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1950s, Midcentury modern, USA

Calvin Straub midcentury modern house in Pasadena, California

Calvin Straub midcentury modern house in Pasadena, California
Calvin Straub midcentury modern house in Pasadena, California

Dating back to the 1950s, this Calvin Straub midcentury modern house in Pasadena, California is pretty much the dream if you love that era.


That is likely to be down to a renovation rather than this place being some kind of preserved period pice. A very detailed renovation that introduces some modern elements, but never strays too far from its 1950s origins.

In fact, this house was designed back in 1957, the work of Calvin Straub around the same time as the partnership of Buff, Straub, and Hensman was formed.

I have no idea of just how many people have lived in this once since, but I do know that the current owner has done an amazing job bringing the house back to its best. In fact, it even warranted a feature in Dwell Magazine in the not-so-recent past.

It is very much a ‘magazine’ house, with everything ‘just so’ with this one, from the carefully painted exterior in 1950s shades through to the modern kitchen that works perfectly in its midcentury surroundings.

Much more to appreciate too. The architecture itself, which works with its surroundings, nestling into the greenery and almost becoming part of it, As I said, immaculately finished too. The paint, the driveway and the landscaping for example. That’s before you get to the details, such as the terrace, the brickwork and the exposed beams.

Once inside you get more of those beams, as well as a similar colour scheme and the kind of flow you expect of the better midcentury modern designs. Love that understated fireplace in the exposed brick wall too, as well as the partition walls and cork flooring.

It isn’t exactly as the architect left it I’m sure, but the bulk of it is and any upgrades really do sit well within this 1950s house. Well enough not to notice at first glance and most done out of practicality for modern-day family living.

Worth mentioning the windows too, many full-height and offering some lovely views of the manicured outside space. In fact, some sliding glazing too, taking you out onto the balcony and into the entertaining area.

You get 2,090 sq. ft. of living space, which includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms, some of the former with that outside access and all with large swathes of glazing. The bathrooms look updated, but like everything else here, still sit well in this period design.

Beyond that is the reception, which is open and incorporates the upgraded kitchen and its modern-era appliances. Yes, this is a vintage home that doesn’t compromise modern-day comforts.

A garage space outside, but not a huge amount of garden. Saying that the owner (or architect) has been clever with space, with decking attached to the house, a separate decking area away from the house and some well-manicured entertaining space in-between. The outside space has been given the same level of attention as the inside, which isn’t always the case.

Fancy it? If you do, the asking price is $1,998,888.

Images and details courtesy of Zillow. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website

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