Mid Century Green Tiki Kitchen and Dining Room with
Instead of a complete overhaul, the kitchen remodel to emphasize what was already there. “We simply swapped out the hardware, added new countertops, appliances and a backsplash. Adding the tikis and Nelson bubble lamp tied it all together,” homeowner Rob explains.The Starburst Franciscan Ware that initially sparked Rob’s mid century passion was eventually given to him by his parents as a housewarming present, and is now displayed in his dining area.

Tucked safely in a cardboard box and wrapped in newspaper pages from the 1950s, a piece of Franciscan Ware donning the now iconic “Starburst” or “Sputnik” pattern kicked off a deep-seeded love of all things Mid Century Modern. Rob Baker opened that box from his grandparents’ house and made his fateful discovery in elementary school.

Now the owner of a mid century home and the creator behind Modern Mailbox, his passion for the design movement has yet to wane.

Carlo of Hollywood watercolor acts as the conversation piece for those gathered around the Richard Schultz Petal Table.
With its iconic angular framing, this Carlo of Hollywood watercolor acts as the conversation piece for those gathered around the Richard Schultz Petal Table in the dining area. The chartreuse color appears as a motif throughout the home, tying each space together with the next.
Mod green and white kitchen with black floors
Pre-existing cabinets are given a mod update thanks to pure white Corian countertops and a bright dimensional tile backsplash from Heath Ceramics. Sleek metal pulls finish the space. Unlike the rest of the home, the kitchen features a Marmoleum floor.

Searching for Modern

Fast-forward to 2013, and the mid century style Rob and his wife, Carrie Quinney, love so much just wasn’t shining through in their traditional 1950’s brick home in Boise, Idaho—despite their best efforts.

Mid Century Modern Tiki Collection
Tiki mugs collected from all over sit with vintage radios—Rob’s favorite being a black mug from Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas.

With a baby on the way, the couple also wanted more space for their growing family. “We really tried to make that [the previous house] into something it wasn’t,” Rob explains. Wanting a truly modern home, the couple searched and searched only to end up in multiple unsuccessful bidding wars.

Mid Century Modern Living Room with authentic mid century furnishings
The carefully curated living room features a dreamy collection of furnishings from Adrian Pearsall and George Nelson, all accented by a Mark Weinstein metal sculpture. The original oak floors were stained in a dark walnut tone to mimic the ceiling.
A bright red George Nelson Marshmallow Sofa is undoutedly the star of the show—perfectly accented by the vintage side table that does triple duty as a magazine rack and lamp.
A bright red George Nelson Marshmallow Sofa is undoubtedly the star of the show—perfectly accented by the vintage side table that does triple duty as a magazine storage rack and lamp. Behind is a Hip Haven Bullet Planter.
Mid Century Modern white painted brick fireplace
The floating edge fireplace design was perhaps influenced by Richard Neutra, architect of the nearby Mountain Home Air Force Base. While the fireplace is an original feature, the brick was painted by a previous owner.

While searching online, Rob and Carrie stumbled upon a 1953 home with plenty of promise. In what proved to be a whirlwind process, the couple somehow managed to tour the house within an hour, fell in love with the property and made an offer after only a few minutes—an offer which was accepted later that day.

Origianl Philco Predicta Mid Century television
Finding his first original Philco Predicta television at a local antiques shop lead to Rob finding two more from another location later that afternoon—increasing his Philco collection from 0 to 3 of these retro beauties in a single day.
A George Nelson bench and Curtis Jere bird sculpture give guests a midcentury greeting at the entryway of the house.
A George Nelson bench and Curtis Jere bird sculpture give guests a mid century greeting at the entryway of the house. This first impression sets the tone for the collection of thoughtfully curated furnishings further inside.

Unexpected Fixes

“When we had our inspection done prior to purchasing, the AC unit was on its last leg,” says Rob. While they thought it might last at least a few months longer, the AC unit died only three days later. Having already set their sights on refinishing the original oak floors with a dark walnut stain to match the ceilings, Rob and Carrie completed both tasks within the first week. “A pretty big expense before even moving in,” Rob admits.

Mid Century Modern family room with painted wall and authentic mid century furnishings
Referred to as “T.P.T.B” (the place to be) by Rob and Carrie, a George Nelson Coconut Chair and an Eames Lounge Chair sit in front of a mural Rob painted, which was inspired by the work of artist Shag.

Aesthetic Continuity

While the architect of the house is unknown, Rob and Carrie have come to find that the rec room addition from the 1950s was completed by Bob Vincent, a local general contractor whose wife lives down the street. The addition wasn’t his only work on the house, as he also converted the home’s original carport into a garage. “[It’s a] single car garage and ties in so beautifully,” says Rob.

Mid Century Eames Lounge Chair with Joan Miro artwork
An original Joan Miro painting hangs above the iconic Eames Lounge chair. One of Rob’s designs, the wooden light switch cover transforms a simple everyday object into a focal point.
Set beside a vintage record player passed down from Carrie’s grandmother, a Bertoia Bird Lounge chair
Set beside a vintage record player passed down from Carrie’s grandmother, a Bertoia Bird Lounge chair makes for an ideal spot for relaxing with vinyl.
Mid Century Modern family room with authentic mid century furnishings
The rec room, added in the 1950s, originally had two French doors where there are now three large windows. A cedar tongue and groove ceiling was added to mimic the entryway and dining area.

Read More: Tips For Finding and Collecting Vintage Mid Century Furnishings

About six months after moving in, the two French doors on the rec room were changed to a three-window wall. “We ripped the wall apart and reframed it to look period-correct,” Rob explains. The frequently used front room now has double-paned windows, but the original single-pane windows remain throughout the rest of the house.

Mid Century Modern Bathroom in Boise, Idaho
Vinyl composite tile (VCT), which were extras saved from a project at Rob and Carrie’s previous home, combine with a vintage medicine cabinet for a perfectly retro bathroom.

Another phase of renovation meant it was time for what Rob and Carrie called their “Tuscan nightmare” bathroom to be ripped out and re-imagined to complement the house’s retro roots. Leftover vinyl composite tile from the couple’s previous house brought a piece of their past, and a funky pop of green, into their new space. Rob replaced the clear sliding doors of a vintage medicine cabinet with solid laminate for a vintage touch.

Bertoia diamond chairs with a Knoll side table
Bertoia diamond chairs surround a Knoll side table for an exceptional sitting area in the office.
Mid Century Tiki office with Witco painting
A Witco painting hangs above carved tikis for a whimsical addition to Rob’s home office.

Birth of Modern Mailbox

About two and a half years after moving, the Rob and Carrie felt that something was missing. “We totally decked this house out and every inch was Mid Century Modern except for the eyesore that I walked by every day,” says Rob. That eye sore was the mailbox.

After searching for just the right design with no luck, Rob set out to create his own, starting with a cardboard prototype. It took multiple visits to different metal fabrication specialists before finally finding one that understood his vision—and so began his company, Modern Mailbox.

The authentic mid century furnishings are a vintage Saarinen side chair and Luther Conover desk with the Eames compact sofa
The vintage Saarinen side chair tucked under a Luther Conover desk makes a smart working space while the Eames compact sofa is best for relaxing.

The first run of ten units sold on Etsy within a few weeks and Rob knew there was more to this idea than originally predicted. Thousands of units later, his sleek mailboxes can be seen everywhere from hardcore mid century enthusiast homes to bungalows and Victorian houses. Most recently, Rob began producing subtlety boomerang shaped wooden light switch and outlet plates for an extra touch of kitsch.

Now with a perfectly mod mailbox and retro light switch plates accenting their carefully curated furniture collection, every detail of the Rob and Carrie’s home reflects their deeply held passion for mid century design.