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From Dated to Upgraded: A Midcentury House Gets a Home Renovation

Midcentury modern design is a trend that isn't going away anytime soon. Clean lines and natural materials make it accessible for any home -- but the challenge is to update the aesthetic and make it fresh for THIS century without a major home renovation. We sat down with Jen Montague Clark, owner and broker of the Home Co. Realtors, to learn a bit about her recent home face-lift.

First, here's a little about Jen: In 2003, she bought a fixer-upper, and renovated and flipped it with her father. After that, you could say she was hooked. In 2009, she began regularly flipping homes with her husband (a general contractor), and everything took off from there.

 

Flash-forward to this midcentury modern dream home in Oakland, California, a project that took five months to complete. I'm shocked to say that this was Jen's first midcentury modern renovation (she mostly works on revamping craftsman-style homes). Looking at this stunning four-bedroom/three-bath makeover, I was sure that this design style was her forte. Check it out:

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Photo courtesy of Jen Montague Clark

Before:

This was the entrance before. Jen's vision for this particular home was to keep everything modern while staying true to classic midcentury principles. In a nutshell, the goal was to update the home's midcentury aesthetic for this century. She wanted to achieve a well balanced home that felt both welcoming and stylish at the same time. This meant it had to be clean and simple but also have depth and texture.

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Photo courtesy of Marcell Puzsar

After:

The redesigned entryway highlighted the low geometric exterior and enhanced its appearance with a lighted walkway. The garage door also becomes a feature of the home (instead of an eyesore) with the frosted, lighted panels.

Check Out Another Driveway Transformation
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Photo courtesy of Jen Montague Clark

Before:

This bathroom had a lot of natural light, but the colors were outdated and it felt cramped on the inside.

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Photo courtesy of Marcell Puzsar

After:

With a little rearranging and the installation of a glass walled shower, the bathroom was transformed into a spacious, luxurious retreat.

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Photo courtesy of Jen Montague Clark

Before:

In the bedroom, the curtains weren't the right height and all the furniture was in the wrong place. It made the room felt very cluttered!

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Photo by Marcell Puzsar

After:

If it weren't for the slatted ceilings, you could hardly tell that this is the same room! Updated bedding and decorative accents make the room feel more grown-up. The colors were chosen with the courtyard in mind, making the whole space appear cohesive. Exterior redwood accents tie the home into its surrounding natural environment.

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Photo courtesy of Jen Montague Clark

Before:

The kitchen wasn't in bad shape, but it was definitely in need of an update.

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Photo by Marcell Puzsar

After:

This kitchen got the works: new countertops, appliances, modern cabinetry, and an updated layout. The updated brass chandelier was the perfect finishing touch, and a reclaimed, live edge redwood bar top brings a hint of nature into the kitchen. Oh, and she certainly didn't want to detract from the 180-degree four-bridge views that are right outside this home's windows.

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Photo courtesy of Jen Montague Clark

Before:

This is a detail shot of the fireplace and the interesting gold accent wall that was above it. While it holds a certain appeal, the design elements didn't quite come together, and they ended up overpowering the room.

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Photo by Marcell Puzsar

After:

This room was redesigned with entertaining in mind. Smooth concrete was used for the fireplace and pillars, dated flagstone accents were replaced, but the walls were left mostly blank. This was intentional -- two key goals of this renovation were to keep everything feeling earthy but modern, and to enhance the surrounding views outside. Two of Jen's favorite design elements were in this room: the contemporary pendant light and Graham & Brown's "groovy" wallpaper over the fireplace. They both paid homage to the home's '60s roots, but kept things looking fresh.

 

Really Jen loves everything about this modern midcentury home, but perhaps most of all, she was struck by two things that came with the house: a 10-foot mahogany front door and the gorgeous panoramic views. What is YOUR favorite element in this dramatic home transformation? Let us know in the comments!

 

Interested to check out more of Jen Montague Clark's incredible home renovation ideas? Head over to The Home Co. Realtors and take a look at photographer Marcell Puzsar's beautiful imagery at brightroomSF Interior Photography.

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About the Author

Kellen McKillop

Kellen McKillop is a lifestyle and home-design expert, who serves as editor for the curated home-shopping experience Dot & Bo’s blog, Design District. Dot & Bo makes modern design accessible, while inspiring its community with step-by-step guides to decorating a home; behind-the-scenes design stories; and daily, hand-curated furniture and decor collections. With a passion for...

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