Lessons from the Past

Last week, Build Blog posted the “10 Forgotten Lessons of Mid-Century Modern Design,” and I’ve probably read it every day since, picking up new points each time.  Maybe it was the wasted year we spent looking for the perfect mid-century home, but our tastes and preferences have been highly influenced by that era of architecture.  You can see the same inspiration in so many modern homes these days.  I’ve picked out my favorites from their list, but you should check out the whole thing here. 

Keep it simple. It’s a consistent rule of thumb in MCM design.

image from A-Z West

Simple angles with the roof and walls make for easier construction, and easier arrangement of furniture and rooms.  That’s artist Andrea Zittel’s gorgeous studio in the desert above.  We love the simple slant of our future roof, similar to hers above, because it not only adds architectural interest, it also allows light to stream in from the clerestory windows.

Small, efficient bedrooms are perfectly pleasant. Bedrooms don’t need to incorporate lounge areas and recreational space; that’s what lounges and rec-rooms are for.

image from Modiz Trends

Yes, yes, yes.  We’ve trimmed our bedrooms down to what we need in order to maximize our shared living space (and, yes, we’ll have enough room in our master to accommodate a king-sized bed, but only because we sleep with two great danes every night).  While it’s nice to think of a reading nook in a bedroom, you may also have an office that could serve the same purpose.

Outdoor rooms are just as important as indoor rooms.

image from Dwell

Yep, even in Texas, because we can enjoy the outdoors comfortably for at least 7 months of the year.  Our kitchen will have big sliding doors that open to a courtyard area, which essentially makes the home bigger.

Screen walls offer privacy without cordoning off the interiors. One of the best ways to maintain privacy, without jeopardizing the quality of the spaces inside, is by using architectural elements that don’t touch the ceiling.

image from Dwell

We have talked a lot about this, and decided to go with a room divider for our office because we don’t need a formal wall or door, as neither of us are doing work that requires complete silence. Anyway, if we are doing that kind of work, we have a studio space outside to retreat to.  I think one of the best things we’ve done to keep our design on track is a space function list, which is basically an examination of how we use our areas and how we could better use them…with a small home, we just don’t have the room to double up on spaces.

Let nature do the work. MCM design is very clever about using the inherent characteristics of materials as finishes within the home.

image from Residential Architect

This is so in-tune with our house goals.  We’ll proudly show the container walls and original flooring (like the container home above does), which will make our project less expensive and more authentic.

I’m excited about this list, and about how our project relates to it, because essentially it’s just about good design.

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One thought on “Lessons from the Past

  1. It does seem that everybody is into this kind of stuff lately. Dont really understand it though, but thanks for trying to explain it. Appreciate you shedding light into this matter. Keep it up

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