1. The artful use of mosaic tile in kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces, etc. is still a fun and creative way to bring color and a geographic element to a space.
2. Terrazzo floors were once an economical way to combine form with function as the smooth cool surface was ideal for hot Florida summers yet flecks of color and sparkle could be added to the homeowners taste. Now that we have central heat and air conditioning the heat retention in our flooring surfaces is far less an issue. For those wanting to now install this once economic flooring option, you must be willing to pay a craftsman for the very expensive custom treatment.
3. Asymmetrical vaulted ceilings also allowed for heat to rise away from the living areas of a home while offering interest in the front elevation. Often, the lower end of the roofline was over the car storage areas where allowing heat to escape was less vital than in the living areas of the home.
4. Off center front doors with sidelights also gave a simple ranch design some interest and offered an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the interior of a well designed home.
5. One of my favorite mid-century design elements is the carport. We now live in a time when the coveted garage door is used to conceal endless purchases and recreational toys, however the carport of the mid century home was meant to frame your most prized possession. As cars evolved into powerful machines that made travel accessible and their owner the envy of the block, it was the carport that protected the prize without hiding it away.
And of course the list goes on, but these are my top 5. There are many interior finishings and fittings, amenities and features that I also love (who doesn’t love an enamel fireplace?) and certainly, there were some revolutionary outdoor spaces that are hard to find without some form of bastardization. I hope to visit those topics soon, but first I must scour the city in search of my favorite pools in Orlando. After all, it is August in Florida.