Monday, January 21, 2013

Shawna Buckles: Midcentury Minimalist; La Mesa, CA

Name: Shawna Buckles (& family)
Location: La Mesa, CA
Lived in: 5 months

What was your inspiration for your house design? After viewing various Mid-Century modern homes throughout the Mount Helix and La Mesa areas during our home search last year we were definitely inspired to purchase a home from that era. As lifelong vintage collectors and being that we have always liked the Mid-Century architectural style we basically let the original design intent of the house inspire the interior decor of the home. The house has many original features still in-tact such as the bathroom tile in the master, a 50's brass pull down lamp and a wrap-around fireplace that helped dictate which direction the design would go in lieu of a complete gut & remodel.

What do you think makes your house stands out in the neighborhood?  The asymmetrical lines the builder used throughout the home gives the house a lot of character; the oversized picture window in the living room is definitely a stand-out and the way the home is situated on top of the hill really drew us in when we were shopping for a home. The exterior built in planter box that runs the length of the house also gives the home a touch of Mid-Century Modern curb appeal. Since moving in last August, we have added a large Nelson Bubble Lamp in the dining area and a built in interior planter box containing Mother-In-Law tongue (a popular 50's style house plant) which is visible from the front of the house. We are in the planning stages of putting in a Crestview door which will accentuate the rectangular shaped windows that line the south side of the house and give it more of the "Atomic Ranch" style we are aiming for.

What is your favorite piece in your house? The built in mahogany window wall feature.  Why? We were able to reclaim this built in piece from a very special Mid-Century Modern home designed by famous San Diego Architect C.J. Paderewski. The current owner of the home was not really "into" the piece and we were fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time as he was gutting all the original mahogany built-in's. We happened to have the perfect spot for the mahogany window wall next to the fireplace and now we have a part of San Diego's Mid-Century Architectural history in our home that we absolutely love.

Whom has been some of your biggest influences? Our biggest interior design influence would have to come from the Chapman Residence on Mt. Helix. During our home search we stumbled upon the Chapman home which had just come on the market after many, many years. According to the research we found on-line, the Chapman's built and designed the home themselves in the late 50's using many of the arts & crafts design elements of the time. Most all of the furniture and art being home crafted themselves which we found fascinating. After seeing the pictures of the Chapman residence in the 50's we immediately knew this was the direction we wanted to go for the main living room area of the home.

In the future, what is your next home project? And what you would you like to do with it? The next major home project (s) will be the main guest bathroom and the kitchen. We are still in the research and design stages for these projects but will definitely be taking it back to period correct Mid-Century design.