The Stylish Renovation And Expansion Of A Mid-Century Modern House

Originally designed and built in 1962 by Roger Lee, this mid-century modern house from Stanford, US recently went through a complete renovation and expansion. The project was completed in 2020 and the new design was created by studio Klopf Architecture.

The original design of the house was dated but full of potentialView in gallery
The original design of the house was dated but full of potential

The original vision of the design was preserved and integrated into the new and improved aesthetic of the house. This was a decision based on two factors.

The key principles of mid-century modern architecture

One of the factors which influenced the design was the fact that the house was deemed historical and that meant certain restrictions were put in place. The other factor was the new owner’s love and appreciation for mid-century modern architecture. 

Part of the new design plan was to open up the interior spaces and to prioritize the viewsView in gallery
Part of the new design plan was to open up the interior spaces and to prioritize the views

The mid-century modern architecture trend started after world war II and originated from architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s a style characterized by simple and clean lines, minimal decorations, a strong connection with nature and a preference for large windows. Typically the houses have low and large footprints with flat roofs, although it’s also fairly common to see the occasional gabled roof as well. 

Other defining features of a mid-century modern house plan include simple furnishings and a preference for muted and neutral colors and nuances inspired by nature. A lot of them have a split-level structure with changes in elevation between the interior spaces and short staircases connecting the rooms. 

A lot of mid-century modern houses also feature floor-to-ceiling windows which frame expansive view of their backyards and gardens. Typically the interior spaces are connected to the outdoors through sliding glass doors and the houses have numerous points of access between the indoor and outdoor sections.

Another important defining element for this particular style of houses is the strong connection with nature and the outdoors in general. In some cases this even goes as far as providing an access point to the outdoors in every single room. 

In the case of this particular project, the house had the certainly lacked a few features. For example, apart from being in fairly poor condition, it has uninsulated walls and the windows were generally fairly small and provided very limited views of the outdoor areas.

Changes and additions made to the original house

One of the main objectives of the renovation was to remedy that by not only enlarging the windows and offering easier access to the outdoors but also redesigning the whole backyard. This was done by Outer Space Landscape Architects and one of their first decisions was to get rid of a cracked swimming pool which took up most of the space in the backyard.

The entire backyard was reconfigured and turned into an extension of the indoor living areasView in gallery
The entire backyard was reconfigured and turned into an extension of the indoor living areas

The interior of the house was not really suited for a modern lifestyle. It had small rooms and a dated overall vibe. It practically begged for the kitchen to be opened up and expanded into the living area which is exactly what the architects chose to do. They also added a lovely new breakfast nook which makes the transition even smoother. 

There are now multiple access points that link the indoor and outdoor parts of the houseView in gallery
There are now multiple access points that link the indoor and outdoor parts of the house

In the living room, the original wood-burning fireplace was preserved and restored. It’s now a stylish focal point and it blends in seamlessly. The windows were enlarged and a set of sliding glass doors was added in order to allow for a very natural and smooth transition onto the patio and the new pergola deck. 

The new extension areas feature full-height windows and a strong connection with the outdoorsView in gallery
The new extension areas feature full-height windows and a strong connection with the outdoors
A new deck acts as an extension of the living room and a new pergola was also addedView in gallery
A new deck acts as an extension of the living room and a new pergola was also added
The backyard now features a tranquil al fresco dining areaView in gallery
The backyard now features a tranquil al fresco dining area
Originally the kitchen was closed off and the new design makes it a part of the living areaView in gallery
Originally the kitchen was closed off and the new design makes it a part of the living area
TheThe new living area features a slightly asymmetrical roof with black beams going acrossView in gallery
TheThe new living area features a slightly asymmetrical roof with black beams going across
The kitchen was opened up and expanded to also include a breakfast nook in the cornerView in gallery
The kitchen was opened up and expanded to also include a breakfast nook in the corner
The kitchen island acts as a visual barrier and divider between the cooking area and the living spacesView in gallery
The kitchen island acts as a visual barrier and divider between the cooking area and the living spaces
The original fireplace was kept and restored, becoming part of the living room's new designView in gallery
The original fireplace was kept and restored, becoming part of the living room’s new design
The pergola deck adjacent to the living room offers a beautiful and expansive viewView in gallery
The pergola deck adjacent to the living room offers a beautiful and expansive view
The new home office enjoys a seamless connection with the outdoors as wellView in gallery
The new home office enjoys a seamless connection with the outdoors as well

It should also be mentioned that the lower floor of the house was in bad need of a renovation. Originally it was envisioned mostly as a utilitarian space. This is where the laundry room and storage area were situated along with a pool room. The pool was completely removed and this whole space became a bright, airy and inviting living space.

Big sliding glass doors allow the office and the adjacent deck to become a continuous spaceView in gallery
Big sliding glass doors allow the office and the adjacent deck to become a continuous space
The master bedroom was also expanded and redesigned with bigger windowsView in gallery
The master bedroom was also expanded and redesigned with bigger windows

The private parts of the house got the same treatment. The master bedroom now has taller windows with nice views of the backyard and a new corner office was added to make working from home possible. In total, 1,100 square feet of space were added to the house.