What makes authentic, mid-century modern homes so irresistible after all of these years? Perhaps it is because of their radically simplified shapes. Think sleek lines or organic curves, often punctuated by large windows that unified interior spaces with the great outdoors.
The mid-century design movement, which kicked off in the 1940s and wrapped up in the early 1960s, celebrates the marriage of form and function with minimal and often modestly designed residential architecture and home decor. It also was the period that ushered in the era of home enjoyment, which endures to this day. For the first time, average homeowners started personalizing their living spaces both inside and outside, to reflect their taste and lifestyle. Maybe this celebration of self at home is why mid-century modern homes are still an architectural favorite. To get our gist, behold the following examples.
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Charming Mid-Century Cabin
The typical mid-century house is known for its single floor and close to the ground design often punctuated by sizable windows. However A-frame homes, like this California cabin featured on Glamping Hub, were equally popular as second homes. This abode has an open floor plan, two floors with the upper being loft-style, and of course large windows. The yard's minimal landscaping is also rooted in the mid-century aesthetic. The outdoor space feels like an extension of the dwelling because of is glass-covered facade.Continue to 2 of 13 below.
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Classic Two-Story Mid-Century Modern House
Here is a classic mid-century residence built-in 1951 and recently updated by architect, Carib Daniel Martin. The home's exterior bears a few of the standard details of the classic style. Note the large groupings of windows, a low-pitch gable roof parallel to the front facade, and a mix of siding materials, brick, wood, and metal, which all add visually appealing patterns and textures. The interior features an open-living arrangement topped off with high vaulted ceilings.Continue to 3 of 13 below.
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Sleek and Modern Remodeled Ranch House
Professional house flipper James Judge restored this mid-century modern ranch to its former, gorgeous glory. Blue and white paint punched up the brick exterior. The sleek turf and pebble yard combined with stylish frosted fencing take the home's curb appeal to a new chic level. The frosting on this proverbial cupcake is the extra-large street number—making this abode a real traffic stopper.Continue to 4 of 13 below.
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Sprawling Mid-Century Modern Ranch House
Built-in 1962, this mid-century modern beauty shared by Terrie O'Connor Realtors is a sprawling ranch house brimming with Mad Men appeal. Glass walls and clerestory windows both hallmarks of high-end ranchers, flood the interior with natural light during the day. The interior features an open concept, which if you are not in the know, became a thing during the modernist movement.Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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Woodland Home Inspired by a Mid-Century Ski Chalet
Back in the 1950s, Scandinavian chic was just as widely accessible as it is today. This mid-century cabin spotted on Glamping Hub, is reminiscent of a nordic ski chalet. Its exterior features a dramatic pitched roof and ceiling tall windows. The latter marries a gorgeous outdoor view with the main indoor living area. A deck made of cedar carves out a highly enjoyable outdoor room that is perfect for summer dining or kicking back with a hot cider in the fall.Continue to 6 of 13 below.
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Mid-Century Ranch House
The Ranch-style house is a mid-century classic. The small single floor house quickly became a staple in southern California in the 1940s and then spread out east. Ranchers like this example from Glamping Hub have striking low profiles because of their nearly flat angled roofs and close to the ground construction.Continue to 7 of 13 below.
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Gorgeous Retro Remodel
Here is another stunning retro remodel by James Judge. The goal of this project was to retain the abode's original, modernist charm while adding brand spanking new details correct to the era. Note the clever use of wood slat panels. The ones directly in front of the home, offer shade and privacy, while the slats on the roof conceal an unattractive AC condenser—ingenious right? Everyone home should have outdoor lighting. Here a globe pendant brightens up the street number at night while lending a little Don Draper style.Continue to 8 of 13 below.
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Mid-Century Dome Home Built for Sustainable Living
Arguably, the dome home is one of the most visionary types of mid-century, residential structures. Architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller conceived these highly efficient adobes for sustainable living. Their spherical shape makes the most of their footprint by providing more livable square footage than traditional homes. These curved homes are also more energy-efficient thanks to their surface area to volume ratio.
This pitch-perfect example of a dome home was built in 1953. It is a historical masterpiece dubbed the Sunflower. It was designed by James Dresser a former Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice. One of its unique exterior features is the peaked, geometric windows that allow in natural light while blocking harsh direct rays. This video by Modern Mode Realty Networkshares more about this one of a kind home.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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Mid-Century Modern Home With Lots of Curb Appeal
Way before xeriscaping became a thing, homeowners living in warm climates had gravel-covered yards throughout the '50s, '60s, and '70s. This mid-century home remodeled by James Judge includes a new modernist-inspired landscape suited to the area's dry and steamy weather.Continue to 10 of 13 below.
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Mid-Century Modern Butterfly Roof
A butterfly roof, which mimics the shape of the insect's wing, is another common feature seen on some mid-century homes like this one spotted on Palm Spring Homes. The exterior feature typically paired with tall windows, extended the ceiling height inside to dramatic levels. Note the circular driveway—once a staple for large estates become a covetable feature for mid-century suburbanites with sizable yards.Continue to 11 of 13 below.
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House in a Mid-Century Modern Subdivision
There are many neighborhoods across the country filled with classic Midcentury homes, some restored to their original splendor.
Arapahoe Acres in a town called Englewood in Colorado is one example. Construction of the classic middle-class abodes populating the neighborhood started in 1949 and wrapped up in 1957.
The work of Frank Lloyd Wright deeply inspired the designed of these homes like this, for instance, photographed by Butterbean. The house has a low slung roof, and a window covered front, both hallmarks of mid-century residential architecture. Take a closer look at the facade and notice that the structure is made up of reinforced concrete blocks and steel window frames. Both building materials were considered thoroughly modern at the time.Continue to 12 of 13 below.
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Standard Mid-Century Modest House
Any suburban neighborhood that is at least 75 years old has a few modest mid-century houses with traditional peaked roofs and attached garages. Additional standard features in these structures, which were typically less than 1200 square feet, include picture windows and a well-landscaped, yet simple front yard and driveway.Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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Mid-Century House With a Flat Roof
Palm Springs is known for its magnificent and luxurious mid-century houses—some with flat roofs as shown. It is important to note that houses with level toppers are only suited for warm climates. That is because flat roofs do not encourage drainage and have complicated gutter systems. Both can be a problem when it comes to four-season areas that deal with dead leaves and snow.