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Go Ahead, Try to Resist the Charms of This Odd Retro Gem

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Have a nomination for a jaw-dropping listing that would make a mighty fine House of the Day? Get thee to the tipline and send us your suggestions. We'd love to see what you've got.

Location: San Diego, California
Price: $1,399,000
Hmm, where to have a conversation in this 1955 home by Lloyd Ruocco, San Diego's "Invisible Modernist" architect? Oh wait, how about in the conversation pit! See there, that's midcentury home design solving problems for you.

It's a bit funky in here, but breathe deep, peer past the decor, and trust that Curbed wouldn't end the 2014 House of the Day run with a dud. Ruocco designed "Solari" for him and his wife, says the Berkshire Hathaway listing, where in the poured-concrete lounge area, the sunken seating surrounds one of the home's three fireplaces. From there, the expansive wooden deck is beyond one glass wall, and the tiled courtyard lies past the other.

There you'll find a mosaic by artist and Hobbit home proponent James Hubbell, part of a "spa grotto" delightfully flanked by two giant seashells. Head past the "spacious entertainer's kitchen" and you reach the other main living area, a double-height space where a (carpeted!) wrought-iron staircase leads up to one of two second-floor perches.

The home sits on 1.7 acres in San Diego's "guarded and gated Alvarado Estates," and also has a 1,000-square-foot guest house and an L-shaped swimming pool. It's listed for $1,399,000 but the seller will entertain offers as low as $1,250,000.


· 5481 Toyon Road [Berkshire Hathaway]