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The Sputnik Has Landed

Ok I admit it, this is the fun part. Well, its actually all fun but once you get past walls and floors you get to put the small details that really bring your design together. I am proud to say that I haven’t bought any of the fixtures, plumbing or electrical, for our Mid-Century Modern renovation from the big box stores. With the exception of the tub and 2 Kohler toilets everything I researched and bought online. You can find great deals and usually get free shipping as well. At the end of the project I’ll do a list of where all the fixtures came from and how much they cost for future reference. You can see the brushed aluminum mid century hourglass shaped wall sconces in the kitchen, the 12″ white globe and of course the Sputnik pendant light. The kitchen cabinets are Abstrakt from Ikea, once the side panels and doors arrive these plain white boxes will transform into a futuristic flat panel high-gloss dark grey masterpiece. My new kitchen lay out is fabulous, it worked out to 24′ of linear counter top space plus a 7′ bar top and a stand up food pantry to boot. The sink wall itself is a 13′ straight shot of open counter.

Furthermore, the bedrooms received modern style brushed aluminum frosted glass closet doors. Not only do these tie into the frosted glass and aluminum outside but they are just plain cool. Accent lights inside the closet would have been keen but maybe we’ll do that on the next project. These doors were special order from Home Depot. I also got all the tile finished and set the Godmorgan high gloss grey floating vanities. On top I went with Kohler Vox square vessel sinks. I’ll do the Pure White Caesarstone counters that will contrast those dark cabinets well at the same time the kitchen counters get done.

One of the main features on my design to get the Mid-Century Modern look was this Amarr full view frosted glass and aluminum garage door. Cant you picture it softly lit up at night from inside the garage when you are having guests over? My electrician told me that it make the house look like a Ferrari should be parked in the garage. A very cool item for sure that I got a great hook up on from my neighbor who owns a garage door company. I also put a key pad outside so when you go bike riding or jogging you don’t have to bring your keys with you. You’ll notice that when we did the new stucco I added a 1″ wide horizontal aluminum channel that now ties in on the front of the garage.

The San Diego real estate market is hot right now. There’s virtually a shortage of good homes and all time low interest rates. You cant find a Mid Century Modern renovation anywhere like this for sale, so its safe to say I’m in a good position. Many home buyers will of course like the house but not even get the whole concept. The smaller, educated group who follow design trends and know how hot MCM is right now will certainly be willing to pay a premium for something like this already completely done. Stay tuned as we move into landscaping and more modern touches outside.

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  1. 15 Comment(s)

  2. By Halbert on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply


    The garage door and stucco/aluminum channel is particularly handsome. Looks like they were made for each other. Excellent!

  3. By Travis on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Tom, your work continues to impress! Keep it up. I can’t wait to see more. Thank you for sharing!

  4. By Tom on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks Halbert. That aluminum is just a fancy expansion joint. If you start keeping an eye out youll see them used a lot on new commercial buildings like schools. Any stucco supply house has them. They come in various widths too.

    Thanks Travis. I enjoy sharing and helping others find inspiration.

  5. By tj & the bear on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Pity, you might just have to accept a vastly higher price than you planned. 😉

  6. By Luis@wealthsteps on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Tom, once again it looks like you are hitting it out of the ballpark!

    I’m curious, who comes up with all the desing ideas/color matching/decorating stuff? Is this you or is there a womens touch in here somewhere?

    I ask because in my rehab projects I struggle with the “creative” side of things since I can barely pick something that matches when getting dressed ;-)…

  7. By Bruce May on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Gosh Tom, this project is coming out nicely. Really love all the selections you are making.

  8. By Don Corson on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    Tom,this is turning out fantastic. I was just at IKEA yesterday and impressed with some of the new kitchen styles and designs they have -I figured you go the IKEA route again. Its a good testament to their quality if they are solid enough to go into one of your projects.

  9. By Tom on Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Don, thanks for the comment. I’m not totally “pro Ikea” but with the lack of a better alternative I find using them convenient. They have good styles, keep up with trends and are the only flat panel modern choice that’s cost effective. There’s a 25-Year Warranty also now on their kitchens. For me its all about getting a look without spending top dollar.

  10. By Jay the Realtor wannabe on Mar 14, 2012 | Reply

    Looking great Tom! Love your sense of style.

  11. By tj & the bear on Mar 16, 2012 | Reply


    Okay, dude, we’re overdue for an update! 🙂

  12. By Tom on Mar 16, 2012 | Reply

    Ha Ha Tj! I promise this weekend. Landscaping and cool modern fence are in, laying sod today before the weekend storm that’s coming. All that’s left inside are counter tops, appliances, carpet install and touch ups. On track for March 30 listing!

  13. By Jude on Mar 16, 2012 | Reply

    Awesome work as usual Tom. I’m so over the little strip of mosaics…guilty of having it installed, though. That garage door is sooooo cool! Love the bathroom sinks and the closet doors. You’re going to have a line of buyers. Go Tom, Go!

  14. By Halbert on Mar 17, 2012 | Reply

    Tom! In desperate want of an update. Re Ikea kitchens. We’ve been living with ours for a year and they are great. Full extension drawers, self-closing Blum hardware. Lots to recommend them. Interesting to note that we splurged on an expensive German dishwasher which was repaired twice and then swapped out by the manufacturer. The dishwasher cost nearly as much as our entire Ikea kitchen cabinet/butcher block counter set-up! We’re shipping garage doors. Wonder if you have thoughts on what’s important to look for. Hope for some more pictures of your MCM this weekend!

  15. By Tom on Mar 18, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Halbert yea Ikea kitchens are ok, I’ve done a half dozen of them an in fact have a 10 year old set in my San Diego house personally and they have held up. The cool think is they keep up with trends quickly and people are really requesting them over better manufacturers lately because of marketing. A friend of ours had the sole contract for installation here in San Diego. He just lost the contract and they have now changes their whole kitchen program around. Ikea does project management and will install for you for $99 bucks per cabinet. They will even move walls and coordinate a full gut remodel for you. I guess they were seeing what that other guy was charging and figured they could offer more services and for less money. His prices for install were higher than the cost of the cabinets and he had people lining up and waiting for years.

    Tons of garage door manufacturers online. I would start by calling your local installers, they can order from anyone so they can tell you which manufacturers to pick from. Mine was an Amarr.

    @ Judy, thanks for the comments!

  16. By real estate investments on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply

    Great interiors..Awesome designs really nice finishing works tom..All the very best for your future projects…

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