Mid-Century Roadtrip

Modern Phoenix announced their Mid-Century Modern (MCM) home tour tickets were going on sale, so I was ready.

I’ve wanted to attend for years. The day they went on sale at 8 am, I waited until 9. I got onto the 2nd tour, departing an hour later than the already-sold out 1st tour. All tickets sold out before 11 am.

You might see why I recommend going in 2019; outsides to insides were thought-out.

All houses on tour were built or designed in 1959, except where noted.


#1 The Buena Terror


Arizona designs often feature garden walls or low walls, combined with sculptural accent plants. This house’s 1/3 pivot front door and salvaged sofa make a hit.


Windows and long wall frames help add light to an interior room, plus texture on the wall. I can’t help but think of Donald Judd’s wall-mounted art in Marfa.



#2 The Beck Residence


This method to lay concrete block looks great, but I only see it used in Arizona.


Even a hip infant nursery with its own patio. Their outdoor furnishings are key to adding interest and life.


Vintage stereo equipment…


She was in the right place for this shot.



I’ve interspersed some houses with some of Phoenix’ signs that state weather warnings, if you dare visit in the summer! This type of thing is all over their open spaces.

A Phoenix summer is as intense as a Minnesota winter.



#3 Bellamak Residence


My photos don’t do justice to this very edgy, yet serene and comfortable house.  Plus interior shots were not allowed; just know those were stunning yet welcoming, using very polished surfaces and forms. And zero clutter.

As if in Phoenix, one would even care about being indoors from November to April…

Colorful cruiser-style bikes galore


Sunny Camelback from a shady entry


I could hang out for hours at their fireplace or by their pool.



#4 Mucha Casa


I’ve always admired the use of low walls in Arizona landscapes, as opposed to courtyards that open to gravelscapes or wide-open spaces with no bones. They provide scale but don’t block beauty.



#5 Gordon Rogers Home and Studio


More bikes and more great garden spaces. This is a home tour?


I enjoyed his studio being open, to see all the sketches and plans in progress.


I finally had to let go of a client whose front space was so stunning over this. Let strong plantings be the border; using an edge is usually more clutter than good.



This must be the winter sign. 85-95F in their summer is about 2-8 am.




I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Rolls Royce convertible at the trailheads I frequent, but I’ve never mountain biked or hiked near Paradise Valley. That day was paradise.




#6 The Evertson House


This vignette again shows how inexpensive simplicity rules: the wall with corner insets, aggregate paving bands in the concrete, and the sloping roof line. The blue car and view don’t hurt!

This is a Ralph Haver design.


Positive affirmations for wall art is a matter of expression, but everything else most would agree on. #justsayin In and out.



#7 Kucharo’s Xanadu


Yet another classic car, strategically placed. But this inexpensive common CMU block wall, designed uncommonly…

This was the only house not built in 1959 on this tour…it was built in 1962.


And another excellent CMU wall, and another, and …


Buying a new house has me admiring bathrooms that work, by simply adding the right touch.


It turns out, this modern home tour, where we could photograph almost everything, had so much quality garden design. That’s compared to a number of gardens I saw on an actual garden tour a couple weeks later, where we could not take photographs anywhere.

I have no plans to return to that garden tour, though I will probably post one of their past garden tours from 6 years ago, with excellent design and where photos were allowed.

I will plan to return to a future MCM home tour, however!