Hanging fish bowl — in spectacular mid century modern by Case Study house architects

retro-hanging-goldfish-bowlSo, reader Heather sends a tip about this gorgeous midcentury modern house for sale in Long Beach, California. It was designed by Case Study House architects. It sits on a large lot, across from the beach with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s for sale for $1.599 million. And what do I focus on? The adorable hanging fish bowl.

From this listing:

This iconic midcentury modern residence was designed by renowned and award-winning architecture firm Killingsworth, Brady & Smith (designers of Case Study House nos. 23, 25 and 26). The home is classic California modernism with wrap around walls of glass, seamless indoor outdoor flow, clean lines and a spacious, open floor plan. Located on an 11,000 square foot seaside lot in the prestigious Bluff Park Historic District, this property has panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island and is close to the vibrant Belmont Shore shopping and dining district. This is simply one of the most unique and exceptional properties one will find on the Southern California coastline.

Many thanks to the listing agent, Douglas Kramer and his wife, business partner, and photographer Rochelle Kramer for allowing us to feature these photos. There are lots more photos to whet your whistle on the website devoted to this spectacular property.

Now, where can I get a fish bowl like that?


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  1. Mr Kim says

    Oh my, this is my floor! Well, the floor of my flat built in the 70s. They’re terrazzo tiles. It was virtually in every appartment in my city. My first home had it. Then my 2nd home had it too although with a darker shade. And then, I moved to this flat now with a very similar floor to the one in the picture. Nobody cares about terrazzo nowadays. They all love Ikea laminates. I still hear people asking when I’m due to retile: «Never ever!». True that it’s very cold in winter (carpets!). But lovely in summer. Hard as stone. When it wears you can buff it and polish it and enjoy a new floor. And, most importantly, with all those little pebbles embedded. If you forget to sweep one day (or two or three) nobody can see the dust bunnies, crumbs or whatever. Nothing to do with the modern wood imitations so en vogue today where you can see a single fallen hair. Who said «new» always means «better»? [Certainly not many people around here].

    • Andy A. says

      Next time someone asks when you plan to install new tile, tell them that most of the flooring products on the market today are inferior to your terrazzo tile, and that the reason you don’t see it in new homes or remodels today is because it would be too expensive to install.

      There is nothing like terrazzo! It has a classic, elegant look that is easy to decorate around, because it doesn’t compete with anything else in the room.

      • Marie A says

        We have a 1968 late mid-mod with 1500 sq feet of terrazzo flooring–not the tiles, but actually poured in place. We love love love it. I would never cover it up (we still have the sparkly white laminate countertops and avocado green stove too).

        We live in a warm climate so cold floors aren’t a big deal. Some of our house is carpeted and if I could find a way to afford some kind of terrazzo to replace that, I would in a heartbeat.

  2. Kkmk says

    I am loving the view and the sort of mid-century modest scale of the house. The layout emphasizes the view for the public spaces rather than appropriate it for a bedroom like many newer homes with spectacular settings. I am mourning the loss of what might have been a great modern kitchen though. Perhaps a new buyer will take it back to its roots!

    • Robin, NV says

      I totally agree about the kitchen. Each room is so deliciously mid century and then [que record scratch sound] you get to the kitchen. What the heck were they thinking? Hopefully the new owner will renovate to a style that matches the rest of the house. I’d think if you have the scratch to plop down $1.6M you could afford to redo the kitchen.

  3. Jay says

    Great house, it does have a modest feel! SoCal living at its finest – on the beach. When you chase down the links in the listing you can get the interesting back story on the house and the architect.

  4. MsKittyMuses says

    Oh my god! My husband and I lived about two blocks from this house for 5 years! We would pass it all the time on walks, and also slow down and peak in, because they never had blinds or curtains in the windows. I had done research before and learned it was a case study house which intrigued me even more. I always wanted to know what it looked like inside, and thought that hanging fish bowl was a lamp! HA!

    Thank you so much for posting this and satisfying my years long curiosity! Now of only I still lived in Long Beach and had 1.6 mill sitting around gathering dust…

    • Kate says

      So glad you finally got your curiosity satisfied! There are houses that make me wonder in my neighborhood too — I just keep waiting for them to go on the market so I can see the photos of the inside, or sneak into an open house!

      • MsKittyMuses says

        There are a few I’d love to see around our current area, but living in smallish town Indiana now, they aren’t nearly as interesting as this one. And that back yard and outdoor furniture! I’d want to buy everything IN the house too! I always loved that you could tell the people living there really appreciated the house. And I was always so jealous of their baby blue grand piano! 🙂 Hopefully it will go to someone who loves this style just as much as they did.

      • Lynne says

        When there was a house I was wanting to see inside of, I would make sure I took my kids Trick or Treating there! That way while you stood at the door with the kids getting their candy you could scan the decor!

  5. Julie C Wilkinson says

    Totally my cup o’ tea! I love the fishbowl & love terrazzo tile. I am sorry that its only in my den. I’m hoping to show some pics of my custom built 62 rancher after I get my spring cleaning done and finish planting some new flowers. Thank you each of you who care about the preservation and restoration of these homes. It makes me feel so good that I’m not the only lady in America who thinks it is a crime to undo a pink bathroom:)

  6. Annie B. says

    This isn’t a house, it’s a work of art in which you can live.

    I’ve drawn considerable inspiration from the Kramer’s RanchoStyle website which is filled with photos of Cliff May homes for sale. Wonderful MCM viewing.

    Thank you, Kate, for the visit to Long Beach. You made my morning.

  7. says

    Please tell me I’m not the only one who saw the ‘Brady’ in Killingsworth, Brady & Smith an immediately thought, “Mike!”.

  8. says

    WOW! I used to live RIGHT around the corner from this place back in my Long Beach days. So many groovy mid-century homes there. My best friend’s grandmother had an amazing custom home (by architect Paul Tay, I think) that is still in my mind as my ultimate dream house. Sigh. I’ll just have to settle for mod-ding up my modest house! But I may steal that hanging fishbowl idea. Maybe I can use a macrame plant hanger?

    • Kay D says

      Yes, not having an actual mid-century home can be a challenge if you love the style. We are still searching for our “dream home.” Newer homes, especially the kitchens, leave us disappointed. But alas, I know how to macrame! Who’d a thunk it..going hanging out with mom and her friends when I was 10 turned out to an asset!

      • Janice says

        Kate, I must be as old as your Mom because back in the groovy 70’s, I actually macramed a hanging end table using a large round piece of glass as the table part. It was the envy of all my friends at the time (not to mention super heavy!) but even in my love for all things vintage, I don’t think I would want it back today. (smile).

        Robin, I love your sound image of the record scratch upon seeing the kitchen because that’s exactly what it felt like when I panned over to the kitchen picture. Seems really out of place in that gorgeous home!

        • Jacki says

          I remember my mom made a very large, fancy, macrame hanging fish bowl when I was about 8 or 9. It hung next to the entry to the family room. She was VERY good at all of the intricate knots, beading etc. and guests would ooh and ahh over the things that she made. I remember having to have help changing the fish water and it got to be a pain so she turned it into a hanging terrarium. My dad must have had to put some kind of support in the ceiling to hold something that heavy. I had totally forgotten about that giant fish bowl until now.

  9. tammyCA says

    It’s nice to see some bold color & not the industrial modern look…but the kitchen went thumbs down & doesn’t fit.

  10. says

    The previous owners, not the current owners, did the unfortunate remodel of the kitchen. It will likely be one of the first things a new owner would address in this home. I hope one day soon to see it with the modernist kitchen that this house deserves. On another note, the flooring in the home is cork in a light beige shade, not terrazzo.

    For those interested in learning more about Killingsworth, here is a link to our blog article about this Case Study architect: http://socalmodern.com/blog/the-great-ed-killingsworth-3051-ocean-blvd/

  11. philq says

    I completely forgot about this house! I lived 7 blocks away and walked past it many times. Didn’t totally appreciate it then. Go figure…I ended up in a 50’s ranch!

  12. Marsha says

    I can’t afford the house, but I think I could (maybe?) afford that lovely red chandelier. 🙂

  13. Scott says

    Pam I agree, even though this house is an extravaganza of goodies stem to stern I’m all about the fish bowl too. The combination of the bowl, the globe in the alcove and the suspended lamp over the table remind me of a miniature solar system. And you can’t get much more mid-century than that! 🙂

  14. just my opinion says

    Living in Long Beach, I always look at/for this house every time we drive down that street. I’ve wondered what the rest of the inside was like seeing the three large Nelson lamps hanging in the window. Wow, the place is filled with so many iconic pieces of mid-century modern furniture I’ll probably take a while to change color back from green! I was so busy looking at the Bertoia chairs I didn’t even notice the kitchen. Hmm, wonder if there will be an open house…

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