Designer Jessica Luque updated the classic midcentury modern style with color, clean lines and some clever nods to the traditional.
“It’s supposed to be a timeless style that is always modern, so updating it doesn’t diminish its impact,” Luque says.
An investor bought the 1956 house, in the older section of the Randolph Robertson neighborhood, and hired Luque to do the flip. She was given a blank canvas to work with.
“You don’t get that opportunity very often. When we first walked in there wasn’t a whole lot there, but the floor plan was there,” Luque remembers.
It was just your basic house and I wanted to push the limits.
Designer Jessica Luque
She started by tearing everything out, including a divider wall that formed one side of the U-shape of the kitchen and kept the space hemmed in.
Back in the day, when moms did most of the cooking, women spent a lot of time with their backs to the world, Luque says. Her design turns that idea around and offers the home chef a view that goes all the way to the end of the backyard.
That speaks to one of the markers of midcentury design — to bring the feel of the outdoors inside.
Luque also spiffed up the breakfast nook with bench seating.
Luque grew up on Vancouver Island in Canada. She came to Idaho to study art and design at Ricks College (now BYU Idaho) in Rexburg, where she met the man who now is her husband. In college, she fell in love with all things midcentury, and over the years began to focus on it more, until she opened her own company that specializes in the style.
For this project, she took her inspiration from American architect Joseph Eichler, one of the pioneers of the midcentury movement on the West Coast, and the California company Kerf Design that also reinvisions Eichler’s styles.
“They’re pretty expensive, but I just love them,” she says. So she collaborated with Boise custom cabinetmaker Shayne Thueson of Nystrom Goods to create a similar look on all the cabinetry throughout the house.
The top kitchen cabinets really harken to Eichler’s aesthetic of “Mondrian”-style laminate cabinets, with colors associated with the era – avocado green, yellow and sky blue.
It’s supposed to be a timeless style that is always modern, so updating it doesn’t diminish its impact.
Designer Jessica Luque
They’re made out of a high-quality plywood that has Baltic birch inside and walnut veneer on the outside. The sides remain unfinished and show the different-colored layers of wood. A neat twist is that they feature a finger pull instead of a knob.
These little touches really made the house unique, and it became an online star while it was on the market, said Realtor T.J. Pierce, of Mid-century Homes, who listed the property. It received five offers and recently sold.