Arian’s 60s contemporary in Gainesville, Fla. — this week’s living vicariously

Arian sends these oh-so-fabulous photos of his Gainesville contemporary. I asked him to tell his retro renovation story. So read on after the photo:

I live in Gainesville Florida, there are several mid century modern houses here. The street I live on was developed in the early to mid fifties mainly by Architects and Architect students from the University of Florida. Every house is very different but almost all are flat roof mid century homes. We got lucky with our house in the fact that almost all of it has remained original, terrazzo and hard wood floors, really big stone wall fireplace, nice big windows etc. The one thing the previous owners did was to redo the kitchen( kinda country style)! So we are in the midst of trying to find all of the right materials to bring the kitchen back to it’s original 50’s glory. That’s how I came across your website…. He continues in a second note when I ask for more on his retro renovation story:

Being a Graphic Designer myself and my wife having an eye for Fashion and Interior Design we found our selves increasingly drawn to the 50’s aesthetic. The optimism for the future of the country coming out of difficult times really seemed to be captured in all types of design. From automobiles (which I’m also fairly obsessed with) to Architecture, to just the general use of color and shape was really exciting. All of that being said I find myself fascinated by the era. So after getting an early 50’s automobile, and really getting into Graphic Design of the 40’s and 50’s the next logical step seemed to be a Mid Century home!
So we sold our little 70’s ranch and started looking for something a little more fun. We spent several months searching with not much luck. The houses we where interested in had either been remodeled not really to our liking or were out of our price range. We had just about given up when the we found our house, we had seen the house before we just couldn’t afford it. Luckily for us the housing market was changing in our favor and the price had dropped. So we put in an offer and we got it! The house was built in 1954 on a street that was largely built by Architects from the University of Florida. It has been maintained very well and almost all original except for the kitchen which was remodeled just before they put the house up for sale. Which lead me on the search for metal kitchen cabinets, thats how I found your site. All in all we love the house, we want to remodel the kitchen, turn my work space into an office slash tiki room, do some landscaping, and most of all just enjoy our Mid Century Ranch and neighborhood . Thanks for the website you’ve created it’s great to find like minded people trying to keep the era alive.
Arian and Kim

Arian and Kim — what a wonderful house – and a wonderful story. I’ve had several notes over the past few months from readers in Gainesville. Is this a mid-century mecca? I might have to plan a vacation there! And, you certainly get the award for tidiness. And you know how I feel about that: Clear your clutter, folks, it’s essential to letting your jewel box sparkle and shine.

Here are some more photos — many thanks, A, for the voyeurism that you are making possible! — along with some observations:

Who says knotty pine needs to look dated? What a great combo, mixed with the stone. I love the raised fireplace with the ledge underneath:

The facing wall to the room above. The built-in’s are great. Readers – these can be easily replicated! Arian, that terrazzo floor is to die for. You are so lucky!

OMG, a juke box, and vintage hub caps, too. Arian, you are Mr. Perfect.

I led with the dining room photo — because we are all so enamored of midcentury modern DR furniture these days. Notice also, the great great great parquet/block floors – this was something they did in the 50s, it was more expensive than just regular wood slats. I like the finish – is that ‘natural’ stain with high-gloss poly?

What’s not to like about this exterior? Sunshine, aquamarine, picture windows, and I bet Christiane wants a close-up of the door!:

Great bathrooms — notice, everyone, how the tile in the shower is done. I don’t see too many examples of built-in showers. This is great to have as a reference.

And now, I am really jealous!:

The complete gallery:

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Comments

  1. Tikimama says

    What a wonderful house! I’ve been trying for a week to get a clock like yours in the dining room and keep getting waaay outbid on ebay! A pink bathroom AND an aqua bathroom – you are two lucky ducks. Kim, a word to the wise: there are probably several women on this forum who are ready to leave their husbands for yours! 🙂
    Lisa (new to the forum)

  2. sleepingbee says

    Arian,
    What a great house and good for you and your wife for maintaining it! I am thrilled to see terrazzo floors used as that has been in my mind for my renovation…do you know anything about them?

    Thanks for sharing the great photos!

    -Alice

  3. chriss says

    Great house! I really love your flooring in the dinning room. This is what MY home is supposed to look like! Maybe years from now, after I get past my “more’s better” stage. I really need to thin my “collections”.

  4. Femme1 says

    Wow, I absolutely love this house. And how perfectly “Florida”! I’ve always had a thing for terrazzo floors and would love to have them. They are great for tropical climes because they stay cool, but I had to finally give up on them for our Midwestern house.

    They are a poured concrete floor that is a mixture of cement or epoxy and marble chips and aggregate (bits of stone). Usually a fairly thick bed of concrete is poured as a base, then metal joint stripts are added and another layer, this time of the terrazzo decorative layer, is poured. A grinder is then used to take off the rough edges and polish the concrete.

    Apparently now there is a way to “thin-set” terrazzo so you don’t need to have a 4- to 5-inch-thick floor.

  5. chriss says

    Terrazzo, huh. I was just admiring that flooring as perfectly described by Femme1 at a local diner (Courtesy Diner) here in South St. Louis (orig. flooring no less). I was wondering what it was and if I could put it in my kitchen and bathroom. It got me thinking about using some kind of epoxy resin and those smooth light brown/yellowish river pebbles to make a floor. If I were to leave the pebbles partially exposed it might feel really neat when I walk on them. BTW, I have a slab floor (wish I had radiant heat to go with it).

  6. Femme1 says

    I’ve been doing some checking on flooring that would be appropriate for a 50s/60s house, and happened upon “Fritztile.” It’s a resilient terrazzo tile that can be laid over concrete or wooden subfloors. I can’t find a cost on it, but the Website has tons of info and this stuff looks great.

    Check it out: http://www.fritztile.com/

  7. Lee says

    Nice house. I’m in a 1960 house in the SW section of Gainesville, and I can say that there are quite a few mid-century homes around here. With the combination of the University going co-ed and the GI Bill, the population exploded in the years after the war. My home was sort of an “experiment”, built by an architect. It’s pretty plain inside, but the exterior lines are neat. My biggest challenge is convincing my wife to stick with the mid mod theme… I’m slowly winning her over, though.

  8. Katie says

    Great house and I LOVE the dining room! We live in NW Gainesville in a 1956 ranch with wood floors throughout (plank). I’m just now starting to get into the MCM look and have begun slowly redecorating rooms. I love the era and clean lines of the furniture especially, plus it’s fun poking around thrift stores and garage sales in search of good deals on furniture and decorating items. Your house gives me even more inspiration – great job Arian!!

  9. jrobgood says

    Arian: Drop me a line ( me [at] jrob [dot] net ) if you have a moment. I spent about 20 years in G’ville and have several old friends that you’d probably like to meet; both graphic designers/art directors and mid-mod enthusiasts alike.

    My wife and I lived in a great mid-mod ranch at 911 NW 20th Terrace while she was in college there and I ran my design firm out of this fantastic 10 x 28 foot glass-walled, peaked-roof room along the back of the house. Not nearly as nice as yours here though!

  10. gena says

    Love the house! I have a MCM house in Anglewood just south of Newberry Road in Gainesville. It was built in 1954 and has terrazzo floors that need a little help. Any ideas on floor restorers in the Gainesville area?

    • Jonathan Hamilton says

      Gena,

      Check out Michael Cothron…His number is 352-222-7180. I live in Gainesville near Westside park and had him redo our terrazzo. It came out really nicely and he’s a great guy.

      Good Luck,
      Jonathan

    • Katie says

      If you are talking about the West side neighbor, yes she is still there although I hear she is 95 and in declining health. I haven’t actually met her, we just moved in recently.

  11. Katie says

    My husband and I bought this house last year! It’s as awesome in person as you might expect. We are so thankful that Arian and his wife put such time and effort into the kitchen remodel. It is simply stunning.

  12. says

    Beautiful job on your renovation. Congratulations. If you love Mid Century Modern Homes and Architecture, please join us for Gainesville’s Mid Century Modern Weekend 2014 this March 21st and 22nd.

    We have a great talk with author Chris Rawlins Friday 6 PM UF’s Fine Art B auditorium about his book “Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction” followed by champagne and hors d’oeuvres in the UF Architecture Gallery. Art Margaret Ross Tolbert and David Tonnelier. Saturday’s talk on preserving Mid Century Modern architecture by Chris Madrid French followed by a Tour of 5 area homes.

    Please visit http://www.dcp.ufl.edu/historic-preservation/gainesville-modernism-weekend-2014 or for more information Call Mike Hastings at 352-538-1092

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