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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Mixing antiques with mid-century furnishings

bgparkFebruary 23, 2013
we are restoring a mid-century modern. we have a number of pieces that we will keep including 18th and 19th century ball and claw leather topped desk, Scottish buffet, gilded mirror, Windsor and other side chairs. we will aquire some stand-out mid-century pieces for the main rooms. looking for ideas on how best to mix furnishings of different periods for the most effective, eclectic blend. attached photos of exterior and interior main room with previous owner furnishings. we will be keeping and restoring the original terrazzo through the main rooms. wood veneers and black granite will be used for cabinetry, bar, etc with period lighting.
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Wow! That's a tall order. Can't wait to see responses as I am sure it can be done. I would guess the color on your walls will set the tone and each piece that you want/need to keep should be incorporated with the modern opposite.

This is a picture which might help some.
Mad for Galapagos Turquoise · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 12:56PM
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I suggest you start collecting photos of the pieces you are missing or replacing in MCM design, for example, chairs or coffee tables. Then you can figure out what works in your space with the antiques you have, picking and choosing from things you like. You will need rugs on the terrazzo for noise control what with the huge glass surfaces to reflect noise as well. Rugs can be dominant or secondary design elements. The extremely simple and spare designs such as those by Saarinen and Noguchi might work well for you.

This house is a great architectural statement on its own. I suggest that you revisit your choices of veneers and solid surfaces once the previous owners have moved out and the terrazzo has been restored. You may find that the black granite looks too severe and dated already, and that solid quartz surfaces may give you more options. If you want to find out what's dated, take a look at a design magazine from 5 or 7 years ago in your local library. What was very fashionable then is dated now. If you also look into magazine ads from the 1950's and early 1960's (lots online), you'll see that rooms were shown as much less crowded than they are now.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 1:01PM
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the essentials inside
Beautiful house, beautiful room. Do you have any pictures of your current pieces? Is the room empty now? If so, can you upload a pic of the empty room? You are probably going to get some comments about changing the previous owner's decor.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 1:03PM
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lewis + smith
If you look at images of the Eames' house, you will find an abundance of artifacts from all over the world and from many different time periods to great effect.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Not a ton of photos to choose from in this search result, but it's nice to have a digestible number, I guess.

Some other advice from a trusted source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/eclectic-decor-134813

Gorgeous home! Enjoy!
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Keep it masculine and slick, with a touch of apothecary(undulating tentacles frozen in glass like gilded tendrils carved as if petrified in wood).
When choosing wall colors, accent pieces, arrangements, envision mid century greats inhabiting a French ch√Ęteau for the month. How would one of the Rat Pack look in a corner reading? Is Audrey Hepburn doing a beatnik dance in the living room? Or is she just posing by the fire in a Davey Crockett hat for Russian Vogue? How would the scene look? Since mid-century is so popular, I think it would be easy to find inspiration in any solid fashion mag or you could dig up old copies of jazz mags like DownBeat.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 1:15PM
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wow, great ideas. what a thought to imagine ourselves with the Pack. working on the wardrobe.

the house is completely empty, i can add pics, and also add pics of the prize pieces we need to accommodate. for right now, I attached 2 additional images that are influencing our thinking.

the kitchen is u-shaped and open to the bar and den and so woods, colors, finishes need to blend well. adjoining DR also is fully open to the den. we plan to convert the wall across from kitchen/bar to a half-wall with counter material and possibly pendant ligting to match. (behind that wall is the BR wing with a very dark, dreary hallway.) there are existing pocket doors that close off the kitchen, very convenient in such an open house plan. we plan to replace these with track doors like the photo i added. yes, black granite may be passe (our builder/designer keep saying that). but it is so convenient for this residence and renovation. the mcm kitchen example I attached is a very attractive model for our situation.

we are in an area known for mcm (and the architects) and some of the best examples have reveal paneling in the interiors. so that is where we are heading - our architect has drawn up the main room with reveal paneling on walls and columns, and we are considerig that style for the ceiling as well. this house has a bit of a formal feel to it, and so can support that treatment whereas some of the smaller, more casual mcm homes in the area could not. for an example of ceiling treatment, take a look at the gorgeous Lake/Flato Austin home in AD Feb. http://www.architecturaldigest.com/decor/2013-02/lake-flato-terry-hunziker-minimalist-home-austin-texas-article.

we are also considering tongue-groove on the ceiling which almost certainly would probably impact choice on wall treatment. the front and back porches are t-g and like many mcm houses (1958 Bass in case study book, for instance), we would use color to unite interior and exterior, beams and t-g ceilings. this would be a less formal treatment, but very interesting.

if we stick with the reveal paneling, we would also consider flat sheet rock on ceiling. we will stick with sheet rock for kitchen, DR and front room adjoining DR (that we are converting to a library with built ins - we would use the same reveal paneling) and Ortal FP. for DR and master, we are considering bumping up the ceiling 6in for height (house has an 8ft plate) and using the veneer paneling with spots in the bump up.

long description of what we are thinking, but if anyone has reactions would love to hear them. i should add for completeness that we are looking into standing seam metal roof - several mcm houses around here have that, it is stunning (but expensive here).
1 Like    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 12:50PM
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example kitchen and panel doors
1 Like    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 12:55PM
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It can be done - here are a few samples to assure you.
Northway · More Info

Kitchen · More Info

Bungalow · More Info

m.a.p. interiors · More Info

Foyer · More Info

Coffee table · More Info
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Denice Shuty
Paint or reupholster those antiques in vivid colors and mod textures.
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Denice Shuty
Great bones! Hate the brick on the fireplace wall, and the mantle. Paint or clad the brick with something else. This could be a smashing re-do.
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Wood paneling on the ceiling would look nice with the white beams and warm up the space.
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Im replacing my halldoors with trackdoors too. Please let us know which ones you chose! Hope they really do impress privacy, concerned about that where the bedrooms are.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:37PM
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Just a comment on the roof: if the cost difference between standing metal seams and your other option is (say) $10K, you may ask yourself if you'd appreciate $10K on the roof or in the interior where you can sit on it or look at it or use it. Your decision.

The track door style is not very soundproof. The shoji style can look great in MCM houses, especially on large windows where there's enough room to slide them fully open. Pocket doors are much more soundproof if they are solid, not hollow core.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:50PM
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thanks, thanks everyone. on the roof - obviously, bottom line will dictate. but it would look so cool.

on the FP brick - we hated it to. we've thought about re-clading (we have to pick stone for a rear addition and some other stuff, including replacing front wood columns, and could bring it inside) or painting. but, lots of people have been through the house and the majority vote to keep it. it is unusual and i think these pics may not do it justice. but we'll see.

on the shojii-style doors, we are searching for sources now (so if anyone has ideas, will take them). they are only intended to close off the kitchen for appearance (after dinner party mess), not noise. BRs are far away.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 3:56PM
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