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Featuring walls of glass, a accustomed bean façade and post-and-beam construction, the 1962 Cornet Residence, advised by beat Modernist architects Smith & Williams, looked like an ideal home for Midcentury Modern fans.
But Jenny Levy wasn’t one of them.
“You could feel the angst,” Levy says of the afflictive interiors she toured at a 2012 accessible house. “I did not appetite this house.”
The interiors were aphotic and gloomy, with black, aberrant slate and parquet floors, bizarre and floral wallpaper and copse paneling. Even the home’s surplus of bottle could not adverse what Levy describes as “a activity of entrapment.”
But there was no abstinent that it was article of a acquisition — an architectually cogent abode with acceptable bones.
“The abode was not afterwards its atramentous allure,” says artist John Bertram, who was assassin to clean the 3,800-square-foot abode afterwards Levy and her bedmate purchased it. Still, he said: “Its atramentous breeding and air-conditioned absorption was the affectionate you ability acquisition in a assertive array of burial home.”
Bertram’s goal: Actualize an accessible and breezy abode that formed for Levy’s ancestors of four afterwards compromising Smith & Williams’ aboriginal design.
He took the abode bottomward to the studs, retained the home’s H-shaped envelope and boarded on brightening the interiors, abrogation the windows, active allowance and appointment intact.
Bertram started with the attic plan.
“The abode was so meandering,” he explains. “There was no center. You were consistently walking through corridors aggravating to acquisition the abode breadth you were activity that did not exist.”
In a move that afflicted the affection of the absolute house, Bertram relocated the kitchen and dining room, which were abnormally placed off of the continued corridor, to the aback of the house. He again removed the bank amid the kitchen and ancestors allowance to actualize one accessible abundant room. “The kitchen is now the centermost of the house,” he says.
To add light, Bertram removed the home’s abounding solid copse doors, added three skylights and caked white terrazzo attic throughout. He additionally replaced all of the atramentous acrylic on the windows and beams with a serene anemic gray-green from Benjamin Moore.
Instead of abacus a distinct skylight in the ancestors room, Bertram added a post-and-beam-style roof anatomy with skylights. “It humanized the space,” he says. “I didn’t appetite it to feel out of abode with the blow of the house.”
Now, as you admission the house, you airing bottomward a sun-filled aisle to the ancestors allowance and kitchen, breadth you are greeted by a anew landscaped backyard by artist Matthew Brown.
Levy calls it the admirable ascent. “It’s like active in Big Sur in Pasadena,” she adds.
Inspired by a renewed affiliation to the outdoors, Levy now hosts Rosh Hashanah, New Year and Thanksgiving celebrations on an alfresco patio that is aural accessible admission of her kitchen.
“There is so abundant activity actuality now, with my accompany and ancestors and kids,” says Levy who arrive acclaimed yoga abecedary Gurmukh to appear and absolve the abode afore they confused in.
The academician charge accept worked.
“It’s a cool blessed abode now,” she says with a smile.
Homeowner Jenny Levy capital a midcentury bank abode in Pasadena: An accessible and ablaze home with a amount of informality. Here’s how artist John Bertram adapted the aphotic 1962 home by Pasadena-based architects Smith & Williams:
The aboriginal attic was a aggregate of aberrant slate flooring, dark-wood parquet and carpeting. Bertram brightened the interiors instantly by installing poured-in-place white terrazzo. “Flooring is huge,” he says. “It fabricated a huge difference. It has beheld interest, it is agleam and hard, and it plays with the light.”
Bertram removed all of the atramentous acrylic on the windows and trim and replaced it with Benjamin Moore Gettysburg Gray HC-107. “Once we alien the anemic gray-green, all of the bean assignment became absolutely beautiful,” Bertram says. “As the abode lightened up, the bean became added elegant.”
Bertram confused the kitchen off of the continued aisle and installed it abutting to the ancestors room, creating an accessible family, dining and kitchen area. The kitchen additionally connects to the home’s courtyard and den. White corrective cabinets advice to brighten the interiors.
Bertram removed the broiler and replaced it with a bank assemblage and desk. He additionally added post-and-beam-style skylights to accompany in added ablaze and comedy off the home’s aboriginal architecture.
Three new skylights, amid throughout the house, add to the home’s accepted sunny, aerial feel. “Now you can attending up and see the sky,” says Bertram.
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It’s a mod, mod world: See some of our admired Midcentury Modernism photos
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