Scandi Cool #19

This Brady Bunch-meets-Mad Men home is a modern take on mid-century design and the perfect backdrop for this enviable collection of art and objects

Get the look: For a similar Andy Warhol lithograph, try Scream London. The vase is vintage Rosenthal Netter.

THE PROPERTY

A three-storey mid-century ‘post and beam’ house, situated just outside Philadelphia. It has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a powder room, three living areas, a kitchen, dining room, home office, sauna and gym, all set on a quarter-acre of land with extensive gardens.

STAIRCASE

This mid-century gem (think Mad Men with maybe a touch of the Brady Bunch house and the house in Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm) is super sophisticated. And while it contains many witty references to the past, it’s absolutely not designed to be a time capsule. It is, however, the perfect backdrop for an impressive collection of vintage furniture, art and ceramics.

The flagstone floor at the bottom of the stairs (pictured top) features a mosaic of blue stones that contrast against the orange artwork. These stairs used to be covered in shag-pile carpet, but the new owners removed it to expose the original oak.

LIVING AREA

The house, though initially dark and foreboding, still had many original features, from the built-in Sixties bookshelves to wood-clad walls and even an original cedar-wood sauna. The interiors hadn’t been in touched in a while – the new owners had to restore the original red oak floors, lighten dark walls, bin the Seventies curtains and, of course, rip up the avocado shag-pile carpets.

The living room is a mix of mid-century pieces – just about every piece in the room, other than the couch. The coffee table is a Paul McCobb. It’s the exact length of the fireplace and that anchors the room.

Get the look: The Pennsylvania flagstone fireplace is original to the house. The abstract art above the sofa is by Nancy Ortenstone. The sofa is from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. This is a mustard Mod 137 Japan Finn Juhl chair. The blue/grey chair is by Kurt østervig. The white ceramic horse on the fireplace is by Jonathan Adler. The hexagonal side tables are by Harvey Probber.

While respecting the past, the new owner’s vision was to use the mix of materials, furniture and art to create an interior that was elegant, fresh and modern. Something lighter and brighter than the Sixties and Seventies design mantra, which can sometimes look a bit kitschy.

Mixing old and new gives these interiors more depth, with high- and low-cost pieces. Good design comes at all different price points. It’s the way you put it together.

UPSTAIRS HALL

This hall – or catwalk – leads to the master bedroom.

Get the look: This is the Kwan Yin Buddha bust by Bitossi for Rosenthal Netter. The sunburst mirror is vintage. The artwork (beside the mirror) is by Karel Appel

DEN

Mid-century houses are more common on the West Coast and this one was especially unusual as it sits on land with a creek snaking around it. So you feel like you’re away from it all – but you’re really not. The house has been opened up to make the most of the nature views– the plot is full of trees, with lots of birds and wildlife.

But, unlike many modernist homes, it’s not a fishbowl; there’s a balance of walls and glass.

The colours in the den were inspired by the artwork on the wall above the sofa by the artist Karel Appel. The dashes of magenta and orange are again a nod to the period of the house. Similarly, furniture is a mixture of old and new.

Get the look: The Sixties bronze mosaic table was found at auction. This is an Eero Saarinen Tulip stool; the chair by the windows is by Warren Platner; this is the Barcelona couch by Mies van der Rohe; and in the foreground is the Scissor chair by Pierre Jeanneret, all for Knoll. The Desmond screen and Utopia Man/ Woman vase on the table are by Jonathan Adler. The rug is from Crate&Barrel. The side tables are vintage, as is the Bitossi lamp.

KITCHEN

The hood over the oven is original. The electric kitchen clock (above the oven) is also an original fixture.

Get the look: The splashback is from Ann Sacks. The rug is from Flor. Find similar cabinets and handles at Ikea.

The flooring is cork, which always has a temperature of around 20°C, so when you walk on it, it feels cosy and warm.

Cook books are arranged along a long wall-mounted wood cabinet.

Splashes of ochre in the upholstery reflect the period of the house.

DINING AREA

The chairs and the table top are walnut, but the chairs were mixed up to make them feel more casual.

Get the look: The floating walnut sideboard is an original fixture of the house. The chairs and table are a mix of vintage Hans J Wegner, Cherner and Arne Jacobsen. The rug is from Pottery Barn.

GUEST BEDROOM

This room is more patterned than most in the house. But in a space such as a guest bedroom, it’s fun.

Get the look: The chair is from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. The rug is from Pottery Barn. This is Contempo wallpaper by Antonina Vella.

DESK AREA

This area is in one of the bedrooms and has a day bed nearby.

Get the look: The turtle shell and stool were painted to match the seat cover. On the wall is Damien Hirst’s butterfly wallpaper (framed). This is a vintage Tulip side chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll.

MASTER BEDROOM

The view from the master bedroom overlooks the creek.

Get the look: the bed is from Crate&Barrel.The table lamps are from West Elm. This is a vintage Paul Mccobb side table. The orange blanket is Hèrmes.

Photography/Paul Raeside

More Modern Houses