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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mid Century Modern Salt Lake City

Mid Century Modern home for sale in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Speechless. Attempting to muster verbiage. Stammered words.

"Updated" is equivalent to Mid Century Modern Kryptonite. "Updated" usually results in big box hardware bolt-on errors like six panel doors and cheap cabinets fighting a home's original aesthetic. We've all seen it. We've all cringed. We've all considered un-do plans.

Relieved to present an updated Mid Century Modern home in Salt Lake City verging on perfection. Tasty. Swell. Magic. For sale.

This one gets it all right. From impeccable design choices that work with the homes original lines to professionally shot pics.

Feel like I'm flirting with this home, trying to take it home from a bar. Will stop. It shall speak for itself hence forth.



3602 Appolo Dr. Salt Lake City, Utah (map)

Built: 1957

Updated: 2009


Email owner to check it out (Owner and self-renovator, Tyler is a talented commercial photographer)

Home's website

Additional Info

Wondering what it looked like before? Check out pics here.



P.S. Thanks to our friend, Kate in Clinton, UT for the heads-up.


  1. Wow! This house is perfect (for me anyway)!

  2. The brackish waters of purism and modern interpretation mixed on this one. Nice discussion ensued on my Facebook wall.

    Here's the collection of comments:

    • John Eaton
    If you're gonna "redo" then this one was done right - I'd like to have seen what it looked like before all the concrete sinks, etc. Was it horrible (meaning a bunch of inappropriate renovations) or was it near-original and in good condition? That makes a difference to me.

    • Christopher West
    Yes, that's it. Old and new, French kissing behind the bleachers. That's hot!

    • Tom Brothers
    Thats a fantasic update! Its sortof what i have always envisioned ours turning out like eventally, just have to de-update the previous owners "updates" for or own, inspired updates!

    • Maryanna Axson
    I, too, wish there were "before" photos of this one. As sleek and beautiful as it is, it doesn't look mid-century to me.

    • Chris Overpeck
    I'm with you, Baz. There are no words.

    • Baz Mcm
    John, agreed on what it started with is important. I don't know the answer. That aside it's well done.

    We're in a similar boat. Our home had virtually nothing original except for it's lines. Leaves a blank canvas of sorts. Open to our interpretation. So we're interpreting.

    If I found a mostly original home - would restore - no question. This is the plan for Atomic Indy home 2.0, which is about five years out.

    • Pamela Jordan
    Incredible! I have dreamed of this!!!!!

    • John Eaton
    Don't think I'm a purist - I do think that modern conveniences, especially in Kitchens and Bathrooms, are necessary - I guess I'd rather see something that's sympathetic to the original design and period. A lot of what's in this example works due to the "ultra modern" lines (sorry, my expression regarding those current Dwell style moderns you see being built today). Have you ever seen a poured concrete sink in a 1950's ranch that was original?

  3. Comments continued:

    • Stephen Meade
    I think a lot of people forget that premise of most mid-century architects was to eschew tradition and embrace practicality and no-nonsense utility. Many of these architects were notorious tinkerers and frequently remodeled and evolved their own homes. I think some of these architects would be horrified to see people keeping elements of the design ... Read Morethat no longer work simply for posterity. I always cringe when I see comments about people using materials that weren't available in the 1950s. These architects were the ones adopting the new materials of the time and if they were around today I'm sure they would encourage using whatever new materials have become available. I believe in documenting the past, not worshiping it.

    • Pam Forsee Hogue
    I think they did a very nice and appropriate job of maintaining the aesthetic and updating with modern conveniences. We have gone through similar things with our home- for instance, trying to interpret today's lifestyles with what the mcm movement was about. These folks used high quality materials as well without being flamboyant and used the natural materials aesthetic quite well.

    • Steve Zabel
    would type more but there's drool on the keyboard.

    • Cynthia Yuan
    Jaw dropped! Love!

    • Stefanie Pacheco
    Yeah, definitely a breath of fresh air there!

    • Luke Edson
    Thats my 'hood, about 3 minutes walk from my place and yes it is as nice as it looks in the pictures!!

    • Donna Sink
    Nice comment, Stephen, and exactly why we didn't go MCM-restorationish on our home.

    • Holly Puckett
    Interesting debate. Can we just call a spade a spade though? This home is Contemporary, no longer Mid Century. Contemporary houses such as this remodel are simply looking to the past for inspiration. In this case, the owner only had to look at there own homes "bones" for design vision.
    My hope is that true MCM architecture and design still intact is not destroyed to make way for new construction, but I guess that remains to be seen here.

    • John Eaton
    I'm with Holly on this one. Back to my last question - do you think MCM architects didn't use concrete as a counter material because it wasn't available? Personally I think using stone or pseudo-stone surfaces where people actually spend alot of time preparing food and/or washing, while practical, wasn't done until relatively recently because while... Read More "pretty" doesn't feel particularly good against the hands and skin. Also if you've ever dropped a glass on a granite or concrete counter the amount of glass that goes everywhere from that height is pretty amazing.

    But away from that specific - I'm more of the Organic Architecture fan - bringing elements from outside in, and inside out and exposing both via large expanses of glass, working with the landscape and natural materials (or as natural as possible). I've been inside hundreds (really!) of MCM homes and cring when I see where an original, functional bathroom has been ripped out and replaced by vessel sinks, concrete slabs, etc.

    • Cindy Tibbetts Frey

  4. • Baz Mcm
    By request I've hunted down before pics for everyone.


    • John Eaton
    Thanks for that - in general I like what they've done to the exterior and dislike just about everything they did to the interior (with the exception of some wall removal??). I REALLY like the original kitchen and bathrooms but it's hard to tell how bad off they were before the remodel - if trashed under all that tile I can understand ripping it out... Read More. However, compared to the old the new "updates" are all too sterile for me. Of course like just about anything, this is only my opinion and it appears that most posting to this thread are of the opposite opinion. I would never build a house that was that sleek and/or "sophisticated" - I just wouldn't enjoy it.

    • Shannon Stanbro
    Normally I advocate for preservation. But in this case, before the renovation this home was what I refer to as mid-century modest -nice 50's details, but not an MCM.

    The modernist renovation has definitely improved this formerly modest home.

    • Baz Mcm
    Really enjoying this dialogue. Believe it's healthy. In truth, I agree with everyone.

    1. There's nothing I like more than walking into an MCM in completely original or restored condition. Feeling that engulfs is indescribable and I chase its dragon.

    2. Restoration for the sake of restoration doesn't (always) make sense.

    3. I believe this DIY renovator got it right in that he took the essence of the MCM movement's philosophy and put it to work in a new time. The choice of all the natural material is evident in the reclaimed wood used on the fireplace and the Ipe used on the tub. As far as MCM "updates" go - I believe this one gets it right.

    4. After seeing before pics, there are features of the original home I love. I fully believe a period-correct renovation/restoration could have produced an equally stunning home if the same level of detail was employed. And I likely would have preferred it.

    In true politically diplomatic jabber, I've said nothing but believe I've said it well.

  5. More comments...

    • Joe Shoemaker
    I think the redo is so amazingly fabulous I can hardly put words to it. I prefer it to the original 1000x over. You may now revoke my membership in the MCM club.

    • Baz Mcm
    Joe - you're a lifer. No membership revocation allowed. I believe these opinions are all valid and carry equal weight.

    Now if we were talking about an original Neutra or Saarinen house I think we'd all be standing on the same side of the line.

  6. As always, I sigh about changes that completely transform a house of one style into something completely different. What they've done is definitely attractive. But it's no longer a MCM house that conveys its history from the period. If that's what they intended, they accomplished it.

  7. Personally, I didn't see a mid-century modern house in the before pictures. I guess I missed something, I saw a 50's raised ranch with a porch/carport attached to it. Flat roofs and decorative block do not a mid-century modern make.

    They did keep the crab legged shelter by the pool which was the best existing mod feature IMHO.

  8. Post-and-beam patios, deep soffits, flat roofs and decorative block ARE elements of MCM design. That house would have been stylistically identified as MCM, not as ranch. It wasn't a Neutra or a Kahn or even a high-style, but it was a mid-century modern style house.

  9. As someone in the middle of making all of these sorts of decisions, I can easily say that we struggle with every decision to preverse (if possible), recreate, or update.

    Personally, I am not as sentimental for the sake of preservation. BUT, we are trying so hard to save and preserve many of our house's original features because I simply think those original features are fabulous and would be fabulous if someone had designed it originally today.

    That being said, we are constantly asking ourseleves, "What would Ed do?" (Ed Hawkins being our builder). We like to joke and think that he'd approve of some of our updates and addition decisions we are making.

    We know that every design decision we make won't make everyone happy, but I do feel good knowing that my house will be loved and enjoyed in a way that would have made our original builder happy.

    I do think this house still embodies the spirit of the 1950's architecture...whether MCM or not. It seems to have a great feeling of space and materials and light. And, it seems like a great balance between indoor and outdoor living. What could be better?

    Thanks for tracking down the before pics, Baz...I needed that before/after details to keep my remodeling spirits up today. :>
    Lesley @ midmodredo.com

  10. What a very beautiful place to have. The designs so great. I really love what I see.

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. This house did not have any MCM signifigance whatsoever save its architectural clean lines. What mcm interior detail did it contain that was removed in the remodel process?

    Tyler took what signifigance it contained and executed it. He evolution-ized using a main element that mid century and today's modern have in common - clean lines.

    I see it as an MCM artistic evolution. He had a vision. He saw through what many of us view as limitations, and found its potential - a definition of true artistry, and a tough concept for many to grasp.

    He left his fingerprint, and what a gorgeous one it was. If its walls could speak, I'm sure they would proclaim their freedom.

    ps. We just bought a home in its neighborhood. It would be a dream-come-true if Tyler helped my vision find its way. :)

  13. WOW! Very impressive design of this house! The clean, warm, uncluttered designs makes the property look so welcoming!

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  14. The stunning beauty of this place unfolds it was really an exquisite property and I like the whole area. The interior design was perfect and well studied and I like the sink,for me it was unique. Thank you for this wonderful blog. Keep posting.

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  15. Awesome - thanks for including me! You're the best. Hope you are doing well. keep up the fantastic work.

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