Idle Hour Mid-Century Modern

A full restoration and renovation of a 1957 mid-century modern home in the Idle Hour neighborhood of Lexington, Kentucky. The design expresses the existing mid-century modern interior and exterior architecture in a more dramatic fashion through material selection, color, fixtures, doors, windows, and new architectural massing.

The exterior of the home focused on restoring and painting the existing surfaces to highlight the horizontal and angular forms. Modern cedar planters, full of native grasses and low-lying sedum, and new cedar exterior walls were constructed to ground the house and create better visual flow of the historical archetype. To accent the floating roof line, rain chains and vertical LED exterior light fixtures were added. Energy-efficient units replaced the existing single-pane windows and glazing as well as the exterior doors. The original attached storage unit was updated by installing a custom overhead sectional door and frosted-glass sidelight to echo the lightness of the home.

The exterior and interior of the home are connected though expansion of the glazing as well as a color and material palette selected to enhance the natural light. Every interior surface was restored or renewed, and the kitchen and bathroom underwent full renovations from original 1957 installations. In both spaces, CARB-certified bamboo is used for countertops and the kitchen backsplash, and the primary kitchen counter is a custom recycled aggregate concrete.

All floors, walls, and ceilings were resurfaced using no-VOC paints, low-VOC stains and floor finish, and durable glass or porcelain tile, such as the large format charcoal beehive kitchen floor. A color palette of whites and greys give a richness to the interior architectural form. The original brick wall dividing the kitchen and living room extends upward with a new custom bookcase towards the vaulted ceiling and exposed structural beam. All interior doors were replaced with reclaimed and refinished solid-core birch slabs and fitted with new matching door hardware. Existing sliding closet doors were refabricated into barn doors with stainless steel tracks, echoing the new-meets-historic material palette throughout the house.

In addition to reclaimed, repurposed, and renewable materials, a smart thermostat, low-flow fixtures, and Energy Star rated lighting and fans were installed to ensure energy efficiency throughout the home. A significant percentage of the selectively demolished materials from the home were either donated or recycled during the construction process.
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