Midcentury Modern Homes Are Hot

Homes built in the midcentury modern style continue to fetch ever-increasing prices from preservationists and others who love their rich woods and minimalist design.

The Kaufmann Housein Palm Springs, Calif., designed by Richard Neutra in 1946, brought $16.8 million with commission last week at a Christie’s auction.

Marc Porter, Christie’s president in America, said the buyer, whom he declined to name, exercised an option to purchase an orchard adjacent to the property for an additional $2.1 million that includes three cacti that were a present from Frank Lloyd Wright to original owner Edgar Kaufmann, Pittsburgh department store magnate, on his first visit to the home.

The 1960 Esherick Housein Chestnut Hill, Pa. — one of the few private residences designed by the influential Louis Kahn — is part of a contemporary-design auction on May 18 at Richard Wright in Chicago. It is expected to bring $2 million or $3 million.

Many of these homes aren’t very livable. For instance, the Esherick House has only one bedroom and the kitchen. The five-bedroom Kaufmann House comes with restrictions that bar its new owner from making any structural changes.

Source: The New York Times, Carol Vogen (05/14/), and Newsweek, Cathleen McGuigan (05/19/)

Nia Fact: I love midcentury modern- and am a collector of the furniture….however looking at the price tag of these homes, I may need to find a new hobby.

Architecture Coach: Tudor

This architecture style was popular in the 1920s and 1930s and continues to be a mainstay in suburbs across the United States. The defining characteristics are half-timbering on bay windows and upper floors, and facades that are dominated by one or more steeply pitched cross gables. Patterned brick or stone walls are common, as are rounded doorways, multi-paned casement windows, and large stone chimneys. A subtype of the Tudor Revival style is the Cotswold Cottage. With a sloping roof and a massive chimney at the front, a Cotswold Cottage may remind you of a picturesque storybook home.

Tudor???

tudor.jpg

If so, Westview has it all… even lovely Tudor styled homes for sale. Fantastic condition and a surprise HUGE half finished attic..

What this home has: Butler’s pantry, DETAILS-DETAILS and DETAILS… EVERY DOOR has a sparkling antique glass knob & fixtures, sun room with sky light, huge yard, well maintained and loved…move right in and LIVE!(well, you will need a stove)  😉

Asking Price 170’sK

Architecture Coach: Craftsman

Popularized at the turn of the 20th century by architect and furniture designer Gustav Stickley in his magazine, The Craftsman, the Craftsman-style bungalow reflected, said Stickley, “a house reduced to it’s simplest form… its low, broad proportions and absolute lack of ornamentation gives it a character so natural and unaffected that it seems to… blend with any landscape.”

The style, which was also widely billed as the “California bungalow” by architects such as Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, featured overhanging eaves, a low-slung gabled roof, and wide front porches framed by pedestal-like tapered columns. Material often included stone, rough-hewn wood, and stucco. Many homes have wide front porches across part of the front, supported by columns.

Information taken from Realtor Magazine, Architecture Coach column.

Craftsman

4/2 on Dill Ave- 184K

Architecture Coach: Bungalow

These narrow, rectangular one and one-half story houses originated in California during the 1880s as a reaction to the elaborate decoration of Victorian homes. The style then moved eastward to the Midwest in the early 20th century, where it remained popular until the Great Depression. Bungalows have low-pitched gabled or hipped roofs and small covered porches at the entry. The style became so popular that you could order a bungalow kit from Sears and Roebuck catalog. The name “bungalow” had its origins in India, where it indicated a small, thatched home.

Lived in and loved

The Beauty of a Bungalow by Architect Coach Linda Legner

Charming and practical, this architecture style inspires as much enthusiasm today as when introduced in the late 1800s.

So much more than mere shelter, bungalows symbolize homeownership. This all-American style was developed with convenience, economy, and affordability in mind so that anyone with a steady job could enjoy the satisfactions and respectability of a home to call their own.Always informal in elevation and plan, bungalows were built abundantly across the United States between 1890 and the mid-1900s, becoming so popular that companies like Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward offered mail-order houses that were pre-cut in factories then shipped out for fabrication on site by local carpenters.

The very first bungalows appeared on the East Coast, but California quickly claimed the bungalow for itself—although it didn’t take long for this popular style to infiltrate the Midwest and make its way into every other region of the country.

Characteristics of a Bungalow

An offshoot of the Arts and Crafts movement, bungalow designs emphasize a horizontal link between the house and the land around it. The use of natural, local materials and colors also reinforce this home-earth relationship. Overall, bungalows project a picturesque and homey feeling, both artistic and practical at the same time.

You’ll recognize a bungalow by these features:

  • One or one-and-a-half stories
  • Low, sloping roof either gabled (front or side) or hipped, often with wide overhangs
  • Exposed roof structure (beams, rafters)
  • Exterior proportions balanced rather than symmetrical in arrangement
  • Modest front porch
  • A front stoop is a common element
  • Focus on a garden, even if small
  • Open, informal floor plan
  • Prominent hearth
  • Wood details inside
  • Built-in furniture common throughout the house

Variations of the Theme

The style morphs easily to adapt to regional tastes and building materials, making it a good fit for any geographical locale. A bungalow’s exterior might be brick, clapboard, board and batten, shingle, stucco, log, or stone depending upon taste and availability of materials in the region.

In California, it’s typical to see bungalows with Craftsman lines or in a Spanish Colonial motif. The mostly-brick Chicago bungalows, on the other hand, show off Prairie-style influences and a boxy adaptation to suit long, narrow city lots. Camp and Lodge styles using rough-hewn materials were common in the mountain areas of the East. Where Spanish Colonial Revival and Mission shine in the Southwest, Federal and Georgian Revival touches abound in the Washington, D.C., area.

It’s impossible to classify all stylistic variations of the bungalow. The very fact that so many exist testifies to the nation’s love affair with this cozy, comfortable housing stock.
The Inside Story

In an effort to maximize interior space, bungalows incorporate built-in furniture of all kinds: sideboards in dining rooms, cabinetry in kitchens, bookshelves that double as room dividers, window seats and benches wherever they could fit in. Oak serves as the primary material.

Interiors also feature a liberal use of wood for flooring, wainscoting, chair rails, plate rails, and box beams creating geometric ceiling patterns. Stained glass and leaded glass enliven windows, cabinet doors, and artisan light fixtures.

Fireplaces often take center stage in living rooms, reflecting the philosophy that hearth is the heart of the home. Wooden mantels top fireplace surrounds that might be of brick, stone, tiles, sometimes rustic boulders. Fireplaces can be arched or rectangular, and are frequently flanked by bookcases or cabinets. And, in more elaborate installations, benches or inglenooks were added to accommodate fireside chats and long, lazy reads.

Information taken from Realtor Magazine, Architecture Coach column.

Bungalow

3/2 Shirley Street, 184K