Our practical dream house: Practical in the sense of low maintenance. Dreamy in the way it realizes the family’s hopes.

What a house costs to build or buy is only the beginning. The real cost comes after. The long-term upkeep price you pay in terms of cash, care and inconvenience is what counts. It affects the fun you have with your home. It affects the worth of the house when its money-worth is most wanted.

The clients for whom this house was designed knew these things. Into the dreaminess of this small house were designed the longest life, the leastest [sic] care, the lowest upkeep a house can have. The money that went into the walls, roof, windows, walk-around is almost the last money that will ever have to go into them.

The highest degree of practicality has largely eliminated the nightmare of upkeep, care and maintenance to complement the beauty of the interior finishes, fabrics and flooring. There are tough, long-lasting exterior finishes on termite-resistant redwood siding, aluminum frames, and terne metal roof. This roof will last a lifetime: its turquoise acrylic emulsion paint will need restoring about every fifteen years.

 

The easy-care living room

The living room purposely gives an airy, pastel feeling with its tray ceiling, tall lamps, curtains hung high against the pale sea-green walls. But everywhere lurks practicality to make this house and its furniture easy to take care of. The linen curtains have been made in panels that snap together and the fabric preshrunk, so they can be kept in. their pristine white state with little trouble. The sofa is slip-covered in a cotton print that has been treated for soil and stain resistance, as have other materials (ottoman covering. pink chair seat, turquoise upholstery).

The linen curtains have been made in panels that snap together and the fabric preshrunk, so they can be kept in. their pristine white state with little trouble. The sofa is slip-covered in a cotton print that has been treated for soil and stain resistance, as have other materials (ottoman covering. pink chair seat, turquoise upholstery).

Some other “easy” features: a coffee table with milk-glass top; stained-oak floor in herringbone design; ottoman on casters for extra, movable seating. Antique Japanese pine chest provides storage as well as interest and beauty.

The furniture is small in scale for a small room, thereby making it seem larger, uncrowded. All-wool rug with minuscule blue-and-white pattern shows wear and soil with reluctance and is mothproof for life. The sliding door of translucent plastic closes off the dining room to make the living room more cozy in winter or to shut out clearing activities.

Vintage living room style

 

The practical dining room

The dining room (below) is small, but oh, so practical. Tile flooring is just about the easiest to care for; this continues out on to covered porch — at left behind the bamboo curtains. The blue-and-green wallpaper has been given a finish that resists spots and dirt and can be washed.

A simple buffet has linen- and flatware-storage trays and space for serving pieces. The table seats six in comfort when it is turned lengthwise, and for larger groups, the porch and living room are but a step away.

Mid-century modern dining room

 

The practical kitchen

Practical kitchen, 13’x12′, has a master storage plan for keeping supplies where they are used. Wide cabinets under coo/(top hold pans; cupboards near dishwasher have everyday dishes; ventilated drawer beside sink is for potatoes and onions, and sliding shelves near refrigerator hold hotels and baking pans.

To the right of the sink is a salad-mixing center where sliding-door cabinets (shallow and hung reachably low) hold within arm’s reach spices and small utensils. The slim-lined refrigerator has a zero-temperature section below for frozen food.

Retro green kitchen

Vintage kitchen plan and design

 

Practical planning makes the dream house come true day and night

Branches of a dogwood tree overhang this shady retreat at the front of the house.At far left in the picture is the garage, linked to the house in a covered breezeway; in the center is the sheltered entrance. Long, low bench in

At far left in the picture is the garage, linked to the house in a covered breezeway; in the center is the sheltered entrance. Long, low bench in foreground is of sturdy, all-weather redwood, decked out in bright blue sailcloth cushions.

The house stands on a level plateau created by the excavation from the basement, held in by a low stone wall laid up dry, and paved right up to the house with a wall around of concrete poured into squares of redwood dividers. Pleasant to look at, easy to live with, costless to keep up.

Trees are dogwoods that like to be let alone. Shrubs are Japanese hollies, azaleas and rhododendron, which, planted properly, can then pretty well fend for themselves. The little pool is a practical piece of pure delight.

By night, the little-sheltered porch, seen across the reflecting pool, is a cozy, welcoming adjunct to dining room (at right, through sliding doors). It has its own raised fireplace for barbecues or for warming cheer. During the day, wide eaves give protection from too much sun; bugs are kept at bay by inconspicuous roll-up screens which can be left on all year round. Frostproof tile paving needs a minimum of care. The same can be said for rattan and cane chairs and stools.

Gardens and home exterior

Beautiful reflecting pool

 

All through the house, more easy-care ideas

Vintage home additions

Mid-century house features and decor


About this story

Source publication: Better Homes

Source publication date: 1960

Filed under: 1960s, Home & garden, Magazines, Photos & photography

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