Mid Century Modern Reading List

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As we embark upon this restoration adventure, I have found a few volumes which offer both inspiration and guidance for our Atomic Ranch projects. These are some of our favorites!

Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes

Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch HOmes
Michelle Gringeri-Brown | Photographs: Jim Brown

Perusing each page, I have been particularly inspired by the universal use of materials regardless of location -- cement block, stone, raw wood, glass -- all used in similar, simple ways that reflect the optimism and forward-thinking of Atomic Ranch architecture. Michelle Gringeri-Brown and Jim Brown present a beautiful and informative book including chapters on landscaping and decor as well as gorgeous homes from across the country. The book features both homes that have been preserved as well as those that have been updated in appropriate ways. The author and photographer publish a quarterly magazine, Atomic Ranch, devoted to midcentury homes, and their passion for the style and period emanates from each page. 

 
Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury

Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury

Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury
Larry Millett | Photographs: Denes Saari & Maria F. Saari

This volume is a historic survey of homes, churches, office buildings, and shopping centers, but the photographs of many of Minnesota's landmark midcentury buildings make for inspiring touchstones for our project. When setting out to change a building, it is important to know where it came from, and what it might have looked like originally. That isn't to say that it needs to be restored. Far from it. Homes are living, breathing places that evolve over time as life evolves. But for a renovation to be successful and to feel right within a home, it is necessary to fit the new plan within the historical context -- or it will never be right. So a book like this -- and this one is excellent -- gives us great roots as we move forward bit by bit. Added bonus: we love Minnesota, so it is a bit of a trip down memory lane! 

 
The Midcentury Modern Landscape

The Midcentury Modern Landscape

The Midcentury Modern Landscape
By Ethne Clarke

Our house is completely devoid of landscaping -- a big, blank slate of weeds, frankly. So as we set out to create some curb appeal, we want the yard to feel era-appropriate for the house, too. An English country garden just won't work here. Clarke's beautiful book is packed with photographs from Palm Springs to Chicago, Paris to Denmark and beyond. And while she features gardens from historic masterpieces, she also explicitly writes, "Make it Midcentury, but make it yours" -- a permission-giving which can be rare in midcentury circles. With chapters on shade structures, bold design, as well as historical touchstones, this isn't a book that will plan your garden, but it may inspire you to look at your garden through a midcentury lens.