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Showing posts from July, 2011

Summer Reading

It is Summer, so hopefully you have some time off where you can sit back and relax poolside or on the beach with a good book!


If you are into MCM design and love to read (like me!), then here is list of suggested reading. I have read all of these books and thoroughly enjoyed them all. And, if your time by the pool or on the beach is rained out, most of these books have been made into movies.


The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, by Sloan Wilson, 1955. The book offers insight into the postwar American Dream and the burgeoning material culture of the 1950s. 

It was also made into a movie in 1956 starring Gregory Peck. The movie is just as good as the book.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, 1961. Perhaps not the most positive view of the suburbs on the 1960s - but certainly captures the time period.

In 2008, it was made into a movie. While the movie does differ from the book, it is successful in capturing the essence of the time and the intention of the author.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, 1943.

Understated Luxury

Today, when one thinks of a luxury house, often an extremely large and imposing structure comes to mind. Usually this house is clad in expensive stone and designed to look castle-like. The opulence of the house is made very apparent from its exterior.

Rothwell Heights
Near Island Park
Faircrest Heights. Notice the small bungalow next door.
Rockcliffe Park
In the mid-century, luxury homes were more subdued, and often just larger versions of the same tract houses found elsewhere in the city. Luxurious bungalows were often just larger and more sprawling than the typical suburban house. Side-splits looked near identical to smaller versions, only differing in size.

  Island Park Drive
Bel-Air Heights
Arlington Woods
Arlington Woods
Drive down any street in Faircrest Heights, and you will see excellent examples of the understated facades of MCM luxury houses.
This house was for sale earlier this year, and is actually quite large.
This large bungalow is currently for sale through my brokerage.
This very …

CMHC house designs from the mid-century

Between 1947 and 1974 the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), formerly Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, published regular floor plan books of small houses suitable to be built in Canada. Blueprints could be ordered for the architect-designed plans, and examples of the built houses can be found throughout Ottawa.

There are so many interesting plans that were available through the CMHC, so this is only the first posting with some of my favourites.
If you recognise any of these designs that have been built in Ottawa (or elsewhere in Canada), please feel free to share the location with me!
I have always been a fan of the butterfly roof!


Although there are no front facing windows on the above design, the cedar shake cladding makes for a very interesting facade. The architect was based out of Kanata, and I could easily see this house fitting into the natural landscape of Beaverbrook - although I don't think it was actually built there.
 The central atrium hints at the E…