clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The 11 best midcentury modern homes of 2018

A feast for the eyes

In September, this renovated four-bedroom, two-bath midcentury wowed us with a black exposed-steel frame, white glazed brick, and huge floor-to-ceiling glass sliders.
Photo by Carlos Marques with Marcott Studios and courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence

It doesn’t seem possible, but midcentury modern design likely became even more popular in 2018 than before. The meteoric rise of the architectural and design style has been aided by shows like Mad Men and pushed into homes through big-box retailers like Target. But a good Eames chair aside, nothing quite compares to a midcentury modern building.

Boasting timeless design in a hot real estate market, the homes of 2018 were a diverse blend of styles from the 1950s and 1960s. We saw a wealth of midcentury gems, ranging from boxy glass houses to post-and-beam stunners. Whether your taste skews organic and natural or colorful and bold, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Without further ado, here are 11 incredible midcentury modern homes that came on the market this year.

1. A cantilevered midcentury home near San Francisco

Courtesy of Red Oak Realty

Designed by AIA Gold Medal architect Joseph Esherick, this multi-level wood-framed home towers above a sloped site in Montclair Hills and frames breathtaking views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. Almost treehouse like in its aesthetics, the 2,391-square-foot four-bedroom boasts a series of decks, balconies, walkways, cantilevers, and staircases that creates a dynamic space both inside and out.

2. A Mies-inspired glass house in Tennessee

Photo by Robert Batey Photography and courtesy of Barbara Apking of Coldwell Banker

A boxy one-bedroom, one-bath home where you can live out your Farnsworth House dreams. Built by longtime University of Tennessee architecture professor William Starke Shell, the 1,600-square-foot home features a flat roof, 40-by-40 steel beams, and huge glass panels. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Shell earned a master’s of architecture from Columbia University before working with Mies in Chicago.

3. A modest 1950s home ripped straight out of a magazine

Flat-roofed wood-framed house on woodsy lot. Photo courtesy of Lori Foulke/Keller Williams

Not every home we loved this year was a starchitect-designed multi-million dollar listing. This modest home in Bayside, Wisconsin, listed for a reasonable $410,000 but boasted original details. The flat-roofed wooden construction unfurls across 2,100 square feet, with an open-concept living, a teal kitchen, and a dining area running the entire length of the house. Here, walls of glass frame views of the yard, while new cork flooring complements a double-faced stone fireplace and wood paneling.

4. A circular midcentury house in Florida

Photo by Rich Montalbano courtesy of Modern Sarasota

Here’s another fantastic midcentury home from the Sarasota School of Architecture, a regional modernist style that emerged after the war in and around Sarasota, Florida, and which counts Paul Rudolph and William Rupp among its notable architects. What sets this one apart is its completely circular design. Measuring approximately 2,714 square feet, the home features 18-foot ceilings, a cantilevering flat roof, clerestory windows circling the top of the curved walls, and soaring, double-height spaces.

5. An affordable midcentury gem in Illinois

Photo courtesy of Lora Smith Keller Williams

The 2,522-square-foot house was built in 1962 by Verne Lars Solberg, a successful commercial architect in northern Illinois. While at the University of Oklahoma, Solberg met Ross and Eleanor Graves—whose father worked Wright’s land in Wisconsin—and it was Ross Graves who introduced Solberg to Wright’s organic style. When a doctor in Polo asked Solberg to design a house, the architect was given free range to design whatever he saw fit; this Usonian-style, three-bedroom, two-bath stunner was the result.

6. A post-and-beam jewel on Bainbridge Island

Post-and-beam home with glass walls tucks into side of mountain in forest. Photo via Sotheby’s International Realty

Designed in 1965 for Jack Christiansen, the pioneering engineer behind Seattle’s Kingdome roof and many other iconic buildings throughout the state, the post-and-beam waterfront residence appears to be virtually untouched and beautifully maintained over the years. The structure features an expansive deck propped on a concrete dais with a plethora of midcentury details—think glass and wood construction, Japanese-inspired beams, wood screens, and glazed expanses that frame stunning water and mountain views.

7. A renovated masterpiece in New York

Photo by Carlos Marques with Marcott Studios and courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence

Located in Armonk, New York, about 50 minutes north of the city, this four-bedroom, two-bath midcentury was built in 1957 by architect Arthur Witthoefft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The home is a 25-by-95 foot rectangle featuring a black exposed-steel frame, white glazed brick, and huge floor-to-ceiling glass sliders. It sits on a sloping site, surrounded by the forrest of Westchester County, and multi-year renovations overseen by Witthoefft in 2007 brought the home back to its glory days.

8. A stunning midcentury by a Wright apprentice in Memphis

Photo courtesy of Crye-Leike/Luxury Portfolio International®

This four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home was designed by E. Fay Jones in 1964 to respect and highlight the serene forest on the 1.27-acre property. A Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice with a lengthy career of his own, Jones made a name for himself building airy structures in forested areas, many in the Ozarks. It’s a masterclass in the Prairie style; an interior of cypress wood, Arkansas field stone, and flagstone floors is carefully balanced with giant floor-to-ceiling glass windows that provides views into the trees outside.

9. An Oregon A-frame midcentury home with a gorgeous atrium

Photo by Boone Brothers Media, courtesy of Marisa Swenson Modern Homes Portland - Living Room Realty

Built by prolific Portland builder Robert Rummer in 1969, the house boasts Rummer’s classic post-and-beam design with a soaring atrium. The high-pitched, double-gable design anchors a floor plan that wraps around the central atrium, resulting in rooms flooded with light. Giant skylights also create an airy ambiance, but the home feels cozy thanks to Rummer’s use of wood and paneling.

10. A Palm Springs pad perfect for indoor-outdoor living

Low, flat-roofed home with a facade made up of stone isosceles trapezoidal piers with mountains and palm trees surrounding. Photo by Patrick Ketchum via Zillow and HomeSmart

This groovy midcentury modern home located in the Twin Palms neighborhood of Palm Springs starts with an unforgettable facade of stone “isosceles trapezoidal piers” and aquamarine double doors and culminates in impressive outdoor spaces that include a pool and multiple patios.

11. An untouched time capsule in Georgia

Photo by Home Tour America, courtesy of Bedgood and Associates

Sitting on the top of a hill on a one acre lot about 45 minutes from Atlanta, this four-bedroom Eichler-inspired house maintains most of its original features. The large and open living room area boasts soaring tongue and groove ceilings with a massive crab orchard stacked stone fireplace. East facing clerestory windows and a glassed sunroom extends the length of the rear of the home to let in light, contrasting with the warm wood-paneled interiors.