The elderly gentleman who owned this midcentury modern home in the Pine Spring neighborhood of Falls Church hadn’t maintained it as he grew older, and it fell into disrepair. The neighbors feared that someone would raze it and build something not in keeping with the character of the community.

One of them got in touch with real estate agent Michael Shapiro, who, along with his wife, Elissa, and partners Michael Cook of Cook Architecture and Steven Wheeler of Solid Constructs, contacted the man’s daughter and bought the property.

They knew the house needed to be expanded to appeal to today’s living standards but wanted to preserve the home’s period details and fit it into the lot’s quirky boundaries.

The result is a contemporary take on midcentury modern.

“The idea is to save and reuse what is there from the midcentury period,” Shapiro said.


(Photo by Ulf Wallin)

The 1952 house informed the architecture of the addition, which juts out from the original dwelling, forming a V-shape. Its butterfly roof sinks in the middle and raises on the ends, adding drama to the living room and master suite.

The old and the new blend seamlessly in this four-bedroom, three-bathroom home. The dark gray siding marks the older portion of the house, while the light gray and unpainted cedar siding signals the newer portion. The cedar gives it a woodsy feel, what Cook likes to call “cabin modern.”

A cheerful yellow door provides a welcoming entrance to the home. Cook said the layout is similar to the one in which he grew up in Holmes Run Acres, the Fairfax County community of midcentury modern homes.

Three of the bedrooms are in one wing, while the spacious master suite is in the new wing. The side windows in the living room, which are in keeping with the geometry of the old home, look onto a cluster of magnolia trees. White oak flooring throughout the 2,215-square-foot home establishes continuity in the space.

They kept the post-in-beam look but dropped the ceiling down to add insulation and recessed lighting. All the electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems were updated during the nine-month construction process.


(Photo by Ulf Wallin)

Shapiro and his partners specialize in transforming midcentury modern homes such as this one and bringing them back to life.

“We’re really rehabilitating an old junky house that most people would just discard,” Cook said.

The house is listed at $799,000. An open house is scheduled for Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Listing: 3017 Pine Spring Rd., Falls Church

Listing agent: Michael Shapiro, Long & Foster

Previous House of the Week

For more Real Estate news, follow @PostRealEstate and visit our Facebook page.