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:

  1. Mike Hastings 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

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. cookie says:

        It is sad to say that she has since passed away. We will have her home for sale soon, and it is quite a lovely lot and home for its time.

  3. 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?

    1. Jonathan Hamilton says:


      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,

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!

  6. 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.

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