Living Vicariously Mondays – today with L.A. Greg and his beautifully restored 1962 contemporary

Not much for me to say about this place – Greg’s contemporary in Granada Hills, California.

Beautiful! Love love love the light fixtures – are they all one ‘set’? Where did you find them? Ooooh, I see you even kept your cottage cheese ceiling!

I particularly like how Greg has kept his color palette simple — taupey/grey paint on the paneled walls with the same tonality reflected in the grasscloth, some olive, black, white and brown — all accented by punches of orange dancing throughout.

vintage moe honeycomb lightsGreg, in a Comment – can you share your paint colors, and your grasscloth source/design?

Do you love those orange lights? They are Moe Honeycombs — see the catalog pages that I posted here.

What TLC and tidy, too! Are those starburst door fittings on the front door?

Here is more from Greg:

This place was built in 1962, adjacent to the Knollwood country club in Granada Hills, CA. I have researched every lighting fixture, cabinet knob and drawer pull. I had to because it had all been “updated” by the seller 2 years ago, and all vintage lighting and hardware was thrown out. I selected almost every light out of early 60’s Moe Lighting and Progress Lighting catalogs.

I still need kitchen tiles replaced and a better floor put in, but it works for now. Hope you like it!

Greg McKinney

PS: I have a selection of original-restored wall clocks and lighting for sale, should anyone be interested.

Welcome to the Retro Reno gang, Greg and thanks so much for sharing your home!

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  1. Sumac Sue says

    This home has a serene feel to it. Also, I see so many objects that are similar to or identical to ones in homes of family members when I grew up — ash tray, bar stools, light fixtures, wall telephone, potted plants, etc. They make this home seem familiar and comfortable. Very nicely done!

  2. iluvretro says

    wow now THAT’S what a I call a real retro house. I love how he’s restored it, especially the lounge suite and the wall hangings :-)


  3. Lawrence Bill says

    I love how you’ve decorated this place, especially your choice of light fixtures. Not only do they look outrageously cool, but they look “1962” to me. Your house is so period specific that putting 1960 light fixtures in it would probably look wrong. This aspect of your restoration must have been challenging, but a lot of fun, too.

    And I really admire the fireplace. Did you repaint it, or is that original? Really, I think 50s Pam should devote a post just to mid century fireplaces, if she hasn’t done so already … ?

  4. Tikimama says

    Beautiful house, Greg! I love your color scheme and the tikis. Everything looks so tidy, but not at all sterile – it looks like a comfortable and fun place to hang out. I would love to know more about the lighting you have for sale – ebay is starting to give me a headache!


  5. Greg says

    The dining room lamps were not bought together. I knew what I wanted as I had a Moe Lighting catalog from 1962-63, and just kept searching ebay until found them all.

    Plus I had help from an ebay seller in KY. He found two of the three honeycomb lamps for me. There are many other Moe lights in the house, including the spiral chandelier in the foyer. All were listed in the catalog, so they are “correct” for the home’s age.

    That post for the blue Moe retractable is from my same seller! What a coincidence.

  6. Greg says

    To Lawrence Bill:

    The fireplace is just how it came from the builder. It is called “flagcrete,” and was used throughout the late 50s and early 60s. It is a molded concrete that has a brick shape, but is casually formed and not hard-molded per se. It used on the exterior accent wall and flower bed borders.

    • Scott says

      Such a relief that you didn’t paint over a natural stone fireplace. It looks great. We are blessed with a multicolored natural cut stone (called Arizona stone on the original materials invoice) fireplace in our 1954 house. You won’t believe how many folks have asked if we’re going to paint over it!

  7. Greg says

    To Vintiegirl:

    Yes, those are Witco chess piece wall hangings. I would have a lot more Witco but as you see there is no wall room left around here!

  8. says

    Thanks for all the info, Greg. Can you send me more pics of the house? We are total voyeurs, what can we say? Hey, the blue Moe light from KY sold for $455. Is that typical or are we now cumulatively causing price escalation?

  9. Greg says

    That blue Moe sold for a freakish amount (and it was not retractable, it was on a chain). I paid about $125. I have an extra orange retractable in my stock, which is a combination retractable and swag in one, so it doesn’t have to be wired into a junction box. It may need rewiring but is otherwise in good shape. Be careful on shipping, as the glass diffuser tends to rub and crack during shipment. Request it be removed and packed separately.

    I also have the matching wall sconce, and a drum shaped fixture for use in a utility room. I hope to put those up soon– then this place will look like a Moe showroom. They made many styles of that “Honeycomb” pattern, and in 4 color varieties over the years.

    More pictures will be arriving soon. Lots of landscaping, cabinet hardware and appliance photos to show you.

  10. says

    I am in awe of your home, Greg! I recently bought a 1961 Ranch from its original owners and, luckily, they did very little updating! However, they did replace several lighting fixtures and I do want to replace those. So far, I found this. Is it “age appropriate” for my home? Where did you find the reference materials to guide you in your purchases? I’m a complete novice and could use some help! Here’s the link:

    Thanks! -Susan

  11. atomicbowler says

    Oh, wow…Oh, wow…

    Bravo, Greg, on a truly beautiful job. The love and passion sing so proudly from the quality of the work and attention to detail!

    There is an old saying that it’s not the boat the person has, but truly vice-versa. In this case I think we could surely all agree that it’s not just the house this person has, but the person the house does.

    Really wonderful!

    Laura and Dave

  12. astrosonical says

    This entire house is my happy place! Incredible! The hanging light in the dining room is a fantasy of mine, I notice he has two stereos, my kind of people! It looks like it was decorated in 1962, great job of research!

  13. Steve Eden says

    Hey Greg, your pad is amazing! We live in an Eichler in Thousand Oaks and just love mid-centuiry modern! I have a lamp very similar to the one you have in your living room, a thrift store find at $6.99! We love the Eichler tract in Granada Hills, just across from Knollwood, and of course we LOVE Knollwood also. I love Leslie and Aaron’s time capsule there! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Julie Jacobson says

    Oh! That living room makes me feel happy. Those are my colors. Love the painting over the fireplace. I seem to recall one of those “off-center” fireplaces being destroyed on a recent HGTV design show. What a shame. This is such a great example of making retro look very, very cool.

  15. Marie says

    Greg, thank you for answering my question about what to do with my quarter-round! I live in a 1954 National Home that has been, sadly, remuddled, including some by me to accommodate my family/budget (e.g. window replacements/enlargements, added family room – 960 sq. ft. was too small for our family of 4 – etc.). I was very much against living in a “bland ranch” (as I saw it when we first looked), but it was the right price in the right location at the right time. The hook for me – and what made me really appreciate the mid-mod style – was the quarter round molding in every room. I had been in the market for a place with strong architectural detail, and that’s what I got, which is to say, not much. Now, I love my quarter round! But I have never felt good about how to paint it, especially the piece that goes vertical. I like how you decided to highlight it by painting it in the trim color rather than painting it the wall color and letting it blend in. It looks great. I’m a true convert to the era, now. I even tracked down the ad from Life magazine for my model home! Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. says

    Looks fantastic! We just bought a 1962 ranch home in Austin, TX that we want to restore to its original glory. Your place is such an inspiration, thanks for sharing.

  17. BETSY HAMBY says

    Hey, Greg!

    Thank you for sharing your photos of your home on Retro Renovation!
    Three lights in particular are like the ones my folks had in their ’64, custom-built,
    Tri-level that I grew up in (Danville, IL). I gasped when I saw them on this website! I love them & have been looking for them for y-e-a-r-s! I’ve searched for those 3 pendant lights till my fingers are numb!
    So, did I understand your answer correctly to mean that I just have to wait till they comeup for sale on e-bay?? And, are they “Moe” ?
    My parents’ lamps, similar to yours, hung 3-in-a-row[same level] in our foyer had hard plastic, primary-colored, faceted “discs” that were popped in the bigger holes all the way around near the mesh covers.
    Thank you for your time & any information you may have so I may someday own these beauties! Here’s to going back to the Sixties!
    Much appreciated,
    Appleton, WI

  18. Steve Eden says

    Leslie and Aaron, your time capsule is just amazing! I just voted for it in the LA Conservancy contest. We own an Eichler in Thousand Oaks and love the Eichler tract near you in Granada Hills. We know your house and always admire it when we drive by it. We almost bought the time capsule just a couple of houses from you that was for sale a couple of years ago. I wish we had! Anyway, thanks for sharing, love love love your place! Steve

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