Amazing Asian Themed Mid-Century Time Capsule in Iowa


Sure, it’s a great Asian themed mid-century home, but, it is also over the top! The dimensions are huge. The flag stone walls, the huge open rooms with those amazing ceilings. It is so over the top! I am saving the images here for posterity. The buyer may rip all this crap out and renovate the shit out of this amazing classic at 1228 17th St., West Des Moines, IA 50265.


Pulling up to the house gives you a good clue. The trim, the stones, and garage door.


The Japanese garden style yard with stones for the yard and mini-pagoda. And a turret on top?


Great details that show an attention to detail and to a guiding hand in the build.


Okay, we’re inside and starting to grasp the depth of this house décor. Those doors! The carpet, mirrored wall and of course the rock wall and statue are classic.


Sectional sofa, Phsssh! Ours has like 7 sections! The bar to the left is greta and it looks like matting on the ceiling, and well, it’s freaking curved in those recesses!


And they did a flagstone wall on the other side! And that giant art piece back there is crazy great. This whole room with the vaulted ceiling and exposed beams…


Of course there is a fireplace built into that wall! I’ll have a Dr. Funk please!


I can’t quite tell what the bar top is, but I am sure it is fantastic.


A red sink? Yes.



Not sure about this bedroom, or the red wagon…




And the other living room. I guess this one it the fancy one. And it is fancy!


So, let’s add a mirrored section to the ceiling. And make it curved…




And I want the theme in the kitchen with a red sink there too! And a red microwave.


How did this bathroom get in here?




Yes, and I want a black toilet on a dias… Great sconces.



Nice use of sea grass matting… Okay, we’re done here. Fantastic.


Mod Weekend in Fort Lauderdale March 15-17th

Mod Weekend 1

The event will be March 15 – 17th and is centered around the Modern design of the Fort Lauderdale area. One of the architects celebrated will be Charles McKirahan. Besides designing several Modern buildings in the area of the event near A1A, he also worked with Bob and Jack Thornton to design the modern primitive Mai-Kai in 1956.

As part of the activities there will be a double-decker bus tour of buildings and the first stop is the Mai-Kai. I will act as docent and lead a tour, highlighting the design elements and designers who left their imprint upon the place and the genre.

I hope you can join us!

Mod Weekend 2

Charles McKirahan – Fort Lauderdale Mid-Century Architect

If you are heading to Fort Lauderdale for Hukilau next week, you might want to take a little side trip as you drive to the Mai-Kai and see other places designed by Mid-Century master Charles McKirahan. McKirahan worked with the Thornton brothers to design the stunning A-frame of the the original Mai-Kai, and also has many surviving grand designs in the area. A couple of side turns as you go will give you the chance to see these great buildings.

Jolly Roger on A1A

As you can see (if you looked) if you turn in around Bayshore Drive before you get to Sunset, and just cruise around those streets, you’ll see lots of great mid-century places. This area was home to the first Hukilau in 2003, but we outgrew the Holiday Inn very quickly!

Some images by Agilitynut

History and preservation site to browse: HERE

Robert Daniel House by Fitzgibbon in Knoxville

We had the pleasure of visiting with the owners of the Robert Daniel house here in Knoxville. The house was designed and built by James Fitzgibbon in 1950. I won’t bore you too much with words. The house is incredible. The owners say they regulalrly find architects at their door dropping by to see Fitzgibbon’s master work. Often they are old friends of his.

The rock is all local from the Candora Marble company, which supplied a lot of what you seein Washington DC.

The lucite triangle coming out of the roof is where a tree used to grow.

Upper deck area that used to be a childrens play area.

Above to the left is where the master bedroom is.

Through the bookcase you can see the step down to a study. Bedroom above.

Looks out to a gardwn and fountain area.

Awesome 1966 home

Back side

With Ms. Swanky in realty, we get the occasional opportunity to see some fantastic homes we can only dream about. Last weekend, the company had a get together at just such a house.

It was built in 1965-66 by a doctor. The property is a bit out of the way, but the land was chosen for the incredible view. It sits on 33 acres, so, you won’t have to worry about neighbors crowding you ever.


From the outside it has a certain modern look, but also a mountain lodge feeling. Inside there are a good many remaining touches of 1966 that just made me swoon. The porcelain and tile in the bathrooms was still mostly original and just fantastic. This, by the way, is how you date it rather exactly. Under the toilet lid of older homes is the exact date of manufacture.


There was a vintage intercom system through out the house, as well as speakers that ran to a central location to attach to a stereo.
One bedroom had a pristine drop down ironing board. And there were these small “shelf” pieces around the fireplace.
A simply lovely house with incredible potential. Built to high standards in 1966. Available with 10 acres for $890,000, or all 33 acres for $1,200,000. If you are interested in buying, email me and I can get you a tour of the place.