Mid-century Modern, Pearsonified Style

Architecture is endlessly appealing to me. Houses, in particular, capture my imagination because they are so primal in their utility: They provide us with a safe place to sleep, eat, store food, and raise young’uns.

For the last 90 years in America, home architecture has been dominated by profiteering companies looking to churn out cheaper products for higher margins. Market demand and time constraints are generally at odds with innovation and creativity, and this is precisely why qualified architects are only responsible for a small fraction of American homes.

On one hand, this sucks because it means that most houses in America were conceived and built by people who truly don’t know a damn thing about the art of designing a home.

On the other hand, this extreme suckage has made it easier to spot the really good stuff—the houses designed by architects who had a purpose and thoughtful motive behind every last structural detail.

A cursory review of the architects and designers who shaped an emerging, twentieth century America will no doubt reveal classic names like Wright, Neutra, Eichler, Eames, Nelson, van der Rohe, and Saarinen. These artisans—real experts, you know?—are all associated with the most inspired period of design in American history: The mid-century modern era.

When I decided to buy a house in 2009, I went on an all-out mission to find the perfect mid-century modern (MCM) home in Austin. After an exhausting three-month search, I managed to score a classic MCM that does everything right:

  • At first glance, the home appears to be oddly situated on the lot, but closer inspection reveals that it’s built on the same axis as the four cardinal directions!
  • Extra-tall windows bring in natural light and also serve to unite the house with the surrounding land.
  • The flat roof, extended easements, huge windows, and indoor/outdoor feel are all characteristic of my favorite branch of MCM architecture that can be traced back to Richard Neutra.
  • Just look at the place—it’s sexy as hell :D

Finally, I’d like to shout out a huge thank-you to Nick Reese, whose badass camera setup and editing skillz made this video possible!

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90 comments… read them below or add one

Nanette Labastida June 14, 2010

your fridge & pantry contents are impressive – i think i was more entertained by that than the MCM light fixtures & chairs!

srsly you house is lookin good – do another vid when you get more furniture n stuff


Nick Reese June 14, 2010

Dude, soo glad we shot that. It turned out great. Still my fav line. “You wish you were washing dishes like this.”


Lewis Howes June 15, 2010

Dude… this is Epic, glad I got the tour that same day in person!!!

Great times with you and Nick!


Brian Meagher June 15, 2010

Chris, nice to see where our Thesis dollars go. :)
But wait, no hot sauces in the fridge?
Nice video work Nick.


Clarabela June 15, 2010

Cool…the house that Thesis built. Love mid-century modern design. From the contents in your kitchen, you must spend a lot of time at Whole Foods.


Rachel Mathews June 15, 2010

Great Crib! Loved the guided tour.

You need to get your yard done though! Although I’m a UK garden designer, I do know some excellent designers in Austin. Drop me a line if you want some contact details.


Shawn Collins June 15, 2010

Love the place, but no Cristal?!


Clarence Johnson June 15, 2010

Your crib is fly!

How’s the Zico cocounut water?


Chris Pearson June 15, 2010

The coconut water is awesome. I use it in smoothies and as a replacement for synthetic “hydration” drinks like Gatorade or Vitamin Water.


Frank Stallone III June 15, 2010

Not going to lie — I love the house. =D


anthony June 15, 2010

House is neat, but are you really wearing a wife beater to a dinner party?


Chris Pearson June 16, 2010

This is Texas, homeh :D


Joel Anderson June 15, 2010

I definitely enjoyed touring your place, excited to see how you evolve the 1.5th floor / rooftop party palace.


Tyler June 16, 2010

So assuming I saw no meat (or you didn’t point out in your fridge…) are you vegan/vegetarian?


Foxinni June 17, 2010

Nice dude. Happy home building. :)


Shawn June 18, 2010

Well, I would rather just live in Bulgaria, a place I nested for 13 months, not really into that American thing anymore. But, nice house, happy living.


Lubo September 21, 2010

I’m Bulgarian and I hope you are joking :)

Nice digs tho personally I’d have a giant home theater with that much space :)


Adam Baird June 19, 2010

Love the Eski…I have a 9 year old


Bradley Gauthier June 19, 2010

Your fridge & cabinet contents look eerily similar to my fridge & cabinet contents… awesome to know that you’re cognizant of the natural, healthy diet


Peyton June 21, 2010

nice house bro !


Rob Coyle June 22, 2010

Nice gaff! (house in uk)


JR Farr June 24, 2010

Sick dude, love it man. I can’t believe no one has given you props for sporting the Chimay cup during the tour. Haha. That is awesome.


Theo June 25, 2010

Holy s**t, absolutely awesome house, enjoy it !


Heinrich June 25, 2010

Beautiful house! you made a good choice. Brilliant pictures.


British Guy June 28, 2010

You are right! I agree with you, I love the house.


M. Brown June 28, 2010

WoW! Awesome house! Jealous!


Beau June 28, 2010

You didn’t introduce the little black dog at the end.


Chris Pearson June 29, 2010

Haha, I didn’t know he was gonna be in the video while we were filming, so I missed the shout-out there. His name is Preston, and he’s 5 pounds of Pomeranian awesome :D


Dimas June 30, 2010

Chris, Cornhole is fun game/sport (as some will call it). I had the opportunity to play it in a recent trip to Richmond, VA … very fun and entertaining.


Jimmy Cooper July 2, 2010

Hi Chris,
Do you know how (or if) I can make Press Row’s background Orange for a few days? I has to do with he Dutch win today in case you were wondering.



Chris Pearson July 5, 2010

Jimmy, to change your background, you need to add the following CSS:

body { background: #hex; }

…where hex is the hexadecimal value for the background color that you wish to use.

As far as I know, you have to pay to edit your CSS on WordPress.com, so please keep that in mind.


Farhan July 5, 2010

hi Chris,
I’ve heard about you from Aaron Wall. I am in a process of a complete revamp of my website and I want you to design a logo for it. I know you are not cheap but at the same time I know you are reasonable. I want the best for my website and that is why I have come to you. I didn’t have your contact email, so I am contacting you here. Sorry if this is not the right place.

Kind Regards,


Andrew July 6, 2010

Hey Chris,
Great blog, always entertaining! Loved the tour of your house as well… The rooftop looks really interesting – are those pebbles?
Haven’t seen that style here in Australia. I waiting for an Eames storage unit myself at the moment – can’t wait! Thanks mate, cheers, Andrew


Wassim July 9, 2010


I am a big fan of your work and I was just wondering when/if you were ever going to commercialize the “Pearsonified.com” theme.

Let me know!



Nicole Sullivan July 13, 2010

What color is the blue paint? Love it.

Also, you are possibly the healthiest eater ever.



Dawn Thomas July 14, 2010

What an awesome home you have! When we talked about MCMs yesterday, I briefly mentioned that Eichler designed and built a lot of MCMs in the Silicon Valley. There are quite a few neighborhoods close by where we live that are all Eichlers, and lovers of them are almost cult-like. I have a book on our coffee table entitled, “Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream” by Paul Adamson. It gives a fabulous history of the famous architect and some funny stories, too. You can find it on Amazon (New @ over $200.00, but gently used at around $50.00). My clients just bought an Eichler and I got a copy for them, too. I would love to give you a tour of our MCMs the next time you are in Silicon Valley! Cheers!


James F. July 14, 2010

I think you are the first tech guy to do a cribs! Lol, maybe I should start a series and do the cribs of some of the millionaire startup dudes?


mike July 14, 2010

Congrats, looks swanky, man. Hey, what’re the track IDs for the dub house songs playing in the office?


Happy Hotelier July 15, 2010


Now I know where his color schemes come from.

But at least a bottle of proper Belgian beer, de Koninck, in the fridge:-)


Stijn August 19, 2010

My thoughts exactly. I was like “Yeah, that comes from Belgium!” De Koninck is actually from Antwerp.


Cynthia LaLuna July 15, 2010

Hey, I just stumbled on this today! Thanks so much for the long-awaited tour – now I must lie down with a cool cloth before I expire of house envy. Really smart using the “master” as your office – after all, where do you spend the most time AWAKE?

Great video job, @nickreese.


Jessica Doyle July 16, 2010

Your home is lovely Chris. I really like the vintage light fixtures and furniture.


Rob July 18, 2010

You are such a jerk, Pearson…

Title column says “architecture…”, but the content video is only “look what I have.” This isn’t going to make you a better person, you know?


Gargamel July 18, 2010

Awesome! Very inspiring too. Chris, you deserve every piece of it. I love this Country!

*sigh* ahhh.. “The Golden Age”. That was an amazing time period, when so much was created (the right way).

@Shawn – C’mon back to the US. No worries man! That whole “Smurfdom” thing isn’t gonna happen. It’s fake! lol

@Rob – You’re right, but it might help inspire others to stop whining and realize how inefficient that is. Which, ultimately, would make the world a better uttopia.


Aaron July 21, 2010

Care to share some of your favorite dubstep that you work too? Whatever was playing sounded massive.


Chris Pearson July 22, 2010

Aaron, I don’t know enough about dubstep to have any real favorites, but I like a lot of the jams they play on the Dubstep channel on Digitally Imported. The Trance and Vocal Trance channels are winners, too :D


mike July 22, 2010

Damn I’m jealous!!!! Love the mid century mod.


Warren Phillips August 4, 2010

You are basically right. In the last 90 years, houses were built with less artistic sense and people are still not really interested in having beautiful houses.


Jonny Rowntree August 7, 2010

Your house is pretty rocking Chris. Nice! Certainly digging the office and fixtures around the joint!


hello August 9, 2010

Love it how you got those hot chicks doing the cooking in the background. Nice :)


themisfit August 9, 2010

Love the house.


George August 11, 2010

It was a wonderful experience for me, I still live in rented house, dreaming of my own house for years!


wilson August 12, 2010

I’ve always been a modern kind of person myself, really liked the house my friend.


Andrei August 16, 2010

You have such a beautiful house. really liked it ! I’m kinda jealous now… kiddin, great post as usual!


Edwin Blake August 17, 2010

Hi Chris, I am pretty familiar with your diythemes. That was a nice house dude. I like the philosophical posts on your blog. Cheers!


Jacky Liang August 19, 2010

Kipkay taught you how to build that.. Right?


David August 20, 2010

Your place takes me back to the 60’s when my aunt and uncle lived in a very similar home, although yours does have some cooler amenities like the upstairs patio and roof access!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.


Neil McNerney August 21, 2010

hey trying to find a way to ask a question about thesis before I buy…but I cannot find ANY place on the site to send a message or ask a question! Specifically, can I use your themes on page.ly?


Jordan August 24, 2010

Hi Chris,

Thanks for introducing me to MCM. I definitely prefer this approach over more traditional house “design,” I just did not know the words to describe it (if that makes sense.)

I wonder, do you happen to know who designed your house?


Ross August 30, 2010

Thesis Cribs! Nice! Check out my sister’s house


Binary Blonde September 2, 2010

Nice house! My favorite is the dual-shower heads. Austinite shout out, yo! We’ve probably seen each other in Whole Foods at some point or another. I’m a big juicer and use maca root powder, too. Love that stuff! You have me thinking more about Feng Shui now. Already, there’s a mirror over the dressers that faces the bed in the master bedroom – not good, huh? Problem is, the way the room is oriented, there’s really no other place to move it, along with the dressers. I have to ponder on this. Can you recommend a good book/website for “beginners” in Feng Shui?


Lowell Christensen September 17, 2010

I’ve only been to Austin once. Love it there. Why did you stop rolling after only 2 shots in a row? HA!


sokkz September 21, 2010

Nice place, man. Your purchasing style seems just like mine — perfectionist through and through (and perhaps to a fault). Glad you included a video — was fun to watch. =)


Devin Reams September 24, 2010

Hey man, awesome “cribs” video. I like your style. Especially that chandelier. ;)


Tsh September 24, 2010

You’re in Austin?! I’m in Austin. I had no idea… I’m trying to guess specifically where this house is. Zilker/South Lamar area?


Chris Pearson September 25, 2010

Tsh, I thought you were out of the country! Are you living here, or are you just visiting?


Tsh September 25, 2010

I’m originally from Austin, and we just moved back to the U.S. a few months ago. We’re hemming and hawing over where to permanently live – hubby’s from Oregon so we miss the cooler weather, but we love Austin otherwise. Also, grandparents nearby = free babysitting. :)

But yeah… We’re here, for now. It’s fun to be back.


tom September 26, 2010

I’m trying to buy Thesis, but the link to paypal is not working. Since you have no method for contacting anyone at DYIthemes I’ve been forced to leave a comment here.


Gary September 26, 2010

Wow…nice house.


Rob in Atlanta September 28, 2010

That’s a pretty slick house. Definitely has some character. I like the tree coming through the roof.

Is there a place where there used to be another tree?


carson October 12, 2010

nice crib, I love the beanbag toss in the front yard.


Benjamin October 21, 2010

Dear God please stop singing.


Webranes October 23, 2010

WOW..great home! I also love the tree.


Apollo Theou October 26, 2010

I think mid-century is an under-rated period for home architecture. I really like the straight lines and earnestness of the period. Where I live in Florida, everything is new and anything older than 20 years is considered obsolete because people here lack sophistication.


Janet October 26, 2010

Loves it!


Gino Orlandi November 1, 2010

Great place. I’ve been doing some house hunting lately and it really is getting hard to find anything unique. I really want to live in a warehouse with just one giant open space with very high ceilings…


dean November 2, 2010

Great house!


Scott Rei November 9, 2010

Love the house and the guided tour.


Prakash December 15, 2010

Hey Chris,

You have a lovely home dude. It was awesome & inspiring too. I really love it & inspired of the amazing place.

Thanks for this sharing & for the guidance of the tour to the place which was mid century modern style.


Marion December 21, 2010

You’re such a cutie pie Chris. Anyways, from your very outgoing personality, I honestly, thought you’re into those ultra slick, ultra modern type of houses. Your house is very nice and cozy, not to mention those architectural details. Great investment =)

As for me, I’m so in love with Art Deco and Asian Modern houses


Sunday Oliver January 3, 2011

I am sorry to put this comment here, but I have been trying to find a way to communicate with CP about a glitch buying the Thesis theme, and I haven’t been able to find a way to do that. This is the best I can do. (Your blog article about wanting to deal with a company where you can COMMUNICATE with someone definitely rings a bell, here.)

I made a payment (I thought) for the Thesis theme. Since I hit PayPal checkout mistakenly instead of the credit card, and I didn’t have enough funds in PayPal at the time of purchase, this may well be the problem.

However, I got a page that looked as if I now owned Thesis – only then I was sent to this a page which then asked me once again to buy Thesis. Implying that I hadn’t.

Can you please straighten this out? I thought I really wanted Thesis…now not so sure.


Chris Pearson January 4, 2011

Hi Sunday,

UPDATE: My initial response here was incorrect. You paid with an e-Check, which takes 3–5 business days to clear. Once your e-Check clears, your account will become activated, and you’ll be able to download Thesis.


John McGehee February 20, 2011

Love your house. I too have a mid-century modern home, and when faced with renovating it, I wanted to keep it authentic. But authentic kitchens and bathrooms from the 1950’s mean pegboard and penalty box kitchens. So like you, I re-did the kitchen and bathrooms with modern fixtures and appliances. Good choice. Makes it much more livable, doesn’t it?

I left the remainder of the house so that it looks like I’m only pretending to be in the 21st century.


Zak Klemmer March 13, 2011

Chris! What an awsome home, thanks for the tour. I love mid-century modern, I studied architecture under Martin Gelber, AIA in Los Angeles. This was a fantastic find on your part, congrats!
I just purchased a developer license to Thesis and have plans to us it on multiple websites and projects. I’m looking for a designer.
Best, Zak Klemmer


Xai Charles May 23, 2011

Ok. So you’re living in my dream house. I’m nuts for Mid-century modern furniture and architecture. I’ve been searching for a Mid-century house for the past 3 years. Still looking. I know I’ll find just the right one when the time is right. Congrats on the crib. It is awesome!


JLM July 31, 2011

nice house, nice blog, nice design ^^what else?


Koundeenya May 6, 2012

Lovely part of this article is the House -Truly !!


Heidi February 26, 2013

Hi Chris,
I really like your house! It definitely has a lot of potentional. You will probably get sick of people telling you what you should do with it! I like the outdoor space in front of the entry door. You should rip up those paving stones and put in a real garden/patio area. Trust me when I say put your BBQ down there or outdoor pizza oven. You wont want to walk upstairs to do your BBQ’ing! Im going to check out your DIY Themes for WordPress. Im currently building my garden website on Wordpress. Its a lot fun! Im teaching myself so bear with me if you look at my site. Thanks for all the information on sitebuilding! -Heidi


Asiome June 6, 2013

Hey Chris,

The most interesting part of the entire tour to me was when the camera guy got into your WorkSpace (office), that was heart whelming to me, and you even have your bathroom in your office; gggrrreattt!

Do you have any Mid-century Modern iMac, iPad, or MacBook I can borrow? I feel I am lacking behind without them.
Maybe one that is becoming junk around you. I would love it in no matter the condition.



Linda August 21, 2013

Great house… About your agave nectar… You might find this interesting. I just got a Blendtec blender and started making smoothies and juicing, lot’s of recipes call for Agave. Then I read this. Now I think I’m sticking to Stevia.


Hoot and/or Holler

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