Midcentury modern homes, if well-preserved, are appealing regardless of whether you’re a design enthusiast. The post-war style was ahead of its time in its emphasis on informal living, an easy flow between indoor and outdoor spaces, and strong connection to the landscape. These properties from the ‘50s and ‘60s are great examples of why the midcentury look has never gone out of style.
576 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, $1,095,000
Designed by Philadelphia architect Robert McElroy on 1.6 acres, this home has floor-to-ceiling walls of glass that frame picturesque views of the lush landscaping, which includes a 5-tier waterfall that flows into a pond full of Japanese koi. Located on the second floor in an inverted floor plan, the main living areas have verdant treetop views and access to a private Brazilian ipe deck with cable railings and built-in seating. Accessible through a private entrance, the first floor includes a cozy family room, 3 more bedrooms and its own kitchen—making it ideal as in-law or guest quarters.
1700 Ridge Road, Highland Park, Illinois, $1,399,000
Located on a beautiful one-acre property featuring prairie gardens and quartz flagstone terraces, this midcentury home on Chicago’s North Shore balances original details such as terrazzo floors and copious windows with updated amenities. Take note of the unique 3-room primary suite, which includes an office and a sitting room. There’s more space in the finished basement, which offers a fourth bedroom and a kitchenette.
2293 North Cerritos Road, Palm Springs, California, $1,499,000
This home was designed by California architect Hugh Kaptur, who was well known for both residential and commercial work in the Coachella Valley. This gleaming white house offers fantastic mountain views and many midcentury features, such as large windows. Updated with stylish, modern finishes, the ranch-style house’s main living areas overlook a spacious backyard that includes an outdoor kitchen and, naturally, a deep pool for beating the desert heat.
6307 Highland Hills Drive, Austin, Texas, $1,500,000
This updated midcentury charmer in Austin’s primo Northwest Hills neighborhood has been completely renovated with a redesigned layout, an updated kitchen that includes quartz and butcher block countertops and a primary bedroom suite with two closets, a spa-like bathroom and a sitting area with a gas fireplace. Two new decks make it easy for parties to spill outside, where a resurfaces and retiled saltwater swimming pool awaits.
7701 Potrero Avenue, El Cerrito, California, $1,750,000
Nestled into a lush hill overlooking the San Francisco Bay, this Eichler-like midcentury home boasts streamlined architecture with large windows that look out on the Oakland and San Francisco skylines. The great room and 2 of the 4 bedrooms lead out to a beautifully landscaped private courtyard. Another bedroom has its own deck overlooking the hillside and a lovely garden that’s a mix of plantings and ornamental grasses.
How to Help:
If you’re interested in helping more people have access to design services, you can support the nonprofit Designs for Dignity, which transforms nonprofit environments through pro bono design services and in-kind donations.
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Tate Gunnerson is a Chicago-based freelance journalist with an equal appreciation for natural beauty and good design. He is a passionate supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Kidney Foundation.