Reviving a '70s Gem: Our Mid-Century Modern Home in McLaren Flat | SpaceCraft Joinery


Reviving a ’70s Gem: Our Mid-Century Modern Home in McLaren Flat

by Ellen Wundersitz, October 2023

It all started one summer day in July 2022 when Nathan, and I stumbled upon a treasure – a mid-century modern home that exuded the charm of the ’70s. Nestled in the heart of McLaren Flat, South Australia, this house was a relic from the past, originally built for the head winemaker of Rosemont Estate. Little did we know that this chance discovery would lead to a journey filled with excitement and renovation.

Our initial plan was to find a beach house or a river shack, the perfect escape for weekends and holidays. But life had different ideas for us. Our kids were deeply immersed in junior tennis in McLaren Vale, and when this house came on the market – it hit us – why not escape to a place closer to the kids tennis commitments while offering us the chance to renovate a genuine 1970s mid-century modern home?

So, we took the plunge and bought the house, settling in during November 2022. The adventure was about to begin, and our first mission was to scour Facebook Marketplace for mid-century furniture. It turned out to be an addictive, yet incredibly fun pastime – Nathan became a certified Marketplace enthusiast, always on the hunt for that perfect piece to restore the home’s retro charm.

In January 2022, we listed our mid-century marvel on Airbnb, inviting families and couples to enjoy the charm of McLaren Vale while staying in our vintage time capsule. The house, though showing its age, was still in reasonable condition. However, it was clear that a renovation was in order to restore its original glory.

Initially, we planned to kickstart the renovation with the bathroom, toilet, and laundry.

The bathroom now boasts a custom blackwood vanity, with both rooms complemented by Artedomus terracotta and dusty pink-toned tiles, a burgundy AOK concrete basin and elegant brass fittings. The laundry received a makeover with pale honey melamine doors and drawer fronts, topped with beautiful Taj Mahal stone surfaces in a leathered finish.

An unexpected twist came when the original tile order for the bathroom got delayed. Instead of waiting around, we decided to make use of the extra downtime (the Airbnb was unavailable at this time) to tackle the bedrooms. It was a last-minute decision, but one that turned out to be a great idea.

Custom bed heads and frames with built-in reading lights brought a touch of modernity to these retro bedrooms. In the master bedroom, we installed a custom robe and a study desk in Tasmanian Oak. To add a final dash of style, we adorned the windows with blockout blinds and sheer curtains from Country Blinds and laid down Scribbles Pebbles carpet from Floorco.

Our journey through time continues, with the next stop being the kitchen. It’s all designed and ready for production, with the installation scheduled for May 2024. We’re excited to see how this chapter unfolds and adds to the timeless charm of our home.

Our mid-century modern home in McLaren Flat is more than just a house; it’s a living piece of history. We’re passionate about preserving its unique character while adding modern comforts. Stay tuned as we keep sharing our journey to breathe new life into this retro gem.

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