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Renovating a Mid-Century Home

Robert Sallin, who has been steadily remodeling his mid-century residence, has a few words of wisdom for those thinking of taking on a home improvement project, mid-century or not: "Be sensitive to what the architect originally designed and extend that vision no matter what era it was built…the key is to be faithful." Sallin bought his Richad Dorman-designed home in 1968 with his wife, painter Sandra Sallin. They raised their family there, slowly adding a family room, pool, and artist's studio, and renovating the kitchen as well. Perched in the hills of Los Angeles overlooking the Pacific, the current iteration of the house is far from a looking like a patchwork of add-ons and pays tribute to Dorman's original design intent. If there's one person who has grappled with all the trials and tribulations of a mid-century renovation, it's Robert. Here, he gives us a brief tour of his home and offers a few tips and hints on what to keep in mind for a successful project.

The Sallin residence was designed by Richard Dorman, a lesser-known contemporary of John Lautner and Craig Ellwood (whose design is the focal point of our Hollywood Renovation Backstory series). Dorman designed a handful of residences and commercial buildings in the Los Angeles region in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and relocated to Santa Fe in 1975.

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