Mid-century Modern Makeover / by J.C. Schmeil

Lloyd and Kirsten first contacted me in 2008 about a remodel to their house north of Hyde Park in Austin.  As the discussions progressed, the economy worsened, and the project was put on hold.  Eventually they sold the house and moved 2 miles south to Hyde Park proper.  We had kept in touch intermittently, and in 2011 we sat down again to discuss plans for this house.  Built in 1950, the house had some inherent mid-century charm and good flow.  An addition, however, had been poorly done sometime in the 70s-- it was out of level, uninspiring, and made no connection to the backyard.

poorly designed addition, before remodel

The addition connected the living area to the kitchen, and Lloyd and Kirsten wanted to remodel the entire space.  The main goals for the project were to open up the living area to the dining area/lounge, and open the lounge to the outdoors.

interior of dining/lounge, before remodel

We widened the opening between the living room and the dining room, keeping the existing doorway but cutting out a portion of the adjacent wall.  In order to still give a bit of separation and privacy from the street, we added a screen of vertical wood slats.

We also leveled the floors in the dining room and lounge, and added new oak flooring.  New windows and a sliding patio door bring in the light and give the house a nice connection to the new deck and lawn area.  We took advantage of a strange offset in the wall framing to create a continuous wood picture ledge on one wall.

Kirsten sourced some Eichler siding for the wall separating the lounge and the kitchen, and painted it a cool grey-green color which nicely offsets the warm maple cabinetery and the Heywood-Wakefield dining set.

The kitchen was outdated and needed some modern inspiration.

kitchen, before remodel

Kirsten and Lloyd chose a muted mosaic tile to use as a backsplash and the entire back wall of the kitchen.  Cork floors give a nice feel underfoot.

Thanks to the perseverance and great taste of Lloyd and Kirsten, and the excellent work done by contractor John Edmond, the project is a success!  Additional thanks to Whit Preston for the great photos.