Mid-century renovation of City Beach Residence, Australia, by Design Theory

From a modernist villa in Beverly Hills to a flat in one of Brasília’s iconic Superquadra apartment blocks, the mid-century renovations in this lookbook are a masterclass in updating a period home while retaining its distinctive character.

Originally constructed in the post-war period between 1945 and 1969, mid-century homes have proved enduringly popular due to their prescient emphasis on natural light, clean lines, open floor plans and humble materials such as wood, stone and concrete.

The renovations below see many of these original features retained and restored, supplemented with contemporary additions such as double-height ceilings and furniture by the likes of Tadao Ando and Mario Bellini.

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring art deco homes, sunny yellow interiors and serene bedrooms with striking natural views.


Mid-century renovation of City Beach residence in Perth by Design Theory
Photo by Jack Lovel

City Beach Residence, Australia, by Design Theory

Australian studio Design Theory looked to preserve the “considerable mid-century charm” of this home on the coast of Perth during its renovation (top and above), remaining true to the rich palette of natural materials found in the original design.

Contemporary furniture and lighting with gently curving forms were chosen to soften the rigorous lines of the original architecture and prevent the interiors from feeling like a period pastiche.

Find out more about City Beach Residence ›


Brandaw Residence, US, by 180 Degrees Design + Build and CBTWO Architects
Photo by An Pham

Brandaw Residence, US, by 180 Degrees Design + Build and CBTWO Architects

A new double-height living room with a pitched roof and full-height glazing was added to modernise this 1960s home in Phoenix, creating sightlines up and out towards nearby Camelback Mountain.

Modernist touches remain on the interior in the form of plentiful wood panelling alongside finishes and furnishings in muted primary colours ranging from teal to mustard-yellow.

Find out more about Brandaw Residence ›


Mid-century renovation of Hampstead House by Coppin Dockray in London
Photo by James O Davies

Hampstead House, UK, by Coppin Dockray

This house in Hampstead was originally designed by British architect Trevor Dannatt in 1960 as London’s answer to the post-war Case Study Houses built by the likes of Richard Neutra and the Eameses in California.

When renovating and extending the property for a growing family, local studio Coppin Dockray contrasted vintage and contemporary furniture for a “domestic, lived-in” feel, with pieces ranging from a Togo chair to Mia Hamborg’s Shuffle table for &Tradition.

Find out more about Hampstead House ›


Beverly Hills villa, US, by Heusch
Photo by Gerhard Heusch

Beverly Hills villa, US, by Heusch

Historical images helped architecture firm Heusch to restore this Beverly Hills villa to its former glory and reverse some of its “unfortunate transformations” over the years.

Existing terrazzo floors on the ground floor were restored and complemented with fluted glass details and dark timber furnishings, both new and old, including Ando’s cantilevered Dream Chairs and a bookshelf by Italian architect Augusto Romano from the 1950s.

Find out more about Beverly Hills villa ›


Mid-century renovation of Palermo house, US, by OWIU
Photo by Justin Chung

Palermo house, US, by OWIU

California studio OWIU retained several original elements during the renovation of this 1955 home in LA’s San Rafael Hills, among them the glass-block walls and wooden ceiling beams, which were exposed from under false ceilings and sanded down to reveal their natural colour.

These were contrasted with more neutral contemporary elements such as pale oak flooring and walls coated in Venetian plaster, with assorted lights by Isamu Noguchi and George Nelson – one of the founding fathers of American modernism.

Find out more about Palermo house ›


308 Apartment by Debaixo do Bloco Arquitetura
Photo by Joana France

Brasília apartment, Brazil, by Debaixo do Bloco Arquitetura

This apartment is located inside Brasília‘s historic Superquadra 308 Sul, the first “superblock” apartment complex constructed as part of architect Lucio Costa’s 1957 master plan for the new Brazilian capital.

Local studio Debaixo do Bloco Arquitetura cut open the building’s exposed concrete walls, opening up its layout to meet the needs of a modern family while preserving period details such as the building’s distinctive white breeze-block screens and its granilite flooring.

Find out more about Brasília apartment ›


Mid-century renovation of Malibu Surf Shack, US, by Kelly Wearstler
Photo by Ingalls Photography

Malibu Surf Shack, US, by Kelly Wearstler

When interior designer Kelly Wearstler turned this 1950s beachfront cottage in Malibu into a bohemian retreat for herself and her family, she retained the original wood-panelled walls and selected finishes that were “hand-crafted, rustic and raw” to match the existing material palette.

The interiors feature abundant planting, alongside an eclectic mix of period-agnostic furnishings including a 1980s green marble table by Bellini, paired with a plaster-covered Caféstuhl chair by contemporary Austrian designer Lukas Gschwandtner.

Find out more about Malibu Surf Shack ›


Golden House, US, by SHED Architecture and Design
Photo by Rafael Soldi

Golden House, US, by SHED

Seattle architecture firm SHED had to make several aggressive interventions when renovating this 1950s building in nearby Shoreline, which was originally constructed as a family home but had previously been divided up to serve as a retirement home.

Working around the existing post-and-beam structure, the studio updated the interior to maximise views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound while enlarging the kitchen and reorganising it around a central island.

Find out more about Golden House ›

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring art deco homes, sunny yellow interiors and serene bedrooms with striking natural views.

The post Eight renovated mid-century homes that marry period and contemporary details appeared first on Dezeen.

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