Fifties Modern; A Californian-style home undergoes a contemporary makeover while retaining its retro roots

Californian-style Home

WHEN PHOTOGRAPHER Don Flood went house hunting with his wife Jenny Brunt, the couple didn’t expect their search would end with this stunning architect-designed home, built in 1958, with beautiful gardens and a swimming pool.

California house style

California house style

A few weeks after first viewing the property, the couple and their two daughters, Ella and Edie, moved in. That’s when the major renovation began.

Styles of Room

The living room was the darkest room of the house as the main entrance door was made of solid wood. It was replaced with large glass doors, which unleashed an abundant flow of light, now making it the brightest room. The walls between the kitchen and the living room were removed in order to open up the kitchen and make the home more of an open-plan layout.

To open up the house to even more natural light, the couple took down trees in key areas of the garden. “The small patio outside was overgrown with plants, which didn’t allow any light through to the house and so they were removed,” Don explains. “After it was all gone, light streamed in.” The natural light also emphasises the many architectural details of the property, such as the living room’s asymmetrical walls.

Sliding glass doors throughout accentuate the notion of the exterior blending with the interior. Nature is also welcome inside the house, especially as a feature in the bathrooms. In the guest bathroom, plants grow in what was previously a shower, and Mother-in-law’s Tongues (Sansevieria triafasciata) border the bathtub in the main bathroom.

Interior Decor

When it came to the interior decor, both Don and Jenny knew the look they wanted to achieve. “We enjoy a more simple style, but with space for colours here and there,” Don says. Stark white walls and a pared-back palette not only add to the feeling of light and space in the home, but are the perfect backdrop to showcase a gallery of artworks and photography, with pops of colour also emerging through furniture, accessories and plants.

Garden and room interior

Garden and room interior

The couple’s love of scouring vintage stores and flea markets is evident in the interior of their house. Although modern in style, it is home to an eclectic mix of vintage and retro designer finds, such as Eames chairs, 1960s light pendants, shagpile rugs and many 1950s pieces. Items from earlier periods also feature, such as two armchairs in the living room by Arts and Crafts designer Charles Limbert.

“The decor creates a lifestyle that is light and colourful,” Don says. A perfect home for this photographer and his young family.

Posted in: Build a new house, House furniture decor

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