Sym­bio­sis

Atomic Ranch - - Contents - By Jo­lene Nolte Pho­tog­ra­phy by Lan­donw iggs

Land­lords and renters share a love for orig­i­nal mid­cen­tury mod­ern fea­tures in a Ralph Haver-de­signed home in Phoenix.

A land­lord who truly knows de­sign and mid mod-lov­ing renters make for a win-win liv­ing sit­u­a­tion.

F YOU’RE AN OWNER, FIND­ING RENTERS WHO WILL NOT ONLY AP­PRE­CI­ATE but also main­tain and fur­ther im­prove your Mid­cen­tury Mod­ern home is a chal­lenge. If you’re a renter, find­ing a mid mod gem to call home can be dif­fi­cult. For Rachel Simmons and Kim­berly Adams, they have found this ex­act sym­bio­sis.

“I im­me­di­ately fell in love with the breeze­block wall in the liv­ing room and the white on [the] floors and walls.”— Kim­berly Adams

FIND­ING & REFIN­ING

Rachel Simmons, an In­te­rior De­signer and De­sign Pro­fes­sor, and her hus­band Dim­itris Kat­sig­i­nis were in happy dis­be­lief to find a Ralph Haver-de­signed 1964 Phoenix home on the mar­ket. “It was an apart­ment for 50 years,” Rachel ex­plains, ”We are only the sec­ond owner. All the fin­ishes (be­sides floor­ing) were orig­i­nal when we bought it. It is also one of the only fully de­tached units that were built.”

They bought it and be­gan a lov­ing, twoyear restoration process. “I pre­serve as much as pos­si­ble,” Rachel ex­plains. “My re­search for­mal­ized a process for tak­ing a three-part

ap­proach to his­toric in­te­ri­ors: Pre­serve char­ac­ter-defin­ing fea­tures, in­tro­duce con­tem­po­rary tech­nol­ogy, and fo­cus on sus­tain­abil­ity.”

To that end, they first re­moved the car­pet and linoleum floor­ing, leav­ing just the con­crete, which they then painted white. New base­boards, fresh paint through­out the en­tire in­te­rior and new elec­tri­cal out­lets and switches pro­vided a base layer of fresh­en­ing. The most unique and chal­leng­ing fea­ture of the ren­o­va­tion process was the curved kitchen. Main­tain­ing this was a high pri­or­ity for Rachel be­cause of its au­then­tic­ity to the era.

Work­ing within the rounded lay­out and main­tain­ing the orig­i­nal cab­i­netry de­sign re­quired a lot of re­search­ing and prob­lem solv­ing. “It took find­ing the right hinges, and the carpenter had to cut and fit all the doors on site,” Rachel says. Rachel brought a dose of fresh­ness to what was orig­i­nally a very dark wall. “The orig­i­nal pan­el­ing was very dark—i painted the wall in a grad­ual value change to en­hance the curve,” she says.

Rachel em­ployed her de­sign ex­per­tise to bring pe­riod-au­then­tic col­ors to new ma­te­rial so that the home ex­presses a re­freshed yet markedly mid mod feel. “I used a color pal­ette in­spired by color re­search I did in grad school—based on pop­u­lar col­ors from 1964,” Rachel

“My re­search for­mal­ized a process for tak­ing a three-part ap­proach to his­toric in­te­ri­ors: Pre­serve char­ac­ter-defin­ing fea­tures, in­tro­duce con­tem­po­rary tech­nol­ogy, and fo­cus on sus­tain­abil­ity.”— Rachel Simmons

ex­plains. “I also used tile sizes in the kitchen and bath­room that were the same as the orig­i­nal, and se­lected coun­ter­top ma­te­ri­als that were new ma­te­ri­als (quartz), but the same col­ors pop­u­lar dur­ing the pe­riod.”

EN­TER RENTERS

Like Rachel and Dim­itris, Kim­berly Adams and Jose Car­aveo (along with their dog BB) were hap­pily sur­prised to find a lo­cal re­sult when they searched for a Haver home for rent. “They don’t come up for rent that of­ten,” Kim­berly says, “and I im­me­di­ately fell in love with the breeze­block wall in the liv­ing room and the white on [the] floors and walls.”

Kim­berly, a jew­ler, ap­pre­ci­ates Rachel’s in­stinct for preser­va­tion. “I’m def­i­nitely in love with all the old de­tails that were left in the home, like the curved kitchen wall and counter and built-in van­ity in the hall bath,” she says. The kitchen’s unique shape is ac­tu­ally a great func­tional space if it’s just her in the kitchen. Kim­berly ex­plains, “It’s su­per com­fort­able when I’m the only one cook­ing and the rounded counter turns into a nice assem­bly line for chop­ping, cook­ing and plat­ing.”

Jose and Kim­berly have in­te­grated their own touches. Jose built a cof­fee ta­ble from white oak, and Kim­berly cre­ated string art for the bed­room wall. They have lay­ered in vin­tage finds such as a 1970s couch they found on Craigslist, which they re­cov­ered in Joy­bird’s Im­pact Ochre fab­ric. Kim­berly’s fa­vorite find, she says, is “def­i­nitely the pair of Bose 901 speak­ers on tulip bases that I thrifted. They were in al­most per­fect con­di­tion!”

With their own hand­i­work and thought­ful ap­proach to mid­cen­tury style, Kim­berly and Jose as well as Rachel and Dim­itris have found a way to mu­tu­ally ben­e­fit from their shared love of Mid­cen­tury Mod­ern and this 1964 Haver home.

“I’m def­i­nitely IN LOVE WITH ALL THE OLD DE­TAILS that were left in the home, like the curved kitchen wall and counter and built in van­ity in the hall bath.”— Kim­berly Adams KIM­BERLY’SLEATHERRELLING FOR INGMARTWO WESTNOFA BROWN SIESTA CHAIRS FLANK THE HOME’S ORIG­I­NAL WIN­DOWS. DUR­ING THE REN­O­VA­TION PROCESS RACHEL OVER­SAW, THEY WERE ABLE TO KEEP ALL ORIG­I­NAL WIN­DOWS EX­CEPT FOR THE TWO SLID­ING PA­TIO DOORS.

RACHEL, A DE­SIGN PRO­FES­SOR, RE­SEARCHED AND SE­LECTED A 1964-AP­PRO­PRI­ATE SHADE FOR THE PANEL PAINT COLOR AND THE CUR­TAIN. KIM­BERLY HAS LAY­ERED IN HER OWN RETRO TOUCHES LIKE THE VIN­TAGE BOSE SPEAKER ON A TUILP PEDESTAL.

KIM­BERLY FOUND A PAIR OF VIN­TAGE BOSE SPEAK­ERS ON A TULIP BASE IN GREAT CON­DI­TION WHILE THRIFTING. WITH A RECORD PLAYER AND A VINYL COL­LEC­TION, IT CER­TAINLY LOOKS AND FEELS RIGHT AT HOME.

THE BREEZE­BLOCK WALL IS ONE OF KIM­BERLY’S FA­VORITE FEA­TURES. THE NEU­TRAL PAL­ETTE IS A RE­SULT OF RACHEL’S DE­SIGN DI­REC­TION WITH WHITE WALLS AND CON­CRETE FLOOR AND KIM­BER­LEY’S PREF­ER­ENCE FOR NEU­TRAL FUR­NI­TURE. WITH HER KNOWL­EDGE OF THE PE­RIOD’S COLOR CHOICE

THE DOOR ALONE IS INVIT­ING WITH ITS RETRO SQUARE WIN­DOWS AND POOL-LIKE SHADE OF BLUE, AND THEN THE PLANTER WITH ITS SCULP­TURAL, MINIMALIST FRAME ADDS EVEN MORE MID­CEN­TURY MOD­ERN AP­PEAL. THIS IS A PER­FECT EN­CAP­SU­LA­TION OF THE SYM­BIO­SIS BE­TWEEN A KNOWLEDGEA

RACHEL’S COM­MIT­MENT

TO PRE­SERV­ING THE ROUNDED KITCHEN LAY­OUT PAID OFF. THE CURVED WALL IS EASY ON THE EYES AND BE­TRAYS NO SIGNS OF THE TROU­BLE IT TOOK TO RE­PLACE THE CAB­I­NETRY. NOW KIM­BERLY CAN EN­JOY ITS ICONIC RETRO SHAPE AND FUNC­TIONAL EF­FI­CIENCY.

THE SUB­TLE PAT­TERNS ON THE TILE ADD DEPTH AND VIS­UAL IN­TER­EST SET OFF BY THE CON­TRAST­ING COL­ORS OF THE COUN­TER­TOP AND SLIM MIR­ROR FRAMES. THE PEN­DANTS’ GEO­MET­RIC SIL­HOU­ETTES CON­TRIB­UTE TO THE CLEAN BUT JAZZY FEEL, AND THE BUILT-IN SHELVES ARE SOME OF KIMB

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