Architectural details of an a-frame home
This homeowner used steel beams help tie the outdoor space to the design of his A-frame home.

The beauty of midcentury modern homes is found in their details—the geometry, the color, the connection between indoors and out. Built by passionate craftsman, these homes, though often developed in tracts, are anything but cookie-cutter and feature prized elements that set these homes apart from today’s faux-Mediterranean McMansions. Here are four quintessential modern architectural details that we adore.

Though new, these frieze panels reflect the home’s original details.

Cool is restrained, never flashy, and Midcentury Modern homes are definitely cool. Textural elements like the above home’s geometric frieze panels are subtly eye-catching, giving the home a distinctive touch that hums rather than shouts. The wood, metal and greenery add more interest to the home’s exterior.

The A-frame is a classic structure with an airy, geometric style that fit perfectly with midcentury sensibilities. Painting interior frames in contrasting colors to the walls and ceilings highlights the sharp angles. This homeowner extended his framing to create an outdoor space that mimics the structure of his A-frame home.

These homeowners installed Eichler-style paneling when they renovated their home.

Inside or out, wood paneling is a striking detail in MCM homes. Painted in dark colors or stained in natural tones, the paneling can add a touch of the outdoors and give a serene quality to a room. In this home, a newly built dining room is given midcentury styling with the addition of this Eichler-style paneling in light tones to offer an ideal gallery-like backdrop for the homeowner’s artwork.

The homeowners replaced the missing latticework to finish off the exterior’s update.

From flooring to built-in cabinetry to paneling and exposed beams, woodwork is a staple in modern homes, adding a craftsman’s touch and natural texture. This home’s beams, paneling and latticework exemplify the understated beauty of modern woodwork.