LA, you’ve stolen our hearts.
Your warm climate, unrivalled sunsets (think magical pastel-coloured dreaminess all around), postcard-worthy palm-lined boulevards, magnetic views of rugged mountain topography, Pacific Ocean views by the millions. We can’t get enough.
But let’s not forget about the architecture… This is the Plum Guide after all.
Mid-century modern is a particular favourite of ours: it epitomises Southern California living like nothing else. The seamless indoor/outdoor living, the casual glamour tucked away in especially scenic surroundings, the glass-heavy spectacles floating above the rugged mountain topography offering life-altering jetliner views of LA. Heaven!
While you might think this kind of architecture is reserved for the ultra-rich, think again. It’s not (not exclusively, anyway). Many mid-century modern homes were actually created for ordinary people – after all, that’s what the post-war Case Study House Program was about.
If this sounds exciting to you, let’s go on a trip. We’ll be taking you from the breezy streets of Altadena, all the way to the Hollywood Hills to experience its alluring, myth-making oeuvre (don’t be frightened if your neighbour turns out to be a celebrity). Stay tuned to see some truly spectacular properties (all of which could be yours for the night). If you make it all the way to the bottom, you’ll even get the chance to familiarise yourself with the pièce de rèsistance of our mid-century modern collection: a home designed by none other than Mr. Mid-Century Modern himself, Richard Neutra.
Views From AboveThis home’s views look like they’re straight from a postcard. Call us obsessed, but the outdoor set-up is pretty phenomenal (those LA vistas just never cease to excite us). But we are also loving the interiors, naturally. A contemporary take on classic mid-century modern style, it’s funky and playfully understated. This home is calling your name, can you hear it?
The ElevadoThe Elevado is another home that design lovers will love. But our favourite thing in this 1959 home, you ask? The pool. We’re not going to sugarcoat it: it’s pretty magnetic. As glistening as a pair of sparkling ocean blue eyes, it’s a swim you’re not going to want to miss out on. Check it out now. Before it’s gone.
The Harrington ArmsCan you handle some serious cactus action? A picture-perfect pool? A stainless steel kitchen that’s out of this world? Well, then you’ve come to the right place. Completed in 1947, The Harrington Arms is part of a tract of twenty-eight houses, all designed by architect Gregory Ain, with the landscaping completed by Garrett Eckbo. As part of the Park Planned Homes in Altadena (a heritage site), this home is rich in history. Ain was influenced by Richard Neutra (who he also worked for from 1930 to 1935), with a vision to bring elements of modern architecture to the masses. Throughout his career, he designed several housing tracts, all of which were illustrations of mid-century modern. We won’t have time for the full history today, but if you want to learn more, we spotted a couple of books on Ain in the home – so if you end up staying here, it’ll be a relaxing and enriching experience.
Floating in Mid-AirA classic mid-century modern home in every sense, this place sets the scene for good times (yes, multiple ones). The interiors are modern with nods to its past – Eames chairs paired with a George Nelson lamp is a golden combo that never goes out of style.
Cosy on MulhollandCosy on Mulholland is located just off LA’s most iconic stretch, Mulholland Drive (watch out for the windy climbs). With unbeatable views of the valley (one word: sunsets), and a funky, almost-bohemian style, the owners have added their personal touch to the classic structure. This home is for everyone who wishes to explore mid-century modern on the bright side of life.
Villa SucculentVilla Succulent feels very special. It has absolutely outstanding views of the Los Angeles Basin (mountains and downtown, the whole shebang). The outside is nice, but so is the inside (you know we love a good George Nelson lamp). Our recommendation: split your time equally between the two, we wouldn’t want one of them to get jealous.
The OutpostWe definitely aren’t afraid of colour – and neither is The Outpost. With its vibrant 1960s vibes, it’s the kind of home that puts you in a good mood instantly. Oh, and let’s not forget about the elegant brise soleil paired with the saturated, zesty shade of the orange door – it takes us directly to Palm Springs!
A Sign is BornWe can’t mention LA without also mentioning A Sign is Born. Just like the Oscar-nominated film that inspired its name, this is one of our favourite homes that landed on our site last year. Dating back to 1958, it’s the brainchild of Japanese-American architect/genius, Kazumi Adachi. We’d have to take up a lot more of your time to list all the things we love about this home… Let’s just start with numero uno: the views of the Hollywood Sign. That usually does the trick.
The Egg ShellThe Egg Shell takes us back to 1954. In flawless fashion, it lets you spend as much time indoors as it does outdoors – just look at that infinity pool. What more could you want?
Colour and FormWhile Colour and Form’s 1961 shell is a testament to its mid-century modern heritage, the interiors have gotten a contemporary lift. Let’s tell you something: we don’t hate it. In fact, we love it.
The Lew HouseIf we had to compare The Lew House to a person, it would be that cool kid at school: the one with the cool clothes, cool shoes, and cool hair. Designed by Richard Neutra himself (the father of mid-century modern – for all of you who didn’t know), it’s pretty rare that you get the opportunity to stay in a home of this calibre. So, if you’re looking for the complete mid-century modern experience, this is it.