my mid century modern dream

exterior frontLast summer I said I’d share my mid-century modern dream house — and today is that day. It’s just a distant memory now. A place I laid my hat for a few years while living in the mid-west where architecture like this on a dreamy lot at the edge of the woods is attainable. Not worry free (I had my share of plumbing problems and the scare of two 30 ft. oaks going down just inches from my kitchen) but attainable none the less.

The house was built in 1964 by a local architect, John Findlay and his wife, who literally rolled boulders around the lot themselves. The house takes advantage of a sloping landscape and what looks like a small one story dwelling from the street, has a large lower level walk out making the most of an indoor/outdoor living concept. But most of my time was spent on the main level where the kitchen, living room and bedrooms surround an open plan central dining area. While the large eat in kitchen might have sold the house, it was the living room that I liked the most with its iconic stone fireplace and large windows framing an hypnotic view of the woods.

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The house looks beautiful all surrounded in greenery but it was in the winter, when the trees were bare and the light reflected off the snow, that this house was truly spectacular. I often wondered if the architect who designed and built the house at just 32 years of age (he would die 8 years later), planned it that way or was just lucky? At any rate, I feel the lucky one having lived here even if for a short time.

4 thoughts on “my mid century modern dream

  1. I lived in this house from 1988 to 1997 and loved it. We put in the Finnish sauna behind the hidden bookcase and also a Vermont Casting wood burning stove in the lower level. I believe that is gone now. When we lived there there were “hidden closets” and rooms behind spring loaded doors. These were Findlay’s designs. I think subsequent owners may have had them removed. A great house in a beautiful, serene, private and tranquil setting yet close to great schools, parks and the city.

  2. What a wonderful surprise to meet another resident of this lovely home via my blog! Your sauna is still there but just through a standard opening. The front coat closet is still there behind the paneling, hidden to those not in the know. And the front door perplexes many with no standard door knob to this day. Sadly I lost two of the large trees out front to a mighty crash — probably root damage going all the way back to when the home was built so close to their root structure. Luckily no damage to the house or injuries. Otherwise, the home really has maintained the character of the original intent. I miss living there every day. I’m glad you found my blog and this posting. Thanks for reading!

  3. OMG, I can’t believe I just stumbled across this. I was the owner of this fabulous home for 4 1/2 years, selling it to you in 2007. I loved that home, and tried to remodel it with respect to the architect’s original vision. I met Mr. Findlay’s wife, and she was pleased with the work I did on the home. I have since moved to Chicago, and live in a condo. My understanding is that the current owners have gutted the house with no desire of maintaining the integrity of its mid-century design. I was very sorry to hear that the home is now just a “modern” place for people to live, but it’s theirs to do with as they please.
    I love your blog…you have a wonderful eye for design, great ideas for travel, and I’m just thrilled to have found it and you! All the best…
    Ronee Bergman

  4. So good to hear from you Ronee. You are now the second past owner of the house to find my post (and you may recognize one of the photos as being your kitchen set up). I am devastated to find out that the house has been drastically changed — your thoughtful update to the home was perfect and i barely needed to touch a thing when I moved in. I hated to have to leave.
    I, too, am living a very different life now — back in LA, in a one bedroom, 1932 art deco apartment. Fabulous in a completely different way. I don’t miss the snow but I do miss living my mid-century dream life.

    Take care! And thanks for reading . . .

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