In the 1950s industrial designer George Nelson, a founder of American modernism, created for his close friends Sally and James Kirkpatrick a home that would become a time capsule and dollop of midcentury modern deliciousness in Kalamazoo, Mich. Thanks a meticulous, 10-year renovation at the hands of the current owner, the 1958 Kilpatrick House looks just as inviting as it did when it was first built. As it stands today, restored right down to the original paint colors and filled with current and vintage Herman Miller pieces (including almost all of the original living room furniture), the place reflects the "livability" Nelson strived for. Back in the day, letters between Nelson and the Kirkpatricks served as a blueprint for the highly personalized home design, combining Nelson's modernist vision with the Kirkpatrick family's day-to-day lifestyle.
"We are using your house as a kind of guinea pig for our furniture projects, and we are going to try to work out all the furniture for the house without recourse to stuff now in production," wrote (very good friend) Nelson of the endeavor, "the beauty of this scheme is that the furniture design gets paid for anyway out of the furniture budget, and we can obtain the finished samples at a cost which would be no greater than that of production items. If this doesn't add a great deal of entertainment value to the interiors, I would be greatly surprised." Despite the fact that the place was completed during "the creative peak of his career" some 55 years ago, Nelson's stylish experimental home is still a treat to peek at today—which serves as a testament both to the designer and to the masterful restoration job.