Blending Old and New in a Mid-Century Modern Redwood

Posted on: September 1, 2017


Simone grew up in the Donaldson Run neighborhood of Arlington, VA admiring this mid-century modern redwood home every day she walked to and from Stratford Junior High School.  In 1999 when she moved back to Arlington, she purchased her 1956 dream home from the same couple that owned the house back during her school years.

Now an IT Consultant for the Federal Government, Simone finds herself entertaining more and more often.  It was when her kitchen appliances started to show signs of failing that she decided it was time to bring some modern aspects to her home, yet still keep the mid-century architecture intact.

After speaking with friends who shared their recent remodeling experience with Sun Design, Simone decided to attend a Sun Design remodeled home tour.  There she was able to walk through the transformation to see how she could bring some of her own visions to life, while asking questions along the way.

Simone had a list of items she wished to accomplish.  First and foremost, to open the kitchen to the family room that embraced the concepts of the mid-century modern architecture while maximizing open space and connection to nature.  However, this was a load-bearing wall.  To top it off, the flat roof made utilizing space overhead more complex.  The structural beam was able to be raised into the tight ceiling space, while the support column was designed to be hidden in the mahogany surround that also houses the ventilation for the range, provides shelving for Simone’s world travel souvenirs and a wine rack that can hold up to 75 bottles!



Simone also wanted to bring her bathrooms up-to-date, add in wood flooring, and create a small kitchenette in the basement that could be used when entertaining guests on her walk-out patio.  Keeping the appliances and plumbing in the same locations proved to be of most value to execute all the updates that were desired and the necessary structural changes for Simone’s open floor plan concept.


The use of natural materials and color schemes were selected to enhance the feeling of bringing the outdoors in.  Burled maple cabinetry was handmade and custom designed in the kitchen, inspired by diamond shaped patterns in a piece of furniture most dear to her.  The hardware, a unique “twig” bronze, adds elements of the woods that surround the property.  Simone loved the original ponderosa pine walls and wanted to really put emphasis on them.  To do so, heavy curtains were replaced with Hunter Douglas Silhouette Powerview® shades that could be operated by a remote or cellphone.  A custom-made wood valance was designed to hide her new shades when not in use.  This allowed for full views of their wooded home site and emphasized Simone’s love for her ponderosa pine walls.

It’s in these details, so personal to Simone, which have brought a new life to this mid-century modern redwood home and reminds her of why she fell in love with the original architecture so many years ago.  Simone says, “The new space feels more open, light, and modern and yet stays true to the mid-century modern architecture style.  I love it!”


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