Thursday, May 15, 2014

perfect (perfect) cliff may in long beach; 1954 never looked so good

Cliff May is considered the father of the post-war California Ranch home, and Long Beach, quite near where I live, has a substantial Cliff May housing tract. Just a day before its first open house, I got a little sneak peek of a really impressive Cliff May.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

They had me at the front door. Awesome coordinated light turquoise retro door with a Firesticks succulent in a matching pot.

There is so much to appreciate about this home - like everything. The layout, the architecture, the decor and the landscaping. I kind of went a little crazy taking pictures and have way too much. So be patient, and bear with me. There is a little something here for everyone.

Ta da! Isn't she pretty?

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

This is a Lanai model in the Ranchos in Long Beach. The word Lanai comes from Hawaii and means porch or veranda. To the right of the garage door is a covered outdoor room and entryway. My nice realtor friend says that it was an original option to create the Lanai entry or use this space as a second garage.

Now we are inside looking back to the front door. Can you see the little peek-a-boo strip of wood in the front door letting in daylight? Go back up to the photo immediately above. The peek-a-boo is hidden in the molding of the front door. So clever.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


The one-car garage was also converted to an office. Check out the bright cheery orange.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


View from inside the office, looking through the entryway Lanai, out to the pool. I bet whoever uses this office doesn't really mind "going to work."

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

We aren't even through the front door yet, and already I am in love with this house.

Here is the real front door.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

With it's real feng shui water feature neaby.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Upon entering the door we are immediately greeted with this perfect Cliff May home.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

And I have to pause here and tell you just how much I love the decor. It is kind of an urban hipster industrial mid-century mashup. Just a touch here and a touch there. It doesn't overwhelm you, but if you know what you are looking for, the owners have definitely pulled key elements in. Excuse me while I gush.

The light fixture(s).

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

You love them, don't you? They are made of clay.

The bar/buffet.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


And the beautiful water colors over it. I was told these are pictures of Cuba (if I am remembering correctly). Really charming and well done.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

The dining area is immediately adjacent to a PERFECT galley kitchen.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


The bar top is made with reclaimed wood. You may have already noticed the floor is the original concrete. You can see the original linoleum patterns on the concrete and the original cracks. Honestly, character is a good thing. I have a few cracks myself.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Another set of sexy light fixtures. See the repetition in threes? Clever.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

The galley kitchen is laid out with all the essentials and even a few luxuries including a Fisher and Paykel gas range and stove. I had never heard of this brand of appliance before. It is from New Zealand. I had no idea anything was manufactured in New Zealand except for maybe a few Hobbits.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

The cabinets are kind of a raspberry red color, made by Ikea. My photos are more red, but there was definitely a hint of pink. Really bold choice. And I don't mean that in a sneaky bad way.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

Finally, the counters are soapstone. I rarely spend so much time in kitchens. But I had to show you everything. This was outstanding.

Living room.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

First off I spotted the Noguchi coffee table. I am, at this point in my blogger travels, so amused by Noguchi coffee tables that I have tagged them in every home I spot them in. Eight to date.

More bold choices with the green paint on the fireplace. I LOVE IT. Well, I love that color of green, any day of the week. But I love the unexpected surprises with paint throughout this home. Not showy or bizarre, but just there. Happy.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

At this point I noticed the flowers and complimented the Realtor on the staging, in general. She informed me the house wasn't staged at all and that the homeowner's keep everything this nice all the time. Wow. Have I got a job for them to do at my place.

The owners are using a mid-century modern dresser in the living room. Very good.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


I have to show this clever arrangement. Normally, in all these home tours, I NEVER focus in on a personal picture. The Realtor thought the owners wouldn't mind in this case (let me know if you do). How cute is this? Candlestick holders with a picture of their nephew making the candlestick holders. So sweet. Honestly.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

Also in the living room for storage and as a bar cart -- is literally a Craftsman tool cart.  Coincidentally the red is just the same shade of the kitchen cabinets. Nice tie in.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

Let's get some bedroom action, shall we?

Bedroom #1 is a TV room.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Boring picture but I have to show this detail. Look at the glass around the closet on the interior wall. I am told this is a Cliff May feature bringing light into darker rooms from other rooms with better light. The glass between the bedrooms is mistlite obscure glass. It is fairly private. Unless you are standing within a few inches of it, you would not see any great detail from other other side. At the top of the wall and the bottom of the beam, it is a great idea for sure to let light in between rooms.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

Bedroom #2 is a true guest. Look at that light.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


And lights tucked behind the beams. So bright. The wood panel behind the dresser is not original (I am told) and was likely repurposed from some other part of the house.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

And the guest bath. Clean fixtures. Didn't try to dress it up too much. A small 1950s bathroom pretty much is what it is.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

Now, let's journey to the side yards. This patio set sits in front of a double gate to the next door neighbor's house. It looks to be original.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

Look at the charming cafe lights and (green) cafe set.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

Yet a third cafe set. These people are ready for cocktail parties. I can totally tell.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

And an herb garden! Strawberries growing on the left. Right on.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

The landscaping is primarily succulents. And, everything was neatly pruned and very tidy. We have a succulent yard as well. It is surprising  how fast it can get out of hand.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Now, the master! Yay! I love a cool narrow painting over a bed. You see these consistent splashes of turquoise throughout the home (remember the front, front door). The painting is actually embroidered fabric mounted over a frame upon closer inspection. My husband is anti-picture-over-bed due to earthquakephobia. But, how could he object to this?

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Cool hatrack.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Another mid-century modern dresser with treasures. I love the windows in this home. ALL original. Somebody took really good care of this little beauty.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Check out the door to the master bath. Trendy barn door. Our architect tried to talk us into this on our master bathroom door. I was kind of like, why? The pop of orange looks wonderful here and the rustic hardware ups the cool factor.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Master bath is functional and a bit designed. I like it!

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


What an attractive display, and a great way to deal with an awkwardly placed light switch. I was looking all over this bathroom for the light switch in order to brighten up the pictures. Here it is! Hiding in plain sight.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


More clever industrial storage.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Look at the view the master has of the pool. My oh my. The life.


Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

The pool has the tropical vibe very familiar in Southern California. Beautiful windows.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

View back to the master. The master forms an "L" shaped courtyard.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

Entertainment corner.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


It's an Anthony Pool with the original label. Anthony was a big pool builder back in the day (a little history of the California swimming pool).

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

And another perfect vignette with the requisite touch of turquoise.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Oh my dear. I love this house. Ridiculously perfect.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


Back we go down the hall, with original mistlite glass panels on the left.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen


And out the front door. With the perfect bamboo piled in the corner with the perfect touch of orange.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

See you my fair princess. You'll go to someone who will love and cherish your original touches, as much as all the owners who have gone before you.

Cliff May, Rancho, Long Beach, 3120 Karen

Or else.

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8 comments:

  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I went and looked at the listing photos you linked to as well. What a lot of outdoor living space with an apparent sense of privacy on a modest sized lot!
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Isn't it wonderful... the one listing photo at night is fantastic. And I totally agree, the lot is a fairly modest size but the home and the yard go on forever seemingly.

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  2. What a great house! The owners have a real sense of style, and there are so many things to love! They had me at the Firesticks too! :)

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    1. Man I love a good succulent. Is that so wrong?

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  3. I like how they mixed mid century & industrial. It comes together well, and I just loved it all.
    Thanks for sharing that major eye candy.

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    1. Does it just look smashing!!! And always nice to see you Brooke.

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  4. Hi Rebecca, I'm new to your blog and really enjoying it. Im always looking for new inspiration to finish (a concept) the gut/remodel of our Denver 1955 (eichler inspired) Krisana Park home. I'm going to the Dwell on Design conference in June and hope to be even more inspired upon my return. Keep up the great work of sharing.. Your fans really appreciate your efforts. Maybe I'll bump into you at Dwell :) Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy! Thank you so much, that really means a lot to me! You could easily bump into me at Dwell. Look for the gal taking pictures of everything...

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