A Midcentury California Ranch by Cliff May Is Listed For $720K

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By Lucy Wang
With four outdoor living spaces, this prefab Cliff May abode is perfect for large-scale entertaining.

Marked by timeless charm and simplicity, this California ranch house, designed by the prolific midcentury architect Cliff May, has hit the market in Tustin and comes with its original structure largely intact.

Built in 1954, this stylish three-bedroom, two-bath home boasts all the hallmarks of indoor-outdoor living with walls of glass, an open floor plan, and an abundance of space for entertaining.

Designed by the "Father of the California Ranch Home," Cliff May prefab homes, like this 1950s dwelling here, were completed in just a few days after the concrete slabs were poured.

Designed by the "Father of the California Ranch Home," Cliff May prefab homes, like this 1950s dwelling here, were completed in just a few days after the concrete slabs were poured.

The house ridge beam is painted black and flanked by clerestory windows above the main entrance.

The house ridge beam is painted black and flanked by clerestory windows above the main entrance.

As with all of Cliff May’s prefab homes, this constant connection with the outdoors gives the L-shaped house a surprisingly spacious feel that belies its 1,235-square-foot size. Moreover, its four usable outdoor spaces—including a lagoon-style pool area—offer ample space for entertaining.

Walls of glass to the left of the entrance open up to an outdoor dining area. Hardwood floors are used throughout the open-plan great room.

Walls of glass to the left of the entrance open up to an outdoor dining area. Hardwood floors are used throughout the open-plan great room.

The outdoor dining area is accessible from the open-plan great room.

The outdoor dining area is accessible from the open-plan great room.

"This particular home is one that I lived in for over 10 years," says Stephen Meade, a real estate broker at The Better Living Socal Group with a penchant for Cliff May properties. "I remember buying it back in 2005 when nobody wanted it—despite a red-hot housing market, it had sat on the market 60 days.

"I initially bought it because I thought it was a cool-looking house…what I didn’t realize at the time was that the ‘Cliff May magic’ wasn’t just the aesthetics…it was the way the house lived."

A dining table to the right of entryway sits close to the kitchen tucked behind the wall.

A dining table to the right of entryway sits close to the kitchen tucked behind the wall.

Beautiful butcher-block countertops lend a sense of warmth to the all-white kitchen with modern fixtures.

Beautiful butcher-block countertops lend a sense of warmth to the all-white kitchen with modern fixtures.

While the home has had major sub-systems upgrades—including a new electrical panel, tankless water, and HVAC—the structure of home has been kept largely intact. 

The living space is anchored by a wood-burning fireplace with a white-painted brick surround.

The living space is anchored by a wood-burning fireplace with a white-painted brick surround.

Accessible from the kitchen, this outdoor patio and lawn  are shielded from the street corner by tall vegetation and a fence.

Accessible from the kitchen, this outdoor patio and lawn are shielded from the street corner by tall vegetation and a fence.

"There is only a very thin line between the inside and outside. And in an era when most homes had tiny, closed-off rooms, Cliff May homes were built to be wide open and for guests to meander and mingle," continues Meade. 

"The signature Cliff May courtyard becomes an extension of the living room. Despite its diminutive 1,235-square-foot size, this home can accommodate parties with 30, 40, or even 50 people."

Set on a 7,875-square-foot lot, this Cliff May-designed Tustin home comes with a detached garage with two covered parking spaces.

Set on a 7,875-square-foot lot, this Cliff May-designed Tustin home comes with a detached garage with two covered parking spaces.

A look at the light-filled master bedroom that's flanked by walls of glass on two sides.

A look at the light-filled master bedroom that's flanked by walls of glass on two sides.

A peek inside the master bathroom. The house comes with two full baths.

A peek inside the master bathroom. The house comes with two full baths.

The second bedroom with a full-height glazing overlooks the backyard pool.

The second bedroom with a full-height glazing overlooks the backyard pool.

Here, a third bedroom has been converted into an office. The room faces the garage and opens up to the pool area.

Here, a third bedroom has been converted into an office. The room faces the garage and opens up to the pool area.

A lagoon-style pool sits to the south side of the house. Tall cinderblock walls provide privacy.

A lagoon-style pool sits to the south side of the house. Tall cinderblock walls provide privacy.

1502 Garland Ave, Tustin, CA is now being listed by The Better Living Socal Group for $720,000. See the full listing here.

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