thought that grey bathroom features would appear so clean, even while harboring a layer of dust from disuse.
Now that I can recognize the features that distinguish a mid-century house, it is easy to understand why they are so appealing to some. These homes were built to be family-oriented and enduring. The period features are pronounced but invoke a nostalgic charm.
My husband and I have plans to restore as much of the mid-century charm as possible to our new home as possible. I will be documenting our projects here on OCModHomes.com and hope you’ll return often to see what we’ve been up to.
[message type=”custom” width=”100%” start_color=”#CFF7FC” end_color=”#CFF7FC” border=”#BBBBBB” color=”#333333″]If you would like to find your mid-century modern dream home or have any questions on the home buying processes, feel free to contact us or call at anytime. Stephen, 949-280-6481.[/message]
Sarah Roullard Le
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