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Mid-Century Modern homes are extremely popular within Southern California. In fact, Palm Springs is home to the largest collection of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the United States. Built between 1945 and the early 1970s, these homes became popular during the post-World War II period. They combine minimalism with touches of glamour and have remained one of the most sought-after architectural time capsules to this day. 

Key Factors of Mid-Century Modern Homes:

Minimalism and Open Floor Plan

Mid-Century Modern homes are designed to be clean-cut and minimalistic. The architecture is simple and straightforward, opting out of ornate designs and elaborate elements. These homes often have open floor plans with plenty of natural light pouring in.

Photo Courtesy of Inger Stringfellow

Natural Materials and Exposed Wood

Mid-Century Modern homes are constructed with a variety natural materials like wood, stone and brick. The interior of these homes often have exposed wooden walls, ceilings, and floors. This gives the houses a very organic feel and contribute to the minimalism approach. Terrazzo flooring is also very common among these homes and is considered one of the most luxurious types of floorings. Terrazzo has a very natural look and consists of various stones like granite, marble, and quartz.

Photo Courtesy of Dwell

Sharp Angles and Lines

Mid-Century Modern homes are designed with clean-cut lines and angles, from the roofs to the window frames. The roofs are a focal point of the exterior design and are typically low-hanging. Mid-Century Modern roof styles vary among pitched, sloped or flat. These three styles all contribute to the sharp, angular architectural design. The curb appeal of these homes is unmatched!

Photo Courtesy of Matt Fujkus Architecture

Large Windows and Glass Doors

Mid-Century Modern homes are known for having large, floor length windows and glass sliding doors. Not only do these features add to the clean-cut approach, but they also allow natural light to flood the interior. Large glass windows and doors allow for easy indoor-outdoor living. These homes are great for entertaining!

Photo Courtesy of Bruce Damonte

Colorful Decor

Colorful furniture and wallpaper are very common within Mid-Century Modern homes. From magenta powder rooms to blue velvet sofas, accent colors compliment the minimalistic architecture, while also giving a colorful spin that is unique to the home and its designer. Sometimes well-preserved homes still have original wallpaper intact, which instantly transports homeowners back in time.

Photo Courtesy of Foyr

Southern California is home to a myriad of beautiful architecture. One of the most noteworthy home styles found throughout Southern California is the Spanish Colonial. Picture red terra cotta roofs, white walls, dark wooden accents, rounded doorways, and colorful tiles. Built primarily in the early 1900s, these houses were heavily influenced by Spanish and Mediterranean architecture, coupled with influence from Moorish, Pueblo and Mexican design. The homes built between 1600 and mid 1800s are known as Spanish Colonials, while the homes built in the early 1900s are known as Spanish Colonial Revivals. Within Los Angeles County alone, there are thousands of Spanish Colonials and Spanish Colonial Revivals that have been beautifully preserved and restored. Every so often, these beautiful homes come on the market for sale, and once again, we are transported back in time with these historic architectural masterpieces.

Photo by Amy Bartlam

Key Factors of Spanish Colonial Homes:

Terra Cotta Roofs

Terra Cotta roofs are extremely popular in Southern California and are a key element to Spanish Colonial architecture. Terra Cotta roofing tiles are traditionally made from locally sourced clay, shaped into tiles, and then fired in a kiln. The natural material and vibrant red coloring contribute to the Spanish-Mediterranean appeal.

Thick, White Stucco Walls

White stucco walls are extremely common among Spanish Colonial architecture, as stucco was a resource readily available to Spanish settlers. Stucco is very suitable for hot, dry climates like Southern California. During the day, the thick, white walls keep cooler air circulating inside the home. When the outside temperature drops in the evening, the walls release heat back into the home that had accumulated within the walls during the day. 

Photo Courtesy of Next Luxury

Rounded Doorways and Windows

Rounded entryways and windows are key components to Spanish Colonial homes. They are unique to the home style and provide a very charming aspect to the overall design. These rounded archways open up the interior layout and also contribute to the indoor-outdoor feel.

Photo Courtesy of Alexander Vertikoff

Exposed Wooden Beams

Exposed wooden beams are commonly found throughout these homes. While these wooden beams are functional, they are also beautiful in their design. They provide structural support to the homes while also providing a charming, mediterranean appeal. Many homes built today take influence from this architecture and install exposed wooden beams solely for decorative purposes. 

Photo Courtesy of Ambiant Light Studios

Unique and Colorful Tiling

One of the most special aspects found within Spanish Colonial homes is the frequent use of colorful tiling. Bold, unique tiles are often found in kitchens, bathrooms, and within stairways. They provide a very special pop of color and vibrancy throughout the house, while also honoring the history behind the designs. 

Porches and Courtyards

Spanish Colonial homes often embrace an indoor-outdoor living environment. Many of these homes have large porches with terra cotta tiles and rounded archways facing the yard. Many others have been designed with courtyards either in the center of the home, in the rear of the home or along the side of the home. Because this architecture is rooted in Spain and the Mediterranean, these homes embrace the warm weather and utilize indoor-outdoor living as much as possible. 

When designing your kitchen, many aspects come into play, as this is where you and your family will likely be spending most of your time together. Kitchens offer a safe space to gather and create memories with loved ones. From cooking your grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies to meal prepping for the long week ahead — a beautifully designed kitchen is a key ingredient to a happy home. While there are endless kitchen designs, a white kitchen is a timeless masterpiece. 

White stone countertops coupled with white cabinets make for the perfect kitchen aesthetic — fresh and airy, clean and crisp. Kitchens endure a lot over the years, so keeping it clean and tidy is no easy feat. Believe it or not, having a white kitchen actually helps with this! White kitchens keep the space feeling bright and clean, even during a hectic meal preparation. White is also easier to clean than other colors, as food and dirt are more detectable when wiping down the counters. 

White kitchens provide the opportunity to create a space that is both modern and traditional — a true classic. With that being said, classic does not equal boring! You will still have fun designing your kitchen, as there are countless ways to create a white kitchen that is unique to you and your style. Maybe you want a more country-inspired kitchen with brass accents and natural wooden shelves. Maybe you want a more contemporary feel with sleek, shiny counters and stainless steel appliances. Maybe you want to include pops of color to add a youthful appeal. The possibilities are truly endless, all while maintaining that timeless feel. However you choose to style your kitchen, you can never go wrong with this classic aesthetic. 

Every morning, Nicole and Jarrett wake up to what most people dream about: sun drenched rooms, birds singing just outside their windows, and beautiful mountain views. Flooded with natural light and a picturesque backdrop, Nicole and Jarrett’s Silver Lake home is their very own paradise.

When looking for their dream home, Nicole and Jarrett said they wanted to feel a sense of community in their neighborhood, all while blending nature with city life. Their bucket list items included having a large backyard for entertaining, being surrounded by nature, and having many windows with natural light pouring in.

After touring their home for the first time, Nicole and Jarrett said they fell in love with “the expansive deck, the sun-drenched living area, and the walkability to such a vibrant neighborhood filled with bars, restaurants, art, and culture.” All of these aspects led them to making an offer. With the help of NDA Real Estate’s founder, Casey Napolitano, Nicole and Jarrett’s offer got accepted!

Nicole and Jarrett have a sweet and serendipitous love story. They first met in high school, but lost touch for seven years. Then, “one fateful night at a Santa Barbara bar,” they met again and have been together ever since! At the time, Jarrett had just graduated college and was exploring Santa Barbara as a young professional. Meanwhile, Nicole was earning her PhD at UCSB.

“We bonded over being Gauchos, drinking too much local coffee, and recalling our favorite high school Psychology course,” they said.

Jarrett and Nicole together in their home
Chic dining room with teal velvet chairs and wooden table

Today, Nicole is a User Experience Researcher specializing in survey methodology at a leading tech company. She is also the author of Teen Stress: Your Questions Answered, a reference book using academic research to answer questions about the biggest challenges teens face today. Jarrett is a partner at a consulting firm where he serves as a legal expert in data analytics and provides expert testimony.

Since moving into their home December 2020, they have made countless cherished memories.

“Nicole had a big birthday, and we hosted our family in the backyard where we painted her in a white dress to usher in a new decade of freedom, color, and joy!” they recalled. “Everyone got into it, and the painted dress now hangs in our home as a reminder to always show our true colors.”

In addition to hosting special birthdays and celebrations, they have also created new traditions.

“We love a good brunch on the deck on our couches and sushi dinners with a game or two in the living and dining room,” they said. “With friends, we’ve created a tradition of hosting for July 4th and Halloween with specialty cocktails and treats. We were so excited to experience our first fireworks and trick-or-treaters!”

Jarrett and Nicole relaxing outside on their sunny porch

During the weekdays, Nicole and Jarrett spend most of their time in their home office, surrounded by windows and beautiful mountain views. On the weekends, they enjoy sitting outside in their sunny backyard and roasting marshmallows over their fire pit.

NDA Real Estate’s founder, Casey Napolitano, helped Nicole and Jarrett find and negotiate the best deal on their first home together. Casey’s unbound professionalism and expertise allowed Nicole and Jarrett to secure their dream home with ease. She listened to her clients’ every desire in their first home purchase and guided them through the process from start to finish. NDA Real Estate always puts clients first and represents them in the best light possible, all while helping them find their very own home oasis.

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