Friday, March 20, 2009

Want Your Own MCM Home: Why Not Build?

Today finding a classic mid-century modern home to purchase in some cities and towns is next to impossible. Whether you live in a part of the country where these homes were just not built in vast quantity, or if you are in an area where they are now so coveted that your chances of actually getting your hands on one is unrealistic. Well, have no fear – you can now go ahead and actually purchase plans on-line and have your own new and improved contemporary home built for you!

The House Plan Site offers a wide variety of house plans sorted by various categories such as square footage and house style. You are then able to select the plan and review the plans online before making your final purchase. Even if you’re just looking for some great ideas before working with your architect, this site is a great resource for ideas.

One of my favourite plans: Contemporary House Plan D61-2056

Front of House


Back of House

Floor Plan

This is a 2056 sq/ft contemporary house plan with 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. Large floor-to-ceiling windows and doors are perfect for lots with a view. This great room plan works for both casual living and semi-formal entertaining. The kitchen, dining and living areas are semi-open to each other, with a large 2-way fireplace providing some separation between the areas. The master bedroom looks out to the backyard through three floor-to-ceiling windows, and the attached bath offers two sinks, a separate tub and dual-head shower, and walk-in closet.

Very groovy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Groovy Wallpapers

If you really want to pump up the mid-century modern look in your home, consider a feature wall installation of wallpaper. As my previous post on wallpaper discussed, this time-tested application has come a long way since the days of pasting and then never being able to peel it off.

Bradbury & Bradbury has come out with two new collections specific to mid-century modern times. The Atomic Age is reminiscent of the “tropical tiki” and “sputnik” era. The Mod Generation reminds us of the conservative prosperity of the 1950’s through to the civil rights demonstrations, flower children and man’s journey to the moon. Here are some of my favourites from each:

Grete – Naugahydeinterlock_INT-510_sage_400

Boingo – Grayboingo_BOI-710_gray_400

Now What? in Ginchy Green what_4_grn_400

Nouveau in Sea of Green
Gee Gee Sagegeegee_GEE-510_sage_400

Friday, March 6, 2009

How to think “Green” when changing your decor

2217_j0437370 It seems today living “Green” is a top priority – at least in theory. However, actually putting these theories into practice can be expensive and time consuming. So what is reasonable? How can you make an impact on helping the environment without breaking the bank during these economic times?

I've come up with a list of 4 things you can put into practice today. As you can see, many of these changes aren’t so much to do with major changes in how you life your life, but more to do with evaluating what you do when making everyday decisions.

Quality vs. Quantity

Don’t sacrifice purchasing a quality piece of furniture that you love for a less expensive, lower quality piece that you don’t love, just because it’s cheaper. In furniture pieces such as sofas and case-goods, you get what you pay for. A quality piece of furniture will withstand the wear and tear of everyday living, which means you’re making that big ticket purchase ONCE! When you spend money on lower quality, cheaper furniture, you may feel like you've saved money - but in the long run it ends up costing you more. You will need to replace the piece, which adds to your overall investment, and you then need to dispose of the old item. This means more junk being added to our landfills.

Be Aware of Trends

Like clothing styles, furniture and décor items will also fall in and out of fashion. If you want to keep your home looking fresh, it’s best to limit trendy purchases to smaller décor items such as vases, throw pillows, candle holders, etc. That way, when they fall out of favour you haven’t spent thousands of dollars on furniture you now don’t like. It's much easier to store and re-use small items and change them up for the seasons then it is to be stuck with a large furniture item that no longer works for you or your family.

Stick to the Classics

When considering large purchases such as a sofa, area rug or case-good items keep to simple classic styles. If you look for items that are well made with clean lines and limited adornments, they will stand the test of time and never look outdated. You can always jazz things up with a blanket or throw pillow. If you look at many of the older sofa styles, many of them are relevant today. They may just need to be re-upholstered. Many of the world’s best designers only re-design their home once every 10 or 20 years because when they do a design it does not date itself – this is the true test of good design.

Consider Vintage

When looking for new items consider looking in second hand stores, antique stores, garage sales, etc. Many of the best treasures can be found here. Sometimes only needing a coat of paint or a light sanding, these pieces can become showcases in your home. Plus you’re helping out the environment by recycling products. One of my favourite chairs is a piece from my in-laws first living room set. It has great lines and is of a smaller scale. Once I have it re-upholstered it is going to look brand new, modern and very unique.