Recently, though, I've become more and more charmed by shed-style contemporary houses. These houses are also called cedar contemporary or California contemporaries. Their exteriors boast odd rooflines and lots of windows, which leads to interiors with lofted ceilings and lots of light. Because of the emerging environmental ethos of the 1970s they also tend to be surrounded by trees and situated to give the residents views of the surrounding greenery. They were primarily built from the late sixties into the early eighties.
Most of my books about the history of the built environment don't really discuss this style of house. I think they are an important lynch-pin between the more modest ranches and split-levels of the fifties and sixties and the McMansion boom of the 1980s. They are larger than the typical ranch house (proof the middle class was demanding more space even as family size dwindled?) and far more experimental. They are certainly more modern looking than the McMansions (most of which borrow heavily from more traditional styles). They boast some of the things I love best about MCM houses (light, use of wood, openness without a huge amount of square footage) and my favorite furniture styles would work in them really well.
These houses aren't exactly beloved by home buyers. Many of them aren't aging well. They were sold as "maintenance" free, but in reality the cedar siding isn't holding up. The ones that have been painted look so much better.
Since they were ubiquitous in the late sixties/seventies/early eighties so there's plenty available in our local housing stock.
Here are a few from surrounding suburbs.
Original Condition Cedar Contemporary
|Pictures from Trulia|
This house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, multiple decks, is in a good school school district...all for about $155,000.
I love the lines of the house, especially the windowed...quadrant thing. Lovely! I think a whole lot of either cream or dark gray paint would completely transform the exterior.
One of the three bathrooms. All of them look like they need some SERIOUS updating. (Also, maybe clean off your counters before taking pictures. Just a thought.)
One of the things I love about this style of house is that many of them offer multiple decks and other outdoor spaces. This home has decks on different levels AND a screened in porch.
Lots of seventies neighborhoods preserved trees (instead of clear cutting the land, like newer subdivisions tend to do). Add in the following decades and you end up with lush greenery.
Partially Updated Cedar Contemporary
|Photos From Trulia|
The back of the house, sporting a screened in porch and a couple of different patio spaces.
A laundry room. Sigh. Have I mentioned how much I'd love a laundry room? Especially one big enough to leave an ironing board up? And one with natural lighting? I can't even.
The master bath. I could deal.
Another bad fake stone fireplace/awesome lofted wood ceiling living room with lots of natural light.
It was hard to get a feel for the rooms because the owner's furniture is large, and there's a lot of it. I have no idea if the rooms actually aren't as large as the first house, or if its just badly scaled furniture and all together to much STUFF eating up the space.
|Photos From Trulia|
The kitchen is huuuuuuge! And has been attacked with white paint. (The boob light needs to go!)
The back. Love the trees, light, level yard. The deck would probably need to be rebuilt.
This is my favorite fireplace out of the three. The owners have painted almost everything white, and I think it makes the house look very dramatic and modern. Replacing the carpet with laminate hardwood would make it look even more modern.
One of the bathrooms. The wallpaper would have to go! But look at the space!
Editing! I'm Editing!
I'm actually editing this post because I fell in love with another, different 1980s contemporary.
|Photos From Redfin|
This is the picture where I fell in love. THE LIGHT. OMG, THE LIGHT.
I think this is the master. It has its own deck! You could put a little coffee station on the sliver of wall next to the sliding doors, go outside in the morning and drink your coffee with the birdies.
Also? I like the sliding doors for this house. Yes, yes sliding doors rank only slightly above vertical blinds in the most hated home design element category, but sometimes they just work in a space. Like here.