The breezeblock wall is one of Kimberly’s favorite features. The neutral palette is a result of Rachel’s design direction with white walls and concrete floor and Kimberley’s preference for neutral furniture. With her knowledge of the period’s color choices, Rachel selected a shade for the door and curtains that would have been at home in 1964.

If you’re an owner, finding renters who will not only appreciate but also maintain and further improve your Midcentury Modern home is a challenge. If you’re a renter, finding a mid mod gem to call home can be difficult. For Rachel Simmons and Kimberly Adams, they have found this exact symbiosis.

The door alone is inviting with its retro square windows and pool-like shade of blue, and then the planter with its sculptural, minimalist frame adds even more midcentury modern appeal. This is a perfect encapsulation of the symbiosis between a knowledgeable midcentury owner and an appreciative renter with talent of her own.
Kimberly’s two brown leather Ingmar Relling for Westnofa Siesta chairs flank the home’s original windows. During the renovation process Rachel oversaw, they were able to keep all original windows except for the two sliding patio doors.

Finding + Refining

Rachel Simmons, an Interior Designer and Design Professor, and her husband Dimitris Katsiginis were in happy disbelief to find a Ralph Haver-designed 1964 Phoenix home on the market. “It was an apartment for 50 years,” Rachel explains, ”We are only the second owner. All the finishes (besides flooring) were original when we bought it. It is also one of the only fully detached units that were built.”

Rachel employed her design expertise to bring period-authentic colors to new material so that the home expresses a refreshed yet markedly mid mod feel.

They bought it and began a loving, two-year restoration process. “I preserve as much as possible,” Rachel explains. “My research formalized a process for taking a three-part approach to historic interiors: Preserve character-defining features, introduce contemporary technology, and focus on sustainability.”

To that end, they first removed the carpet and linoleum flooring, leaving just the concrete, which they then painted white. New baseboards, fresh paint throughout the entire interior and new electrical outlets and switches provided a base layer of freshening. The most unique and challenging feature of the renovation process was the curved kitchen. Maintaining this was a high priority for Rachel because of its authenticity to the era.

Working within the rounded layout and maintaining the original cabinetry design required a lot of researching and problem solving. “It took finding the right hinges, and the carpenter had to cut and fit all the doors on site,” Rachel says. Rachel brought a dose of freshness to what was originally a very dark wall. “The original paneling was very dark—I painted the wall in a gradual value change to enhance the curve,” she says.

“My research formalized a process for taking a three-part approach to historic interiors: Preserve character-defining features, introduce contemporary technology, and focus on sustainability,” says Rachel Simmons.
The most unique and challenging feature of the renovation process was the curved kitchen. Maintaining this was a high priority for Rachel because of its authenticity to the era.
Rachel’s commitment to preserving the rounded kitchen layout paid off. The curved wall is easy on the eyes and betrays no signs of the trouble it took to replace the cabinetry. Now, Kimberly can enjoy its iconic retro shape and functional efficiency.

Rachel employed her design expertise to bring period-authentic colors to new material so that the home expresses a refreshed yet markedly mid mod feel. “I used a color palette inspired by color research I did in grad school—based on popular colors from 1964,” Rachel explains. “I also used tile sizes in the kitchen and bathroom that were the same as the original, and selected countertop materials that were new materials (quartz), but the same colors popular during the period.”

Kimberly found a pair of vintage Bose speakers on a Tulip base in great condition while thrifting. With a record player and a vinyl collection, it certainly looks and feels right at home.

Enter Renters

Like Rachel and Dimitris, Kimberly Adams and Jose Caraveo (along with their dog BB) were happily surprised to find a local result when they searched for a Haver home for rent. “They don’t come up for rent that often,” Kimberly says, “and I immediately fell in love with the breezeblock wall in the living room and the white on [the] floors and walls.”

Kimberly, a jeweler, appreciates Rachel’s instinct for preservation. “I’m definitely in love with all the old details that were left in the home, like the curved kitchen wall and counter and built-in vanity in the hall bath,” she says. The kitchen’s unique shape is actually a great functional space if it’s just her in the kitchen. Kimberly explains, “It’s super comfortable when I’m the only one cooking and the rounded counter turns into a nice assembly line for chopping, cooking and plating.”

Jose and Kimberly have integrated their own touches. Jose built a coffee table from white oak, and Kimberly created string art for the bedroom wall.
The subtle patterns on the tile add depth and visual interest set off by the contrasting colors of the countertop and slim mirror frames. The pendants’ geometric silhouettes contribute to the clean but jazzy feel, and the built-in shelves are some of Kimberly’s favorite original details.

Jose and Kimberly have integrated their own touches. Jose built a coffee table from white oak, and Kimberly created string art for the bedroom wall. They have layered in vintage finds such as a 1970s couch they found on Craigslist, which they recovered in Joybird’s Impact Ochre fabric. Kimberly’s favorite find, she says, is “definitely the pair of Bose 901 speakers on tulip bases that I thrifted. They were in almost perfect condition!”

With their own handiwork and thoughtful approach to midcentury style, Kimberly and Jose as well as Rachel and Dimitris have found a way to mutually benefit from their shared love of Midcentury Modern and this 1964 Haver home.