We thought it would be fun to look back at the blogs that have caught the attention of our readers throughout 2019. Take your time this holiday season and read through some of our fan favorite blogs from 2019.
Ever wondered what sparked the mid-century modern infatuation with those concrete blocks with decorative cutouts that surround so many traditional homes? Well, they’re called breeze blocks, and we have the scoop. Dating back to the 1930s, breeze blocks, or architectural screen blocks offer a decorative screen wall or fence with an architectural appeal. As you’ve probably noticed, these concrete blocks became wildly popular throughout the mid-century modern era during the 1950s and 1960s.
Ty McNeill and David Banks were looking for a midcentury modern home in the Kirkland or Bellevue area to remodel. After a few months of searching and several multiple offer situations, they found their home and began the renovation process of bringing modern day touches while maintaining the midcentury modern appeal. They spent three years on the remodel process, making minor and major updates throughout the house including replacing the roof, adding on to the master bedroom and bathroom, tearing down walls, and adding beams for an open concept layout that flows throughout.
A force in the Seattle architectural scene in his time, Robert Dietz was Dean of the UW School of Architecture served on the design committee for the 1962 World’s Fair, was the President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to the National Commission on Architectural Barriers to help improve disabled access, and served on the National Architectural Accrediting Board assessing college programs nationwide. Dietz also had great success as an independent designer, earning the Seattle AIA chapter’s first honor award in 1950. His firm, Waldron & Dietz, earned six more awards from the AIA over the next seven years.
Today Palm Springs is known for its midcentury modern homes. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, the success of the midcentury modern style home’s success can be attributed to a small number of very influential home builders and designers. About 2,500 modern homes were created to change the entire landscape of Palm Springs, CA. These homes were dubbed Alexander Homes because they were originally built by Bob Alexander and designed by the architecture firm of Palmer & Krisel. From there, many of the other architects of the time copied and expanded upon the design.
The Schindler House was designed as a home for Schindler and his wife, Pauline, who was known as a somewhat eccentric character. In accordance with the Schindler’s bohemian beliefs, the house was actually designed for two couples to share. The second couple was the Clyde Chace, and Marian Chace, who shared the same values as the Schindlers.
Be prepared to wrap yourself in high design. As you arrive at the end of the private road at 1031 NW Elford Drive, the first thing that will catch your breath is the view. That is, if you’re able to look past the awe-inspiring beauty of the home itself. Originally built in 1953, the home has the bones of a classic midcentury modern style house, however, over the years, it slowly inched its way into obscurity due to lack of care or updates. That’s when couple Jenny Beedon Snow and Brett Snow found this gem, or as they called it, “a diamond in the roughest.” The home had all the classic renovation challenges: smoke damage, troublesome electrical, old HVC, and outdated plumbing. It needed earthquake retrofitting, new frames and new finishes. Plus, once inside, you found yourself in small rooms where you would quickly lose sight of the most incredible element of the house—the views.
Was there a blog that you loved from 2019? Or, do you have an idea for a blog in 2020? We’d love to hear about it! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your blog idea.
Thank you for a wonderful 2019 and a have a happy New Year!