Denver is home to some beautiful mid century modern (MCM) homes. These historic houses are prized for their functional yet elegant design and distinctive, retro look. Most buyers of mid mod homes are not looking to significantly change the original layout or aesthetic. However, the age of a mid mod home does often entail some renovation work.
The unique design and vintage materials used for MCM homes means they will need a little extra care when it comes to upgrades or repairs. Before you get started, read our guide for tips on renovating a mid mod home.
Research Mid Century Modern Design
These days, mid-mod style is exceptionally trendy. Everything from furniture to light fixtures is “inspired” by MCM design. But just because something is labeled as mid-century modern does not mean it is true to the original aesthetic of the 1950s and 60s.
If you are interested in maintaining the integrity and original aesthetic of your mid mod home, do your research. Simply looking at photos of similar homes at the time they were built can help you get a feel for genuine mid-mod architecture and design.
As you research, keep an eye out for features that tend to be fairly consistent in mid mod design. You will more than likely notice a pattern, since these houses were built using a similar floor plan. Common materials and features of mid-century modern homes include:
- Flat plane roofs
- Oak floors
- Large windows and sliding glass doors
- A mix of manmade and natural materials (wood and fiberglass, for example)
- LOTS of wood paneling
- Accent walls in earthy colors (like mustard yellow) or fun pops of pink or aquamarine
- Minimalist decor
- Furniture with tapered legs
Focus on Bigger Projects First
Again, MCM homes will necessarily need some upgrades. You will want to budget for the most important projects first.
Plan for a New Roof
Unless it has already been replaced within the last decade or so, you will more than likely need a new roof. This can be a steep cost for a mid mod home, since the flat plane roofs and vintage materials may require specialty contact work.
Upgrade the Windows
You will also want to consider upgrading your windows to energy-efficient ones. Mid mod homes are famous for their floor-to-ceiling windows, which allow ample light to flow in and create a bond with natural surroundings. The original windows can also have a steep impact on your utilities bill. It will be worth it in the long run to upgrade them to double paned, insulated glass.
Inspect the HVAC System
If the home has an original heating and cooling system, this will need to be replaced. Original MCM homes were often built with what is called a “radiant” heating system. This involves pumping hot water through a network of metal tubing within the concrete foundation. When the tubes fail, the water can seep through the floors.
If the radiant heating system is intact, you will still need an upgrade to the air conditioning system. Radiant systems do not use ducts like modern, forced-air systems, so you will need a solution for cooling the home in hotter months. There are many options available, including low profile systems and duct-free air conditioning.
If your home comes with original appliances, have them inspected to be sure they are in good working order. If they are outdated, broken, or pose a hazard, replace them with new energy rated ones. If you want to maintain the vintage look of your kitchen, there are plenty of retro-style appliances offered by companies like Big Chill and Elmira Stove Works.
Consult With an Expert
If it is in your budget, consulting with a mid mod interior design expert is a great option. Once you have determined which areas of the home need upgrading, an interior design specialist can help you select materials that will maintain the original aesthetic.
It can also be useful to talk with someone that may have connections to speciality contractors. The older nature of these homes requires extra care when it comes to upgrades and repairs. You will want to work with someone who knows this style of architecture and, ideally, has access to vintage materials that work well with the original design.
Buying a Mid Mod Home in Denver
Whether you are looking to buy or sell a Denver Mid Mod home, contact Brenda Kellog Meyer. Brenda is a licensed Realtor who specializes in mid-century modern homes. If you are ready to list, Brenda has a staging team that will help present your home using genuine mid-mod touches that underscore the home’s retro beauty. If you are ready to buy, Brenda’s expert eye and appreciation for this unique style can help you find the perfect fit for your budget. Call or go online today to get started!
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